Midlife Ruminations

Are you in a state of ‘suspended juvenescence’?

Just as I was recovering from the midlife antics of Boris Johnson partygate and all (bad midlife behaviour), along comes something midlife related to throw me off my midlife comfort zone perch. I came across a new word which I had never heard of before.

To put things in context, in my teenage years I made it a point to learn a word a day. I actually studied the dictionary like some nerd. I picked up big words like ‘apotheosis’ to stun my parents at the dinner table. It’s a habit that I grew out of once my 20s hit.

Today I learnt a new word quite inadvertently – ‘Juvenescence’. It means ‘the state or period of being young’. Google it if you don’t believe me. I did because I thought it was a completely made up word. It isn’t.

Actually it would be wrong of me to assume ignorance on everyone’s part. It may, of course, already be a part of your everyday lexicon in which you use the term ‘suspended juvenescence’ disparagingly to describe someone who is making you feel even more irritable than your menopause symptoms do.

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.

– Oscar Wilde

The phrase – ‘suspended juvesnescence’ – has been used by the LA Times to describe Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. The article supposes that, both, Twitter and Musk are going through a midlife crisis given their longevity; and refers to the purchase as a ‘vanity project’. It questions Musk’s ability to bring ‘fun’ into Twitter given that he is a midlifer.

While I have no interest in what Musk does, the article is an interesting read for the convoluted way in which it twins older age with a business decision, using the term ‘vanity project’. It also says that, ‘Midlife crises aren’t fun’, which I completely agree with.

I know many midlifers who have vanity projects because it makes them feel involved and, well, young. In my circle of friends, these vanity projects consists of herb growing or paying out yearly for a cinema pass. Calling a $44 billion buyout a ‘vanity project’ is way beyond my brain’s comprehension. My ‘vanity project’ consists of buying second hand books on ‘Ikigai’ off Amazon. What’s yours – collecting yachts?

Happy juvenescence-ing this weekend.

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