Support this podcast and help me keep going! Donate via PayPal

Mid-Life Crisis

I just want to know when I am entitled to have a mid-life crisis. Is it possible to actually calculate how long I am going to live and then time my crises to occur exactly at middle age?

According to Wikipedia:
Middle age is the period of life beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. Various attempts have been made to define this age, which is around the third quarter of the average life span of human beings.
So I looked up the average life-expectancy of males and found that in Israel, that age is 76.46, at least according to the CIA World Factbook Estimates, 2008, as quoted in Wikipedia. So that schedules my mid-life crisis at between 38-57 years old.

I don't know if I can wait that long. I'm quite stressed out now and only 35. Actually, it's worse than that. Since I am from Australia, where the average life expectancy of males is supposed to be 77.8 years, I shouldn't have my mid-life crisis until I'm between 39-58 years old.

So this begs the question: what if I move countries? Do I take on the average life-span of males in that country, or am I stuck with the average life-span of my birth country? I'm guessing that since the average life span is a product of genes, environment and diet that it is a mixture of both. However, for the sake of argument, let's suppose that when you move to another country you adopt their average life-expectancy. It's only fair since you are also adopting their climate, health care system and crime-rate.

If I wanted to have my mid-life crisis earlier, I could move to any number of countries with lower life expectancies than Israel. New Zealand, UK, US, France and China all fit that criteria.

Swaziland has the lowest life expectancy, meaning that I could have had my mid-life crisis from when I was 15-23 years old. A bit early - I was married at 22 and hadn't even had the time to build up to it. I don't know how I would have managed to cope with a mid-life crisis at 15. That's just cruel. But according to the CIA, my next opportunity will be in Rwanda or Sudan, both of which will allow me to succumb to the pressures of life before my next birthday. Joy.

But what happens when you overshoot the average life expectancy of your country? By that stage you have already had your mid-life crisis, albeit too early. That could be a problem - what if you wanted another one? If you are still cranky between the ages of 47 and 71, does that automatically mean that you are going to live to be 95? Such questions should be left to the philosophers of the world. I undertook an extremely unscientific study of philosophers and found that the majority were German males who probably only have 75.96 years to figure this out.

But it really is comforting to know that I have the option to choose when I am going to break down under mountains of stress, and when I am not. Think about it, how much easier is it now that you know that you have a few years to save up for all of those expensive therapists? You don't need to spend time on the couch now, wait until you are close to the third quarter of the average life expectancy of people in your country and then pay a shrink to watch you go to pieces. Very economical.

But, of course, as long as you are at an age below the third quarter of your life expectancy there is nothing stopping you from practicing. Anything above that and, sorry, but I can't help you.


  1. I always heard that "middle-aged" was defined as 10 years older than your current age.


Post a Comment

Support this podcast and help me keep going!
Donate via PayPal