Mid life crisis

16 March, 2016

I’m slightly annoyed with myself about this having-to-get-another-job business.  I’ve spent the past several years working part time, for myself, apparently as a therapist.  My clients seem happy and I have many certificates which prove how qualified I am – I file these important qualifications in the recycling bin, partly so I can’t recount exactly how many weekends I’ve spent listening to someone teach me their version of  “Shite Made-up Therapy”,  or add up exactly how much it’s cost me.

I partially wish I’d made a better go of being self-employed and didn’t have to resort to a second freakin’ job, but to be honest , there’s a part of me which just wants to go to work and come home and forget-about-it-all.  My “Ambition” is the one having the mid-life crisis here;  it has veered way off course, it’s supposed to be driving me forward, but it’s gone to lie on a beach, drink tequila and when I try to call it to action, it simply doesn’t answer the phone.  Or something like that.  So, I’ve got a mid-life crisis plan.  I’m going to sit on the sofa in the evenings and forget about everyone – ok, everyone apart from the three individuals squabbling over who’s turn it is to sit next to me, that is.  We’ll see how it goes.  The only problem I foresee right now is that I never sit on the sofa in the evenings, yes, life is going to be full of new challenges.  The reasons, for my disinterest in the sofa, I’m sure you dying to know,  are;

  1. I don’t watch TV, ever.
  2. If I sit on the sofa, my three kids immediately fight over who’s going to sit next to me because it’s such a novelty to have me there. Finding this really annoying,  I get up and go do something less boring instead.  They used to fight over who’d lie next to me in bed,  when I eventually noticed (I tend to block out a lot of what goes on when they’re right next to me), I was naturally, incredibly flattered by their love.   One of them went on to explain in no uncertain terms, that my fatness emitted the most body warmth, I was a veritable live hot water bottle that never went cold, hence they fought so vigorously to lie next me.  Cheers.

So, I looked up jobs and found two.  One I can work half a week and earn what I make by myself in three hours.  The other was as a prison officer.  I fancied being a prison officer (for three and a half minutes), I thought I could be firm but fair, understanding and empowering (obviously within clear boundaries – such as the iron bars of their incarceration between us).  Then I got to the bit where it said there was a gym onsite and I imagined it was one of those sweaty, small, blokey gyms full of weights and machines and one tiny window; not a gym with brightly coloured mats, a view of golf course and a Costa Coffee franchise outside.  So I gave up my passion for criminal reform and went for the other job.   I have an interview, a chance to check if they’ve got a cafetiere.

The thing about mid-life crises is they get an incredibly bad rap, likened to a form of embarrassing madness which takes over a person and explains away alien behaviour that people can’t understand.  It puts blame and belittlement on that person without making any attempt to understand what’s really going on, deep within them.  And what is going on tends to be that they’ve simply realised they are really going to die one day and done a gradual reassessment of their life, culminating in a sudden change in their external behaviour which matches their more progressive, internal change of heart.  It is generally connected to ageing, there is a turning point in our lives when we realise we don’t have time to waste, that we really don’t have time to waste and our values can shift considerably.  I can’t say which way they shift, it’s an individual thing, but the beliefs and values, which were once so solid and so dependable in the make-up of that person, become liquid, they flow to new places and consequently, they do “change” as people.  It’s a response to the way we routinely attach ourselves to value systems, inherent beliefs if you like, almost unquestioningly.  It’s how we reproduce society; with each generation there are changes, but the basic core structure remains fairly unchanging.   So we as youthful, rugged-individualists “decide” what the “right” thing to do is, and do it.  Except we choose from a very narrow set of options, like say, which job, who to marry/live with, when to have kids etc.  These could even be seen as blind-options, the sort of thing you use when dealing with small kids – “chips or beans?”  You limit the choice, it makes life simpler.  And we commit to those “choices”, fully supported by generations of societal evidence and organisation.  I’m not saying this is wrong or anything, I’m just saying that most us don‘t understand what it really means, when we aspire for the trappings of maturity, the rites of passage – marriage, kids, mortgages etc.;  Only when we actually do them for a while do we realise what they entail.  I often compare having children to getting married, in the way that you spend so much time preparing for the “birth” or the “big day” and give almost no thought to the reality-of-the-reality, which lies beyond that initial gateway experience; you know, the one which lasts a potential lifetime.

 

Anyway, my mid-life crisis is relatively mild.  I’ve always thought a lot about dying and consequently, I’ve always thought about how I’m going to maximise my living.  Things which have shifted for me?  I genuinely grade my crises by the fact that other people have kids dying of leukaemia.  I find that sorts out a lot of my so-called problems in one, perspective-changing thought and it’s a relief to not have to give a shite about crashing the car, the bank account, or whatever this month’s trial-by-fire is.  I have abandoned some of my core values;  I just don’t rate them anymore,  I’m not going to get into what they are, nor justify why I’ve dropped them, if you value them then I really don’t want to mess with that.  Right now, I’m all for independence of thought and mind.  Work it out for yourselves, because I’m off to Costa to top-up my compulsion.

ladybird_3469914b

Books are a valuable source of selfy-helpy information about a mid-life crisis, especially if none of your friends and family speak to you any more.

 

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6 Responses to “Mid life crisis”


  1. Very funny and very serious all at the same time! I want to know what the core values you dropped are! So, to that coffee next Tuesday (not f*ckin Costa though – against my values) xxx

  2. Anat Says:

    Really enjoyed reading it, hubby liked it too, when is the next instalment ?

  3. mikelowndes Says:

    Very good. Just how much Shite Made Up Therapy can you take?


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