Anyone who has met me is aware that I'm careering towards later life at a frightening pace. Luckily in the programming world you can surround yourself with younger people and that's a blessing. Most of my competitors and colleagues are in their 30s and that's a very interesting age.
But first some Maths to set the scene....
I love my job and don't want to change, I have been doing this type of thing since I was aged 18, I don't aim to retire but if I did it would be about aged 65-70.
That means I have a career doing something I love for about 100,000 hours if I can keep programming.
To program productively my mind has to be in a good place (i.e. stress, anger, worry, sadness all adversely affect me).
Therefore to have a productive life I have to be free of these negative things for as much of those 100k hours as possible.
I don't think any of the above is that controversial.
Something I have observed in myself and others...
In your 20s you are indestructible and you can work as many hours as is possible. Hours worked often equated to success.
In your 30s it is much the same except you'll probably start to accrue family commitments, mortgages etc
As you cross from 30s/40s your body and mind will change, in short you will no longer be indestructible. If you carry on using hours as your measure of commitment and success you will crash (I did in a small way as described here).
My observation is that this age is a cluster for mental issues, health issues, life changes. So here is a bit more maths...
That's only 40,000 hours into the 100,000 hours!
I've also observed that this seems common across all creative professions. We love the creative process a bit too much to be healthy.
What advice can I give as someone who has gone through this and is observing friends and colleagues going through the same...
Edit your life - Delete negatives, this could include "Friends", Family, Customers, Bosses (non-violently please).