When my husband hit forty he had some issues to contend with. He plays hockey, which is a physically demanding and aggressive sport, and his game style involved running around fast and madly. The subsequent back problems severely hampered his style. We had three young children to deal with and he was ageing and slowing down. I was coping with the changes in our lives but only just. I needed his support.
His mid life crisis was a challenge to deal with, but was so predictable I could weather the storm. With chiropractors, physiotherapists, a drinking trip (sorry, hockey tour) to Holland and encouragement to go out and socialise with work and sports colleagues he made it through without demanding a sports car or a divorce. I licked my wounds and moved on; I do carry a few scars.
Hey, I thought I was above all that. Apparently not. It struck me at the weekend that I have hit my own mid life crisis, at a later stage but with an impact that is equally disruptive and predictable. I do so hate being predictable.
I posted a status update on Facebook asking why this situation was amusing me. An old friend turned it back on me and that hit home. Yes, I am wondering why I am amused at this epiphany, but is that a part of what is going on? Is my amusement more hysterical than amusing? Perhaps there is a little madness going down.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the changes life demands of us are not always accomplished with smooth transitions. I think that I rely too much on being in control.
In many ways I am finding this quite exciting. It reminds me of my younger days when I took risks and tried stuff just to see what it was like. I guess that is the predictable bit; I am torn between wanting to cast off the shackles of responsibility and that little voice inside that is warning me not to be an eejit.
Does everyone feel so aware when they are going through this phase? When I have observed it from the outside it has always looked so childish and pitiable. From where I am now it feels empowering. Perhaps that is what worries me most.
Am I an aged fool or a freedom fighter?