My 18 year old daughter posted this 2 days ago. I initially had a worried, nervous, practically maniacal response to this. Not only because I have been watching those around me, leap, run, crawl toward, and flee from this very real status recently, but because I have been poking and picking at my own mid-life review process of late. I wanted to immediately explain this was not a good goal or ambition. People's lives are turned up-side down by this life stage. This was not something to joke about, or post. Men have been advanced in this domain, but my God, women are going for it with the same reckless abandon in spades!
I breathed through it. I did not hit the comment button. I decided to give it more thought. I attempted to see it through her eyes. Buying a fast sportscar, staying out for all hours, looking for an attractive, interested diversion to the daily grind, making plans to travel without thought of anyone else's needs or plans, ending a relationship that has gone sour, dressing like you're 16 again....and not having concerns that you look old and foolish. Ok these all seem pretty appealing well, most. I don't have to tell her anything. There is no need to impart great wisdom or fear in her. Truth is, I might title this blog "Woman in Control", but I don't always maintain control. I posted something to the snarky effect of "Oh, act like a selfish adolescent, I get it."
I recently bought new living room furniture. It was an "I'm getting new living room furniture, damn it" moment. The old set was ten years old. It wasn't very comfortable and I was tired of avoiding the living room. I decided to order the furniture and shared the news after the fact. I did offer to send it back if my husband didn't like it, but it was a bold move for me just the same. I told my daughter it was my mid-life crisis act. Purchased with abandon. A little pathetic on the mid-life crisis scale. But I've never really fit in or followed the crowd, I generally don't know where the crowd gets the directions from and so I just avoid the crowd. Anyway, my daughter brought home a friend and said, "Do you like my Mom's mid-life crisis furniture?" I felt a tad embarrassed. As though we switched roles and she was sharing dumb things I said with her friends as if it was funny to report to others the dumb things I say. I guess I was feeling like an adolescent. (It would be different if the furniture was commissioned from Maarten Baas, but noooo it's big, soft, paisley JCPenney eye candy.)
I do get some of the appeal of the usual mid-life crisis distractions but I prefer to conduct myself with some of that afore mentioned control just the same. I wish that I got to this stage and everything was in order. My friendships strong yet relaxed. My marriage, always a safe port to come home to, with just the right amount of mystique and intrigue, I wish I had relaxed a bit more all the way through, especially during the times I took things so seriously and worked myself into a tizzy. Thinking my convictions so important and necessary to enact change, has made me a little tired. I wish I hadn't exerted so much energy on problems that weren't so important and would have settled easier had I not kept at them. Maybe it would have really been ok if my children took a day off from school just once for pleasure. I kinda think we would have survived that. And the bedroom cleaning might have been taken more seriously if I wasn't engaged in the -standing in the middle of them, screaming with my hair on fire and the pea soup projectile vomit routine. Who could relate that to making your bed or picking up laundry?
This is my mid-life review. Crisis is ever so dramatic. I prefer to review what's working and what's not. I want to make some changes in myself and be ok with that, and maybe change again if it doesn't quite fit or feel right. I have slowly been realizing, I can't really do a lick of change to those around me. That really gives me a lot more time to focus on my own needs and desires. (Ha! A mid life mini moment! Attend to myself!) I don't currently have the urge to buy a fast car. I do want to go out dancing, even if I look foolish. I want to spend time with my husband and behave a bit like adolescents, dorky and with abandon. Oh I mean, really cool, phat, and amped. I def want to move my badonkadonk on the ba dancefloor. And if someone gave me the keys to a Dodge Viper, I would sooooo drive away in it. But I would come back and curl up on my new couch and maybe read a book, or call a friend, or smile at my husband, just to keep him guessing.
Oh and by the way, my daughter was having a conversation with some friends when one shared, "I'm having a mid-life crisis." She scoffed at him and informed him that he couldn't be having a mid-life crisis, he was only 19. To which he questioned- "How do you know this isn't the middle of my life? I don't know how long I'm going to live. I need to make some changes. " So they got to talking about it....great idea really- make changes, grow, repair. Do it all along the way. Don't wait until it has turning-lives-upside-down crisis stamped all over it and you end up squeezing your big old badonkadonk into a little bitty Viper looking not so much like Demi Moore as you might like to hope.