Our friends at Public Health England announced yesterday that mid-lifers are doomed to heart failure and dementia because we don't make time to exercise and eat healthy food. Thanks for adding to my woes, I think as I unwrap another KitKat. I'm 45 now and counting the days till my next birthday.
Here are five more reasons why I think being in midlife sucks:
1) It's a tipping point and I feel as if I'm teetering right on the edge of old age. Being 45 is as close to 60 as 30. Last year, at 44, I was closer to 30 and could honestly tell new friends "I'm actually just over 40". But now, if asked, I quickly retort "Age? It's more about how you feel isn't it?" Which isn't a whole lot better as I feel around 92.
2) Having an existential work crisis is normal for my peers. Have I peaked in my career? Will all those pesky younger people with more energy edge me out of my cushy job? Is it my last chance to change direction and live my dreams? My mid life doubts led me to start a new London tour company (gulp) and others I know are experimenting with downsizing, switching countries and jumping ship.
3) After years of smugly perfect vision my eyes struggle to focus on small print. Or are my arms just getting shorter? I've laughed as others suffered the same fate and never thought it would happen to me. Opticians say that vision takes a dive in your mid forties: focusing on objects up close is difficult because of something called presbyopia, the hardening of the lens inside your eye. My grandma's bifocals are beckoning.
4) Pain has appeared out of the blue just because of my age. Being 45 and female are pretty much the only reasons I currently suffer from a horrible frozen shoulder, so says my smug 43 year old osteopath. It's relatively rare to get a frozen shoulder before this age and some experts have linked it to the menopause. I'm not menopausal yet (that's a joy yet to come).
5) With children edging towards the terrifying teens and parents in their mid 70s the next few years don't look like a piece of cake. But maybe I'm being pessimistic. Perhaps my son and daughter won't wake up one morning grunting monosyllables like Harry Enfield's Kevin & Perry. And if I'm lucky, my parents will stay healthy for a good while longer.
Yet the future isn't all awful. In another fifteen years, I'll reach the lofty sunny open meadow of being 60, the decade of ultra happiness. This article on Gransnet explains that people aged 65 to 79 are the 'happiest of all'. I'll just have to stay the course to get myself there.