Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pardon me while I have my midlife crisis . . .

OK, I've been going through my midlife crisis for a couple months now. But it took me until the last week or so to realize that is what I'm going through. When I hear the words "midlife crisis", I imagine a 50 year old balding, pudgy, male who goes out and buys a sports car or a boat to make himself feel young again. I'm not 50 (yet), balding, or male (I am, shall we say, fluffy though) and I haven't purchased a car or a boat recently (I wouldn't mind a boat though. Something to do a little fishing, a little water skiing . . . but I digress . . . )

I'm 43. Turning 40 didn't really seem like that big of deal. It had seemed like I'd been in my 30s forever, and so I guess I just sort of expected that 40 would eventually come. But when I turned 40, it made me unique within my group of friends. When I turned 40, not one of my local friends was in their 40s. Most of them were in their early to mid 30s. A couple of them were still in their 20s.

I think that part of the fact that I didn't have my break down at 40 was that when I turned 40, Super was still 1 (well, he was 23 months, but he still technically wasn't 2 yet.) Flower was 6 (almost 7) and Jelly Bean was 4. My kids were young. My friends' kids were young.

But it has been 3.5 years now. Super is 5. He is not a baby. He is not a toddler. He is almost not a preschooler. And almost all of my friends have had more babies since I had Super. I think it is easier to not feel like you are getting older when you still are having babies. Well, maybe that is just me. For me, it was easier for me to feel like I was not getting older when I was still having babies.

And lately, there have been so many reminders of how old I am becoming. I was at the thrift store the other day (when am I not at a thrift store? LOL) and there was a Schwinn Varsity bicycle sitting there. I told Flower "That looks just like the bicycle that I saved up to get. I think it was 1980 when I got my bike." There was a man standing there and he said "Wow. So 30 years ago, huh?" Oh MY. I mean, it doesn't feel like yesterday that I got my bike, but 30 years? Seriously?

I graduated from high school 25 years ago. 25! Seriously????

Well, surely it hasn't been very long since I bought my first car. Uh, well, yea, it has. I bought it in 1990. 20 YEARS AGO.

I got married in 1995. That was 15 years ago. I remember when my PARENTS had their 15th wedding anniversary.

Well, at least it isn't that long since I had my first child. Just 10 years. 10??? How can that be possible?

And of course, it has been 5 since Super was born.

SIGH. Big SIGH.

Things have gone by so fast. And I just want things to start SLOWING down.

Or if that can't happen, and if I can't go back in time either, well, at least maybe I could feel settled about where I am right now.

A big Nope on that one too.

Unsettled is putting it mildly. I'm not where I imagined I would be in so many areas of my life. And so I stew. I reflect. I try and think about what I could be doing instead. And then sometimes, I feel sad about it. I try not to feel sad about all the time that has gone by. All the things that I could have done. All the paths I didn't take. All the choices that I didn't pick. But sometimes, I just can't help it.

I try to tell myself that just because I'm going through a different stage now that it doesn't mean it is bad. I try to tell myself that the best could be yet to come. I try to tell myself that just because things haven't really changed for me in the past few years, that that doesn't mean that there isn't lots of great still coming up. I try to tell myself that it is up to me to change. It is up to me to start trying new things. Picking new paths. Exploring things, choices that I didn't have the opportunity to do when I was younger. When the kids were younger. But sometimes, I can't make myself. Honestly, it is more than sometimes that I can't.

So here I am. A 43 year old woman who spends way too much of her time reflecting on her past, present and future. And probably not nearly enough time accepting what was and changing what could be.

You know, maybe I'll just buy that boat and that will solve all my problems.

3 comments:

AFarCryFromNormal said...

Let's by that boat together and run away. That will solve EVERYTHING right! I wish I could wait a few years for my mid-life crisis but I think this 4......0 (if I space them far apart maybe it doesn't seem like the actual number, right?!) is hitting me in many ways that you stated. Every day I start my day choosing to accept my journey. Sometimes I manage to stay in that mode and sometimes it just flies out the window and I digress. Hang in there!!

Stacey said...

Pretty much my whole identity is wrapped in being a mother. A lot of the reason I had Beckett was because I was starting to feel "bored" and like I would stay "young" if I had another baby. I feel your pain on that one. Your job is to raise amazing, independent children and that is what you are doing. In the end (I think) is what counts the most. Yes, I live vicariously through my kids. Anyway...I think you are doing great!! Also...you are making a huge difference in the lives of all the kids you take of!!!

Mary said...

I feel this same way all the time -- it's Satan! Lisa likes it when I say that. How can we find the balance between relishing our kids and working on ourselves so that we can keep growing, too?