What Mid-Life Crisis?

There is a bit of a wave in the blogosphere right now about mid-life bloggers.  As time goes on I will be filling you in on more and more of the details of this "mid-life wave" in cyberspace.  It is interesting to me though that there are people out there from the age of 30-70 who all consider themselves in mid-life.  Also, that there is such diversity among them as far as their interests and issues.  I have tried to check out some of their writings and it varies from the care-taking of elderly parents, raising kids, dealing with marriages and divorces, relationships, friendships, career decisions, women issues … and everything else under the sun.

Personally, I am trying to figure out what I want in life.  I have spent two years of my life trying to recover from the car accident.  For the first year and a half I just longed to get my life back.  Now I no longer think of getting my life back because I know my life will never be the same.  That was a shocking realization.  I personally am not the same person I was before.  The accident, I have realized, has changed me in irrevocable ways.  My friendships are not the same, my life is not the same, and I am now in a completely different stage of mothering as my eldest child has left for college and my second oldest will follow suit in another year.  Maybe I would be having a mid-life crisis regardless, but I believe mine was prompted by the accident.  It was like a major earthquake in my life and the aftershocks keep coming.

As I talk with my friends (male and female) that are around my age, it seems like many of them are going through various versions of mid-life angst.  Some are facing empty nests, some are questioning their careers or their marriages.  Not many seem very happy.  But I find it very interesting how they each choose to deal with it.  Everyone seems to be trying to muddle their way through these years and do the best they can with it.  Sometimes I feel like an outsider looking in … observing with an immense amount of curiosity. 

Just in the last few weeks I have listened to the story of a wife who was vacationing with her husband out of the country.  She borrowed his cell phone to call home and check on the kids only to see the "missed calls" from his girlfriend.  Marriage over.  A girlfriend of mine confessed to me that she and her husband only have sex on his birthday and their anniversary.  I don’t think I wanted to know that.  (And what about her birthday?  No fair!)  Another has made it clear that she and her husband are "only roommates".  Why stay married?  One is going through incredible teenage issues and stress with one of her kids.  Another is stressed out and not sleeping because she is trying to deal with elderly parents that need more care than she can provide. 

I never expected this type of thing to be going on in all of our lives.  I always thought that only men have mid-life crises.  Now I wonder if maybe the women have their mid-life crisis first which then prompts the men to have theirs?  One night I was out for a "girl’s night out" and ran into a girlfriend of mine who is divorced.  As I stood talking to her a slimy man with a toupee, long gold chains, and clothes that he should have left behind decades ago "accidentally" rubbed up against me and slurred, "It’s OK, don’t move BABY – just excuse me Darlin’!"  I nearly gagged – he was disgusting.  My girlfriend looked at me and said, "That just proves what I was saying … it is VERY SLIM PICKIN’S out here in the single world!"  But I wonder why she keeps looking for Mr. Right in a bar?  And I don’t mean that to be judgmental .. but when I think of bars, I think of that man. 

I don’t pretend to have any answers.  I do know, however, that no one ever prepared most of us, in the least, for this stage of our lives.  I try to keep a sense of humor about it, but it is a confusing time of life.  When I need a smile I think back to when a friend’s husband bought a Porsche for his 45th birthday.  She commented how relieved she was that he bought the car instead of getting a girlfriend.  Another friend quipped back, "Well, he bought the car so he could GET a girlfriend."   

               

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