Midlife crisis is real

I posted last week on Facebook a status update saying “Midlife crisis is real”. I added an emoji with crying eyes to it, in reflection of my current emotion about it. To date, the post received 13 laughing emoji and 5 hugs emoji in reactions. And while it was in my intention to have this tone of sarcasm for my new hands-on discovery, in truth, these days, I feel the need of more hugs than laughs.

One of the commentators pointed out that calling it a crisis is an exaggeration and that we remain the same person no matter how long we stay on this earth. For those who know me, I am all for positive thinking and for ideas that make one feels better. I have always been and will always be (hopefully). Nevertheless, I have to admit, it is not as easy as it used to be. And I have to say, that mid-life feelings/emotions/state of mind has took me by surprise. I used to hear the term before, but never really thought about what it really means and how it affects the life of the individual. It is widely used to describe men who cheat on their wives with younger women, and that is mostly it when it comes to mainstream usage of the term. But in reality, it is not that simple. And while everyone talk about the difficulties of teenage, no one prepares us to the changes of midlife.

Last month I read a book titled “The Seven Ages of Death” for Dr. Richard Sheperd, which is by the way a very good read that I highly recommend, in which Dr. Richard who is a forensic pathologist takes on a journey highlighting the most common causes of death in each stage of human life. In mid-age, he shows, that it is actually suicide from depression or homicide from a partner. That should give us an idea about the seriousness of the changes on have to deal with in mid age.

Like teenage, there is a shift in identity and there is a shift in body image and self perception. And while, current trends of exercise and eating healthy, keep us feeling younger longer, we do feel that it is not like before. Our bodies changes, albeit slowly, but also our own definition of ourselves. Are we still young after reaching 40? The lines are blurred and the time is ticking. Lifestyle changes and future worries.

I was blessed to have a very smooth teenage. I didn’t actually feel it much and didn’t get myself into much trouble. Probably I had lived those images late in my teenage when I got to the university but that was a period when my parents where still young. I lived with them and I had their full love and support. The future didn’t worry me much.

Fast forward to mid-age, I lost my father last year due to covid, and I am still struggling with it. My mom is getting older and she is dealing with chronic pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I left home 10 years ago and I am living alone in a different city. I have to admit that losing a parent plays a big part in my identity confusion. I am a grown up yes, but I am in my mid-age too.

I have to highlight as well the overwhelming thoughts of life review. I guess mid-age is the time where we look back and assess what we have achieved so far and calculate how many years we still have ahead to give and achieve more. And I have to say that is mostly unsatisfactory to most of us. We compare ourselves to others and highlight our shortages and magnify our worries. For me, I look back at my writing career and feel satisfy for what I have done so far, but on the other hand, I am frustrated with my other career, my full time job that generates the money and sustains my living. I feel behind and I am not happy about it and don’t know what to do. Eventually, I would love to reach to a stage in my life where I am financially independent so that I focus on doing more writing, which I enjoy the most. And it worries me sometimes, if this would ever be possible.

Few weeks back, I was on a table full of friends around my age. One of my friends was talking about old days and how things have changed. I jumped to point out that what she’s going through is midlife crisis. Another friend of mine, who is my age, rushed to ask “who is going through midlife crisis?”. I replied “all of us on the table”.

I guess each of us is dealing it differently or experiencing it in a different way. But mid-age is a period of change. But to conclude on a positive note, while change is always hard, it usually leads to better things.

Bring it on!

Stay calm and keep moving!

Random big thoughts

Sometimes I wish I have the time and expertise to change fields completely, study science, math and physics in depth and contribute to the human knowledge in a way or another. Unfortunately, that will remain a dream for me for the time, and maybe forever, I don’t know. But it doesn’t prevent me from reading scientific articles and wandering in thoughts of potential solutions to existential questions. And here I’d like to share with you some of them that I would explore if given the chance:

First thought:

It is big I know! and is related to our quest to send colonise Mars. And while I am not an astronomer and have little know of space beside popular science. I am wondering if there are any celestial of adequate size roaming the space between earth and Mars that we can use as stations in our future trips. We have always learnt that we have numbered planets in our solar system and that’s fine, but might it be that there are many other smaller objects orbiting the sun? objects we haven’t paid attention to and can be beneficial to us?

Can someone tell Elon Musk to explore this? It might help him achieve his dream!

Second thought:

As you know, I am very interested in the scientific advancement in biotechnology, especially those focusing in understand the ageing process and reversing it. Few months ago, a study revealed a link between gum bacteria and Alzheimer. From what I understood, it is our immune system reaction to build protective proteins shell around brain cells in order to protect it from bacteria infiltration, causing these cells to loose communication and develop the disease.

I suspect that a similar process plays a role in developing many of other age related diseases. From my read to Aubrey De Grey’s book “Ending Ageing”, I understand that the same happens to our arteries of protein accumulation over time that makes them lose their elasticity and ending in causing us strokes and heart problems. It could be like Alzheimer, an immune system reaction to protect body cells from bacteria infiltration.

I believe that Rheumatoid Arthritis is no different as well, and I think that if we focus our research in understanding the role of our microbiome in our ageing, we might be able to fix it.

Third thought:

It is about alien life! And yes, I understand the math and probability of having all those trillions planets without us detecting any form of life outside our planet. It is mind boggling and don’t make any sense. Looking at the diversity of life on our planet and the trillions of species who lived and are alive on this earth, one would wonder if that is not the case all over the universe. Having read Dan Brown’s “Origin” and the theory that states it is physical laws that predicts animate beings to pops out of inanimate objects, which very logical, then life on earth shouldn’t be that special and other celestial objects should be like microwaves with corn seeds popping life all over the space.

I think that there is something in our capabilities of seeing life on other planets. There is something that prevent us from seeing. Otherwise, life on Mars should be as diverse and common as it is here on earth.

Time will tell.

And yes my last thought is about time and space and Einstein’s theory of relativity and modern physics. I admit that I find it very difficult to understand modern physics theory and I was relieved to read the other day an article stating that maybe we are wrong trying to find a unifying theory for the universe by looking into smaller and smaller objects. And I totally agree with that. I think that we desperately need to a new model of describing the universe. We need to get out of the limitation of the time space model and think broader.

And no guys, I am not high on anything tonight!