My Midlife Crisis, Part Two

huhLast week, I asked the question: “What is a midlife crisis, anyway?”

So I read up on it. Found out some of the signs and how some people seem to think they’re different for men and women. A lot of the symptoms look like depression, except technically, it’s supposed to happen between the ages of forty and sixty.

Well, I’ve always been advanced when it comes to anxiety.

Basically, a midlife crisis is a point in your life at which you begin to question both the past and the future. For some people, this manifests in a craving for drastic change: thus the stereotypical bald guy in a convertible leaving his wife for a younger model. It can involve a lot of anger and regret. Some people make big, blustery decisions and some quietly fume.

It’s a point in your life at which you start to feel old.

It’s an interesting thing, being a depressive/neurotic/weirdo and reading about all these supposed symptoms of midlife crisis as if they aren’t everyday feelings. Do people breeze through life without asking themselves big questions and then one day, it all hits them? Do they really ignore the passing of time?

Well, duh–I mean, I see evidence of it everywhere. Some people call it living in the moment. I’m not very good at that.

In grad school, surrounded by single “kids” (many of whom were actually older than me), I thought of myself as the old married lady. I was in my mid- to late-twenties.

I felt old when I was twenty. Even older at thirty.

I do know that the baby phase of my life is now over and I’m transitioning. My baking show experience, the first spark of all this, came at a time when my daughter–the last baby I intend to have–was walking and talking and didn’t spend the whole day screaming just because I wasn’t with her. My kids are still small, but I’m no longer constantly nursing and wiping. Now that I’ve got my hands free more often, I just need to do something with them.

Maybe this is its own kind of crisis. Maybe mothers are like balloons, tethered close to the ground at first, and then suddenly our kids loosen their grips and let us fly higher. Maybe I’m just bouncing around in the wind.

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