In my humble opinion, those words have two meanings i.e. first, the person saying it is very optimistic about him/herself and his/her future, because he/she felt that he/she already has all the necessary knowledge and experiences for the future. Secondly, the said person is not confident at all in him/herself, and hesitate to face what lies ahead of him/her. People facing the 2nd condition can be described as having a Midlife Crisis.
I do not have an educational background in psychology, I only say and feel what I have read in books or website and from some people that I knew quite well.
The term Midlife Crisis is coined by Elliot Jaques in 1965 stating a time where people between the age of 40 and 60 years old come to realize their own mortality and how much time is left in their life. A Midlife Crisis is experienced by many people during the midlife transition when they realize that life may be more than halfway over. Sometimes a crisis can be triggered by transitions experienced in these years, such as andropause (men) or menopause (women), the death of parents or other causes of grief, unemployment, realizing that a job of a career is hated but not knowing how else to earn an equivalent living, or children leaving home. People may reassess their achievements in terms of their dreams. The result may be a desire to make significant changes in core aspects of day-to-day life or situation like career, work life balance, marriage, romantic relationships, large expenditures, or physical appearance.
Those experiencing a Midlife Crisis have some of these feelings :
1) Search of an undefined dream or goal
2) A deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished
3) A fear of humiliation among more successful colleagues
4) Desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness
5) Need to spend more time alone or with certain peers
They also exhibit some of these behaviors :
1) Abuse of alcohol
2) Acquisition of unusual or expensive items such as motorbikes, boats, sport cars
4) Having remorse for one's wrong
5) Paying special attention to physical appearance such as baldness, clothes
6) Entering relationship with younger people (sexual or professional or parental)
7) Placing over importance on their children to excel in areas such as academics.
However, academic research in the USA since the 1980s rejects the notion of Midlife Crisis as a phase that most adults go through. In one study, less than 10% of people has psychological crisis due to their age or aging.
I wonder what would the result of similar study in Indonesia (if any) would be like.
But I have a lady friend who is 52 years old, a mother of two kids but still looks, feel and talk sexy, wear mini skirts and other sexy looking dresses. She is energetic and love to travel a lot, not menopause yet therefore still sexually active thanks to Yoga Pilates that she practiced regularly.
For me she is okay, as a matter of fact I like to be around her, but other men think that she wants to have some fun with them. Especially because she always go by her self and/or with friends inside or out of town. Her husband who is a few years older almost never accompany her.
She said that she love all the attention she go from men, and do not care what others think of her because actually she does not do bad things.
Painting: Courtesy of Arnet.