Midlife crisis? No, Midlife exuberance!

July 20, 2006

My colleague Professor Larry Bernard once told me that he didn’t believe in midlife crises, rather he looked at them as midlife exuberances. I liked that. It put the old “is that all there is?” existential blues into a positive spin. I began to think that we go through these things much more than once. My guess is that the more awake we are, and the more we learn, we can’t help having life re-evaluations from time to time. It doesn’t always mean you leave your wife for an 18 year old, well, but sometimes it does.

My last midlife exuberance just sent me an excellent article on MSNBC. The article encapsulates “The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain.” (Basic Books: January PR Rep Jason Brantley) by Dr. Gene Cohen, founding director, Center on Aging, Health & Humanities, George Washington University Medical Center.

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bourland July 20, 2006 at 3:46 pm

My last period of mid life exuberance was among the most productive of my life, though it cost me. I was stuck in a track of mindless jobs that I absolutely hated, but couldn’t get out of the cycle. My mid life exuberance kicked in big time and I got out of that cycle of miserable jobs and a marriage that didn’t nurture husband or wife, though we’re still the best of friends. People can and do laugh as you go through this difficult time of your life, but as my Granny used to say, “Fuck em if they can’t take a joke!”.

You introduced me to the concept of midlife exuberance many years ago, and I’m glad you did. Perhaps somebody saw this today and felt empowered rather than ashamed of the changes their lives are going through.

Love ya Roger,

Your brother,


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