To Dread Midlife

They say that the 40s is midlife, and it's a crisis!

Having recently stepped into the fussy yet fascinating Forty Club, there is one thing I get to hear from friends and familiars alike. It is called a "Midlife Crisis"! Yes, you read that right.

Be it someone not getting her long-deserved promotion and sulking over it or someone becoming quiet in a relationship (I bet the years of togetherness often render one speechless!), it is the midlife crisis that has to shoulder the blame.

On the other side, if a so-long introvert suddenly starts churning out recurrent reels on her reinvented self and revamped life, again the clueless crisis is held culpable for it. Even a parent reacting to the tireless tantrums of her teenager (that's me!) is labeled as going through that particular phase of life.

Every change physical, mental, financial or social, for the better or the worse (depends on the beholder) is callously yet confidently pushed within this bracket of midlife. As if, just saying that makes the act any act understood and relatable.

But what's wrong with changing, and why call it a "crisis"? After all, it is the adult’s teen, a period of transition, and one has to embrace the eclectic emotions that spread across the spectrum. Confusing and chaotic, it will be like any other phase of life.

There is no science behind this so-called sensation, and no matter how frazzled or frisky one feels, it has to be figured out by the individual herself. There is no one to have your back but your humble self. And instead of wallowing in such fancy phrases, it's wise to get sorted and steer yourself ahead.

I can almost hear Mel Robbins saying, "No one’s coming!"

By the way, the phenomenon was the brainchild of Elliott Jacques back in 1965. And I'm sure that, he had no idea that it would gain such precedence and popularity with posterity!

Picture of Promita Nag Banerjee

Anyway, that’s me, a little mellow and a lot Moi, marching through my midlife-crisis or not.

By: Promita Nag Banerjee

Gosh, we both are on the same terms. Friends in the 40s!

I never realized growing into my teens or thirties, but 18 was a thing for me, and now it feels like 40 became my next milestone! My generation grew up as the 'elderly millennials' who tread through a lot and quickly adapted to each phase. A few affairs (to mention) were globalization, the lofty financial dip, the technology boom, and then covid! They adapted, survived, and came out bolder on each stage.

So, when I hear the word crisis, it does not ring a bell for me. I know a lot will change in this impending decade called the '40s'. Or rather, I would say, I have no clue what will change, except that it will be a lot, and hence decided to manage each one in its 'chunk of time' - gradually as it unravels!

The 30s were all about hard work and kid's time. I broke my back, giving birth to two most gorgeous kids on earth, and then worked hard to juggle every aspect of life in 'the most' unorganized manner. Paradoxes - as they may sound, it's been the reality. And now, when I land in my 40s, I sense that veil lifted, the hard work sort-of veil.

Earlier, I had read articles describing one's journey through the midlife arch. Every story persuaded me to take my sweet time, to allow myself to drift wherever I want to take myself and tackle each sentiment on my terms alone. To never try to hold on to the string from my past. But let it go with sparkling colors.

The first thing that was urgent in the first hour was to realize that midlife or 40s can't be my crisis! It is a new decade to acknowledge my growing strengths and harness more goodness and love within me. I hated my single strand of grey hair, but now I want to flatter them. Probably, '#fallingpraytoyourage' is the tag, and yes, it is!

I cannot hide my wrinkles or greys, so let's be merry and proud. After all, it took time and experience for me to age!

Growing old doesn't bother me as much. I am sad thinking that our little ones are growing up so fast! Each time I get a slushy kiss from them, I add to my blessings and think how much I will miss these days. We live to be proud parents - blessed to watch them slowly hustle out from under our capes and discover themselves. Emotional as it might be through this decade, it's also an abundance of joy and pride.

Of course, my kids cling less to me now, but the shift is more toward my parents. Perhaps a process of naturalization to midlife is that now you start taking more responsibilities off your parents' shoulders. It's that point in life where your shoulders are the heaviest. Your past and future, the young and old, money and material, your physiology and psychology - everything is now on your plate.

And now, to compensate this heck of a crisis part
  • I am just going to be careless and comfortable, redefining my closet and crux.
  • Then, stop being redefined by others.
  • I have to keep an eye out for my hormones. That's crucial!
  • And my prime goal this decade is to spend quality time with family!

Picture of Joyeeta Mukherjee

And here I am soaking the energy and hum of the world around me.

By: Joyeeta Mukherjee

Please let us know in the comments if you have dread midlife. If so how did you tackle it and does anything above sound familiar?

This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.


Tyler said…
This is such a great point of view about getting older. I am starting to get excited about aging and the future ahead of me. I care less and less what people think of me and feel more myself than ever!
Hari writes said…
I completely agree that aging doesn't have to be treated as a crisis. In fact, aging gives everyone wisdom in every possible way each year they pass. Lovely read!
Andrea said…
It's so true how much can change from decade to decade. Each experience builds on one another, and it's so important to celebrate where we're at and where we're headed!
JRC said…
This must be a beautiful time of relaxation after all of your hustle in your 30s. Great post!
vaishali said…
Happy 40th to you. When I turned 40, I found myself to be at the best place physically, emotionally, professionally, and mentally. And I thought it was great and I continue on the same path!!!
Chandan Chattopadhyay said…
By now you are quite mature to take care of your future and take necessary steps.At this age you must have identified your priority for family members and yourself.This isAnyway every stage of life to be enjoyed as our life is very precious and we will not pass this way again.

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