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Midlife Odyssey

February 15, 2009

Selma has given us another interesting prompt at Search Engine Stories this week. Check out her picture to see how you are inspired by “The Hill.”

Midlife Odyssey

Throughout my life, cartoons and jokes along with movies and self-help books led me to believe a crisis was imminent once I crossed over an imaginary line into mid-life. Supposedly the crisis would be the result of a great feeling of sadness and loss for not achieving my dreams. Obviously (since so much ado has been made about it) for many a crisis does occur as they search in all the wrong places to prolong their youth, fulfill their lost dreams or alleviate their discontentment. Too late, and many dollars lost, many discover a new red corvette, a face lift and belly tuck, and a fling with the neighbor’s spouse does not fill the emptiness midlife brings.

What I have discovered however is midlife is more of a time for reflection and reconciliation. I have now lived through my 40’s and most of my 50’s and I have to say my ignorance in pre-midlife protected  me from facing up to my responsibility for  my life. It was much easier to pretend I didn’t see what I saw, know what I knew, or feel what I felt. There was always someone else to blame for the trials and tribulations in my life: my parents, my childhood, my husband, my boss, the economy, or even the stars not lining up correctly . . . anybody, everybody, anything. Granted some events may have been beyond my control, but I did not make myself accept the responsibility for how I responded to what happened in my life. I allowed myself to be moved through life like a leaf in the wind – sometimes floating along on a soft breeze only to be rudely awakened by tornado-force gusts.

Midlife has been a time of transition for me. I am slowly moving away from being naïve enough to constantly strive to meet the expectations of everyone in my life – from my parents to my children to the community, hell, to even the damn lazy paperboy. I am gaining strength to believe in me and my values and to validate my needs and wants. Just yesterday, I met the paperboy at the top of the hill and told him if he wanted my continued business he would have to walk down the hill and put my paper inside the storm door instead of just hanging it on the gate. Hey, you have to start somewhere!

over-the-hill2

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2009 9:22 pm

    I really like that cartoon. Very true. LOL.

    You know, I take so much away from your writing. You are very good at reminding me what is important. I am also a little guilty of blaming external factors for what I see as my ‘bad luck.’ No matter what happens in my life there is nothing I cannot alter or change, I just have to be prepared to take that first step. Thank you, my dear Cricket, you are an inspiration!

  2. February 16, 2009 12:20 am

    This is excellent Cricket. I agree with Selma, you writing always leaves me with much to ponder. I have regrets in my life too but at the same time, I am learning (slowly) to love myself more as time goes on and not to worry about what other people necessarily think. I guess that’s called maturity. In my case, better late than never LOL.

    Hugs, G

  3. February 17, 2009 5:30 am

    Great, reflective post. And I love the cartoon.

  4. February 17, 2009 11:43 am

    Well the cartoon- I don’t like it mostly because it appears to be very true. I’m 45 for godsake! When did that happen?? Time is flying suddenly. Imagine the year when you were 9 years old, it must have been the longest year in history.

    Anyway, back to the issue at hand, yeah for you!!- get the paperboy in line and anyone else who comes between you and what you want.
    I love getting older for a few reasons. 1) I know myself so well now, it took time but we seem to have come to a comfortable place together, me and myself. 2) I don’t give a crap what people think about anything, I know what I think and that is most important. I think you know these things too at least that is what your writing says to me. Midlife is not a time for crisis- those dramas should have been celebrated in your 20’s and 30’s- midlife is time to live the life YOU choose, no one else.

  5. David M permalink
    February 19, 2009 5:23 am

    Wonderful post. Well written. I agree whole-heartedly with what the others have said. Well done. Thanks, DavidM

  6. February 20, 2009 4:03 pm

    This is such a great post Cricket. So filled with honest truth. It is so difficult sometimes to move from that outward looking, approval seeking conditioning to trusting the solidity of one’s own inner truth, one’s true self. I really enjoyed this – it seems so celebratory, and freeing – thanks!

  7. February 21, 2009 11:49 am

    Cricket, another thought-provoking post. I think many of us ‘find’ ourselves during mid-life and finally take control of our lives. Those few who continue to chase the prize are really quite pitiable. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us.

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