Have I Started My Own Midlife Crisis?

Posted by on May 25, 2015

It may not describe how I feel today, but the song title sure does. Within the last few weeks, I have begun to feel my age. It’s not something I ever really think about. I’m always joking with the kids that I’m not a grown-up but just a big kid. But for some reason of late, I’ve begun to feel my age.

Forgive me for babbling for a bit but for me, writing is therapeutic and right now I need some therapy.

Just under a week ago, I stayed up til 2am watching the final episode of David Letterman. Although I didn’t watch his show religiously, I was a big fan, and even went to see a taping of his show once. I got a little misty eyed watching the show that night thinking about my experience of going to see the show.

Then this morning, I’m reading some news and some news site posted the video of his last words on the show, followed by the Foo Fighters playing his favorite song to clips of Dave through his years on television. You can see the clip here:

I’m sitting at my desk, watching this and I start to cry. Not wanting anyone in the building to know I’m balling my head off, I keep my voice completely silent as the tears are flowing like the water from a tap. And as I sit there trying to watch this, and crying, I’m thinking the whole time about what the hell is wrong with me. It’s just a video montage of some guy’s life work. Why is this bothering me so much?

I finally collect myself, take a deep breath, and open up my browser to search on “midlife crisis” and “do people in their 40s long for their youth”.

See, the truth is, it seems over the last few weeks, maybe even the last few months, I have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about the past. And on the way to work today I thought of a quote from Star Trek Generations: “You know, Counselor, Recently I’ve become very much aware that there are fewer days ahead than there are behind”. I’ve always said that I wanted to make it to 80 years old. That if I made it to 80, that would be fine. I would have lived long enough to experience a great many things and be old enough to enjoy the passage of time.

So as I am driving, I come to realize that at the age of 41, I have now officially crossed the line of having half of my life over. The first 50% of my life is theoretically over and what does that mean to me? Sure, I might live to be 90 but when 80 is the year you are aiming for, you kind of think of that as the end. So what does it mean for someone to have experience what they believe to be the first half of their life.

In watching those clips from the show, it made me have my own reflection of the passage of time and I think part of me is a little scared of that.

Don’t get me wrong, my life now is better than it ever was. In fact, aside from some debt, I don’t think my life could be any better than it is right now. I really am in a place where I couldn’t be happier. So what is it about looking backward that brings tears to my eyes? I think for me it was the sudden realization that those moments truly are gone and that once they are gone, you can’t ever get them back.

So with all of this, I’m sort of thinking that this is a natural stage that people my age start to go through. They think to the past and start to reflect on how they have lived their life, and what is coming next. What matters the most to you and where do you want to focus your time. Time. I think that is the key. As more time passes by, I have begun to realize that time is more precious than anything. Spend your time doing what you love. Don’t spend your time doing things that you can’t stand, or don’t like if you don’t have to.

I find myself at a point in my life where I have been given the means to truly enjoy my life and to embrace all of the wonder and insanity it can really bring. My days of youth may be gone, but I think as we acquire more wisdom, the path to truly finding happiness becomes clearer.

I’m feeling a bit better now. My own therapy seems to have worked and I can now go back to doing actual work today. I may not write a lot here, but there are days where this place is more handy than you’ll know.

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