Blog Tour: Curmugeonism: A Surly Man's Guide to Midlife by Kelly Crigger

Curmugeonism: A Surly Man's Guide to Midlife


Discovering who you are is not just for 
teenagers. Midlife men must also rediscover 
the world around them while struggling with 
their own impending mortality and legacy, 
especially those who change careers and 

Middle-aged men like me are under siege, 
beset on all sides by personal ambition, 
internal expectations, familial pressure, 
 disillusionment, uncertainty, and legacy. 
It’s a constant battle to balance the needs o
the self and the needs of others and a struggle to 
discover which ones really take priority. Some 
win this battle and some tragically lose.

Curmudgeonism is a state of mind, unwavering, 
 unapologetic, and uninterested in what people think. 
We are the proverbial old dog that can’t be taught new tricks because we know the 
old tricks are tried and true. We have firm beliefs that can’t be shaken. Free trade is 
good. True leaders are rare. Happiness is a luxury. Golf is a waste of time and we 
don’t have enough years left to be unproductive. We don’t apologize for our views 
because we’ve spent half a lifetime developing them. Theory and idealism sounds 
good in school but only until it becomes cost prohibitive and the real world 
determines ground truth. Curmudgeons are uncaring about what people think 
and have low expectations on the world because it’s done little more than disappoint 
us. We’re middle aged and tired of looking, acting,  feeling the way people want 
us to, so we’re breaking out and being who we were meant to be; irascible curs 
who make the world a better place through brutal honesty. We see this as our 
duty and take it seriously. Buy the ticket. Take the ride.


Think you’re owed happiness? You’re not. Happiness is a luxury, not a necessity. 
Some say “if you’re not happy doing what you’re doing then don’t do it.” Those 
people are surprisingly more comfortable with a welfare Christmas and a moped 
than the average person. It’s idealistic, but many times unrealistic and as we’ve 
learned already, idealism has a cost.

The definition of happiness is different for everyone but one thing is for sure-it’s 
fleeting. Just when you think you’re on the verge of a touchdown, the goal line 
moves. The variables change and suddenly you’re on a quest to make it to the 
next level of happiness. Even then, you can accomplish your mission in life and 
buy a nice house, nice cars, and a baby giraffe and feel happy but then you realize 
you have to protect it. You have everything you wanted and a life that’s enviable. 
That means you have to maintain it. You have to keep it going. That adds pressure 
and makes you unhappy again. It’s a vicious cycle. 

The universe does not owe anyone a single atom of happiness and there’s no law 
that says you have to love your chosen profession. As long as a job provides 
income and necessities for the family then it can suck badger milk because true 
happiness for a man comes from being a provider. It’s our responsibility to take 
care of our kin and we want to fulfill that responsibility no matter how happy or 
unhappy it makes us. Curmudgeons sacrifice the happiness of the self for the 
needs of the family because we’re not egotistical or narcissistic.

Some Deepak Chopra Zen master schmuck will tell you that you have to be 
happy in life or that you should continually strive to find greater levels of 
happiness. That works for some, but if you’re a family man then you have 
the responsibility to provide for those you love and that's it. If you're not happy 
but you’re providing a good life then suck it up, cupcake.

My soul dies a little each day at work, but I provide a comfortable living for 
my family therefore I will be its punching bag and shut up and take it. Some 
days I hate what I’ve become but then I step through the doors of my house 
and it’s all washed away. Coming home from a day on the job is like finishing 
a hard ass gym workout. It sucked, but in the end it’s satisfying to know my 
sacrifice had a purpose and my good health means I will live to work another 
day and my family will be good to go a little longer. Men are wired to provide, 
even if it’s just for ourselves, and when anything threatens our ability to do that 
we freak out just a little bit.

On the grand scale of things happiness is a want, not a need. We need to provide. 
We want to be happy but if we're not happy, but we're providing then that's a form 
of happiness in itself or at the very least a form of satisfaction. I may not fit some 
liberal’s view of happy but I’m content and that’s good enough for me. 

Don’t agree? Quit your crappy job just to spite me. It’s not easy is it? Show me a 
job that pays as much as I'm making now that I can enjoy and then I'll listen to your 
"don't work in a job you hate" argument. Otherwise leave me alone. I have a family 
to provide for.

Where to purchase Curmudgeonism

Amazon - Kindle
Amazon - Paperback
B&N Nook

The Author
Kelly Crigger is an angry troll who lives under a bridge, eats goats that wander past, and throws their bones into the canyon of despair.
Kelly's Twitter / Facebook  / Goodreads

Follow the entire Curmudgeonsim Tour HERE

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