My husband has stated, quite frequently, that I am experiencing a "mid-life crisis." I shake my head in frustration when he says this because my definition of this phrase differs quite significantly.
Most people will define it as "trying to gain back a youth lost" or "changing to reckless behavior." This applies to many people I know, but me? I don't think so. Why does he tease me over and over? My explanation follows and after you read this post, please feel free to comment. Is my husband correct or am I?
It all begin in January of this year. Tired of the constant side pains during my monthly curse, the horrible image of myself in the mirror and driving around in my "mommy van," my next course of action was just that: take action and quit whining!
In March, my OB-GYN and I decided enough was enough and it was time to have a TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy). The word frightened me at first: surgery, hot flashes, irritability...wait. I was already experiencing these things and more, especially the irritability. Letting go of my fears, a sigh escaped my body and the truth hit me in the face: you're getting older and it's time to accept what I was experiencing or alter my life. I scheduled the next visits for the Lupron shots and then my surgery.
When I left the office with Toots (my husband, for future reference), feelings of fright yet relief swirled throughout my brain. Something inside me burst open and the change began...pardon the pun.
1. Improve my health. In March, I weighed 215 pounds and I hated it. I loathed shopping for clothes, seeing old friends (who I felt probably stated as I walked away, "Gosh, she's gotten fat!) and just plain dealing with that bloated feeling. I began walking. It was a slow process, but eventually my walks totaled three to four miles per day. My surgery occurred in June and for six weeks, exercising was off limits. Yeah, right. Into the third week of recovery, the itch to weave movement into my routine emerged. I was walking my three miles within four weeks of recovery, against the wishes of Toots. Now, I am working on the "Couch to 5K" program. It's been difficult. My bucket list includes running a 5k once in my life. I don't know if I will get there, but I am trying. I had to start over because in August I had surgery on my left leg to collapse a varicose vein and it's been a bit painful. As of the writing of this post, I am down 22 pounds and going strong.
2. Connect with a friend. Family is my priority and always will be. They come first and that will never change. However, sometimes you need to step outside the door and have "friend time." Her name is Lee and we have known each other over twenty years. We are both teachers, have busy lives, but she is good for my spirit. Calming, compassionate and a great listener, it's wonderful to be able to turn to someone to vent. (My sister in law, Patty, is my "bestie" but she lives further away and we don't get to see each other very often, except for family gatherings. She is my rock in my life and I couldn't imagine being on this earth without her. Thank goodness for the telephone!) Anyhow, Lee began exercising with me. Apparently, she had been feeling the same way and started her program five months earlier and when I saw her, I thought, "WOW! She looks awesome!" I told her about my bucket list and while I was recovering from surgery, she began the running program. She is doing very well and I'm proud of her.
2. Get a new car. Sounds materialistic but I had been driving the "mommy machine" minivan for seven years. Don't start fuming: vans are awesome. The gas mileage, the room, the economy of the entire vehicle is a necessity for busy parents with hectic lives and a horrible economy. So, why the new car? I read somewhere that "you only live once" and the thought of enjoying my twilight years didn't include waiting until I was eighty years old to finally have a car I loved. I mean LOVED. So, with the support of Toots, the car hunt began. Right before my surgery, my new car sat in my garage. Well....that's another long story but after a bit of conflict and lemon car experience, my new-new car is NOW in my garage. It's a dark red Buick Enclave and to say "Heaven" can't describe it. It's a crossover vehicle. It's a merge between an SUV and a mini van - it can seat seven people but most of all, it matches my personality. I feel re-energized.
3. Get back to writing. I've been focused so much on my family, my job and other responsibilities that I have put my passion on the back burner: writing. I belong to a local romance writer's club (have been for fifteen years), but my attendance has been spotty for about a year. My daughters are involved in numerous activities in school and extra curricular. Their dreams and hopes come first, but it's important that I do not lose mine as well. I need to teach my girls that when they have families in the future, that they can still live out their personal desires without neglecting their duties as a wife and mother. So, as I tell my students: "in order to improve your writing, you need to write! It's like exercise or playing a sport. You need to stay active or you grow stagnate." Thus, my blog. My goal is to update it once a week. Wish me luck.
These are my "mid-life" crises that, according to my husband, has changed my attitude. Personally, I believe it to be an improvement, and I don't see it as a crisis. We all go through changes in our lives and they should be for the better, right? If we stay the same, then nothing is learned.
A mid-life crisis to me is running away from responsibility, leaving your family behind and basically, losing your brain and getting plain stupid. I would never do these things. My life is wonderful, but these minor alterations, in my eyes, only seek to strengthen my marriage and my relationship with my daughters.
What do you think?