Wednesday, July 13, 2016

10 Reasons Why I'm Convinced My Midlife "Crisis" Is...Here

The other day, I suspected I was going through my midlife crisis and it had started shortly after turning 40. I didn't go into too much detail. I needed to think about it first. Really, really think about it. And I have. After much thought, and closely examining various changes and pivotal moments over the past 2 years, I've come to the conclusion that yes...this is midlife crisis. I've also concluded that in no way, shape, or form does it fall into the category of being a "crisis." In fact, this period in my life has been pretty great.

Seriously. It has.

It has completely defied the stereotypical midlife crisis. As mentioned, it's not a crisis at all. If it isn't a crisis, than what is it? An evaluation? A quest? Does there even need to be a label?

For the most part, I suspect I'm well into this midlife "crisis." It's not so subtle. Lisa has taken notice. For example, last week someone ordered a box o' biscuits. I gave a tentative day of Thursday to ship. There was no rush.

We had a heatwave. One of our air conditioners was acting weird. I couldn't keep the temperature in the biscuit room where it should and needed to be. I wasn't going to turn the oven on 350 for 10 hours. I sent a message explaining the situation. The problem would be fixed over the weekend and biscuits would be shipped on Monday. The message was read.

Facebook has this wonderful feature where it lets me know when someone reads a message. 

No reply. I waited. Still, no reply. Once the air conditioner was fixed and all was up to par, I baked biscuits for the week. I did not include her order.

"My time is just as valuable as hers. The message was read 5 days ago. She didn't reply. If she can't take 30 seconds to reply, too bad, so sad. I'm not going to chase after people. I'm so done with that shit."

A year ago, I would have written message after message until I got an answer. And, I would have gone to great lengths to get the biscuits shipped on time despite the delay in reply. I probably would have shipped the biscuits even without a reply.

Not now. Not today. Not anymore.

Other noticeable changes...

1. Too busy? That used to be a justifiable explanation. Now, not so much. Being too busy "all the time" is just an excuse. If something is important, you'll make time. I do. Lisa does. It may not be today or tomorrow, or even next week, but we'll make it happen. When I took 2 days to prep, prepare and cook and bake so we could have "you" over to celebrate your birthday, I had to move mountains. After all was said and done, I had 3 days of work to catch up on in addition to my regular stuff. When my birthday rolled alone, I got a text that said, "I really wanted to make it over to see you for your birthday, but things got too busy." Really?

2. Your social status and popularity is irrelevant. I see you at face value and my personal experience with you determines where you stand in my life and how much attention I give you or don't. I don't care how much money you have, how many people show up at your event or rally with you, how popular you are at your place of employment or how many "likes" your page has on Facebook. That does not influence me in the least bit.

3. Balance. The balance within my immediate household is the foundation of all things and a priority. I wrote a about this not too long ago. You can find that here. In short, if we're able to do it, we will. If not, we can't. And, we won't. When Lisa was constantly running around from this location to that delivering raffle baskets because no one "was able to" meet us halfway, it caused a myriad of problems. Our home was off balance. Lisa was exhausted day after day. Our daily schedule was shattered. It quickly spiraled out of control. We did something about it and put our foot down. The response hasn't been great and, at times, downright insulting. Regardless of the response, balance is restored. To me, that's what matters.

4. No versus Yes. I used to think saying "no" was the key to maintaining balance. However, in comparing last summer to this summer, I've learned that's not necessarily true. Last summer I said no to everything. And, by "everything" I mean taking time out to enjoy the fun stuff. Participating in events, delivering raffle baskets, making it easy for everyone else and pleasing all took precedence. I put everything fun and everyone in my "tribe" on hold. What resulted was the summer season passed quickly and I never got a chance to enjoy it. This summer, I'm saying yes. Yes to swimming. Yes to firing up the grill. Yes to spending time with the people in our life who are friends and have become family. Yes to spontaneity. We're less than a month into the summer season and I'm having a blast. Lots of memories have been made.

5. What's "trending" isn't found online. For the past decade, my career has forced me to hone in on what's trending online from the latest and greatest online coupons to the hottest topics in the marketing world. I wrote about it. Hundreds of articles. I wrote for an audience that, quite frankly, I couldn't give two shits about. I altered my voice and my style. Over the past year, I've broken free from that vicious cycle and started focusing on what's trending around me in the non-virtual world. That experience has been beyond remarkable and has been the inspiration behind several shifts both past and present. And, it's also responsible for upcoming changes with Bodacious Biscuit Love.

6. I no longer have shame. There's a level of vulnerability that comes along with sharing my story and putting everything on the table. I am no longer ashamed of the messes intertwined in our life. I am no longer ashamed of saying, "Today, it took everything I had to bake a batch of cookies." I am no longer ashamed of sharing why. If sharing my story and daily struggles paves the way for other women to do so, it's worth it. If my story helps another woman get through her day, I'm good with that too. There is no shame in admitting the messes, the bad decisions, and the situations we stayed in longer than we should have. In a lot of ways, that connects us and people are more willing to come forth and share their stories. Common ground.

7. Catering to the masses is no longer a concern. It really isn't. I've spent most of my life trying to please and impress the masses. I've spoken in a voice that's not my own. I've bent over backwards to the point of almost snapping. I've lost sleep. I've stressed. I've cared too much what people think about me, my life, my decisions and where I am at this point in my life. No more. If you don't like what I have to say or write, don't listen or read. If you don't like my appearance, don't look. If being in my presence disgusts you, there's the door.

8. Not everyone is going to like me. I'm not everyone's cup o' tea. That's okay. I'm quite happy and content with the people in my life who genuinely like me and appreciate my company. If that number increases, fine. If it doesn't, fine.

9. I don't lose sleep over the small stuff. I already lose enough sleep when my brain is on overload or I'm in a lot of pain or whatever else happens in the tiny slot of time I put aside for sleep. I'm not going to let the small stuff creep in. The dishes in the sink can wait. Replying to a rude email can wait. Worrying about this or that can wait.

10. It's a two way street. This goes for pretty much everything. When you don't come around for almost a year, don't expect us to jump when you need a favor. I'm also not going to rearrange my schedule to attend your special event if we haven't seen you since last fall. And, the road travels both ways. You can visit us too. The amount of time it takes for you to travel here is the same amount of time it has taken us to travel there...many times. All the time.

The list goes on, but this is the bulk of it.

I feel lighter.

Life isn't so stressful.

There's less drama.

This midlife "crisis" stuff is cleansing. It's good stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment