I recently turned 48, which means I’m nearly 50, which means I’m nearly dead. Or at least, that’s the direction my brain goes in. Because brains suck.
Being 47 was okay. 47 was pretty chill. 47 was mid-forties, and mid-anything is pretty doable. When you’re mid, you’re immersed in it. You’re in the thick of it. You’ve had time to come to terms with the last round number, and the next round number is a long way off. Being mid is where it’s fucking at.
Impossible at 48. At the eights, we can’t help but round up. And aside from 100, 50 is about as round as round can get. 50 is midlife crisis time. 50 is the only mid that sucks.
I’m immersed in it. In the midlife crisis. Nature’s way of making me realize how little shit I’ve done, and how much shit I have left to do.
Like anyone else, I have a bucket list. I’ve never taken the time to write it out—all the things, with checkboxes and whatnot. But I have a general desire to accomplish more than I have, and I feel as though I’m running out of time.
Some boxes have been checked. College degree? Marathon? Self-published novel? Check, check, check, accomplishments all around. But we all know how it works. We leave those things behind us, and we move on to what’s next. It’s always about what’s next. It’s about the things we have yet to do.
If I knew I was going to die tomorrow, would I look back on my life with pride? Did I accomplish enough? Was I good enough? Would I leave a legacy?
These days, I feel as though I’d come up short. I want to finish writing my trilogy. I want to publish a comic book series. I want to do better at my job. I want to read more books. I want to be a better friend and family member. I want to make a difference.
I’ve recently been comparing myself to others. More than usual, that is. Comparison is another symptom of midlife. Everyone I’m close to seems to have accomplished so much more than me. Whatever it is, they’ve got me beat, both quantity and quality. I don’t even do drugs, and I hardly even drink anymore. So where has all my time gone? What have I been doing with myself all these years? I’m tired of feeling this way.
The way I see it, I have three ways out:
I could commit myself to a psychiatric ward
I could stop comparing myself to others
I could decide to kick more ass
My therapist recommends Option 2, and I’ve been giving it a shot. (Although I suppose mentioning therapy discloses a hint of Option 1.) It does us no good to compare, right? To measure ourselves against others rather than our own ambitions? But let’s face it. In the era of social media, it’s nearly impossible not to. We’ve gone from competing with our neighbors to competing with the world.
I miss the 80s. Nostalgia is yet another symptom of midlife, don’t say I didn’t warn you. But it is what it is. Comparing is inevitable.
This leaves me with Option 3. Kicking more ass. And you know what? Count me in.
I will finish my third book. I will publish my comic book series. I will improve at my job. I will read more books. I will be a better friend and family member. I will make a fucking difference.
After all, I’m getting married again! To a beautiful woman who believes in me, and whose ambition is nothing short of contagious. It’s Option 3, all the way.
Thank you, Midlife Crisis. For making me realize I still have a lot to do. And that I’m only halfway there.