The Mid-Life Crisis as Sport or Performance Art
So far, we've established that if it looks like a mid-life crisis and sounds like a mid-life crisis, it probably is a mid-life crisis. And for all intents and purposes it would appear that I'm having some form of Mid-Life Crisis (hereinafter known as MLC).
With no medical or scientific background, it can’t be said that I'm an expert in this field. However I advocate, and believe, that if you’re going to wreck something, wreck it well. Being middle-aged attracts its own dramas, so why create new ones when you can simply add to the existing drama, build on it and make it worse (it gives new meaning to the phrase ‘you’re doing it wrong!’). Enhance, use artistic license, embellish, Photoshop and get the Bedazzler out- do it all, why? Because you CAN! That’s what the true art of MLC is. Don’t just have an MLC, BE the MLC!
Having a really good mid-life crisis is aided greatly by having a mum like mine. Now don’t get me wrong. When I write about my Mum my intent is respectful. However it’s a good thing she isn't connected to the Internet. Mum has told me I have no right to say anything about her at all on Facebook, but seeing as those are usually my most popular Posts, I won’t be stopping any time soon. I'm writing a whole book about our relationship, but for now, back to me.
I love having short hair. I'm now wash-and-wear and get-up-and-go! It's low maintenance and can be pruned DIY style, once you get the hang of using the buzz cutter (or hedge-trimmer, whatever floats your boat). I'm also very comfortable with the fact that my hair is grey and I'll be 47 this year. But apparently this is remarkable – literally.
My Mother rings me “you know my friend says she thinks you’re very brave”
Me “really Mum, why?”
Mum “for allowing your hair to just go grey like you are”
Me “oh really? And what about how short it is? What does she have to say about that?” (I couldn't help myself)
Mum “well like everyone, she thinks you have my hair, which suits short haircuts. Not a lot of people can wear short hair as well as I can”
Menopause and middle-aged freak-outs had never really occurred to me until Mum started mentioning them. Not long after I turned 40 she announced to me that I was now officially classified as ‘middle-aged’ and then proceeded to tell me all about how her own Mother had commenced menopause at a very early age. Oh joy. She also gave me her detailed opinion on how women should behave when they become middle-aged. The way she makes it sound, Mum could probably talk her way into a TEDx Talk in the category of Global Issues with this one.
On the other hand my Father, who has an excellent memory, is happy to ignore and forget age benchmarking. Each year I give him reminders about my birthday along with the list of what I’d like, with an appropriate time frame to order from overseas if required. When I told him my 40th was coming up, and that it would involve both a gift AND attending my party he responded with “Jeeeeezus Christ! How did that happen?” My parents are divorced, so I decided to treat that reaction as a rhetorical question and not answer.
As for me, I was looking forward to turning 40. It was like a badge of honour to me. Nothing says “I Finally Graduated from Young Adult” like 40 does. Since becoming a 40 year old I've developed a theory; those who fear 40 are not ready for 40. If you are comfortable with turning 40 it means you've met the Mid-Life criteria.
I'm going to leave you now with a list of criteria that you need to meet the majority of, in order to pass from Pre-Mid-Life to Mid-Life:
- You no longer live at home.
- You are not a virgin. Or, you are deliberately still a virgin.
- You know how much alcohol you can drink. You don’t necessarily adhere to this limit, but you know exactly where your point-of-no-return is.
- You remember to wear pants when you leave the house. If you don’t, it’s by choice.
- You have passed your Provisional driver’s license, even if it is for a 2nd time around.
- Your parents now trust you with things you always wanted them to trust you with, but now that they do, you wish they wouldn't because it’s just more work for you.
- You've given up wishing they would ask to check your ID at drinking venues.
- You’re over the fact that you can no longer fit into your school uniform, formal outfit or/and wedding attire.
- You hear yourself saying things that your parents used to say, and that you swore blind you would never ever be heard saying yourself.
- You have started to frown at new technology, new music or/and new fashions.