Midlife crisis.


Ugh. What a ridiculous phrase: “Midlife crisis.” Makes me think of overweight balding men who try to pick up philosophy majors in urban bars.  Makes me think of menopausal women who take up tennis just so they can flirt with the pro.  Yuck.  Puts me in mind of bad B movies.

But then again.

Maybe a true midlife crisis is being a fifty five year old woman who looks at toddlers with such longing that they shrink back and hide behind their mothers’ knees. Maybe it means the realization that the new mommies don’t instinctively hand over their babies for me to hold during staff meetings, safe in the knowledge that I know what I am doing.

It could be a real mid-life crisis when you notice that most of your colleagues are going on an adventure for the weekend without even mentioning it to you.  Even when you know that you probably wouldn’t have gone with them, it hurts to know that no one even thought to include you.  This could, in fact, constitute a crisis.

Maybe the term “midlife crisis” really means: “Now what do I do?”   Maybe it means that the old familiar roles are no longer there, and it is time to find a new one.  Perhaps the idea of “midlife” really reflects the realization that you are perched at the top of the hill; you can see to the horizon in all directions, but every path leads downhill.

I wonder if those who manage this phase easily are the ones who appreciate all of the pressures that have come off.  I no longer have to strive to be discovered as a soul singer!  I can let go of that daydream of being a millionaire by the age of 30 (or 40! or 50!)  It is time to let my waistline go just a bit, and indulge in homemade bread, especially now that I understand that I will NOT be running a petite patisserie in France.

I wonder if the nature of the “crisis” for the rest of us lies in the fact that we still, in the darkest hours of the night, dream of Paris, and romance and beauty and fame.

And so, I find myself in the midst of a “midlife crisis”.  I am ready to embrace the thickened waist and the tasty bread, but I am not ready to give up the dreams.

Bring on the philosophy majors.

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