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Better a Life Half Gone than Half Lived

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I think I’m having a mid-life crisis a few years ahead of time.

Not the kind where I’d die my hair platinum blond, get a tramp stamp and start wearing too-short skirts and too-revealing tops, and flirting with younger men. Though if I ever was going to get a tramp stamp, I have to say, it wouldn’t be a butterfly, even though they are pretty, and the whole wings equals freedom metaphor and stuff.

Ah, this reminds me of that episode of How I Met Your Mother where Ted gets drunk and he actually does get a butterfly tattooed on his lower back. It just goes to show, that alcohol is not really your friend, especially when consumed in excess, as anyone who has ever had a serious hangover will (or at least should) tell you.

Nah—me, I’d probably do a fairy. Like one inspired by an Amy Brown drawing. Fairies have the whole butterfly thing going, with the wings and the prettiness, but they are also kind of mischievous and fun. I’m guessing, it’s not like I know any of them personally. I’ll admit that reading books from Laurell K. Hamilton‘s Meredith Gentry series is one of my guilty pleasures, but I don’t think that counts.

Anyway, back to me, and my midlife crisis. (Although come to think of it, it’s not like we’ve been talking about anyone else.)

I think the kind of mid-life crisis where people go through these crazy metamorphoses at least provide some degree of hilarity, especially for those who have the good sense to walk around with a camera at all times, which means you have plenty of chances to catch the mid-lifer in situations where he/she is making a complete ass of him/herself, hence providing good anecdotes for future embarrassment and possibly some degree of blackmail (“You do the dishes or I am taking out that photo of you when you had just gotten back from getting a tongue piercing the day after your fortieth birthday!”) Ah, yes, good times.

Then there is the kind where the once somewhat intelligent adult simply loses his marbles a tad and gets this foggy, sort of lost expression, like he really is looking for those lost marbles. The foggy expression can be masked somewhat, but only for so long. In my experience, it helps if you can do a good smoky eye.

Then there is the lost sense of direction, which can definitely affect the ability to avoid getting lost while driving, but mostly has to do with the willingness and motivation to get stuff done. Everything has a reason for getting done, but all of a sudden it seems pointless. Or boring. Like household chores. ‘cause normally I am such the domestic goddess, you know. Sure.

And then there is the moment when you start reaching for self-help books, particularly ones that promise to help you get your life in order, so in the blink of an eye you’ll be 20 pounds lighter, have a sparkly house, a fulfilling sex life, a great job, and whatever else your heart desires. When you browse through Amazon, you will have a few titles literally jumping out at you, like One Year to an Organized Life (wow, sign me up—‘cause really, isn’t happiness just an organized closet?) or This Year I Will...: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True (as a seasoned procrastinator, I could use some of that). And then you have the one written by the guy who traveled the world looking for the happiest place. Now, how didn’t I think of that? It sounds like just my cup of tea. Though come to think of it, would I settle in the happiest place I find? Hmmm ... I don’t think so. Sometimes you just want to be grumpy and being surrounded by happy happy people all the time would be kind of annoying. Kind of like living at DisneyWorld. Like a full-time citizen of The Magic Kingdom. No thanks, I like that stuff in small doses.

But I found it kind of funny that the guy “wasn’t too fond of the Swiss, either, uncomfortable with their quiet satisfaction, tinged with just a trace of smugness.” I know snorting isn’t ladylike, but please don’t mind if I do.

I used to get these little crises almost every year on my birthday. You know, the under-accomplishment attacks, but without the foggy-eyed expression. Just the frantic listing of all the stuff I didn’t get done during the past year, and OMG I absolutely must get it done before another year is over, dammit. Now it’s just lingering, annoying and unwanted. Leave already, feeling of hopelessness and inadequateness (is that even a word? midlife crises provider great fodder to coin neologisms), and let me return to my glass half full state of being.

Which leaves me to decide how to tackle the beast. Read the new, virtually unopened copy of The Happiness Project that’s quietly (but suggestively) sitting on my desk as I type? Nudging me by ignoring me? (Which is when you see how much I lost my marbles, since I have to remind myself books are not, in fact, people and when they just sit there it’s because they are inanimate objects, not because they are ignoring me.)

Or rather, give Gwen Bell’s tips a try and try to get it together by getting myself inspired. ‘Cause I just know that’s it. I have to find my own hook. ‘cause when you feel like you are having an allergic reaction to the Universe and you can’t possibly find anything remotely awesome about your current life, there’s still hope. And chocolate. And I guess until I find the first, there’s plenty of the second to go around here. I do live in the Land of Lindt afterall.


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