I’m right in the middle of a crisis
The mid-life crisis.
The midlife crisis is great.
Actually, it is no crisis at all.
I am growing old, my friends are
Everyone around me is growing old, so
I have taken an interest in the thing.
And, generally being the kind of guy who is not known to keep his opinions to himself, today I write
about growing old to (reassure myself and) comfort
those men and women my age who are beginning
to notice flakes of white hair and the horrifying
realisation that half their lives are gone, forever.
I thought that the midlife crisis would be disaster; a
hormonal overload and shrivelling gonads
accompanied by the smell of scorched flesh.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The midlife crisis is great.
I would know because I think I am in
the thick of it.
Growing old, I have found, comes with an
impatience with being fat and slow.
I am taking an
interest in being fit now and I believe I am fitter
than I have been in many years.
What does it mean to grow old gracefully?
I have observed that nearly every Kenyan man over
35 has no hair.
They have wiped it out because
they are balding or greying.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing, if that’s what makes you
Many middle-aged men are grumpy, or bitter,
angry or sad.
They feel that they have misused
their lives, or they are failures because they have
been lazy and disorganised.
Or they feel they have had no luck, or they have
been fixed because of their tribe or race or
Others feel that their families do not
appreciate them, they take their sacrifice for
granted and they don’t see how good they have
It is these feelings which make men who are
moving from being young to being old so violent
But it need not be like that.
We just need to understand what this process of
growing old means.
Growing old is the slow, progressive death of
pretensions and the emergence of the real person.
By the time you are 35, you really should know who
you are, as opposed to who you want to be.
By 40, it doesn’t really matter what the world
If you are a scruffy, unkempt and creative,
the midlife crisis is an opportunity to stop trying to
look like an accountant and get on being
comfortable in your two pairs of shoes and looking
forward to your bi-annual haircut.
I presume that men, and perhaps even women, at
some point panic when they look back at half their
lives, realise that they are growing old and haven’t
achieved, in their estimation, that much.
Well, so what of it?
Being unsuccessful is no reason
to take an axe to the next person who looks at you
You can get back to the trenches and try
to fix things, or you can sit back and ask for
An enjoyed life is a successful life.
I am informed that men fear ageing because it
implies a depreciation of their sexual abilities.
i never write about sex and I do not wish to venture
It’s not something people can be honest
about, but those ageing guys who are having
doubts about this, perhaps it is a good idea not to
panic and go all over town with 50 schoolgirls.
If you are already seated at the banquet table, what is the point of
wanting more than you can eat?
And what is the
point of eating more than you need?
From my interactions with older guys, there doesn’t seem to
be any cause for alarm.
Finally, the way an ageing guy looks is also a
matter of choice.
You can go for the encased-in-a-
suit, age-lying, dyed-hair, pinched, bitter look
common with bean- counters and government bureaucrats.
You can relax, do the loose-limbed, fluffy-haired
Denzel Washington thing and bounce to the sunset
with lots of dough and big smug smile on your face.
Or you can apply the Jamie Foxx formula, hard
frightened-of-the-future route, which is certain to
end in a broken, broke man.
If you don’t mess up, it is a liberating crisis.
So what if my sex-drive is plummeting? It is not like i’m trying for more babies in my now infrequent trysts!
What i like about this crisis is that i can be forgiven for all those awful sins of my youth,without having to apologise for them-and that includes my horrible clothes that don’t match my…..my what? What i’m i saying? Where was i,in this conversation?
Blame it too on my fading memory!
Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….