How to Get Through Your Midlife Crisis. Or Not.

I just turned 49. I am officially in my late 40’s now. I will be 50 next year; ergo, I am as old as the Super Bowl. I don’t want to be 50; however, I suppose the alternative is not a desirable one. I have been in crisis mode since I turned 40 and my friends, family, kids, and acquaintances are telling me to get over it already.

Thankfully I don’t look, feel, or usually act my age yet that number persists; haunting my nightly reveries like a soon-to-be-incarcerated stalker. You know, the creepy type, not the, “Wow, he’s cute I hope he follows me home like a lost puppy,” kind that you would want to chain to your radiator to keep him from running away. Recent dreams have included breaking a hip, falling and being unable to get up, and losing my bottle of Geritol.

I’m not sure if this will actually help anyone—or even assist with my “getting over it”—but, if nothing else, I hope to make someone else laugh, cogitate at his or her own recollections or fears of midlifery, or, indeed, enable me to get over it.

Thus, without further ado, I present my top five current coping mechanisms. Please feel free to try any or all of these, particularly if you have some lapse of sanity.

1. I am currently looking for someplace where I can legally purchase a fake I.D. that makes me 34. If anyone can help, please message me on Facebook, send me a tweet, email me, text me, ring my doorbell, whatever. Actually, please disregard the whole doorbell comment.

2. Get your birthday tattooed in a semi-highly-visible area (I chose my collarbone) so that every time you look in the mirror you are reminded of your ever-increasing maturity. Or better yet (and I did this too), get it done in Roman numerals so you feel even older. When people ask about it I tell them it’s my prison number when I was interrogated by the Spanish Inquisition. Yes, I know I’m in the wrong country but someone has to give the Monty Python blokes the homage they deserve. Especially since nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

3. Resort to stating your age in terms related to something you enjoy. For me, that is football (American football for all of my British relatives or potential foreigners who are actually reading this and think I mean soccer). Currently, I am third-and-nineteen; certainly not a preferable hurdle to overcome in the NFL but a play-action post pattern by a slot receiver against a Cover 2 defense with relatively weak safeties is most certainly doable. I’m not sure how I will say I am 50. Fourth-and-ten is usually a punt situation unless within field goal range. Third-and-twenty is just as bad as third-and-nineteen. Second-and-thirty is just downright horrible. Maybe I will just be forty-ten. Or, akin to my tattoo, simply L—for laxative.

4. As a single female, I have the increasing acceptance of becoming a cougar. “Becoming?” my friends ask in bewilderment to which I tell them to hush. My 20-year-old daughter fears that if I ever get married again our husbands will be the same age, but since neither of us are engaged this is currently a non-issue. I’m not positive what the term is for a midlife-crisis-suffering-man. New convertible or Harley owner, I believe.

5. Find a good cause in which to participate. Dispensing good karma into the universe is always a satisfying experience. My new cause is feeding and watering the homeless feral cats that live under a vacant building near my local post office that have come to recognize my vehicle and voice and greet me daily by hissing and hiding under the mail delivery truck until their bowl is filled and I am gone. Except for the one orange tabby who actually lets me pet her and is likely riddled with disease which has necessitated my keeping a family-size bottle of hand sanitizer in the car.

There you go, folks. A brief glimpse into my waning sanity and hopefully a chortle or guffaw to make you feel better about your age, whatever that may be. I’m still in crisis mode.

Note: I wrote this a few years ago and, ergo, I am older and presumably wiser. I am happy to report that my former crisis mode has been downgraded to DEFCON 3.

“Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.” ~ Clint Eastwood

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