January 16, 2008

Mortality is on the horizon

51 the age for mid-life crisis? Dang! I'm only in my 30s!* :)

In an article about mid-life crisis, Richard Friedman, M.D. writes:
No doubt about it, life in the middle ages can be challenging. (Full disclosure: I’m 51.) What with the first signs of physical decline and the questions and doubts about one’s personal and professional accomplishments, it is a wonder that most of us survive.


Why do we have to label a common reaction of the male species to one of life’s challenges — the boredom of the routine — as a crisis? True, men are generally more novelty-seeking than women, but they certainly can decide what they do with their impulses.

But surely someone has had a genuine midlife crisis. After all, don’t people routinely struggle with questions like “What can I expect from the rest of my life?” or “Is this all there is?

Of course. But it turns out that only a distinct minority think it constitutes a crisis.

Maybe there is some truth to the fact that the idea of a ;mid-life crisis' is just an excuse for many to fight the 'boredom of the routine'... but questions of 'what is the true meaning of life' do arise in many people's lives -- sometimes even in your 20s, as it did in the case of David Seaman, who... , actually, let me just cut-n-paste from the amazon.com link for a recent book - the real meaning of life - that is edited by him.
(The book) collects the insights of everyday people who responded to David Seaman’s simple query, “What is the meaning of life?” typed into an online forum on a laptop at Starbucks. To his surprise, a flood of responses came. Some suggested “boobies and beer,” but Seaman found that most were much more thoughtful — so much so that he created a website and now this book to collect the best of them. From thousands of respondents — including Buddhists, born-again Christians, atheists, waitresses, students, and recovering heart attack patients — come incredibly diverse wisdom that can be aphoristic (“Be grease, not glue”), philosophical (“There is no point to life, and that is exactly what makes it so special”), or whimsical (“Me, I'm going snowboarding”).
Here are some excerpts from the book and you can subscribe to 'the real meaning of life' newsletter here.

Yes.. mortality is on the horizon -- but deal with it! :)

* I should clarify: No thoughts of seeking "self-knowledge in the arms of another woman" or buying fancy cars here. Maybe I am going in reverse gear -- feeling a 20-something-ish feeling of crisis/existential angst coming. Maybe I am going in reverse gear, you think? :) My body is definitely not...but maybe my mind is? :)

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