In my 48 years on this planet, I cannot remember a time when I have been this confused and unsettled. On the outside, I look like any other average Joe, but on the inside, I am a whirlwind of emotions. My emotions include sadness, anger, dread, despair, incompleteness, disappointment, and self-loathing to name just a few. I know, it sounds pretty dark in there. It’s not as dark as it sounds, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
It’s Not Just Me?
I read an article today about midlife crisis, which hit home for me on a lot of its points. I guess I was glad to hear that this kind of thing is common, but it doesn’t help me put my life back where I want it to be … in a happy place.
I’m sure my wife is tired of hearing about these things from me. I hope she doesn’t think any of my feelings have anything to do with our marriage or my feelings for her. No, these are all about me and my place and legacy on this planet. It’s to the point where I am not even sure what makes me happy anymore. I used to love to draw, but haven’t picked up a pencil in years. I told my wife the other day that it seems like, today, you can’t just sit and relax anymore without thinking of the other things you should be doing instead. Sounds good to sit on the back porch to enjoy a beautiful autumn day, BUT the garage needs cleaned, this or that need fixed, or don’t forget about that gym membership that is going to waste. It always seems to be something.
Life in the Box
Don’t even get me started on weekends. Two days to unwind and unfurl from a tough week at work hardly seems like enough time. It’s like giving me a piece of toast for breakfast and telling me I should be full. Huh? I think the whole work thing has gotten worse for me as I have gotten older. As I realize my time here is getting shorter and shorter, I want to find something that is more fulfilling. Something that will help people. Make me feel good about what I do, not just a mind-numbing, time-card-punching 8 hours per day wasting away in a corporate cubicle.
I do feel that my weight issue, now pushing 265 pounds on my 5-9 frame, has a lot to do with this mid-life thing. I can’t concentrate on one thing for long, thus how am I supposed to dedicate myself to working out and eating less. Food, for me, at this time, is like a drug that takes me to a happy place. A happy place, that is, until I swallow it and realize it was probably something I should not have eaten and now it is only going to add to my girth.
Yeah, you hear about the birds and the bees from your parents, and schools told you to “just say no to drugs,” but no one filled me in on this part of life. Where is the instruction booklet? Who am I kidding? I’m a dude. I probably wouldn’t read it anyway.
Go West Young Man
One of the points in the Mid Life article talked about wanting to run away. I talked to my wife tonight as we drove home toward the west into a beautiful horizon about how many cool things were over that horizon … Seattle, Portland, Denver, California. Oh, how nice it would have been just to keep driving until you hit the Pacific Ocean.
Believe me, I want to be happy. I want to feel, mentally, like I did when I was in my twenties. I know, physically, my best days are behind me, which is sad in itself, but there has to be happiness out there, right?
Joy When AARP Card Arrives?
I keep hoping that retirement, in about 20 years, will bring some joy. My Dad always tells me that I don’t want to be retired. He talks about being bored, etc. Well, that’s a risk I am looking forward to taking. I want to have more time to do the things I want to do and not the things I have to do. No more time clocks. No more drives to work. I think some people miss that sort of thing, but don’t think that will be me. I work to live, not live to work.
Oh, well. I better get to bed. Back to work in less than 12 hours. Another week. Another week closer to retirement.