Mid-Life

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.

One thought on “Mid-Life

  1. I ran away from Georgia to Louisville. It’s been 10 years and I now realize that running off to see if there was more to “life” out there was a really big mistake, I yearn for home but there is no place left for me back there. It really makes me sad that I cannot be with my grandchild. I advise any woman who thinks of acting on impulse and run away, don’t go far and don’t burn any bridge. At all. I really enjoy your column and never miss it.

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