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How to Have a Midlife Crisis Without Breaking the Bank or Ruining Your Marriage

November 6, 2016 by Diane

It’s time for a midlife crisis.

I haven’t had one. I think I’m missing out.

For a proper midlife crisis, an exorbitant amount of spending is required, as well as some body alteration, a daring adventure, and an affair.

But what if you’re broke, squeamish about nips and tucks, and don’t feel comfortable traveling far from home? What if you’re happily married, or committed to someone, and don’t believe in cheating?

What if you want the crisis without the trouble?

After some pondering, I came up with a handy manual on how to have a midlife crisis without breaking the bank or ruining your marriage.

Are you ready?

Here goes.

1. Spend, spend, spend!

I’m not talking about sinking your life savings into a red sports car or a trip to the Bahamas.

I’m talking about spending time—in ways you’ve always wanted to, but never…well…had the time to.

Like tap dancing. Dust off those old dance shoes, throw a sheet of plywood down in the garage, and tap yourself silly. Or write that novel you’ve thought about, talked about, done everything about except write. Yeah, that one. Spend the time. Go for broke!

Do what your heart yearns to do, because Father Time is gaining on you. Whatever time is left is yours. Claim it. Spend it wisely. And with great gusto.

2.  Have an affair.

Not with the hottie at the office who’s half your age. Not with the unhappily married neighbor who’s looking for a little spice in their crockpot.

Have an affair with yourself.

Buy yourself flowers, and chocolates in a heart-shaped box. Treat yourself to a fine dining experience at home, or in a restaurant. Write love notes and tuck them in your pockets and under your pillow and in unexpected places where you’ll discover them later. Leave sweet messages on your phone, and do the same via email. Write the juiciest love letter of all time, and mail it to yourself. Pamper yourself, honor yourself, wear rose-colored glasses when you look in the mirror. Then give yourself a great big hug.

3.  Get a facelift.

Not the plastic-surgery kind.

The free kind.


Smile when you wake up. Smile while you shower and make breakfast and brush your teeth. Smile sitting in traffic, and smile walking down the street. Smile standing in line at Starbucks. Let everyone wonder what the heck is so darn amusing. Smile when you answer the phone and sit in a meeting and when you do the millions of things you do every day. And smile when you turn out the lights at night.

4.  Get a butt tuck.

Not the liposuction kind.

I’m talking exercise. Put on some sneakers and take a walk. Lace up some hiking boots and climb a hill. Ride a bike, go roller skating, swim, ski, or do the conga. Play volleyball or basketball or dodge ball. Play duck, duck, goose. I don’t care what form of movement it is, just move!

5.  Have an escapade.

I’m not talking about hacking your way through the wilderness, surviving on bugs and urine.

Treat every day like an adventure. Break up your routine. Take a different route to work. Eat meatloaf for breakfast and Cheerios for dinner. Eat food you’ve never tasted, and order something different at the coffeehouse. Hunt down a long-lost buddy from high school and give her a call. Apply for a job you’ve never considered. Test-drive a Tesla up mountain roads, seeing how it hugs the curves. Read genres you don’t usually read. Ditto for movies. Dance in the rain like Gene Kelly. Tell jokes at the water cooler like Groucho Marx. Sleep in the nude, and wear pajama bottoms to Safeway.

You get the point.

A crisis doesn’t have to mean trouble. It can be a turning point.

You’re not a has-been. You’re a gonna-be.

So live it up!


  1. Eliza says:

    GREAT post – best tips for a mid-life crisis that I’ve ever read! 🙂

  2. Pearl Allard says:

    This is great, Diane! Made me smile, snicker, and see midlife crises in a whole new way! Very catchy title too. 🙂

  3. Sarah says:

    I love this. So much. So much love. You funny, wonderful lady…you are full of, um, humor and good advice. I’m going to have a midlife crisis the Diane way. 🙂

  4. Riley says:

    This is the kind of mid-life crisis we all need!

  5. mydangblog says:

    Love it! Better than getting a sports car and a lot cheaper!

  6. Nancy Clark says:

    Great post, Diane! Makes me want to go back to mid-life just so I can have this kind of crisis. Actually, I am doing some of these things now that I’m in my “mature” years, especially the one about spending time doing what I have always wanted to do. What fun!

    • Diane says:

      Thanks Nancy! Would love to hear what lovely things you’re doing now, that you’ve always wanted to do. You’re an inspiration to us all.

  7. Joan says:

    I absolutely love this,Diane!!!! Super great advice and a wonderful outlook! Just Love this post!!!

  8. Bun Karyudo says:

    Great advice, Diane! I’ve never been able to afford a mid-life crisis before, but now I think i may be able to manage one. Excuse me while I go and write myself the first of a series of little notes.

  9. windsweptarmadillo says:

    Hey, I wandered over here following your comment on The Bloggess’ November 11th kitty gifs post, and I am so uplifted and inspired right meow. You’ve given us some FANTASTIC advice, and I’m’ma gonna go follow it. Thank you!

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