For the record, I was the one that named this endeavour. (Actually, what I suggested was “Mid-Life Crisis Action Committee”, but Rando suggested we shorten it to our current moniker.) I came up with it mainly as a joke; we were, after all, three friends in our early 40’s who decided to take a stab at podcasting. All of us were regular guys (as much as anyone can be called “regular” anyway). We were all married, all working 40 hour days, and we were all getting older. Starting a podcast seemed like a mid-life crisis to me!
A rather turblent year kater and and I’m looking at things differently.
Soon after we got this podcast/blog going, I lost my job. It was a job I didn’t like and was glad to see the back side of, but losing it stung nonetheless. Less than six months prior, I’d gotten a large and long overdue raise. To say I was not expecting to be out work before that same year was out was an understatement.
So, there I was. Forty-two years old and sitting at home all day, drawing unemployment, trying to dwell on the list of trips and purchases I’d planned to make that were now postponed indefinitely, and marveling at just how much cats sleep during the day. My main occupation was trying not to go stir crazy while looking for work in a tight job market. Eventually, I was offered a job I really didn’t want. I took it anyway, cause it was tired of making my wife pay for everything. It was a job and I took it despite my reservations.
I lasted one day and never went back.
Soon afterward, I lost my unemployment benefits due to changes in my state’s regulations. After a very nervous week of hunting for something, anyway, I found a part-time gig at the local movie theater. My first job at age 18 was in my hometown’s theater. Now, twenty-four years later, here I was again. I tried hard not to let my siuation get me down. Other folks were a lot worse off than I was.
Finally, a month or so ago, I landed a full time job once again. It’s nice to have that load off my back and to finally be able to plan for the future, but now a lot of the angst I felt before losing my last job is starting to return. Once again, I’m stuck in the rut of the workaday world and while I wouldn’t trade my current job for the theater, I do need to find a way to not feel stuck anymore
Which leads me to the question I asked in the title of this post: what exactly constitutes a mid-life crisis? We all know the stereotype of the middle-aged American man who goes a little nuts after turning 40: he buys a converitible sports car, leaves his wife, gets a young girlfriend, and generally tries to act like he’s 25 again. I don’t want any of that, though! I’ve no interest in a flashy car, been married for 16 years and don’t see myself changing that voluntarily, and I have absolutely no desire to be 25 again! But, I am getting to a point where I don’t want things to continue as they are. I spent the majority of the last year in a state of flux. Looking back, I’ve come to believe I don’t really know any other way to live. I’m getting to a point where I want things to slow down and start living a quieter, simpler life. Would thank count as a “crisis” or am I get just maturing? Is there even a difference? I wish I knew…