Sitcoms have, over the years, brought a whole lot of attention to the humble midlife crisis. Just about every popular (and not-so-popular) show out there has an episode or two about how men (mostly) can do some terribly embarrassing things to feel better about not being young anymore. Well, as much as we may laugh at the leather pants, the fancy sports cars and all of the other laughable midlife crisis props they use in the sitcoms, perhaps we haven’t ever really given much thought to it.
The problem is that a midlife crisis isn’t some kind of a movie invention. It’s a real phenomenon, it affects one out of ten people in this country, and it can drive them to deplete their savings in an attempt to look young.
The term itself has been around for long enough to have its own midlife crisis – it was used quite a bit by the Freudian psychologist Jung. It is said to be the time in life that middle-aged men and women suddenly realize that the future doesn’t dwell in some indefinite time far away. They realize that it is right now and they haven’t achieved yet what they thought they would.
The thing is, if in midlife men and women who came by a midlife crisis would really dedicate themselves to their aspirations, their dreams and their goals, they would snap out of it immediately. It is people who have a tough time getting their act together – people who kind of coast through life –who get bummed out by these.
If people would only realize that they needed to really work hard at their dreams and their goals to get over a midlife crisis, they wouldn’t do some of the regrettable things they’re drawn to. Of course, thanks to the movies, everyone knows about the sports cars, the tattoos and the leather pants.
But other than those, people (women, especially), feel drawn to cosmetic surgery too. People have mood swings, disturbed sleep, a rethinking of their friends circles to try to bring in some change, a deep desire to quit one’s career and try something else (in the sitcoms, it’s usually standup comedy that they try). Often, in real life as well as in these sitcoms, an affair is usually in order.
Basically, a midlife crisis can be overcome. You just need to drop any thought of a Band-Aid solution and to go after something real. To seek professional help to help reevaluate your goals in your stage in life wouldn’t be a bad idea. You need to take those goals seriously, you need to work hard, and come out of your comfort zone if you need to.
If only the movies, for as much time they invest in making fun of the midlife crisis, would turn to telling people how they only need to work harder and with more focus to overcome their problem, we wouldn’t be here.