Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Mid-Life Crisis?

Mid-life Crisis. Usually said with a measure of derision, the words alone conjure images of the absurd. How often have we snickered about someone acting impetuously in an attempt to prove they are not yet old, or to keep them from getting old. Now that I have reached that time of life, I think that might be a little harsh. Once I hit 38 or 39, I began reevaluating many things. I just wasn't really conscious of it at the time. And while I will not color my graying hair, or undergo plastic surgery to staunch the march of time, I will spend a buck or three on good moisturizer.

I was thinking about this on Saturday while sipping my morning coffee, wishing it was a Bloody Mary. Friday night I was out with a bunch of my girlfriends. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a somewhat fashionable restaurant in the City, then picked up a couple of bottles of good wine, and hung out at a friend's house. It's not that I want to be 25 again: hell, at 25 I wouldn't have been able to afford or appreciate such 'grown up' tastes.

After the original crowd of 9 women dwindled down to 4, we decided to go over to a local Irish Pub. It was 2am. I walked into the place with greater confidence than I ever would have 15 years ago. I ordered a Jamison's on the rocks, went over to the juke box and put on what I wanted to dance to. Didn't leave until well after last call for alcohol. What struck me while reliving a fun night was that in another few years it might....will...seem ridiculous to do that. To some people reading this now, it might seem ridiculous to do it, or still WANT to do it at the age of 41.

Is it about propriety? A sense that one should, by a certain age, give up such rowdy behaviors, just as a child gives up his toys. That would seem to me a case of sour grapes on the part of those casting such judgment. Is it about looks? You don't look all that different when you are in your mid thirties than you do in your early forties. But a 45 to 50 year old does begin to show some wear and tear. Then it seems more creepy to hang out at a bar, or drive a powerful sports car, or wear certain kinds of clothes.

Even older athletes are looked at differently, especially if they can perform the same feats as their younger teammates or competitors. It's as if once a person reaches a certain age, a shift should occur, not unlike a gear change in an automatic transmission.

I don't think people my age want to hang out with twenty-somethings. Lord knows I don't wish to relive my own misspent youth. Many of us in our early to mid 40s and beyond think we can still raise some hell. We don't want to go gently into that good night. I, for one, still rage against the dying of the light, and will for some time to come, God willing.



eastcoastdweller said...

I think the most wonderful people in the world are those who never grow old in spirit. Why the hell shouldn't You dance at 41 -- or 91, if Your body can still do it?

Why not still watch cartoons or build sandcastles, color a picture or stop in Your tracks to examine a passing lizard?

I have to be a mature adult at work. When I get out of that place, I kick off my shoes and do whatever I want.

Blur Ting said...

Like wine, we only get better with age. You go girl!

Epimenides said...

Absolutely spot on! Well said! Sometimes I feel there's more life in me than a 25 year old.
Mind you, there's nothing wrong with hanging our with a girl in her mid twenties with a large set of... brains, who's into penetrating conversations! ;)

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Any one know who's portrait this is?

ECD, I agree whole heartedly. I want to carry on as long as I am able. To dance, stomp in puddles, show my kids and grandkids the smell and taste of honeysuckle.

Blur, yes, well said. I think in ones 40s and 50s we are at our prime. Though even the finest wines can go vinegary if not tended properly.

Epi, if conversation ahem, penetrating, I agree a twenty something member of the opposite sex can be quite, ummm, engaging.

Everyone's comments brought a huge smile to my face. Thanks all!!

JYankee said...

Hey ...let's go OUT!

The World According to Me said...

Hi Rebecca

A very thought provoking post.

I agree with eastcostdweller - the spirit can be alive and young, no matter what age.

Kate said...

I ask myself these questions a lot. I just hope that, when it's no longer appropiate for me to do something, I won't want to anyway...

SOUL: said...

hiya.... if it feels good do it , isn't that what they say? if ya still got it. go for it. me on the other hand... well, let's just say, ummm, well i feel every minute of my 41 years. so enjoy it while ya can !!!

the pic over there..is it jerry lee lewis ?? looks like him to me.
(why'd ya put him on here if ya don't know who he is? just curious. :))

Rebecca said...

Hi, All. Sorry for the impromptu quiz about the picture. When I posted that comment I had had a few glasses of wine. Oh, and did I mention I am a smartass??? The picture is of Dylan Thomas, the author of the quote loosely used here. The poem is Do not go gentle into that good night:

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Yankee, you're on! Where do you wanna go?

Hi, World. I agree.

Kate, maybe you're right. Maybe by the time I should hang it up, I won't will be more willing and less resentful about doing so. Just not today :)

Soul, There are days that I don't feel a day over 19 and wild horses couldn't hold me down. But now the hangover lasts for 2 days instead of an hour or 2 :)

SOUL: said...

hmmm... still looks like jerry lee lewis.
i'm a smart ass too.
i do not miss hangovers. although, i feel hungover most of the time regardless.
oh well.
19 eh? run with it !!!

eastcoastdweller said...

Rebecca: Remember the line from Simon and Garfunkel?

"He's so unhip that
When you say Dylan, he thinks you're talking
about Dylan Thomas,
Whoever he was.
The man ain't got no culture..."

Rebecca said...

yep, Soul, that's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

ECD, I don't know that song. Think I will download it.

eastcoastdweller said...

It was supposedly poking fun at Bob Dylan --- a fun little song, like so many of their lesser known ones.

"Wolfgang" said...

Excellent post. Thank you for sharing this. I've started to call it "Second Life Awakening."

Rebecca said...

Wolfgang, I like that assessment :)

Anonymous said...

Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you