Once again I find myself addressing the void, the lack of posts, the unspoken pieces.
There has been a lot of activity in the last year or so; so much to excuse the silence. A lot of accomplishments, a lot of hard work, a lot of necessary doings – and a lot of deep thinking.
We often hear about mid-life crises – those defining moments when a person in their advancing years puts in a hearty attempt to stop the clock, to return to their youth in defiance of the advance. I’ve witnessed this phenom, multiple times. I’ve also dabbled with it off and on myself, when surrounded by youthful coworkers.
I’ve decided, however, that this is a thinly woven cover-up for the reality of mid-life.
Reality? Mid-life is a crisis, a crux – a very poignant step where you find yourself staring at hard truths.
Who am I under all of this detritus? Now that I’ve forged a path, albeit paved with a mish-mash variety of materials that ramble hither and thither with only the thread of staid peoples flowing constantly through, I stand at this juncture looking around and find… myself. That’s not what I went looking for long ago – in fact, I can assure you that I was actually running furiously from self. Surprise! And the best part? I like me. Who-da-thunk?
What are my priorities? Having accomplished minimal security, in the paid-off home and accouterments, I am now free to look around and find that family is once again at the top of the list. Except that I find myself pulled in both directions – toward adult children and their families and toward my remaining parent in his advanced years. I’ve been in similar circumstance, while raising the children and caring for my handicapped mother. But I had the understated stake on youth at that point, and was able to keep multiple plates spinning with nary a drop.
Where do we go from here? Youth is gone. There’s no recapture of the strength and stamina – and we will simply ignore the elephant in the room, ol’ beauty and the beast who now peers back from the glass. The priorities are going to take a toll on us, that’s just a fact we’ll have to accept – and we’re not yet in a position to leave the work world, to free up time to better fit all of the pieces.
So my synopsis is that a mid-life crisis is not as we’ve always presumed. Truly, it’s a point in life where we find ourselves split in three directions, filling three positions, nurturing three households. We are the crux, the point between the past and the future.
Our goal? To persevere. And to do it well enough that our future selves may look back with fond memories, and peer out to see no longer ourselves, but the results of our hard work, our future generations.