I'm still hanging out while I wait for my sex toy gift basket to arrive. I suppose you'll want to hear about it when it arrives? What happens if I can't figure out what something is used for, will you explain it to me?
I've talked a lot about male/female relationships and sex on this site. Maybe it's because I'm now i
n my forties twenty four, but it seems like just about everyone I know is dealing with stuff lately. I have a wide age-range of friends, but regardless of age it seems they all are delving into issues lately. I listen to them, and I bring a lot of those issues right here to Twenty Four At Heart for discussion.
The term "midlife crisis" seems to come up on a weekly basis with friends from the ages of 35-65. I'll be honest, it's freaking me out a little bit. I've had two close friends tell me they're getting divorced in the last week. I'm waiting for Briefcase to come home from a business trip with an 18 year old, skanky ho girlfriend any day now. I'm looking myself in the mirror and wondering how much do I really like the Fed-Ex man's package? (Let's be honest, it's been looking pretty good!)
Lately, life is just getting a little weird.
For awhile I contributed my own sense of
insanity confusion to my car accident. I've always been a strong, independent woman. I was the one who got everything done for everybody else, always. In one car-shattering instant I lost my independence, my sense of self, and (not trying to be too dramatic) my very sense of who I am.
Fortunately, every day that goes by I feel a little bit better not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. I'm getting my life back together day by day, and although it will never be the same life, I'm trying to make it a good life. I've noticed, however, that as I rebuild my life, the lives of many friends seem to be falling apart.
I have a friend whose husband has become impotent. They haven't had sex in over a year. I might re-gift a toy from my sex toy gift basket to her. I have another friend going through menopause and her husband has discovered Viagra. Viagra meets menopause equals a lot of problems.
As I mentioned before, two of my friends have announced divorces in the last week alone. One because the wife "needs to find herself" (she's in her mid-thirties) and the second because she walked in on her husband having an affair. Divorced friends tell me they've "given up" on the idea of ever getting married again, but miss "companionship."
I've seen my "empty nester" friends delve into a flurry of activities. Yoga, tennis, volunteer work, far-reaching searches for spirituality, and other assorted activities. I've seen some become "hover" parents as they attempt to stay intimately involved in their children's lives rather than cut the apron strings when the kids move out to begin their own lives. Sometimes I wonder, what exactly, is going on with everyone?
The other day one of my friends said it would be so nice if she could have a shrink just move in to her guest room and only come out when needed.
"I don't need therapy," she said. "I just need occasional advice."
I stopped in my tracks. And then I laughed. A few months ago I was asked by a publisher to review a book titled Occasional Therapy For Your Midlife Years by Dr. Ellyn Gamberg
. I had decided to pass on the offer. I thought the book was very worthwhile, but I wasn't sure it would be an appropriate book to share here. My friend's comment changed my mind. This is not a book for my younger readers (I love you younger readers!). However, if you're 35-65 it's a good investment.
Not every issue in the book will pertain to every person. However, I honestly think every person will find at least one or two issues in this book that they can relate to. Sometimes it can just make you feel better to know other people are also dealing with similar issues. Dr. Gamberg touches on the following:
Maintaining your youth (ooh baby – that's me!)
The empty nest (that isn't me yet, but sigh – I'll cry when it is.)
Becoming an in-law or grandparent (I'll kill my teens if this happens anytime soon. I might even put condoms in their stockings this Christmas!)
Caring for an aging parent (My heart goes out to those of you dealing with this.)
Declining marital satisfaction (Sex toys, anyone?!)
Finding a new meaning and purpose in your life (This is me! What do I do now with my life? I've only got one working arm.)
Did you know that Dr. Gamberg says people ending long-term marriages after the age of fifty are one of the fastest growing demographics for divorce? I'm in my forties, is that what I have to look forward to? I think it just goes to show this mid-life crisis stuff needs to be taken very seriously.
If your feeling lost, confused, in need of sex toys or a new partner … this may be just the book to help you feel more grounded.
Personally, I'm starting to feel like an entire body lift is maybe not such a bad idea. (That would be the maintaining youth category!) I'm also trying to sort out what I want to be when I grow up. (Finding a meaning and purpose in my life.) Do you feel like you're dealing with any of these issues? Which ones?