It’s been a minor mid life crisis.

It’s an interesting time of reflection, what did I expect my life to be like at this stage? What would I have expected to achieve? How do I feel about the march toward death?

I read From Strength to Strength this year to try to face the fact I may well be in the second half of my life now. He writes:

Here is the reality: in practically every high-skill profession, decline sets in sometime between one’s late thirties and early fifties. Sorry, I know that stings.

I didn’t feel so great reading this, his hope is that we lean in to the weakness that comes with aging. Maybe this leaves you feeling differently:

To see weakness as purely negative is a mistake. Weakness befalls us all, and in many ways. It has its discomforts to be sure and entails loss. But it is also an opportunity—to connect more deeply with others; to see the sacredness in suffering; even to find new areas of growth and success. Stop hiding it, and don’t resist it. Doing so has another benefit for strivers—maybe the most important one of all: you can finally relax a little. When you are honest and humble about your weaknesses, you will be more comfortable in your own skin. When you use your weaknesses to connect with others, love in your life will grow. 

He also talks about an interesting model of looking at intelligence:

Cattell himself described the two intelligences in this way: “[Fluid intelligence] is conceptualized as the decontextualized ability to solve abstract problems, while crystallized intelligence represents a person’s knowledge gained during life by acculturation and learning.”[6] Translation: When you are young, you have raw smarts; when you are old, you have wisdom. When you are young, you can generate lots of facts; when you are old, you know what they mean and how to use them.”

Crystallized intelligence, relying as it does on a stock of knowledge, tends to increase with age through one’s forties, fifties, and sixties—and does not diminish until quite late in life, if at all.