I ponder whether my mid life crisis has arrived a little early. As I watch the local teenagers walk to the neighbourhood high school for their summer program, I feel a sudden pang, aching, a longing to be back at that point in my life. I watch them with awe. They seem to have it all. With their tight little jeans, lean bodies, lustrous hair in their eyes. No responsibilities, except to get good grades and do the dishes every so often.
Driving the kids to summer camp, I sit at the stoplight waiting for it to turn green and watch them with envy. I haven't brushed my hair or my teeth. My clothes are a repeat from yesterday. I've had coffee for breakfast and my knees are aching from a 20 minute bike ride I took last night. As I watch them, I wonder, what teen angst could they possibly have? Maybe which zit cream to buy and whether their g-string is peaking out their low rise skinny jeans. Their lives seem so uncomplicated.
They are not worrying about atypical skin rashes, clogged toilets, instilling healthy eating habits, decluttering the house, getting enough exercise to ward of heart disease, and the other mundane issues that overwhelm us mid-lifers. “Good grief,” as Charlie Brown would say.
Somehow, my son telling me he loves my jelly belly, does nothing for the ego. The other day, a friend called me a skinny little B.x@#$%th. After a moment of shock, I actually felt like crying. Tears of happiness. No one had called me skinny in such a long time. I wanted to jump for joy.
I guess my frosh 15 plus my mommy 10, have now combined to be my new normal. Instead of skinny jeans, I have my camouflage outfits, billowing tops to hide the jelly belly, undergarments that suck in the back fat with good old Lycra strength. It was like getting asked for ID at the Liquor store when it is clear you are way over 19.
Getting older feels synonymous with trying to get your life under control. Because once you have it under control, then you have found an equilibrium. Right? All your problems are suddenly solved, Poof. I'll let you know if this is true when I get there. I'm still trying to clean out the basement.
Stressing out over peanut butter on the banister, the unused elliptical trainer in the basement corner, the unfulfilled life long dreams that haven't yet been accomplished, or the fact that you haven't saved the world from global warming yet all fester inside you. Making your mark on the world and leaving a legacy while at the same time raising kids, nurturing your relationships, and making time for your own needs feels a little daunting.
I guess I still need to come to terms with the fact that I am no longer a spring chicken. In fact, I'm fighting, kicking and screaming. A little uncouth. It is like leaving behind your true identity.
My friends who have passed into their 40's, say it is the best time of their lives. They say this with conviction and this gives me hope that I too will soon accomplish this same sense of contentedness.