What is Midlife anyway?

Sep 23, 2013
What is Midlife anyway?

I read an article recently about ‘middle age’ that really got me thinking. Apparently 41 used to be the milestone for being middle aged but that has now been extended to 53.

53? I never even knew it was 41. Was it really 41? What happened to all that mumbo jumbo about life beginning at 40? Should it really have been ‘middle age begins at 40’, soon to be overtaken by ‘old age’? Oh the joys of the aging conveyor belt!

Seriously though is there really such a thing as ‘middle age’ or is it merely just a state of mind; I still feel young therefore I am young. Thanks to our healthier more active lifestyles, we are not considered as being middle aged until we reach 53, although ask any 16 year old and they would tell you that anyone older than 35 is positively ancient.

At 51, (not quite there yet - phew) I still feel as though I am in my early 40s yet I have noticed changes in the things I do and say and it is apparent that I am taking on more or my father’s traits (I won’t say which ones)! I plan much more than I used to and think about the future. Some of this I put down to becoming older and wiser but my brush with the ‘Big C’ has certainly affected the way I view mine and my families lives. 

I also have a passion for trying different things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no adrenalin junky (that gene stopped with my Dad who for his 80th birthday was thrilled to be taken out in a tiger moth) but I do want to enjoy things that life throws my way rather than being too busy to participate.

I guess that’s part of what inspired me to create the website; the drive to do something daring, something new after being embroiled in corporate life for so long. And planning is such a positive thing. Yes it’s sensible; yes it is probably something you start to think more about when you hit the 50 milestone but once you’ve got your house in order, the reassurance it gives you is great. Give it a go if you haven’t already started. 

The article also listed 20 ways you can supposedly tell if you have entered ‘middle agedom’. I have to admit to agreeing with more than a few.

1. You hate noisy pubs and prefer a quiet night at home
2. You don’t understand young people
3. You complain of aches and pains and make groaning noises when you bend down
4. You like an afternoon nap
5. You don’t know any of the songs in the charts or the name of any of the most popular bands
6. You struggle with technology 
7. You think that professional people like doctors, the police and teachers look very young
8. You are shocked by raunchy music videos
9. You choose clothes that are comfortable rather than stylish
10. You always take a flask of tea when going on day trips and join the National Trust
11. You forget people’s names and misplace things like keys and glasses
12. You book a cruise
13. You take an interest in The Antiques Roadshow and gardening 
14. You complain that TV isn’t ‘what it used to be’
15. You listen to Radio Two and The Archers
16. You trade the family car in for a sporty little number
17. You are thin on top but have bushy eyebrows and nose and ear hair
18. You recycle obsessively and always know when ‘bin day’ is
19. You fall asleep after just one glass of wine
20. You prefer to get up and go for a walk on a Sunday rather than having a lie in

So have you hit your midlife yet?

Do any of these sound a little too familiar? Be honest now!

By Ashley Shepherd

Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

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