Quote of the Day “Middle age is youth without levity, and age without decay.” Daniel Defoe
By all rights I should be having a mid-life crisis. After all, I’m thirty-eight. But alas, circumstances are such that I’m not. I’ve already been through years of excessive drinking and girl chasing and I don’t feel the urge to revisit those times. I don’t need to experiment with drugs. I’m not depressed.
All that is not to say I’m not feeling the passing years and contemplating what they mean. And because I can’t quite figure it all out, I guess I’m suffering from mid-life angst and uncertainty. Yeah, its not quite as dramatic as a full blown crisis, though I suspect my introspection is more common than the stereotypical crisis guy. At this age we reach a pivot point in life, one of the last times there will be a chance to alter our destiny. As I look back though, I realize I’ve only made an emphatic decision at a crossroads once. I nailed that one too by God.
These days I am feeling the tug to buy a new hot rod and drive across the country and back a few times. I am grappling with whether I want to live in another region and start a new career. I am realizing that I have done very little to contribute to the greater good, without charging a fee, and wondering how I can change that. The biggest thing is I’m realizing I’ll never have time to do everything I want to do in this life. Thirty-eight may be only halfway or even less to the end, but when you take in to account those last ten or fifteen years we are going to be restricted in our physical abilities, the number of years left to experience life to its fullest is rapidly diminishing. Which brings us to the fact of our mortality. As a kid, death is but a concept. After college it becomes an intellectual idea. At mid-life its an unalterable fact, and we are aware that the age where it becomes an imminent certainty is just over the horizon.
That’s why I want to go, go, go. Now. Europe, South America, Canada, even so many places in the U.S. remain unseen. I’m still not a good skier, so I need lots of practice. I’m eons away from having the ability to communicate in a foreign language. I still haven’t gotten in shape. I’ve done nothing to secure my legacy for posterity. I need to clean up my yard. Teen angst has nothing on the mid-life version.
So what to do? I guess I’ll just take it one day at a time. I’ll try to choose my spots and stay ready to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. I’ll be thankful for my God-given abilities and count my blessings. I’ll plow forward and cross each bridge when I get to it. In an age of doubt and uncertainty, it’s good to know the cliches that have gotten us this far are ever available, suitably vague and partially wise enough to keep us going a little further down the road.