Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mid life crisis

This has been on my chest for the past few months... *deep breath*

I'm turning 40 this year... invariably, my thoughts have been drifting to what I've done with my life thus far. My wife calls it my "mid life crisis". I mean, the signs ARE there. A couple of weeks ago, I brought the whole family to have our glasses done and I was choosing a couple of new frames... so that I would look "cool". My wife gave me one strange look... "Darling.. what's wrong... mid life crisis?" One night, I dressed up to go out for a night of World-Cupping... another look from my wife... and.. before I knew it, the mid life crisis question came up again...

Guess what? It IS true.. while I wouldn't classify it as a crisis, I find myself critically evaluating myself. Tonight, the taxi driver told me about the trouble he was having finding a new full time job. The choice of words were really interesting. He talked about having his difficulties as "he was too old for a junior position" and how employers would rather prefer to hire younger, good looking women, rather than "old men like me".

Yup. Old men like me. All of a sudden, I realize that 50 is only 10 years away. All of a sudden, I feel.. mortal... I am... afraid

Afraid that I have not made much of my life. I wonder.. could I be in a better job if I had made the right decisions? Would I have had more success? I wonder if I'm a loser.

But then, I think about my family. I look at my wonderful wife and my two beautiful children and think... even if I think that I've not "done" much with my life, I've left my legacy in my children. I've made memories with them, and they will forever know that they have a father who loves them deeply.

I think about the people who love me, and who genuinely care about me. I think about the people whose lives I've touched; in my work, in my concern. I think about the woman whom I gave mouth-to-mouth resusitation to. I think about the people I've reached out to in their time of need.

My life has not been a failure. It has been a journey for me, albeit not a very smooth sailing one. I have not reached my destination, although it's not really very clear what or where it is. I will continue to do my best. I will continue to love and to reach out.

I will continue to be me.

Sorry for the ramblings; it was important for me to post this entry

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Blogger trisha said...

40 is when you take a mid-life pit-stop. And it looks like you are doing it.

In my line, my students think anyone above 40 is an elderly (they just told me so today), which makes me shudder and wonder if I should contemplate a career change soon.

The urge to dress up and look hip is not unusual. I pierced a second ear-hole last year and have just invested in a U-zap. Desperate times calls for desperate measures!

11:02 am  
Anonymous waterchild said...

Good read.

Me thinks it's your missus that is having issues with your identity, and not you?

Joke aside, I share some of your sentiments too.
I took stock a few years ago and made some drastic changes after that.

All the best to all of you!

6:09 pm  
Blogger Mr Wang Says So said...

Oh, you are fortunate.

I've been having a mid-life crisis every other year since I was 17. :P

10:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I turned 40 last year and will be 41 very soon. I have experienced the same feelings as you - and still do! On the one hand, I feel that I have not achieved what I had wanted. On the other hand, I also feel that it is highly unlikely that given the track record, I will achieve what I want for the rest of my life. There's also the nagging question - is where I am now what I really want? Hence the feeling of helplessness. That in turn may trigger a search for distractions e.g. a new wardrobe, a new sports car, a new career or a mistress (which is, I must say, the most expensive and least useful of the distractions!). But hey, you are right. The family is always there - you are the hero in the eyes of your young children. For that reason, we can be glad. Good luck to you (and me) for the next 40 years.

7:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going 42 this year and had been feeling so for the last decade. Frustrating isn't it and there seems to be no answer in sight.

Try reading the book "Halftime" by Bob Buford. May shed some new perspective.

8:38 am  
Blogger yvonne said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:53 am  
Blogger yvonne said...

Hi! I often hear people talking about mid-life crisis, but I hardly see people writing it down openly from a personal angle. I am now at the quarter-life crisis, but come to think about it, it is not THAT far from the mid-life crisis. I often wonder how it really feels to grow "old". I also wonder how my parents feel about aging etc... Please post more on this if you can. Thanks for sharing.

8:54 am  
Anonymous straydog said...

I turn 40 late last year. I know exactly how you feel.

In may sound strange but in apr/may this year I spend almost 30 days on a pilgrimage walking across Spain (Camino de Santiago). I average 25-30 km a day with a backpack. Total journey almost 800 km. I am not Catholic, and this walk is more spiritual/personal for me. Plus I get to see more of Spain and it's countryside. It was already in my plans since a couple of years ago now but quite timely that I did when I hit 40.

Although not all my questions were answered in the walk, I found that I have gain something better, a different perspective to life. Carrying all your possessions on your back, and doing nothing but eat sleep walk plus a little laundry every day can do that to you. It reduces your life to such simple terms that you get to see what is most important to you. My Camino de Santiago even has it own blog site. You can go to from my blog or directly via

The time required and the hardship in the Camino de Santiago is probably not for everyone. But it is sure heck a lot cheaper than a mistress or buying a new sports car. Plus it is a also a guaranteed weight loss program if you are overweight (think I lost around 7-9 kg).

2:03 pm  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Maybe I'm a freak. I actually enjoy growing older!! Am happier and more contented now than I ever was in my teens! You mellow with age, and become more at peace with yourself and with others. :-)

At three score minus 8, I have been offered more jobs than I can accept!!! Call my kaypohness a blessing. The kayphoness that leads to the discovery that we have more talents than we realise!

11:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've realised that you're never too young to have a mid-life crisis in singapore... having one right now... thanks for posting!

1:20 am  
Blogger John Riemann Soong said...

Since 14 for me.

After the PSLE time is just way too cruel.

12:33 pm  
Anonymous Alvin said...

Sometimes I look back at my life from my age of 27 and I wonder the same thing, and I wonder ahead to when I'll be your age and hope I can be proud of myself when I reach there.

In other words, understood :) To put it in persepctive, age can be relative. To my classmate who died when we were in poly, being my age now would be a huge blessing, and being your age would be the greatest miracle on earth.

11:06 am  

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