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To think the first half of your life is the best part?

129 replies

Imissmanchesterrain · 06/02/2024 16:26

Apologies for sounding so pessimistic, but when I think about the future now, I can’t see many pluses..Dh and I will get older, my parents will pass away, well enjoy watching Dd grow, but then she’ll leave and then what.
Im 45 and up until a few years ago, I never felt this way. The first half of my life was exciting, mainly full of fun and promise, so much to look forward to
Wouldnt life be better lived the other way around, like it gets better and better?

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Am I being unreasonable?

301 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Imissmanchesterrain · 06/02/2024 16:29


Please tell me the things to look forward to?

OP posts:
ToastyToes101 · 06/02/2024 16:29

I'm also 45 and although I see where you're coming from, I have to remind myself that at least I'm here. I've had 3 people I know who were my age die in the last few years, leaving behind young kids. So when I do start to feel a bit down about how I'm over halfway through my life (assuming I'm lucky to live longer), I just have to remind myself there's still a lot of good.

BreakingAndBroke · 06/02/2024 16:31

"And then what?"

Seek excitement! Go out, meet new people, reconnect with old friends, travel, join a club, start a new hobby, go to college/uni... Your post is very pessimistic and assumes you have no control over your life at all. Your life is what you make it. Don't give up at 45! Go and find some fun!

Vroomfondleswaistcoat · 06/02/2024 16:33

I'm 63 and the last eight years or so of my life have been the best. Yes, my parents are gone and my children have grown up and left home, but I am now able to do what I want, when I want. I've cut my hours at work and upped the hours I spend writing (which is where I find my fulfilment). My children are old enough to be a support to ME if I need them (which I don't, except occasionally to borrow a drill from) and we can all go on holidays or out for meals when we do nothing but laugh, rather than my having to spend all my time on tenterhooks for misbehaviour.
I've got disposable income, I know myself and got rid of the tedious man who was holding me back (not the kids' dad). I know that I'm lucky in that I'm solvent and healthy, but honestly I feel these are the golden years.

Return2thebasic · 06/02/2024 16:33

Just feeling really down today. Went to bed in tears last night thinking of the same.

I'm not sure which part of life is to live for myself right now. It's all about other people. I'm really unhappy but powerless to change. I was literally thinking last night, if time flies quickly from here to the day I'm gone, probably not much being missed.

Sorry, can't help. Obviously in the middle of mid age crisis, but it's been since summer last year and it didn't get better. 😞

cerisepanther73 · 06/02/2024 16:36

Hell no !!

Not if you had a crap start in life,

poorchurchmouse · 06/02/2024 16:38

I think there’s a lot of truth in the idea that happiness is a U-shaped curve and midlife is the tough part. I’m in the thick of it at the moment- nearly 50, ageing parents, teenage DD - and this stage is not such fun. But I can see that it will improve. Our mothers can’t go on for ever, and DD will grow up and I look forward to an adult relationship with her and we’ll have more time for things we want to do. In lots of ways this stage is better than my youth: I have more confidence, more money, I know what I like. My career makes me very happy and I have an idea of what I want to do next. On the whole I feel very positive about the next 20 years.

TreesWelliesKnees · 06/02/2024 16:40

I do agree with you to a point, but apparently mid-forties is the least happy time of life, and things do improve. It's called the 'u-curve of life' or something. 47.2 years is apparently the lowest point, and I'm right there! I'm waiting for this stage to pass and in the meantime trying to find small things that bring moments of happiness, rather than think about the big stuff. It does all feel a bit bleak, but planning outings, seeing friends, decorating etc all help to get me through. It's not downhill from here, it's just a dip!

TreesWelliesKnees · 06/02/2024 16:41

X posted with @poorchurchmouse !

chickensandbees · 06/02/2024 16:42

I'm hoping it's the second half that will be the best, currently 51, children are teenagers, we're financially secure, should be able to retire before I'm 60. I feel I have more control over my life and I have a job I enjoy but I am really looking forward to retirement and being able to do what I want when I want.

I'd hate the thought of being in my 20s again, 50s are definitely better.

chickensandbees · 06/02/2024 16:43

I think as I get older I have more self confidence and am able to say no more and do the things I want. I feel much more in control of my own life.

Bigdoglittlecat · 06/02/2024 16:45

That’s really sad. I’m mid 40s and I’m really excited about what’s to come - once the kids have moved out (late teens) we can move away somewhere nicer/cheaper and be mortgage free, I can then work less hours so can have a better work/life balance… holiday more, more hiking / dog walking / sea swimming / reading - I can’t bloody wait! I think the second half sounds way more fun. More agency, more money.

You have to have good health which helps - I look after myself a lot so that’s part of the battle done, plus have good family longevity genes (grandparents all lived to 90s & one to 103, both parents still fit in early 80s) which I appreciate is luck, but SO many problems can be avoided by keeping healthy and active and not getting overweight.

I can’t wait- I find this stage of paying a lot of money and time out each month for 2 highly emotional adults (two 6th form girls) absolutely exhausting and I can’t wait to scale back the hours and the sleepless nights worrying about them coming home late, failing exams, dodgy boyfriends etc. i think I’ll find it much easier once they’re a little older and wiser (I hope!)

bring on the 2nd half!

GreyhpundGirl · 06/02/2024 16:45

Dunno as I haven't got there yet. My dad retired early as he was financially astute, he's 79 now and basically has been living the dream for the last 25 years. He's very active and healthy, he's always on holiday whereas he was often working away when we were kids so missed out on a lot with regard to family life, but he's more than making up for that now (my mum died 10 years ago)

Alwayslookonthebrightside1 · 06/02/2024 16:46

I feel like this! Only 36, feel very stuck and bored and desperately need to make some positive changes. SAHM, long term housekeeper and childcare provider to family and confined to living life around school runs, clubs and summer holidays and children that wail at the mere thought of having some other childcare option other than mummy at their beck and call. Agh!

Beautyofthedark · 06/02/2024 16:46

I agree. During the early part of your life, there is so much potential, so many new and different things to experience for the first time, you're generally healthier, have fewer responsibilities, just generally have more life in front of you.

I'm not saying it's impossible to experience new things as you get older, but the older you get, the more doors close.

I'm early 40s, I've done university, done carefree 20s life (going out, travelling, marathon etc), done wedding and marriage, done children, done buying first (and second) homes. There are no real 'big milestones' left.

Career-wise, again not impossible to change, but I'm in a job that I sort of fell into, it's okay, but works around the children, not badly paid... Even though there's other things I might want to do, I can't really anymore, not without compromising on pay and/or flexibility.

Tbh, I've always been a pessimist (though, I prefer realist, and actually I think there has been some research to show that pessimists are actually just realistic, whereas optimists have their heads in the clouds 😁)

And obviously being alive is the better position to be in, but when you cross that mid-point line, there isn't a huge amount left to look forward to. Deteriorating health and hopefully eventual retirement.

BarelyCoping123 · 06/02/2024 16:46

I agree OP. My teens and 20s and eatly 30s were riotous. 50 now with no social life, DC killing me with stress, failed career (one of those careers that just disappeared over time, as in it doesnt really exist anymore), failed marriage, aging/poorly parents. Don't really see anything to look forward to in life.

Pigeonqueen · 06/02/2024 16:48

Well my childhood was awful but I do miss the days of my early 20s before all my chronic health issues set in and my life was about partying and doing whatever I liked. Health is a real privilege and I miss having good health. I am 43 now and I have chronic multiple autoimmune issues (lupus etc) that are slowly sucking the life out of me and I just see my future getting bleaker and bleaker.

gettingalife82 · 06/02/2024 16:49

I really recommend a book called The Middle Passage. It's all about how we have childhood, adolescence, then 1st adulthood, then during midlife we go through the middle passage and progress into something called 2nd adulthood - which is the best because it's when your wisdom opens up, and helps you reach alignment within you and become your true self - at least for those who manage it! Many people have a midlife crisis and then get stuck going over and over living in 1st adulthood (having affairs, getting a sports car, going bungee jumping) which is actually just operating through our child selves but thinking we've found our true self.

Basically, imagine being able to completely dispel all the imposed worries, anxieties and petty external concerns about what others think which we had instilled in us as children and young people, and live through our true values everyday.

crackedvass · 06/02/2024 16:52

I'm excited for travel and freedom and health. Lost way too many people close to me to not be grateful.

I'm typing this while mid chest infection spluttering away im 49 and feeling grumpy, but I can still see the fun times ahead.

Can you book a break a holiday or something for you that you would enjoy?

Mistlebough · 06/02/2024 16:52

Definitely loads to look forward to OP. Retirees shown to be happier I believe : many have no money worries, mortgage paid, time for lots of fulfilling hobbies, new discoveries, friendships old and new, holidays, travel. Some of our friends have done the most amazing things.

Also it’s not just about a list of achievements and first as a PP mentioned but many people find time to explore more spiritually, philosophically, values etc, get involved in charity work or volunteer to make life better in some way - a wider perspective than just individual fulfilment.

I know his all depends on having good health and funds but you are you g enough to invest in these both for your future snd may you have many amazing years ahead OP.

Moveoverdarlin · 06/02/2024 16:52

I feel exactly the same as you OP. I’m a similar age and my twenties were so much fun, I was single, had a good job, my thirties was when I settled down but still had fun, just not as crazy. My 40s have been so bloody boring.

Petrine · 06/02/2024 16:53

Life is what you make it. If you’re lucky enough to grow old that’s an achievement in itself.

Each phase of life is different. Embrace the change and make the most of what you have.

I’m 68 and l love life just for itself.

TheaBrandt · 06/02/2024 16:55

God no! Glass half full here. Kids off your hands travel / friends / more confidence. Bring it on.

existentialpain · 06/02/2024 16:55

Definitely not. My life has been really traumatic from the start and now I'm mid forties I'm finally beginning to feel at peace and enjoy life.

Imissmanchesterrain · 06/02/2024 16:58

I used to look forward to retirement etc but reading about it being 71 now, how realistic is it to think of travelling everywhere and enjoying the next stage of life

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