Renewal or Resignation in Your Mid-40s

If you’re in your forties, and you’re a man, and you haven’t been divorced at least once, there’s something up.


In the past I could rely on my appearances on public radio to excuse my lack of wealth


With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three:  Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Part Six:  Authenticity Crisis for 35 – 45 Year Olds

Late Bloomers

Chris Erskine. Mom explained to me that I was merely a late bloomer, that life would eventually become easier.

I said, “Mom, I’m 45!”

Chris Erskine at the Los Angeles Times

She loved me anyway, perhaps the greatest test yet of a mother’s heart. See, unconditional love is one thing.

Then there’s a mother’s love, which is unconditional love with an extra spritz of love’s greatest qualities:

Devotion. Faith. Grace.

Authenticity and Adulthood

Amy Poehler.  In Marc Maron’s “Waiting for the Punch” Amy says:

“At this age, you have to find people that are already divorced.

At least once.

If you’re in your forties, and you’re a man, and you haven’t been divorced at least once, there’s something up.” pg. 142

Renewal or Resignation

On the “older side” of the Authenticity Crisis lies the rest of adulthood.

If you chose renewal when you faced your mortality, life opens to an age of mastery.

If you chose to look the other way and settle than your life feels stale.

I’m pretty sure Gail Sheehy coined “Flourishing 40s”.

A time in our life for:

  • Regaining our equilibrium.
  • Renewing our purpose
  • Making our life count at work as a parent.


Marc Maron. “I have self-acceptance now.

Age helps.

I didn’t really grow up until I was in my late forties.

Marc Maron’s Insightful Interviews from his Wildly Successful WTF Podcast

I brought myself up pretty well.

I’m glad I never had kids.

I just didn’t want to put them through my own selfish struggle of being a grown-up.”  pg. 162

Idea of Failure

Maron: “It wasn’t until I let go of expectations and let the humility settle in as opposed to anger, self-pity, and the idea of failure that I became grounded in my body and a fucking grown-up.” pg. 280

Getting used to beginning your second stage of adulthood , you identify less with the kids who were in your high school class.

Or members of your generation’s cohort than you do with other people in your neighborhood.

And more with neighbors and friends dealing with common issues facing families, couples or empty-nesters.

 Seven 45+ Lifestyle Profiles 

Families, Couples and Empty-Nests: Wealthy Influentials and Wireless Resorters.

Goin’ Coastal on PCH

Within the top 10 (out of 64) lifestyles ranked for degree of affluence and status.

Living in:

Oregon: West Linn

Utah: Alta

Florida: Ft. Myers

California: Half Moon Bay, Seal Beach, Lake Arrowhead and Mammoth Lakes


Wealthy Influentials

01M1S1, Upper Crust, Empty-Nests – WIAE Affluently Elite (Half Moon Bay, CA)

02F1S1 Blue Blood Estates, Families – WIAE Affluently Elite (West Linn, OR)

06F1S1, Winner’s Circle, Families – WIAE Affluently Elite (Alta, UT)

07M1U1 Money & Brains, Couples – WIAE Affluently Elite (Seal Beach, CA)

10M1C1, Second City Elite, Empty-Nests – WIDM Digitally Mobiles (Ft. Myers, FL)


Wireless Resorters

05F1T1, Country Squires, Families – WRPR Premier Resorts (Lake Arrowhead, CA)

09M1T1, Big Fish, Small Pond, Empty-Nests – WRPR Premier Resorts (Mammoth Lakes, CA)

Encounters With Wealthy Influentials

John Hodgman. One of the moms in my son’s rowing classes had a long blond ponytail.

The day we dropped my son off, she introduced herself to me.

She pointed out her son, whose own blond hair had been bleached impossibly even blonder by the sun.

She explained he and the other two boys in the rowing class who were not my son had essentially grown up together every summer here in Main.

She also mentioned she had two older blond kids who are twins, brother and a sister.”

 She told me the town she lived in in Massachusetts – even more affluent and suburby suburb than Brookline.

She told me that her husband managed a hedge fund and could only get to Maine on the weekends.

“It’s so great that you can be here all the time with your kids,” she said. “What do you do?”

She had other questions.

She wanted to know:

  • Where were we staying?
  • Did we rent?
  • Or did we own?
  • How long had we been coming up?
  • How well did we know the town?” pg 166

Standard Wealth and Status Scan

Hodgman had been used to these types of encounters during his first adult development  stage in his 20s and 30s.

He even had a name for what was unfolding.

A standard wealth and status scan.

If you made the grade, you were “sufficiently human.”

And he was used to flunking.

Sheehy: “If one has refused to budge through the middle-life transition, the safety and supports will be withdrawn from the person who is standing still.

If a person is not comfortable with the way their life is progressing, they’re usually regretful about the decisions that they have made in the past and feel a sense of uselessness.

But Hodgman noticed something surprising emerged with this encounter.

Hodgman. In the past I could rely on my appearances on public radio to excuse my lack of wealth: being on This American Life is like being a monk – you may have to sleep on straw and wear the same tattered robe made of tote bags every day, but you are acceptable in polite society because you are sacrificing for a greater cause.”

But now, as she asked questions, I realized something surprising. I had answers.” pg. 166- 167

Create or stagnate

During this time people are normally settled in their life and know what is important to them.

Also during this time, a person is enjoying raising their children and participating in activities, that gives them a sense of purpose.

First House

Hodgman and his wife decide it was time to own their first home – becoming Wireless Resorters.

Hodgman. “It is a less fancy house in a less fancy town, a boatbuilding community farther out on the peninsula’s jagged coast. 

“I’m a P.C”, John Hodgman

It’s an impossible thing for your brain to absorb fully: to warp your whole emotional and financial life around the shape of this physical thing,

This new collection of problems and regrets, ants and undiscovered mold, bad drainage, and crack foundations that will be your burden until you sell it or it kills you. “pg 177

Sobering 30-Year Mortgage

Hodgman. “A thirty-year mortgage is hilarious when you are young and you don’t even remember what day it is; it’s a grim thing when you are older and see that this debt is a bright, un-ignorable line from the now of your life to its addled decline.

There is that moment at the closing meeting with the various attorneys where you realize: 

I don’t need to do this. 

I don’t need anything. 

I can run out of this office and go live in an old hollow tree stump.

But you do not walk away because if you’ve gotten this far there is only forward.

You’ve given up your apartment and gotten the loan and now you are going to trade this check with “ALL YOUR MONEY” written on it for some vague sense of progress in your life.”  pg 177 – 178

Life and Death

Maron: “That death is part of life is annoying and sad. 

Denial is childish, but I can’t think about it too much because it’s just too fucking depressing.

I choose to let myself be consumed with petty bullshit and not get too close to people.” pg. 343

Erskine. So I’m still frosted and confused over Rhymer’s death from cancer at age 51.

I’m dealing with it through this flower box.

Some guys march to different drummers, others dance to their own minor keys.

That was Rhymer.

Balboa Island Ferry – Getty Images

His favorite retreat from the stupidities of screenwriting was a little cottage near the water, an apostrophe of a place, barely even there.

At this little Newport Beach cottage he would host summer holidays, build batches of margaritas, sizzle steaks on the grill.

What a golf course was to Palmer, what Wembley was to Laver, this beach house was to Rhymer.”

Part Seven: 55 Year Olds – Millennials and Empty Nests

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