I’ll admit it. I’m in the throes of a midlife crisis. Something happened when I turned 40 last month. I looked at my life and while I love it, I thought “technically it’s halftime in the Superbowl of life!”
While I love my life, feel very blessed to be where I am and am grateful for all that has been given to me thus far, a wave of urgency has rushed over me. I have the need to cram all that I want to do in the time I have left, because for all I know … it actually could be *more* than half over because life has taught me that tomorrow is never guaranteed. So, I daydream about doing wild and slightly unstable things now that I’ve hit this magic number.
I want to quit my job and travel the world.
I want to hang out at frat parties and return to a simpler time in life when the most controversial debate I engaged in was which coast has better rappers.
I want to drive across country meeting strangers and drink unhealthy amounts of alcohol at fancy parties.
I want to skydive, ride a motorcycle and get arrested engaging in a peaceful protest for a cause I believe in.
All of these daydreams sound like an exciting way to get back in touch with my inner youth to make me feel young, vibrant and alive. But, then, reality strike. The lack of funds, the desire to maintain a clean arrest record and the fear of actually dying all take affect.
So, I’ve been led to a very watered-down version of what I *want* to do and what I *actually* do. Here are a few insights from the mom in the midlife crisis.
What I want to do: Leave my family, start over and see what it is like to begin life with a clean slate and hit the dating scene.
What I actually do: Have my single friends over and play with their Tinder accounts like a adult version of a video game. I then realize dating and relationships are really hard, especially in the age of social media. I become grateful for my husband and kids and drink a glass of wine and go to bed.
What I want to do: Hit the party scene, whether it be a frat party or nightclub. I want to wear a cute dress, drink a lot of alcohol, and dance like nobody’s watching.
What I actually do: I put on jeans and a black shirt, go out with some girlfriends, drink enough to feel good but not enough where I can’t function in the morning because while I want to sleep in, the kids will be up by 5:30. My inner sorority party girl is disappointed in my inability to party like a rock star because she has been silenced by her more logical (and older) self. Poor thing, she was so much fun.
What I want to do: Travel to a new and exotic place where I stay in an off-the-grid seaside bungalow where I hike among the wild animals, ride an elephant, lay on the beach soaking in some much needed Vitamin D while be served mid-day cocktails by a shirtless cabana boy.
What I actually do: Wait for the school year to end. Pack up the kids in my SUV. We drive 15 hours up the east coast to crash with family members in my hometown. We eat unhealthy food, have visits that are frantic and rushed as we try to catch up with life with everyone from my hometown. Tara Reid, no matter how hard I try, I will never be you.
So, for other moms who are in the throws of the midlife crisis. Dream those dreams, have those fantasies pursue those goals. We may not get there, but sometimes, the watered-down version is just what we need.
If you could do one thing right now with reckless abandon … what would it be?