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Are You Having a Mid-Life Crisis?

Taking stock sometimes means making changes such as making new goals or taking a new direction.

Somewhere between 35 and 55 years old, people may stop and take stock of what they have achieved, both in life and love. For some, this period of introspection has little effect (it may not even occur at all), while for others it sparks a crisis of identity, goals and purpose.

Problems with the Past and the Future

Mid-life Crises can be a rocky ride, as they throw into question almost every significant choice a person has ever made. Did they make the right career choice? Did they marry the right person? Could they have been a better parent? The past is combed over in minute detail, and every decision is dissected and questioned. “What if” becomes a painful refrain.

The future, too, becomes a frightening prospect with the belief that half of life has passed by. What have I achieved? Is this all there is to life? How will I be remembered?

Signs of a Mid-Life Crisis

People facing a mid-life crisis may also:

  • feel bored with their job, their relationship, their life
  • feel like everything is a chore, that they are stuck in a rut
  • constantly compare themselves to others and feel jealous
  • dread that the years ahead will all be the same
  • feel directionless
  • feel regretful
  • have a keen sense that time is limited, that the clock is ticking
  • have intense feelings of nostalgia, spending much of their time focused on the past
  • make uncharacteristic or impulsive choices, like a buying a new car or home
  • be willing to walk away from it all, even if it appears successful by other’s standards
  • engage in extramarital affairs, or think about it often
  • undergo a sudden and dramatic change in behavior or appearance

Everyone experiences Mid-Life Crises in different ways. For some, regret is focused on only one aspect of life, such as career. Whereas for others, everything is tested and found wanting.

Working through these thoughts and feelings can be difficult, but going through the process can offer satisfying dividends. Finding and setting new goals, reconnecting with spouses and family, finding peace with our past choices, and understanding that we can always make changes to enrich our future are all positive outcomes of tackling a mid-life crisis.

Quarter-Life Crisis

Age-related crises are not limited to mid-life. The Quarter-Life Crisis occurs for some people between ages 25 and 35 as they seek direction in adult life.The transition from being a young adult, completing post-secondary studies, and finding a career path and a life partner can be stressful for those hoping to find meaning and avoid missteps. Disillusionment with “real life” and the responsibilities of being an adult can also spark Quarter-Life Crises.

If you are struggling with feelings of regret and apprehension for the future, contact the BFDC. We can help.