How to Have a User-Friendly Midlife Crisis


June 29, 2017 by Katia

  • This is not a “How To” post. Some of the other titles I’ve considered include: Knock Knock. Who’s There? Midlife Crisis and This May Be a Pre-Midlife Crisis.

I don’t know who died (Bungee jumping) and made me such a midlife crisis expert, but as it turns out you need to believe me when I tell you that midlife crises, despite their (often unintentional) in-your-face nature, are more nuanced and intricate than you’d think. The term “Midlife crisis” is traditionally associated with slightly-out-of-character behavior characterized by extravagant gestures driven by a desire to relive one’s glorious past or fulfill a lifelong dream – even if it was born five minutes ago or later. A midlife crisis may also manifest itself as a major lifestyle change.

I guess that when you have your children in your early to mid-thirties, stop showering en route to your midlife crisis and then pick up hygiene just as you hit it, you would essentially be going through a major lifestyle change while checking off a midlife crisis appropriate age bracket.

You know the drill:

20-29: everything about me is interesting

30-39: I shouldn’t have waited this long

40-49: midlife crisis + are we sure that the window’s open?

While I have the utmost respect for clichés, I’m sorry, Women Lining up to Turn Forty and Stop Caring About Shit, but you need to appreciate that forty is not an express train to Zero Fucks. I am happy to report that while I’ve totally stopped caring about certain things, I still totally do care about others and have pretty much the same adolescent hang-ups I nursed when I was merely a cocoon waiting to blossom into a beautiful midlife crisis. Despite what popular websites and a myriad of online personal essays intimating cookie-cutter-epiphanies will tell you, not all of us will magically wake up liberated from fucks to give on the day we turn forty nor will our curiosity toward the particular shape of our midlife crisis  be satisfied on that very same morning.

Midlife crisis-ish

When I woke up a Forty Year Old Woman I did not feel compelled to perform any grand gestures of epicly suburban proportions like signing up for a belly dance class (despite never wanting to) or empirically Rate your MD’ing my way through every single plastician in Toronto. Excepting a poorly executed shellac manicure — by a nail technician who must have reached the coveted zerofucks phase in her life — where the fourth finger of each hand (which one is that? Daddy finger?) was a different colour than the rest, I did not exhibit any sings at all of a midlife crisis and surmised that maybe I’m just not the type for one since I’m already not the type for a lot of things most people enjoy:  I don’t drink, I don’t speak Starbucks. Until I realized one day that I was buying everything. I was literally buying ALL of the THINGS.

Listening to the wind of change takes on a whole new meaning when you turn forty and I listened begrudgingly through my selfie mode cellphone lens and it told me that my “pulling it off” membership is about to expire. And to buy that denim overall. So I bought the denim overall amidst buying all of the things (because I still needed all of the things minus an overall): the makeup tutorial, the makeup, the makeup brushes, removers and wipes and sterilizing alcohol, the clothes, the white sneakers, and the flowers and pot-plants and plants (I’m not exactly sure how these tie in. Is there any research connecting nesting with midlife crisis?). This happened.


And this.

That overall

Three minutes ago I didn’t know what an Instyler was or that it existed, two minutes ago I’m texting my make-up artist neighbor to ask what Instyler she uses because I need one and market research is what responsible consumers do.

The truth is that I love my midlife crisis because it sparks joy and it’s also a great new multipurpose carde blanche which I totally need since my sleep deprivation one is starting to expire (plug your ears, Universe). In conclusion, don’t rush your midlife crisis. It will come and most likely spark joy. The ZERO fucks part, I don’t know about. Unless your midlife crisis IS zero fucks. Now, that would be one for the books.


Are you going through a transitional period in your life?


8 thoughts on “How to Have a User-Friendly Midlife Crisis

  1. Noooooo… I was waiting for Zero Fucks!!! 😉

    • Katia says:

      Well, I wrote this post before yesterday’s tea store incident I posted on my Facebook page, which I think clearly demonstrates that the training heading towards final destination Zero Fucks is on track! 🙂

  2. larva225 says:

    I have lotsa fucks. But man am I ready for menopause. This peri shit is killing me.

    • Katia says:

      The don’t magically disappear as we’re led to believe, do they? Having lots of them to give is not an entirely bad thing though.

  3. Shailaja V says:

    I just crossed 39 and recently reached the Zero F**** stage 😉 It IS an epiphany depending on the state we are in, of course.Yours is totally hilarious though. God, that laptop audio!!

    • Katia says:

      Thank you for your kindness, Shailaja! It’s fantastic and must be very liberating to experience zero f***s. I was just referring to my personal experience. And, yes, true story about the laptop at work. 😀

  4. Adam Hayton says:

    What a great post, I really enjoyed the read. I’m 46 and definitely at the not giving a fuck stage. It’s all a game and contentment depends on how well you play it.
    Midlife is a fantastic stage of life, I’m loving it!

    • Katia says:

      Thank you so much, Adam, for your lovely comment. I’m becoming increasingly more comfortable with 41 and have a feeling it will only get better 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the post!

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