While in the shower (my best thoughts usually come upon me either in the shower or on the throne) a realization that I was getting old hit me. It wasn’t the gentle wake up nudge your significant-other gives you to welcome you into a new day but the massive blow of a 30 lb. sledgehammer dead center in the noggin. 40 something! Wasn’t that the name of a TV show a few years back? I remember refusing to watch it, thinking, How boring! Who is going to watch a program about some people going through their mid-life crisis? Curiously, I really want to know what they went through now.
I’m a technical kind of guy. Whenever possible, I seek out a manual or a reference book to guide me to the next step. Am I doing this right? Have I taken all the right steps with my family, my career or spiritual life(just in case a Supreme Being exists). Am I really so lost as to have to rely on a TV program thought up by the Hollywood crowd? The same crowd that lives in a bubble and believes that they know what the lower and middle class person thinks and wants. They are as distant from the truth of the average Joe(and Jane, to be politically correct) as all our self-serving and self-tooting politicians. I must really be lost, then.
How did my parents do it? They seem to be okay. Though she does gripe all the time and he is showing signs of Alzheimer’s (maybe that’s his defense mechanism against her and he is only faking it.) I don’t know, we are two decades apart and I am experiencing a different political and social climate then they did. Besides, I am too young to go with the Alzheimer’s thing. How about my friends? Naw, they look as confused in their journeys as I am in mine right now.
If I were to die right now would I leave content? In some aspects I would, in others I wouldn’t. I have been lucky enough to see a good part of the world (it is true you can see the world when you join the military). I have been able to see many cultures and experienced many local Montezuma’s revenges. So, in that aspect I feel fulfilled but in the aspect that deals with my family life, there are still too many big red X’s. How are my wife and two young ones going to survive without my income? I don’t own a business that will carry on if I were to disappear.(I make my living the good old fashioned way by using my hands.) And yes, I do have life insurance. Though like the average person, not enough. Very expensive to maintain and then wasted when I don’t die before the age of 65. And other methods such as: disability insurance and annuities, forget it: Too expensive. I can barely afford health insurance (and they just raised my rates again!). So no, I am not ready to kick the bucket. My wife would kill me if I did. But do I really need to have a million or two in the bank to stabilize my family? Life does go on you know. Somehow, people pull through; life altering experiences expected though.
How about leaving my mark on society? Nope, that doesn’t bother me. Not everyone can be a world class athlete or a Nobel laureate. I don’t feel like I need a plaque on my wall or to be a topic in an encyclopedia to fulfill me. It would be nice, but definitely not a driving force in my being.
So why am I even worried about it? Is it going to make any difference? Probably not. I am going to wake up one day and truly feel like this mid-life crisis was all for nothing and that it was just someone’s cruel joke on an already stressed out, overworked, and under insured average Joe. But, if sometime in the future you happened to see me driving a Corvette or a Porsche it’s not that I am still having my midlife crisis. It’s just that I have always wanted to buy a sleek little sports car with enough power to rip the tires to shreds on a single slam of the accelerator but never had the money to buy it until then.
Farewell my friends and have a good life. And for the record, I am 36 right now. I guess I peaked early.