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Old 03-19-2014, 12:12 AM   #21
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I didn't have a midlife crisis - it wasn't in the budget.

What a bummer. That's like missing out on your teenage years.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:24 AM   #22
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Hi,

I hadn't thought about it before, but two sets of close relatives recently separated after the women had weight loss surgery - these were multiple decade long marriages. I know a sample of two is not significant, but it makes sense that such a big change could have hormonal and nutritional effects... or perhaps there might be some aspect that "weight loss was supposed to make me happy, and it hasn't, therefore I need to change something else". Either way seeking expert help seems like a good start.

So far I have only had work related dissatisfaction (I expect to love to work), the first time I did a part-time MBA and the latest twice I resigned giving lots of notice, but moved into consultancy rather than another straight job. More freedom of choice, more variety and more free time.

The other thing I might have personally noticed (not sure), is that being financially independent (FI) might give too much choice and lead to dissatisfaction. e.g. All jobs have dull patches, but instead of just sucking it up and moving past it, perhaps I now tend to think: "I don't have to put up with this, I can do xxx and life is too short to put up with yyy, let's make a change."

Congrats on the significant weight loss and I wish you all the best.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:45 AM   #23
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I bought a motorcycle when I was 58. Nothing like the exhilaration of wide open throttle in 2nd and 3rd gear. Since I only weigh ~145 lbs that bike hardly knows my skinny little butt is on it.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:09 AM   #24
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I'm glad cars and bikes do it for some of you. For me it was job changes and musical instruments. At 28 I left Big Oil and went back to grad school - oh and picked up a harpsichord like:



At about 40, I changed teaching positions and bought a fortepiano:



When my mom died, I was 47, I left teaching, moved to DC, started a Fellowship with the Dept of Energy and blew my entire inheritance ($6K) on a clavichord:



Whatever allows you to continue to get up in the morning, eh?
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:19 AM   #25
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Looks like the ER board once again succeeds in defanging, or even re-defining what is frequently tough and destabilizing for others. I always though mid-life crisis meant affairs, divorce and upheaval.

But apparently it's new cars, motorcycles and pianos.

How about our women members?

What works for them?

Ha
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:37 AM   #26
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How about our women members?

What works for them?

Ha
Micromanaging their spouse/SO?
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:03 PM   #27
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Ha, I'll posit that it is different for everyone. The unease and slight aimlessness of my DH in his 51st year are less fathomable to me than my own 43 year old unspecified irritation and restlessness. He deals with his one way, and I deal with mine another.

Never more than during midlife do we get to see how our personalities diverge, and how we each answer our own internal questions.

I am a big fan of books, and learning in general, so will likely find that introspection and education are how I settle my own middle age. I suspect DH will settle his with various distractions, projects, and stilling his own internal voice. To each his (or her) own.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:35 PM   #28
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Looks like the ER board once again succeeds in defanging, or even re-defining what is frequently tough and destabilizing for others. I always though mid-life crisis meant affairs, divorce and upheaval.

But apparently it's new cars, motorcycles and pianos.

How about our women members?

What works for them?

Ha
OK, so I feel just a LITTLE embarrassed about being light-hearted. But there are three points I'd like to make in my defense. 1) These were times in my life that I WAS seriously contemplating my place in the world. That's why I ended up changing my place of residence and/or place of employment. 2) For some reason, these times also seemed like the right time to indulge myself. Looking back, it is hard to understand why there would be this connection between making big changes in my life and buying something, but there it is. 3) Self-deprecating humor is a defense mechanism - it is much safer to make fun of some questionable things that I did in the past than to revisit the feelings that were present at the time.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:09 PM   #29
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OK, so I feel just a LITTLE embarrassed about being light-hearted. But there are three points I'd like to make in my defense. 1) These were times in my life that I WAS seriously contemplating my place in the world. That's why I ended up changing my place of residence and/or place of employment. 2) For some reason, these times also seemed like the right time to indulge myself. Looking back, it is hard to understand why there would be this connection between making big changes in my life and buying something, but there it is. 3) Self-deprecating humor is a defense mechanism - it is much safer to make fun of some questionable things that I did in the past than to revisit the feelings that were present at the time.
Re #2, I asked earlier if the OP could identify what had made him happy in the past or what he thought might do so now. Indulging oneself is a form of giving oneself permission to be happy and it can be a huge factor in moving forward. Those are beautiful instruments and I imagine they give you much pleasure.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:22 PM   #30
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Looks like the ER board once again succeeds in defanging, or even re-defining what is frequently tough and destabilizing for others. I always though mid-life crisis meant affairs, divorce and upheaval.

But apparently it's new cars, motorcycles and pianos.

How about our women members?

What works for them?

Ha
Vodka.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:27 PM   #31
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Re #2, I asked earlier if the OP could identify what had made him happy in the past or what he thought might do so now. Indulging oneself is a form of giving oneself permission to be happy and it can be a huge factor in moving forward. Those are beautiful instruments and I imagine they give you much pleasure.
I've been reflecting this afternoon. I do like your idea of giving oneself permission to be happy. In my case I think that there is also the possibility that music is the area that I really FEEL that I should have been allowed to pursue seriously. Unfortunately, growing up, music was not valued in my working class household so I had no training and no encouragement to pursue it. Having discovered classical music when I went away to college, I have been playing catch up ever since. I've never found a job that makes me happy, but music and DW have always been there for me.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:32 PM   #32
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Looks like the ER board once again succeeds in defanging, or even re-defining what is frequently tough and destabilizing for others. I always though mid-life crisis meant affairs, divorce and upheaval.

But apparently it's new cars, motorcycles and pianos.

How about our women members?

What works for them?

Ha
Wow. Ha, I don't do affairs and neither do the men I have been involved with in my life. My divorce was simply for survival. Upheaval? That sounds distasteful as all get out.

Actually, I am only 65 so I am sure that I am too young for a midlife crisis. I'll let you know what worked for me in about thirty years if/when I have one.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:47 PM   #33
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Vodka.
Best answer ever.

When DH was approaching 50 (he was just shy of 48) he did a foolish thing - married me. I was pushing 38. We promptly had 2 kids - so my 40th birthday was spent with an infant on my lap.

My 50th was all about figuring out early retirement. (I'm 52 and closer than ever to pulling the trigger.)

No new cars or affairs, but pretty big life changes.

And yes, vodka was in the picture.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:20 PM   #34
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I would suggest moving to another country, another continent, explore the world a bit, and see how people live in other parts of the world... How some people in those "third world countries" are so not rich yet so happy with their daily lives. I am not sure if Iraq is the right place for you, but perhaps a more politically stable place like Europe or Latin America, that both you and your wife can enjoy living there for a year or two? I often find changing location and surrounding enviornment helps, when you are in a downward cycle.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:05 PM   #35
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Well my blood results came back normal except for being low in potassium. So that was good news. I still plan to up my vitamin intake.

Just to be clear, I don't think I'm depressed. It's more just a lack luster feeling. I think most of this is due to slow work period where I just have too much time on my hands to think about life. Probably the reason I like to be busy when I work. It makes the time go by faster.

Have not really had the urge to get a fast/fun car. The one indulgence I've been considering is sky diving. About 20 years ago I bungee jumped and enjoyed the thrill. Sky diving should be similar with a longer fall time. The only thing holding me back is the thought of strapping myself to someone. The other idea I've toyed with is an ultra light type airplane.

I am looking forward to the weather warming up so I can start walking outside again. This is something I do most days and my wife comes along about every other time.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:53 PM   #36
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Vodka.
and for really bad days a chocolate martini !
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:09 PM   #37
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I didn't have a midlife crisis - it wasn't in the budget.
Ditto. My wife said we couldn't afford it
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:46 PM   #38
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I have done a lot of reading of happiness research over the years. I know there are some who will dismiss this as pseudo-science, and I concede that it's difficult to measure, but approximately 50% of happiness is genetic, 10% are things that happen to you, and 40% is how you deal with it.

A year after losing a limb or a year after winning the lottery, people are back at their same base line of happiness.

So before you do anything drastic, I'd recommend working on that 40% that you control.

One other summarized quote from Daniel Gilbert, who is a happiness researcher. He talks about how humans are notoriously bad at knowing what makes us happy. I'll mangle it a bit, but essentially he says that research shows that friends and family make us happy, and all of the other things we think make us happy are ways for us to connect more with family and friends.

Exercise and spending time in nature are also linked with increased happiness. Can you join a group, volunteer, do more things with your wife? Have you clearly communicated your dissatisfaction to her, or are you hinting around and hoping she understands exactly how unhappy you are?

I could put a ton of links in here, but one of my favorites is marcandangel.com

Having just gone through a traumatic divorce, if I were you, I'd think long and hard if that's the road you want to take. It's more emotionally devastating than you can imagine, and I also lost out on quite a bit, financially. And being single again is no picnic (though better than being in a terrible marriage.)
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:48 AM   #39
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My first life crisis was at the age of 35 and my entire life changed....new career/business, husband, 2 stepsons, 3 cats, a house, quit smoking, sold my art, picked up 5 more hobbies...yada yada.
I am coming up on another little mid life crisis...working out and getting ready to run a 5K this year for my 40th. I want to really concentrate on building up our retirement pots, renovate our home, get the boys out of college and settled, and get ready to move out to the Southwest somewhere during this next decade
I think mid life crises is a nudge from your soul to do something that makes your heart happy I cannot imagine doing the same things year after year....what a boring way to live...for me.
Maybe you should take a meditation class or do it on your own...find out what you are missing and see if there are hobbies/etc. to help fill that need. If it is the adrenaline rush that you are missing, that could definitely be a serotonin deficiency and requires seeing a Doctor.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:01 AM   #40
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I think mid life crises is a nudge from your soul to do something that makes your heart happy
What a wonderful way to describe it! Works for me.

BTW A good friend quit their job and is now spending a lot more time with environmental and humane causes... I hadn't thought of their actions as a mid-life crisis but your definition applies to them.
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