Monday, July 30, 2012
Peaking at Wednesday lunchtime
Google "peaks at age 43" and "peaks at age 44", and you will get the following (non-exhaustive) list:
- productivity (at age 43)
- consumer spending (at age 44)
- depression (at age 44)
A nice trio of peaks – I’m guessing the order of the last two. In any event, the shortness of the whole order suggests that the peak trio are probably in fact just three faces of the same summit.
I hesitate to name this summit “mid-life”, in part because this label is already well-worn. More importantly though, the summit itself is so obscure – or perhaps so sharp – that most people go up and down it without actually realising that they have very much turned around. That no one else (AFAICT) has correlated these three chronological milestones shows how wilfully blind we probably are to the bigger picture. We may separately appreciate that, after 44, we are working less, spending less, or moping less, but these are inter-connected forces that flow from one’s own little-appreciated personal summit. More commonly, in lieu of a short’n’sharp summit, is the conception of a prolonged and boggy mid-life nadir.
But “summit” is what I’m sticking to. Recounting my own summit at age 44 is going to have to wait til the next instalment.