Friday, July 16, 2010

My Mid-Life Crisis

No flood victims today.  It is Feel Good Friday.

Lately when people ask me how I am doing, my natural reaction is to say “great”, not good, great. 
 “How are the kids?”
 “Are you going crazy with your husband home yet?” 
My husband was laid off from work over a year ago, as was I
 “No I love having him home.”

It is great.  They are fantastic, and I do love having him home.  And I think it is all a result of my mid-life crisis. Yes, you read right.  When you find yourself laid off and your husband laid off with no prospects on the immediate horizon, you start questioning things, examining your life, wondering what you want to be when you grow up.  I have spent a lot of time soul searching this year. 
At first I was anxious, if not panicked.  We both spent hours on-line redoing resumes, checking employment listings, networking with colleagues hoping to find work.  But frankly, it’s tough out there.  It is getting better for the younger kids, but for those of us with experience, no one’s willing to take the higher salary hiring leap yet, at least not in our industries.
So I started reexamining my career path.  I’ve had a lot of different jobs.  I have two degrees.  I owned and sold my own company.  I could be something different.  But what would that be?  I looked, I considered new possibilities, I applied to new jobs, but still I found myself unemployed.  As time went on, I actually grew less panicked.  I’m a planner.  I budget, and I saved for a rainy day.  Thank God because it has been pouring for a year now.
But as we began cutting back, clipping coupons, adjusting our lifestyle, I began to grow more comfortable with how it was going to be.  I spent less time thinking ‘GET A JOB RIGHT NOW!’ and more time thinking ‘what an opportunity!  We have the chance to start it all over.  We’re not locked into the career paths we chose at 20 or even 30.  We can be anything we want to be.  Life dealt us a do over and the justification to take it if we want to. ’  And I spent a lot of time convincing my husband he should feel as optimistic.  The world is our oyster, so lets shuck it!
I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I am exploring.  I am learning Greek because I have always wanted to.  I am spending a lot more time with my whole family as a unit.  The kids are getting quality and quantity time with their dad that most children (and fathers) never get to have.  I think that is huge and something that all of them (dad included) will look back on some day with great appreciation.  I have considered all sorts of new vocations and I am really excited about the one I am researching right now.  So is my husband.
So my mid-life crisis has turned into an opportunity to reinvent my life, or at least the parts I want to recreate. There are quite a few parts I like just the way they are: my family life, my friends and the close relationship I’ve enjoyed by spending more time with my husband now than ever before in our 15 years together.
If that’s not something to feel good about, I don’t know what is.


  1. I love your optimism! I hope I can get around to feeling that way soon! I'm feeling very nervous lately, trying to decide what to do with myself now that the kids are needing me so much less. But I am slowly coming to the same realization as you. I just need to get more comfortable with it.

  2. Jb,

    Well that is how I feel today. Thursday was not as feel good. Anyway, it does seem to be all about outlook, so good luck.

  3. That's awesome! Having a positve perspective is so important. Look at all the wonderful things you would have missed out on if you couldn't see the silver lining?!

    Have a great weekend!!

  4. I'm still in freak out mode, myself. I hate not working, and I'm getting more frantic with each passing week.

  5. Mad props to you. I am utterly impressed. All good things to you. It took me two years to get used to the idea of being retired.

    First comment I ever saw of yours, I knew there was something deep about you.