You read all the time about men and their mid-life crisis. They either buy a sports car or run off with a younger woman in an effort to feel again. Before I get berated by a bunch of men, I realize that might be stereotypical of what the typical population of men do. Let’s be honest, men have always been the focal point when it comes to mid-life experiences. Women experience it, we just might be silent sufferers.
I think I am in the clutches of one as we speak. There is a feeling of “what the hell have I done with my life” sprinkled with “is this all there is”. I am not depressed, but I am contemplating what comes next. I think with the transition of one child leaving for college, pondering what happens next for our special needs son, Brian losing his job, and being a caregiver for my not-so-easy aging mother, there is a question of where I fit.
I felt the shift come late October last year. The nudge of unhappiness that blanketed me. Maybe that is why I decided to jump start a nutritional program and make a commitment to finish my book. I have friends who are open about this mid-life black hole. We nod in agreement as we share with each other. There is vulnerability in the raw honesty and comforting to know that I am not the only one experiencing it. There is no weakness in admitting that life is changing and we are having a rough time embracing it. In fact, it is courageous and noble.
We have spent too many years suffering in silence. My upbringing dictates that I shouldn’t air my dirty laundry. That presenting a “pretty picture” to the outside world is essential. I call bullshit. My life isn’t perfect. There is no pretense. No facade. It is messy, unpredictable, and many times completely unmanageable. If that makes me weak because I am honest about it, then so be it.
So, I trudge forward and honor where I am residing. I am gaining traction as I finish the first draft of my book, watch my body transform, and get a little proud of how I am navigating all the changes in my life. Maybe this mid-life excursion is exactly what I needed to propel me forward. All I know is that I am not alone in the journey.