In Summary
  • Sleeping habits depend on so many things — stress, the bed, the city, the person sleeping next to you and what they ate that night, the kind of neighbours you have … it’s not midlife crisis.

Common notions of what midlife is supposed to be like are ridiculous.

One day over lunch, last week, for no reason at all, I Googled what midlife crisis is. Result: "It’s a loss of self-confidence and feeling of anxiety or disappointment that can occur in early middle age.” Hmm.

I then Googled symptoms: buying a sports car, drastic change in habits, mood swings, impulsive decision-making, shifts in sleeping habits, obsession with appearance, disconnecting with old friends and replacing them with younger ones, feeling tied down, thoughts of death, leaving a spouse, having an affair, listless and bored …” It went on and on.

I think I would like to be aware if I’m undergoing the crisis, but given that I’m not disappointed or anxious of my life now, it’s highly improbable that it’s hit me. Yet. But I found these symptoms ridiculous.


Let’s see: Buying a sports car. This is a question of finances. Let’s be honest, very few 27-year-olds will be able to afford a Sh8 million sports car — unless their father works for Kenya Revenue Authority.

But if you gave them that money, they would most likely buy a sports car. I would drive a sports car now if I had that kind of money, something black with a long hood. But not loud. Doesn’t mean I’m suffering from midlife, does it?

Mood swings: You need to drive in Nairobi to experience mood swings.

You leave the house happy and then suddenly someone in a bigger car, driving on the wrong side, and lights blinking, tries to push you off the road because they are in government.

Then your mood is ruined for the next 30 minutes. Midlife crisis? I don’t think so, just impunity. Or those M-Pesa agent ladies who have a way of messing up your day with their attitude. Midlife? Nope, just bad manners.

Impulsive decision-making: I’m terrible with money. If I’m in traffic and a hawker comes to my window and says “this tennis rack kills mosquitoes”, I will believe him and buy it.

There is this chain of Japanese stores called Miniso. Everybody who walks in there is suffering from midlife crisis, because they will buy what they don’t need. Midlife crisis? I doubt.

Shifts in sleeping habits: Oh, don’t get me started. I often wake up at 3am (not by mosquitoes), and just stare into darkness. Or read a book.

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