The other day I was walking in from taking the kids to school and as I opened the door and crossed over the threshold, I felt a weird sensation, like a deja-vu. It felt like a mix of been- there-done-that; dread; and fatigue. But then I realized it wasn’t really a deja-vu. It wasn’t nearly that cool. Instead, I actually had lived that mundane scene over and over, every weekday morning. It was life imitating art: a sense of “Groundhog Day” in real life.
The movie is superb; the feeling that you are reliving your days over and over, not so much. Groundhog Day-itis, I assert, is an unfortunate, soul-killing symptom of the Midlife Crisis.
The Midlife Crisis must happen to every one of us. I think we all have our own version; regrettably, some of us turn into clichés and buy a sports car/toupee/plastic surgery/mistress/boytoy. Some of us claim we didn’t have one, but I’m not buying it. A Midlife Crisis is as natural of a stage of personal development as walking and talking.
When you get to midlife, you realize that there are many things you haven’t had the time, money, motivation and/or balls to do yet. You get up, “I’ve got you babe” playing on the clock radio, go to work, take the kids to activities, cook dinner, put kids to bed, watch tv, go to bed. Then you do it again the next day, same order, with very few changes.
When I get that Groundhog Day feeling, I have to shake it off and shake it up. I like some loose structure to my day, with lots of opportunities to fill in the blanks as I go. Some might call it ADD, and some might be right. I like to call it soul preservation.
I found this quote from JFK today: “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” -www.goodreads.com
He may have been speaking of bigger events than my midlife crisis, but I see a connection nonetheless. I’m going to make my midlife crisis mine. I won’t deny it. I won’t ignore it. I’ll allow myself to be stupid (like the night of drinking and dancing and the scary old married man buying drinks for my group of mom friends), but I’m not going to do anything BIG stupid. I’m not too cool to have a midlife crisis. I won’t be a cliche…I’ll do my midlife crisis my way.
So what have I done? I’ve gone back to school with a bunch of 19 year olds. It’s gotten me out of my comfort zone and it hasn’t been easy, but it’s been great for me. School is a WONDERFUL place to spend a midlife crisis, and it’s way better than plastic surgery or a pool boy.
What haven’t you done that you’ve always wanted to do? If you can’t do it now, then start researching it. When the time is right, you’ll be ready.
It doesn’t have to just be a scary, dangerous time. It can also be an opportunity to better yourself.
Take care of yourselves and each other,