Midlife Crises Handbook

Yes, you can have several crises. Hence the title. (What? Did you think God or whomever would let you off easily? Nah, don’t work that way.)

Anyway, I thought for a little while I’d do only short blog posts notifying people of my recent short stories. Then I thought I should do longer blog posts and end up with some really nifty know-it-all blog like I’ve tried 25 times before. Now I’m just like “f… it”.

So here’s this list of lessons that I find it safe to expound to the world now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 45.

It might also tell you a whole lot about why I write short stories about people like Carrie and her husband Jon who are both certifiable midlife crises specimens, ha.

Are you ready?

Here goes:

Honor time

don’t be afraid of it, don’t neglect it.

Even honor past losses – for the experience they gave you. Be genuine in this. ‘Failure’ is truly a gain, just another kind.

Walk talk on this. Make thinking about time passing a ceremony, not something you dread. Not something you pass over with a “whew – can’t believe it’s been that many years”. That’s not honoring time.

And it will come back and kick you in the ass. You will be more and more afraid of time passing the more you say shit like that to yourself (and then go waste more time on Facebook or where ever).

The only thing to do

… is to strive to create each day as if it was the morning of two lovers meeting.

Seriously. Have you ever been in love? Waiting to meet that special someone? Or just dreamed about how it would feel? You’d get up and look at everything and it would feel special, the sunlight, the people on the street – even the toast.

Well, newsflash: It can feel special if you practice awareness (some call it mindfulness) and balanced thinking (get some alternatives to that negative buzz always going on) and turn off media (so your mental RAM can actually handle the real world and its impressions).

I kid you not, practicing those three mental exercises have worked wonders for me. I’ll not go as far as saying that everything that makes you happy is mental – is about perspective – but maybe 98 percent?

The best thing to believe

… is that we are and were always home in the never ending Light, but that we had to come here for a while to be able to experience that Light. 

Read something about near-death experiences and you will know what I mean. It’s really the only religion you’ll need until you get the chance to find out yourself what’s behind the veil, if anything.

It’s hope that there is something there. And it’s an understanding that there is a reason you are here, which at its deepest is about trying to experience something new – even the bad stuff – so you can go home to that light and actually experience it. Living forever in Paradise? Great idea, but that means you may never know what Paradise feels like.

All experience springs from contrast. But yes, it sucks that kids get killed in traffic and innocents in wars and you got that cancer ‘verdict’ last week. It sucks, it really does. But strive to believe that there is a home to come back to, no matter when and how, that’s my recipe for a good spiritual life. And be open. If you want to subscribe to a religion, fine.

But usually it closes more than it opens. Just having a logical hope, based in some powerful experience or other (even one that other people have had) that should be enough. It is for me. If it’s not for you, then go search more. The search is always better than sitting in the hospital waiting room with all the happy militant atheists.

The greatest detractor from your sense of self, being, presence …

… is the Internet.

So keep it to a minimum, in order to feel yourself more. Really. Can’t stress this enough. It’s worse than TV – much worse. In my childhood we had only cable TV with like 30 channels.

Now we have 3 billion channels and we can constantly clog our minds with noise-noise-noise. It is more detrimental than anything to peace of mind and clarity of mind.

So keep Internet to a minimum. And this is not a monk speaking. I’m deadly serious. It might be the best favor you could ever do for yourself.

Goalposts keep moving

… make a decision where to stand.

So you got a dream job, but now your mother is ill? Whoops. Thought you had life fixed and it threw you a curveball. Perfect health but can never seem to find that perfect spouse?

Damn, if only there was a timeline for this. My point is,  there is so much in life we don’t control so it’s almost impossible to be able to get a ‘full house’ of success. So don’t even try. Just do your best and make a decision on what is the best. And focus on making your attempt to be happy as much as possible everyday, using anything as an excuse.

Focus on working your perspective, your focus, so you’ll see most of the happy-stuff all the time. Not in order to blind you, but to get you through. Because if you only look for that place where there is no bad stuff, life will throw in some more. Maybe as a way of saying: “Jerk – there is happy stuff right in front of you, like the smile of your daughter or the good coffee or that job that actually works. But fine, if you insist in saying your happiness is dependent on having EVERYTHING perfect, then I’ll be happy to play with you some more … “

So called affirmations are best used

… to give energy to you so you can act.

Imagine what you dream of for fun, break or because you want to FEEL how things are when reality is changed. Don’t to try to force yourself into believing something right now that is not yet real

Before you buy any self-help books

… or life-success-in-10-easy-steps course, ask the creator some serious questions about their life:

Has he/she has ever been seriously ill, dealt with death in the family, has had responsibility for children 24/7 or were forced to make the best of a menial job for an extended time?

Often they have had one ill-defined crisis that led them to ‘insights’ and that’s it.

Likewise: If they sell a marketing or business development system ask if they have ever run a normal business independently of that system. Get specific dates and names and results which can be checked. You’ll be glad you did.

You are hiring someone to fix your life or business, so they should be treated with the same caution as any other applicant for an important job.

And finally – for now:

Life’s crises and confusion is always easier to bear

… if you share it with someone who is willing to listen, and if maybe that someone is a good friend.

It honestly doesn’t matter that much (although it does matter to some degree, obviously) what solutions you come up with. As long as you are not alone in searching for them.


So that’s it. This time.

And if you think I’m good at all of the above, think again. But this is what I know works for me. I hope some of it will work for you – 45 or not. 🙂

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