Today’s post sounds pretty informative, until you remember that I’m only in my twenties. Sorry about that.
I’m bad at waking up early. I do all the tricks: drink water before bed, put my alarm on the other side of the room, keep the curtains drawn back as best I can. But somehow I’m still always rushing. I wake with the alarm, bring it back to bed with me, and fall asleep with it.
Sometimes I wake with minutes to get ready, and I start crying “oh no, oh no, oh no!” And I wander around the room wringing my hands and lamenting my life. Alex calls these moments my midlife crises.
“Let’s go to bed early,” he’ll say, “so you don’t have a midlife crisis tomorrow.” Good advice, if a little odd. But sometimes it still doesn’t work. Sometimes my brain decides to stay comotose until twenty minutes before class. Sometimes I forget to pack a lunch or brew coffee. Sometimes we’re running to school, slipping on ice and bounding over roads, racing the bells that chime the hour.
Sometimes I get home so utterly exhausted I want to do nothing, when I have everything to do. I start to cry and wring my hands again, hating and loving and lamenting.
These are the moments that make me a volatile person. I never thought myself someone with a short temper, but maybe instead I have short nerves. Neither of those is good, and I wish I’d caught it sooner. Alex waits for the storm to pass, and I realize that none of this is worth a storm. Nothing is worth treating the people I love this way.
So I give myself permission to make little decisions to avoid midlife crisis. I take ownership of my days. I decide not to go to this one class today, or to be a little late to this other thing so I can have dinner with my husband. Even a year ago I’d be wracked with guilt for playing hooky. But nothing is worth being Crazy Lady.
The biggest challenge, of course, is taking ownership of myself, of reminding myself to nourish what is most important and to remember what isn’t. It means being independent of my circumstances and choosing to be myself, whole, calm, and strong, even when a hundred crazed outside voices tell me otherwise.
I’m still working on all this, of course. But recognizing that I must is a start. It’s a start I hadn’t made before.
Call in the next ten minutes, and you too can avoid mid-life crisis!