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Pamela Redmond Satran

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25 Reasons Life Sucks When You're Middle-Aged

Posted: 09/10/09 11:04 PM ET

Of course young people are happy: They have great bodies, they have lots of sex with other people with great bodies, and -- well, do you really need any other reason?

And old people are happy too, because they raked in lots of money during the boom years and now they can live high on their investments while simultaneously bleeding Social Security dry.

The unhappiest group, according to a new Gallup poll, is 45 to 64-year-olds.

Why are the middle years so glum? The New York Times asked its readers, who came up with no shortage of theories. Here, my digest of the Times readers' 25 top reasons that life sucks for the middle-aged:

1. No time to recover financially from current disaster.

2. Baby Boomers are generally dissatisfied.

3. Pissed off that you won't be as pampered as current seniors are.

4. Older boomers are greeedy job hogs, leaving younger boomers out in the cold.

5. Too busy, plus sad about being anonymous paper-pusher.

6. Responsible for your own well-being as well as that of your kids and parents.

7. Persistent attacks on Social Security.

8. Realize everything you ever believed in is a lie.

9. Not enough healthy, short-term selfishness.

10. You've lost your job and you're too old and expensive to get rehired.

11. Teenage daughters, dying parents, divorcing friends, health problems.

12. Friends domesticated into non-existence.

13. Guilt.

(Are you ready to kill yourself yet?)

14. The high cost of braces and college.

15. Hot young people call you sir (and m'am).

16. Job security undercut by ageism and sexism.

17. Can't get a freaking date.

18. Realize you will never attain your dreams.

19. Sagging middles and bottoms.

20. Colonoscopies.

21. Realize that reaching material goals doesn't satisfy deeper needs.

22. Tend to be Mets fans.

23. Resented by younger colleagues.

24. Not as glamorous as you'd like to be.

25. Not only is everything bad now, but it will be worse tomorrow.

 
 
 

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