Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Real Midlife

Laugh now, lady. But you are headed for crisis number one.

At twenty-six I had my first adult "life crisis." I had dropped out of college. I worked a variety of jobs with no real career in sight. My relationships were unstable and I had the habit of moving apartments every six months to a year. I had no car and no savings and I had fuzzy goals, at best. I had three years of sobriety under my belt but it was messy. Barely half-way through my twenties and I felt like I had already wasted my life.

At thirty-seven I had another "life crisis." I was twice divorced. I was running out of money, and with the desire to have a child, I was running out of time. I moved again, finally landing in a single in an ancient six-story apartment building with an ever-broken elevator. I worked. I put dating on hold for a few years. I had goals, but I had no clear path for reaching them. My life felt nothing like I wanted it to and I felt like I was losing time.

On Sunday I will turn fifty-one-years-old. Because I expect to live to at least 102, right this moment, is mid-life. Just ripe for another crisis. My forties were fantastic and difficult and exciting and disappointing and life-y and yet? No crisis now. What has changed? I am having a sweet life, but that is not the difference. The difference of course is me.

In the past few years, I have given up the belief that my real life will happen "someday."  This is it. That was "it" at twenty-six and thirty-seven too but I didn't understand that yet. Now, I don't expect some faraway life to be trouble free and and tidy and well rested with the windows shiny and all of the dry-cleaning picked up. I have stopped moving the prize ahead of myself. The goal is not out there, the goal is now. Even if it's sometimes hard, that counts too.

The story of how I got here is now just that, a story. Trying to look too far into the future is pointless because I have learned that I have absolutely no idea how this is all going to go down. It's all so painfully obvious.

I couldn't be there then, but I can be here now. Here I am. At fifty-one.


  1. And here I am at sixty-one, and yep, you are right.
    We might as well laugh and try to enjoy whatever ride we have.

  2. Ditto. I think this perspective is one of the unexpected gifts of middle age. We look so hard for the wrinkles and the grey hair that we walk right past the wisdom. You nailed it! And happy almost birthday!

  3. This is our life. And I, like you, like it so much. Happy birthday, dear friend. Here's to another half century. xo

  4. Tears are coming out of my eyes now. This is beautiful. Happy birthday.

  5. LOVED this post, thank you! I am 52 and my daughter is 26 and at her young age, I also thought that my life would happen 'someday'. We plan and we plan and like you said, it is can't fill a young person's mind with that wisdom though, they need to find out for themselves.

    LIVE IN THE NOW <-----(as Garth would say in 'Waynes World') best advice ever :)

  6. So beautifully said. I'm just three days behind you in age, but much more in wisdom, apparently. But, someday! ;) Like, someday I'll start a blog. Happy birthday! Early, but my mom says at our age we can celebrate the entire month.

  7. I love you always, every day, every year, every way. to me, u were always perfect, for me, as a friend, confidant, supporter, and trustworthy buddy. I love you, all ways.

  8. "The goal is now". Love that. Happy Birthday! :D

  9. Love this so much! Happiest of birthdays to you, friend.


  10. Lisa, your blog is one of my absolute favorite parts of my day. I love this story, because I feel I already had one life-crisis, when I was 23. Many people thought many things about me, but I endured. I stayed true to myself, and I am finding my real self. I am not "there" but I too, am here.