Everything seems to happen at mid-life: The empty nest, menopause, affairs, and growing unhappiness with the daily grind. That red convertible looks tantalizingly good. You tally your failures and disappointments, and cannot muster a smidgen of gratitude. Fortunately, the notion that "this is all there is" does eventually give way to "life isn't too bad." Life satisfaction does wane in one's forties, but then it upticks a decade or so later. Interestingly, mid-life is more of an issue in some cultures than others. While western societies hold on to youth more tightly, eastern cultures revere wisdom and age.