The quarter life crisis, branded in the 1990’s, it appears in the early twenties when young people suffer an identity crisis and struggle to choose career paths and find love (Rossi & Mebert, 2011). The realisation that expected goals in life may not have been achieved, and in fact, they may never be. The reality of bills, mortgages and retirement fund contributions hit – how depressing! The “midlife crisis” is next, it emerges between 40 and 60 years of age and often results in a reassessment of life and its meaning (Jaques, 1965). Its supposedly caused by the emotional and physical changes facing a person during these years – the decline in athleticism [you tend to get fatter (Williams & Wood, 2006)] or the stagnation of a career (you get sick of trying to impress the boss).
Apparently you never smell your own, the sense of smell adapts quickly so you won’t smell it after the first couple of minutes, but once you leave the area you readjust and on returning it hits you with a bang. Luckily for me, smells that your nose encounters regularly aren’t as obnoxious. Most people think that their own doesn’t stink. But it’s all an illusion; we simply become accustomed and desensitised to things that are familiar. The brain actually adapts to bad smells, if it didn’t, it would be overloaded by the constant sensory input. However the reaction to scent varies. In fact the sense of smell may to be linked to personality traits – people who are more uptight are more sensitive to bad smells (Seo et al., 2013) Unfortunately for my wife women consistently out-perform men on all tests of smelling ability (Sergeant, 2010; Novakova et al., 2013). But I love my old running shoes and I’m keeping them no matter how badly they smell!