Most people have heard of someone having a mid-life crisis. Someone goes off and buys as big and fast a motorbike as they can find. Or they grow a long bushy beard and buy a Harley. Or they adopt a puppy and buy a motorbike with a side-car for the dog. Whatever way the mid-life crisis happens it usually involves a motorbike and a lot of friends poking fun. A lot of people seem to think that a mid-life crisis is the preserve of middle class, middle aged men. It’s a stereotype with a bit of truth and it also shows the old views we have on what it means to be in the middle of your life.
The problem with the thinking around a mid-life crisis is that it’s even viewed as a crisis in the first place. When you get to your middle age the chances are your kids are old enough to look after themselves for a Saturday or Sunday, you will have reached stability in your job, and hopefully a good chunk of your mortgage will be paid off: really, a mid-life crisis isn’t a crisis at all. Instead it’s a realisation that you have finally managed to get some freedom back into your life.
In decades gone by mid-life crisis were about men getting to relive their youth. These days it’s a chance for anyone, father or mother, husband or wife to realise that there is a bit of stability in their life and they get the chance to dedicate some time to themselves again. Instead of dreading telling your friends you’ve decided to buy a motorbike, or that you’ve taken up rock climbing let them be jealous of you, which they most certainly are. This is not an emergency situation instead it is a time when you get to have fun like the time you spent with no restrictions or responsibilities in your early twenties. It’s not that you don’t have restrictions or responsibilities; it’s that you’ve learned how to manage them.
Mid-life crises aren’t as serious as they were once before. More and more people know the importance of dedicating time to their own interests, hobbies and even their dreams. Mothers and fathers know family time is important, but they also know time spent with each other without the kids and time spent doing something on their own is important in maintaining a happy life. When things click into place and you finally feel you have a hold of your daily routine, and even your yearly routine then why not think about putting down a deposit, getting some motorbike finance and buying that two-wheeled dream of yours. A holiday living out the fantasy in Easy Rider isn’t a mid-life crisis, it’s a recognition that everyone deserves some fun. And if you have sorted your life so that you can do these things then you should feel no shame in spending the time and money on yourself.