Well, I know when I’m beat. Wonder what’s for lunch.
Okay. I think I’m starting to come around on the usefulness of a “Like” button.
Just turned 51 today, and in my mid 40’s I experienced what I assume was my mid life crisis.
It manifested differently that what wumpus is going through. For about a year I literally felt heartbroken that time was flying by too fast. Every one around me was getting older, my kids were no longer kids, my parents were now elderly. I spent a lot of time reminiscing about the past when my wife and I were young, when the kids were that perfect age (4-11), all the travelling we did as a family.
I also spent a lot of time thinking about even earlier times, my childhood and early adulthood, pretty much all good memories.
I myself felt the same as I always did, neither young nor old, just me caught up in the passage in time that was just too fast and feeling sad about days gone by instead of focusing on the present. I felt that all the good stuff was in the past and just trudged through the present going through the motions.
At that time I read something somewhere that really put things in perspective: “Those that live in the past have no future”. I took this to heart, for the last 6 years have been taking in the world in as it comes.
My advice to anyone going through similar things would be:
Don’t just wish the week away hoping to get to the weekend. Use every day, even at work to
connect with your family, co workers. Discuss things with people face to face, joke, laugh do someone a favour, or compliment someone
On weekends, always get out an do something with your friends or family. Even it is just for a coffee. Get out of the house.
Reconnect with people you have known in your past. Relive past events with those who were there with you, instead of pining away for the good old days.
Learn something new. I got my M (motorcycle) license and Harley.
Live vicariously through others. My older son is now in university so we spend a great deal of time talking about his experiences versus mine. This allows me to relive some of what I went through without pining away for long lost youth.
Finally, be aware that technology can take you away from real, meaningful contact with other people.
I had several friends either discover or re-discover a love for motorcycles at about the age of 50. Kind of the modern version of buying a two seater sports car I think.
Fantastic advice. I realized I’ve been doing that for a few years now, much more than I used to. It makes a great difference being with people of a variety of ages as well.
Thanks, but I stole the whole thing from an interview with David Lee Roth that I read 20 years ago.
The parable of three wise men and one woman, a stripper.
Do you mean to imply that one of those men was not also a stripper? I’m sure that a samurai was the fantasy of plenty of women in those days, and it probably pays better than being a wanderer.
Ooh, what if you were a wandering samurai, a ronin? They probably got all the chicks.
Thanks. I had a few Facebook friends that I hadn’t seen or talked to for about 30 years and the extent of our ‘relationship’ was ‘Liking’ what they posted that showed up in my feed. About a year ago, I reached out to one of them and proposed a ‘reunion’ with the gang and we all got together for dinner and drinks. I turned out that a couple of the guys had kept up on their instruments (drums, guitar and bass). About once a month or so, we get together and jam and drink beer. Great times.
I have found over the years that while technology helps us keep in touch with people, it often simplifies relationships to a voyeuristic level where we see what is going on in their lives but don’t participate on any meaningful level.
As a father of a 19, 17 and 16 year old, let me tell you, there is a LOT of life still ahead of you and a lot of twists and turns that you don’t know about today but that will alter your path significantly. You’ve got a lot of ups and downs and backs and forths to experience. You seem financially better prepared for it than I ever was, so that will help. But seriously man, don’t look at the glass being even half full right now. You’ve just put in like a pee’s width at the bottom.
I have a 27 and 24 year old, and you are so right.
I haven’t read the whole thread. And I didn’t want to tell my story because it’s not about me. But at this point I thought it might be valid.
After my accident, hit by a car, thrown 20 feet in the air. Skull hit a curb. Broken leg. I was fucked up. I remembered hitting the hood of the car. The sound. Thinking, Oh shit.
Awakening to a police officer holding my hand. Asking me questions. Then the ride to the first hospital. The the second one. Doctors telling each other that I’m dead. Vomiting blood on them.
Long story short, I was rushed into surgery at Bellevue in NY. 22 hours in surgery. They didn’t care about my broken leg. What they really had to do was remove the bone fragments from my head. And then pull my right eye up and make something for it to sit on.
I went through several surgeries. Each time I was totally out. According to my neurosurgeon I died once. No vitals but the medulla. But I was brought back. I honestly don’t know the details.
Ultimately I did survive. And I feel that I finally understand death. Not only that, I know him like a friend.
There is no longer any fear of death. None at all. In fact I used to say, I don’t fear death anymore. I just fear the pain before it. And that has changed. I neither fear death or the pain before it. Because no matter how bad the pain is, I will not remember it once I am gone.
My theory, death is no worse than the eternity before I was alive. I do not recall that. And I will not suffer the pain of death after. It’s a simple equation. The result is zero.
You know, I think I remember reading your incredible story in another topic? Is there a definitive version posted somewhere here? I get search hits but not sure which one is best.
And as noted, please do share your stories! That is the point of this!
That link doesn’t work for me.
Regardless, let me tell you about thinking about your personal death. It’s not how you do it. It’s how you plan it. Consider the fact that you will no longer think. Consider the fact that you once were not. And now you are. Is the minuscule bit between eternity and eternity a good thing? Did you create? Will you have left a good thing behind you? then be at peace buddy.
Sorry about that, somehow I just linked to the generic search page. The link is now fixed; have a look.
I had a heart attack two years ago (story here). A few minutes after arriving at the ER, I lost consciousness. The ER doctor later told my girlfriend that I was “dead” depends on your definition of “dead”) for about three minutes. They had to shock me several times to get me back.
When I finally woke up 10 hours later, my girlfriend was sitting beside my hospital bed, and was telling me that now I had a “second chance”. This puzzled me. Second chance? At what? I was 54 at the time, pretty poor but didn’t owe any money, so I was getting by, and things were okay, but I wasn’t what you would call “happy”. I guess I was existing, working my ass off to get by, with a few sporadic happy moments to keep me going.
Suddenly, this “second chance” I was given has resulted in debt that I’ll never see the end of. And I had good insurance, but there was also loss of work.
I realized all this within minutes of waking up, and all I could think was, “Oh, cripes. I was there. The one thing I had feared all my life, and I did it. I managed to die. Had I stayed that way, all my troubles would be over. And now I have even more.”
In the two years since, I’ve changed my attitude quite a bit, as it was very selfish. I’m trying like hell to be a better person. That’s all I can really do. I’m still working, I am gradually losing my battle with the bills, but I keep pushing on. I’m still here for some reason. Maybe I’ll figure it out some day, maybe not. But I have nothing to lose by putting in the effort. And my girlfriend still loves me, so there’s that.
Reading that over just now, that sounds pretty bleak. I’m actually not. I have more happy times now than I did before. There are times when I actually enjoy my work now. Not sure why, exactly. I guess I’m looking for the positives in everyone I meet.
I want to say, again, how much I appreciate everyone’s responses on this topic. I just read through them all for probably the third or fourth time.
I have given it a lot of thought and I just don’t know that I want to continue the way things are. I’ve seen enough, I’ve done enough, I don’t need or want anything else from this world. But I also can’t see any way forward from the responsibilities I have to other people.
I have a bunch of money earmarked for @jpinard’s gofundme (hopefully soon?), and I am happy to help others in that way, but sending money isn’t really satisfying, and it doesn’t require me to be here for it to happen. I don’t think directly working in person with people on some cause is … functional … for me. I do not find other people energizing, I find them draining.
I do my job, as a parent, as a spouse, as an “entrepreneur”, but I find that increasingly these jobs have become everything that I am, such that I am unsure there is anything else. And when I am not doing those things and following those rulebooks, I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing and I just want to be … elsewhere. Nowhere.
I’ve started the process of removing all my public logins, just deleted my Twitter. Also told Stack to close all my accounts there since they still have super-admin powers.
Jeff what exactly are you doing? Going dark or should we be calling a hotline for you? Your wording is ambiguous so I am a bit concerned.