Midlife crisis? But I’m not… oh fuck

dbe02bc194a8af59659c70c4466378e2412209fa6e94806369f84b5212b12813I did the math

The other day.

I was assuring myself of

The vast stretches of time

I have left to

Accomplish all the things I’ve

Set out for myself,

And I was thinking,

Why,

I’m not even

Middle-aged yet.

I have plenty of time.

But then I thought,

Wait a minute.

If an “age” is,

Say,

Ten years,

And the actuarial tables say I’ll live to 86.

The range of me being

Middle-aged is about

38 to 48.

And I’m 38.

Also,

I used a cat meme

As the photo for this blog post.

Oh my God.

I’m

Middle

Aged.

I was talking to

My friend the other day

About how I was

Regretting old,

Highly impactful decisions,

Panicking that I might not

Accomplish everything I mean to,

Feeling envious of friends

Who seemingly have

More more more

Than me.

“Sounds like you’re

Having a midlife crisis,”

She observed.

Huh.

It’s true.

I have been ruminating on

Decisions I made at

18,

21,

25,

27

Which at the time

Looked like little adjustments but

Which sent me off in the most

Head-scratching trajectories.

I can see it now:

The decisions I made that were most

Impactful of my life

Were made

Completely impulsively.

On a whim.

Just because.

Or even out of spite.

My trajectory has been a

Bizarro one,

Leaving in its wake

A couple of unpublished novels,

An international co-parenting arrangement,

Membership in a recovery program

And a resume that takes longer to

Explain than to read.

I heard someone recently read

Robert Frost’s

“The Road Less Travelled”

And I was swooning until

I realized mine is the

Road Never Travelled.

I bushwacked my way into such a

Heart of darkness

Of life experience that I could

Barely find my way out

(Once I’d sobered up enough to

Get myself turned back around.)

And I know I sound insufferable.

The saddest part about a

Midlife crisis is

You just sound so whiny and

Narcissistic.

But the most painful part

Has been this new

Envy.

Watching other people

Blast off in a

Straight line toward

More money,

Bigger houses,

Better careers–

Or at least it looks that way in

Facebook-land.

The envy is

Literally

Physically

Painful.

It hurts

In my chest and my gut.

And it puts up walls between

Me and people I care about.

It has helped,

Though,

To just acknowledge what’s

Going on.

Oh.

I’m having a midlife crisis

Because I’m middle-aged.

I keep thinking of the

Motto for G.I. Joe

(Which my brother and I used to play

Three decades ago (!)):

“Knowing is

Half the battle.”

Just a little reductive,

But it’s true.

Knowing is truth.

I’m in this

Perfect storm of

Wisdom and experience

Shelf-clouding against my old naivity

With lightning strikes of

Overwrought survival instinct.

Ergo,

I’m having a mid-life crisis.

I don’t know much

(That’s part of the whole

Wisdom piece)

But I do know that what I’m

Freaking out about–

Stuff and money–

They’re

Not

The

Answer.

I’m pretty sure I know why

I was put on this earth:

To create kids and books and friends,

And sidle up a little closer to the

Force that made me.

These days,

My decision-making is much easier:

Will it help my kids and friends

And help me write books and

Get me closer to my higher power?

If not,

Then no thanks.

Simple.

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