The midlife crisis is a myth – Your welcome

The midlife crisis is a myth – more than this, the midlife crisis is a lie. Life only gets better for men – better and better as the years roll by. Mid-life is not a crisis. Mid-life is when you are getting warmed up. When you have money in your trousers. When you are doing a job you love. When you are an adorable combination of youth and experience. When you know how to find a clitoris without Google Earth.

So some 37-year-old man runs off with his secretary, or his neighbour’s wife, or a Latvian lap dancer. So what? So some 44-year-old executive goes off on a business trip and ends up sampling more than the Toblerone in his minibar.

So what? So a 50-year-old guy decides he wants to trade in his Ford Fiasco for a Harley-Davidson. So what?  Every 50-year-old man I know owns  a Harley-Davidson. And they’re all very happy. That’s not called a midlife crisis. That’s called “me” time.

That’s called – for once in your life – doing exactly what you feel like doing.

What we call a midlife crisis – it’s tame stuff, isn’t it?  Changing your woman, changing your means of transport, changing your trousers, your job, your country of residence.  This is not to suggest that these things can always be done without pain and tears – that Latvian lap dancer might leave you, or you might wrap your motorbike around  a lamppost, or your skinny jeans may be a sartorial disaster (mine were, I have big….legs), but compared to the poisoned chalice of youth, this is all just a pint of mild and bitter.

Unless a man has led an extraordinarily sheltered life, the so-called crisis of his middle years – whatever form it takes – will be nothing much compared to the crisis he faced down in young manhood.

I look back at my youth and  I see… turmoil. Drink. Women. Fights. Drink. Ice cubes made from the tears of the broken-hearted. Too scared to love, too young to know better. Often all in one lunch break.  And I remember friends dying – not from the AIDS or the Cancer and treacherous tickers that stalk us later in the unrelenting cycle of life, but in all the raw violence of youth. Dead in car crashes. Dead from drugs. Look at all the greats that die at 37, Heath ledger, for example or James Dean  – just when he should have been preparing for one of those midlife clichés. If Heath had lived, would he really have experienced a midlife crisis? Would he have fretted about needing a size bigger in leather trousers, or why film roles were never as good as the dark knight or Broke back Mountain ? Whatever the middle years had in store for Heath, it would have seemed pretty tame compared to the screaming insanity of what came before. And hardly a crisis at all.

So it is for all of us. Youth is never a stroll in the park. It is almost always harder than what waits down the line. It is sad – tragic even – when a marriage breaks up, or when your hairline is receding faster than your career, or when love grows cold. But look on the bright side – is it really tougher than what you endured in your teens and twenties?Wanting a new car, or a new woman, or a new way of living – is it really such a crisis?

I would say HELL NO!! 

Where does it come from – this idea that a man reaches a certain point in his life when all is peaceful and calm? When there are no more irrational passions, and unfulfilled yearning, and desire to – one last time – do something unhygienic on the passenger seat of some inappropriate ride?

“Stop dreaming of the quiet life, ’cause it’s the one we’ll never know,” sang the Jam , and I have always cherished the wisdom of those words.

A man never gets to a point when trouble of some shade or another is out of the picture. The midlife crisis is born of the illusion that nothing exciting should happen to you once you are in the far-flung corners of youth. And it is just not true. What has gone wrong since I became a grown-up? Oh, the usual. Divorce. Bereavement. Money troubles. Promiscuity. Coveting thy neighbour’s wife. Coveting thy neighbour’s car. Coveting thy neighbour’s balcony . A bit more bereavement. A few more money troubles.

But none of these little domestic nightmares – which began in my late twenties and went on for ten years or more – could be considered a midlife crisis. It was all just… the stuff that happens in a lifetime. And what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – unless it’s a baseball bat or something. In many ways, the middle bit of our lives is where we start getting it right. You get divorced – but then you meet someone lovelier, and fall in love ( maybe for the first time) and if you are really lucky you get married to her. Your parents die but the years go by and you realise how lucky you were to have that woman as your mother (not in my case, but maybe yours) and that man as your father. You see that this is not a midlife crisis at all, it is merely mother nature doing what she is obliged to do: kick you in the testicles.

As time goes by, inevitably you have a lot more money than you had when you were 17 or 21. Yet that does not stop the money troubles of your middle years from being as real as a tumour. So you grit your teeth, you do good work and – eventually – good things start to happen. The best things.

Life is infinitely better now than when I wore DMs every day of my life. At 22, I lived in a small flat with nothing but a mattress and lots and lots of caps, some were even Ed hardy (Sic) where you had to sleep on the right side of the mattress when it rained because water came through the ceiling. Even if it all falls apart tomorrow, even if I forget my name and have fragments of jam sponge cake on my unshaven chin, I am never going to live anywhere as rotten as that again.

Youth is hard for most of us. It is different for girls, but boys are often lonely – because the girls their age want older boys – boys with money, boys with cars, boys who know how to talk to them. Youth is frustrating – you are rarely doing the job you want and,  in your late teens and early twenties, life can seem as though it is slipping away far more desperately than it ever does in your thirties and forties.

Midlife crisis?

You mean doing the job you love?

You mean a ceiling that doesn’t leak and a woman who loves you?

You mean having money in your pocket?

You mean swapping the bus for the car of your dreams – and then swapping that for a Bike or a holiday or even afford an Addison Lee or Town Car?

Sounds pretty good to me, this midlife crisis caper.  The trouble is that society confuses being a middle-aged man with being a freshly made corpse. A lot of what gets put down  to a midlife crisis is often just a man revealing the first signs of life that he has shown in years.

I would never suggest that a man gives his heart to the first girl he meets who is young enough to be his daughter. And it is not a good idea to suddenly start riding motorbikes unless you have considered the possibility that you might fall off. But if you do, then don’t beat yourself up. This is not  a midlife crisis – this is you, still breathing.

My father was a middle-aged man at a young age thanks to raising me. He had lived hard and we did not come from money, many of his friends would go to jail and many men he knew have since died. Most days he hates watching himself age, feels 19 but when he looks in a mirror see’s a man of 57.

But even my father – who often gave me the impression that he’d had his fill of the outside world most days- discovered a new passion in his middle years for travelling and still does.

Every year he  goes to Thailand or somewhere in the world he has never been, lately he goes to clubs and watches people Salsa and is up later then me.. Is this a midlife crisis? No, it was just my father rediscovering his passion for travel and people.   It is just my father remembering that he is alive, but he will not be forever.


And of course its a lot less trouble than having him run off with a Latvian lap dancer, not that he wants me to stop looking for one for him.

This is not to make the case that age is inherently better than youth. There are many slings and arrows of your middle years – the closer proximity of death, the way hangovers last for days, the desire of GPs to give you a prostate examination every time you bend over. Or your young lover reminding you it may be time to get health cover.

But where did it come from, this idea that there comes a point when a man should stop seeking fulfilment, stop looking for meaning and stop having fun?

And when did we get it into our heads that life gets to a point where troubles melt away, where relationships stop falling apart and when our hearts are no longer capable of ecstasy, or of breaking?

That only happens on the day we die and until then life is full of varying measures of joy and pain, and it doesn’t matter a damn if you are currently sporting a six-pack or a family pack. I love my 6 pack so much I protect it now days with a layer of loving fat.

The midlife crisis is a myth designed to keep men tame, neutered and in their place. It doesn’t exist.

Fight against it.

Buy a motorbike.

Quit your high paying job.

Get rid of your complete apartment with all the accessories you ever thought you needed.

Trek the Himalayas. Buy a sports car ( well done Peter Andre). Learn Salsa.

Fall in love. Give up your Sky contract . Actually, better not give up your Sky contract – the passions that some enjoy later in life are only made possible because of what they see on TV. And for some maybe don’t quit your job as some dreams may cost money 🙂

And there are plenty of middle-aged women who fancy a change of direction, or the chap who lives down the street. There are plenty of women who get sick of their jobs – or their shagged-out old husbands – or who want to dance the tango in Buenos Aires before they die.

And why not?

Let there be fire in your eyes and flashing limbs. Dump the husband. Fly to Argentina. Enjoy every sandwich. You’re a long  time cremated.

But somehow it is a midlife crisis when a man decides that he doesn’t want to be a chartered accountant – he wants to kiss the face of God.

We should all be allowed to kiss the face of God – whether it comes in the form of  a bigger bike or a younger lover or the urge to see foreign land and live amongst the natives. How else to respond to our mortality?

There is no cure for death, and no age  limit for dreams, and no escape from who we are – mortal, fallible creatures, full of love and longing.

And if the young lover breaks your heart, or if you fall off your bike, or if Dubai is a disappointment – if you make a fool of yourself – well, that is what men do, and what we have always done. What better reason is there but in the search for Love and happiness.

It’s not a midlife crisis.

It’s just the latest in a long line of cock-ups.

#50ShadesofJAY *This was anger

TO MEN !!! 

Allan Scott and Jason ALLAN Scott - Father and Son

Allan Scott and Jason ALLAN Scott – Father and Son – Raise a glass to being a MAN !!


~ by Jason Allan Scott on July 25, 2012.

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