Midlife trippin’

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.

6 thoughts on “Midlife trippin’

  1. There’s something so fundamentally right about taking a step away from the almost corporate expectations of normal life and regaining your nomadic birthright. I’m delighted and a bit envious every time another friend throws down the gauntlet and gets the hell out of Dodge– and I say this as a person who has managed to avoid a completely white-picket life, or normal working existence (there’s good and bad to that, too). As weird as it sounds, I’m proud of you. Go forth and be awesome! And know that whenever you come back, you don’t have to abandon yourself back into a “stable, suburban life,” unless you damn well want to. As I tell everyone, “Don’t you KNOW that Iceland is only a seven hour flight away?!” 😀

    The flip side of all this is that it sounds like the first part of your life was full of very sane stability–not a bad thing to have achieved at all. Bet it’s all going to pay off now.

    1. Thanks Jen! Yeah, I don’t regret the stability I achieved, it was good for me and others in many ways. However, I’m certainly going to embrace the freedom it now allows me. Reflecting on the fact that I get to do this with my life is pretty much awe inspiring. I don’t know that I can feel any luckier or grateful.

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