People in the middle years become more aware of time's passing than they were before. The middle aged see themselves as bridges of generations. Life is restructured in terms of time-left-to-live rather time since birth.
For people whose youthful dreams have not been realized, middle age becomes a time of regret and the "middle-age blues." A sense of humor rescues many in the middle adult years, and they accept the less-than-ideal circumstances of life philosophically. Efforts are directed toward family, job, and community. Giving and helping become necessary. The fantasies of fame and fortune need not necessarily give to despair, but to making the most out of one's assets and planning future years sensibly.