Welcome to Your Midlife Crisis

I took a week off of blogging. The time away felt self-indulgent and risky as if once I opened up the possibility of not writing for one week, that would lead down a slippery slope. I didn’t do much during that time except worry. Worry about more preparation for the upcoming teaching year, my child’s upcoming school year, the health of relatives, a possible trip abroad with the girls next summer, two separate ongoing language lessons for myself, and other things that don’t qualify UNTIL you put them on a list—so I won’t.

You may have felt this too, the accumulation of worries that, if left unchecked and bolstered by frequent interruptions to your thought processes, manifest in a ball of torment that speaks out at unrelated, awkward instances. In other words, you are at risk of being angry at someone who did little more than forget to check the dishwasher before putting their dirty dish in the sink.

I’m not bashful about the fact that I might be going through a midlife crisis. During the day I feel tired yet restless; overly ambitious and impatient at the same time. In my short research on the subject, I tried to find advice on how people mitigate symptoms of such an event but really all I came across was identifiers that I couldn’t identify with.

I was reading an article in Woman’s Day about the “13 Signs You’re Having a Midlife Crisis” and I couldn’t disagree more with their assessment.

Here are some of the highlights with attached personal thoughts:

  • You’ll ask yourself deep, probing questions (where did my husband hide the chocolate-covered almonds?!)
  • You’ve lost interest in sex (if by “interest in” you mean “time for” then yes)
  • You can’t sleep through the night (I sure could…but my four year old can’t)
  • Your vision of your future is dismal (it’s packed. I’ve got plans on top of plans)
  • You’re constantly bored (oh, to have time enough to be bored…)
  • You have an overwhelming sense of loss (of time…and sex)
  • You either become overly concerned with your appearance (item 8) or you stop caring about your appearance completely (item 9) (I should probably care more but I could honestly care less)
  • You think of yourself as an old person (only when my students lowball it on guessing my age)
  • You think the best years are behind you (Heavens no!)

That ruins 10/13 of the list items for you. Click on the title above for the link to the rest. It’s possible this list is made for women who are experiencing the loss of their children going off to college, for those women who have used all their time and energy to see to their children’s interests but I don’t know too many mothers who identify with that even if they have children in college. Instead, the articles seem to be suited to the male gender but has been superimposed on that of the female or it is geared towards a generation or niche of people that my friends and I don’t belong to. I couldn’t tell you which.

What? I can’t do both?

There is, admittedly, a feeling that I am missing out but it is unclear if that is general FOMO or something highly personal. On that same page, having friends who either have no children or who have children who are much older than mine makes it difficult to get together and so our pre-baby social circle has become inactive.

What I am seriously suffering from is wanderlust. I want to learn languages and live elsewhere. I want my children to experience some other place in the hopes that they will be more open to other cultures and other ways of thinking. It feels depressing that I only have four more decades at most in which to travel and experience different places all while trying to hold down a steady job, build a retirement account, and stay close to family.

Aesthetically, I’m slowly adapting as every time I look in the mirror, my eyes seem smaller and narrower. Perhaps eventually I won’t be able to see their progression into aging oblivion and then it won’t matter. On the plus side, my ears and nose are getting larger which I will delude myself into believing that the development should lend itself to new heights as far as those senses go. I’ve also noticed that many of my friends and I are slowly growing those bat wings (Relief Society wings) that come with what? Muscle depletion after not having to pick up and carry toddlers anymore? Not having time for a gym membership? I’m not sure.

What do you think? Does your life fit the mold of a the traditional midlife crisis? What does your “crisis” look like?

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