(Sequel) Mid Life Crisis – A Realization Part 2

Rohan has been living his life as he wanted, he crossed the hurdles, he jumped the ladder to success, he overcome the quarter life crisis, but there was something that he was unaware of. Something was waiting for him when he turned 40. He was at the peek of his career and was managing his work life balance quite well.

Everybody gathered around the table, where a cake specially ordered for Rohan’s birthday was placed at one end. 4 and 0 were written on the black forrest cake with 1 single small and thick candle placed at the center of the cake. Everybody was waiting for Rohan to come and cut his birthday cake, as today he was turning 40, an age where people say, “Now you can say about everything, Been there, Done that.” The maturity of a person reflects in his face, voice, words and habits. Rohan sitting on his desk, sent an email to his client, while his colleagues were shouting his name to come to the table and celebrate.

He put his specs on the desk, turn around the chair and went straight to the group, putting a smile on his face which has also matured over a period of time. People started singing the birthday songs and he cut the cake, looking at the number. He thought, ‘life has been a roller coaster so far, what was I doing for so many years. Have I done everything I wanted to do in my life, when most of my life has already passed.’

After distributing the cake among the group, he went straight to the parking lot of the office, which actually had a smoking zone. He opened the packet, and then again looked at the brand name of the cigarette, realizing that he has been smoking the same brand of cigarette for last 20 years. He lit one up, sat on the concrete bench placed on the side of the wall next to a silver metallic color Volkswagen polo. At the same time a bunch of young guys came to the same places laughing loud and chatting in a very frank way. He started noticing them, listening the small and light chit chat among them. This too made him nostalgic about his life, ‘Gone are the days’

Placing the laptop on the table in his study room, he called his wife’s name to send him a cup of coffee. After a long tired day of work, he used to sit in his study and read some literature for an hour or so everyday. Even he couldn’t remember, how long he has been pursuing this habit. Today while going through the bookshelves, he found an old book, which he couldn’t recall, when did he buy it. He guessed, ‘May be long time back’.

Mid Life Crisis - Just Another Realization

Mid Life Crisis - Just Another Realization

He looked at the cover of the book, showing a picture of men looking towards a big giant clock in front of him and each number on clock was showing the aging man’s face. Below was written the name of author – Roopak Nahor. He couldn’t recall the writer, as he has mostly bought books after doing a complete research around each and every book and author. ‘Never heard of him’. But the picture on the cover has made him curious to read the content, as there was no title on the book. ‘How will a person buy the book without a name?’

He turned the pages, and started his journey of another realization which he thought he wouldn’t need long time back …

The first page of the book showed a checklist and asked the readers to answer them correctly, what they feel about each question :

1. Do you feel that your life is a bore?
2. Do you think of having an affair now?
3. Are you making sudden decisions about everything or in your career?
4. Do you change your hair style or dressing style too often now a days?
5. Have you lost interest in love and sex with your wife or long time girlfriend?
6. Are you drinking too much these days?
7. Are you depressed?
8. Have you lost sleep and appetite?
9. Are you overly nostalgic these days?
10. Do you like to spend more time outside home rather than coming back to home after work?
11. Are you searching for an undefined goal or dream?
12. Do you get a deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished?
13. Do you get a fear of humiliation among more successful colleagues?
14. Do you get desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness?
15. Do you want to spend more time alone or with certain peers?
16. Are you entering relationships with younger people (either/or sexual or professional)?
17. Are you at the peak of career, wondering what next?
18. Are you tempted to have an extra-marital affair?
19. Do you feel discontent with life and/or the lifestyle that may have provided happiness for many years?
20. Are you Feeling adventurous and wanting to do something completely different?
21. Are you questioning the meaning of life, and the validity of decisions clearly and easily made years before?
22. Confusion about who you are, or where your life is going?
23. Do you doubt that you ever loved your spouse and resentment over the marriage?
24. Do you get angry at your spouse and blame for feeling tied down?
25. DO you sometimes get the feeling of committing suicide?

Then at the end of the page, ‘If you have answered 80-90% of the above questions in YES, then you certainly fall in the pit of Mid Life Crisis’ was written in bold letters. Rohan was shocked to read this sentence, as while reading the questionaire, he was answering them too, and unfortunately most of his answers were YES.

This made him more curious to dig deep into the book and find what is the solution to these problems. He turned pages one after another to know more about answers to these questions.

‘Page 23 : Mid Life Crisis – What is it?’

The page read, where he stop for a while to know more.

‘Midlife Crisis is a natural process (first identified by the psychologist Carl Jung) and it is a normal part of ‘maturing’. However, Midlife Crisis can sometimes feel very uncomfortable, and cause people to seek psychotherapy or counselling, or to make radical lifestyle changes that can be very damaging and are regretted later.’

Rohan wasn’t sure, how to react to this definition, as it says MLC happens with everyone of his age and part of maturing process, at the same, it makes a person regretful and uncomfortable.

He flipped the pages again, and reach a page titled ‘External Factors adding more to Mid Life Crisis’. He started reading the summary given in the page.

1. Debt : Finding yourself middle aged, in debt and facing retirement can add stress to an already stressful time in life.
2. Emotionally Underdeveloped : Being golden child of the family who is never reprimanded is never taught to share his feelings and have a poor emotional quotient.
3. High Pressure Job : With many careers on a fast track, individuals tend to “burn out” earlier these days and are suddenly faced with crises earlier in life.
4. Avoidant Personality : If a person has a tendency to avoid conflict in their personal relationships, suffers from feelings of inadequacy, are emotionally distant and has low self – esteem they will find midlife transition harder to navigate.
5. ‘It’s All too much’-like responsibilities : If a person feels sandwiched between the needs of caretaking of aging parents and problems of adult children
6. Envy : It’s not about how your life sucks; it’s about how everyone else’s life is so much better. It’s not about how you aren’t living the dream you fantasized about when you were young; it’s about how that joker from the back of the class seems to be living it on your behalf.And it’s usually brought on by a close examination of what your friends and colleagues have achieved – while you cower in the loser’s corner.
7. Significant loss : The death of a parent or family member can cause grief, which is difficult enough to come to terms with, without having to also cope with the feelings of a midlife transition.

‘Quite true!’ were the words that came out of his mouth as soon as he read these sentences. He thought, ‘This book is exactly telling me my story which I haven’t told anybody.’

He kept on turning pages, with each page, there was another layer of buried desires and stories untold. He continued reading or in one sense continued reading his own life at his age, hoping to get the solution to his problems.

And soon he reached the end of the book. ‘Chapter 40 : What are you looking for?’

His hopes of getting answers was dimishing with each page, but the last light of MAY BE was still on. He started reading …

‘A society which puts a particularly high value on youth, and sidelines older people, it’s difficult for many people to move smoothly into their middle years. Men reaching mid-life may feel a loss of masculinity and confusion about their future role. Divorce, insecurity at the business and the changing role of men add to the uncertainty many feel during this time of transition.’

‘Midlife is a time of achievement and satisfaction for many adults. Retirement is on the horizon and getting closer. The children are growing up, and some of the children may be parents themselves. But for some people, especially perhaps for idealists, this part of life’s journey can be a time of disillusionment, despair and depression.’

‘There are different things which a person can change in his life to make this transition smooth and resolve the Mid Life Crisis.’

This sentence brought a great deal of interest to Rohan, as he could see a solution coming next and this could change the way he is living his life.

1. Resolve Midlife Emotional Issues by controlling your anger on unrelated person. This means, done pour your frustration on a person who is not even the reason of that frustration. Try to be normal and nice with them.
2. Resolve Midlife Behavioral Issues by not allowing yourself to withdraw or isolate yourself; remain assertive but not perfectionist. Avoid hyperactivity and irritability. Avoid aggressive or self-harming behavior.
3. Resolve Midlife Cognitive Issues by seeking solutions or memory problems; difficulty concentrating; disorientation /or confusion; excessive fantasies or daydreaming; preoccupation or dissociation; chaotic or obsessive thoughts.
4. Resolve Midlife Environmental Issues by dealing with them and not running away from them. Take responsibilities but not as a load.
5. Take Mide Life as the experience which provides an opening to psychological and spiritual growth that allows and empowers a giving back to others and the community.

Rohan felt agreed to most of the solutions though he had known them in his heart for long, but the book has uncovered it from the deep buried layers of doubts. Rohan Closed the book with a satisfaction that even before he could face the fatal impacts of the regretable experience of Mid Life crisis, he has got the answers to make it a smoother transition than an uncomfortable one.

He looked through the glass of the window towards the road from his room holding the book, in which he could see his mid-aged transparent face along with the book in his hand. And what he saw was more shocking then the revealation in the book. He read the author of the book in the glass, which read, ‘Rohan Kapoor’. It was his name written on the book. Out of shock, he looked at the book now.

And then he stood up from his chair with a jolt.

Just then he found that he went to sleep while reading a book named ‘Mid-life Crisis in Indian Men and Women. Journal of Psychology – Dr. Karan Khanna’. And the topic also became part of his dream, in which he realised another crisis and got the solution for it.

Rohan thanked God for giving him hints about the problems which could have come and made him wise enough to think through to solve them .He felt very fortunate to have the power to realize.

*This story is my another attempt to write a fiction which is sequel to my previous story ‘Quarter life Crisis – A realization’ . The factual content of the story is written after doing research around the topic using wikipedia, google and other blogs. Please consider this as credit for the same.

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2 Responses

  1. Good attempt..there!!

    It needs a tweaking though….but good enough to go for a blog!!

    So, the resultant of a mid-life crisis to identify it…good, well started!! 😀

  2. Oh very nice effort.

    Although i couldnt relate to the mid life crisis the way i did with the quater life thing.. it was a very good read.

    And as KK mentioned requires some editing stuff. Nevertheless appreciate your efforts Bana !!! .

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