Midlife. Not a pretty thought. This ride is halfway over. And it’s all downhill from here. Or rather, as your body starts to inform you on a daily basis, a steady uphill battle that you will ultimately lose. The common refrain: “is this all there is?”
Midlife hit me slowly, creeping up over the years. It may have actually started as early as my 20’s. I watched friends and siblings travel the globe, explore their passions, try new things, and expand their worlds. Meanwhile I focused on my stable, suburban life and raising my son.
Attending PTA meetings.
Earning a progressively better paycheck.
Mowing the lawn.
Flossing my teeth.
The corner of my eye was forever on the voyagers, though. Even when I had a great job that I loved and my life was going by all measures great, I coveted the adventure. Not the kind of adventure one does on a week long trip though. I had vacations to some amazing places: Japan, Thailand, Mexico. These trips were invariably great, but they were also just a vacation: a break from the pressures of life. What I craved was something more immersive. More fundamental. More fulfilling. MORE.
Then, seemingly in a blink of an eye my son graduated, became gainfully employed, moved out, and I woke up with gray hair and an empty apartment.
So, mid-life for me. Should I buy a convertible? Date women half my age? What is proper protocol, after all?
After careful consideration, and weighing my standing as a fine, responsible adult, the proper response appears to be “hell with protocol”. I’ve been thinking of traveling, learning, and exploring my passions for 2 decades or more. I have savings and investments that will allow me to live without a paycheck for a while. I don’t have dependents for the first time in my adult life. And as my father succinctly explained to me: “you aren’t getting any younger”.
So: the time is now. Time to explore.