Is this my mid-life crisis?

Mama and meI am the oldest today I have ever been. 

Of course, that’s true.  It will be true tomorrow, too, but today is different.  Today I feel it – not just in my bones, but in my soul. Today the desires of my youth feel foolish.  There are things, experiences, dreams that simply won’t come true for me, and I have to accept it.   Today I feel the death of dreams, and I can’t seem to stop crying.

I weep for the death of the young woman I was, the woman who would throw caution to the wind and drive cross country, the woman who would try to run a marathon, who thought she could write the great American novel, who craved love, just love, only love.  I’m so responsible now, and that’s a good thing, I guess, so why does it feel like death? (My sweet mama would not have approved of this navel contemplation.  “Stop your boohooing,” is what she would have scolded. I wish she was here to scold me now.)

Maybe this is just my mid-life crisis.  I’m probably well past mid-life, so that’s wishful thinking, too.  I am 46 years old, and I know I’m old because I wanted to lie to you about my age just now.  I want to be 30, or even 40, still young enough to dream, young enough to want. At what age should we stop dreaming because, hey, it is just not going to happen.  Your life is about taking care of people, which is noble and filled with meaning, but that is what your life is about.  Let go.  Fall into the feather bed of caring for your family and stop longing for the freedom to run through the fields.

Forgive this pity party.  I just don’t know how to navigate the end of this stage in my life and the entering of the next.  I have often thought that I’d like to be an old crone one day, a woman you wouldn’t be afraid to swear in front of, a woman who could hear all of your truth and still shock you with her own.  I just didn’t realize until today that I was already becoming one.

7 comments on “Is this my mid-life crisis?
  1. Connie says:

    You are not alone! I too miss that woman that just did whatever sounded fun and exciting. Oh, I was responsible–to school, friends and family. It just changes so much when you have children—there is always that need to be there and I think we create an image of what a mom should be like. I was going to be the mom that was fun, always fit, keeping up with everyone at tennis, skiing,etc. Several major surgeries and I cannot do that—breaks my heart! I know I am soo blessed–however there are times I yearn for that dynamic, do anything woman!

    We are wise even though we don’t really want the experiences that make us so. Let’s take the wisdom and then add some crazy spark to each week—how about a zip line ride?? You game!

  2. Diane Walker says:

    Well put Amanda. I find I still want to fight the battle at 56, it is hard to let goand say “This is it,my life is this” I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing, it makes me feel not so alone or wierd.

  3. Andrea says:

    Does that make me old if I want to lie about being 32? 🙂 You can dream until your are dead. If you feel like you cannot you are more than welcome over and I can show you that you can always dream. There are many time when you just feel like “Oh well that is life and you are just going to have to live with it.” Thinking of you.

  4. No one is ever “too old” to dream! Although, I will give you that dreams change! What you wanted at age 20, may not happen or may just be different than what you want now! Age is a state of mind and that is not just a fortune cookie saying! (true story, that is where I first heard it, when my older brother pulled it out on a night when he felt completely worthless!) One last thing, be proud of your age, you’ve earned every day that it adds up to!!!

  5. Oh Amanda, again you have shown how wise you truly are. What a great post, for it is reality, not made-up. And what a great woman to admit feeling this way. All us women do at one point or another, some of us are just too proud to admit it. It is OK to have days when we feel this way and it’s OK to validate it and cry if we may. Moving among the many seasons of life is difficult, for sure. I’m still trying to master it and there are days when I fair better than others. I have noticed lately that the lines around my eyes are getting a bit more “pronounced.” I am choosing to call mine smile lines. Wrinkles sound old. I feel pretty lucky that I have had so many things to smile about—that its happiness has actually left it’s mark on my face. Even if I haven’t been able to do all the things I once dreamed of, at least I still have done things that have left their mark. In this regard, I am lucky. And so are you. I remember when my husband hit the big ’40.’ He walked around telling people, ‘You know 40 is the new 20, so now I’m younger than you!’ And he was right. It’s hard to have that state of mind all the time though. So don’t beat yourself up over having a day like this. In fact, you are entitled to it. These days make our existense and experience well-rounded. Soon you’ll be back to your chipper self and will have been better for experiencing this type of day. ♥ ya tons!

  6. Krista says:

    Amanda, I looked you up because you were AMAZING at TOFW here in Sacramento on Saturday. I only hope that when I am your age (which isn’t too many years away) that I can evaluate my life and realize that I have inspired even a handful of people the way that you have inspired thousands of us! Your experience and wisdom is more valuable than you realize! Keep dreaming your dreams- and hey, modify them if you have to- take that road trip (with the kids!), run that race (make it a 5K or 10K- or do the marathon with the stroller!), because I have no doubt in my mind that YOU can accomplish anything and everything that you want to! And don’t worry, with your spunky and fun (and contagious) personality, nobody will be afraid to swear in front of you. Heck, I might even flippin’ do it! 🙂

  7. Hey Amanda, just run through an alfalfa field with the sprinklers going and be carefree! You deserve it…a free afternoon in the sun! Sure it is a few months off, so for now, maybe a good snowfight with your husband and angels in the snow would do it. There is a great sledding hill up Sardine Canyon…. or maybe just a get a way for a couple days and a funny movie!

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