2012 is starting off with a bang for me. I am already having a midlife crisis and it’s only 9 am January 1st. But if I think back over my life, I’ve noticed I’ve had dozens of so-called ‘midlife crises’. Starting when I was around five years old.
I was happily sitting in a sandbox, wearing pigtails, thick tortoise-shell glasses and a sweater with a rainbow on it that my mom had knitted me. A little girl with red hair looked at me, yelled out, “Four-eyes!” and threw a fistfull of sand straight into my eyes. I remember thinking, “What is wrong with this world? Is this all there is?”
Then at age 10: There I am, rollerskating down the road, my hot pink and green ribbon barrettes blowing in the breeze. I noticed a boy I liked was at the bottom of the hill on his bike, watching me. I gained speed, trying to impress him. I tried to slow down, picturing myself coming to a graceful stop at his feet. But I only went faster, the metal wheels of my roller skates shooting sparks in every direction. The boy I secretly pined for became a blur as I zoomed by, only to wobble and fall in a spectacular crash the local kids would talk about for years afterward. I remember laying in the street, bleeding and thinking, “What is wrong with this world? Is this all there is?”
Age 15: Bought a pair of suede boots with heels for the big dance on Friday night. Saved all of my money from my weekend pharmacy job stocking shelves. Hid them in my backpack so I could safely wear my sneakers for my long morning walk to school across a snowy field. Eagerly put them on in homeroom to try them out. Slowly walked down the hall and spotted a group of boys by the lockers. Held my breath as I walked by them. Felt my foot sliding underneath the other one. Fell down in a spectacular crash the boys would talk about for years afterward. As I lay there, clutching my boots, the bell rang. I was late for Algebra. I thought, “Is this all there is?”
Age 20: In college. No trace of a midlife crisis to be found!
Age 30: Wishing I was back in college.
Age 40: Wishing I was 30.
Age 41: Realizing I have crossed that halfway mark to the average woman’s expected lifespan. Must stop having midlife crises every few days. But how? Think positive. Concentrate on things I can actually accomplish.
Resolutions for the Slacker in Me:
I vow to do something crazy this year, like get a tattoo of my kids’ names in Chinese on my ankle. But I’m not good with pain so instead I’ll settle for a rough scrawl of a smiley face done by my daughter in a Sharpie on my forearm.
I vow to maintain my weight. Not lose or gain. Just stay even. This might prove to be my biggest challenge yet.
I vow to not raise my voice, ever. After my kids say, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” a few hundred times in ten minutes, (think Stewie on Family Guy) I will turn to look at them, sigh, slowly fold my hands together and sweetly ask, “Yes? How may I help you?” instead of “WHAT! WHAT! WHAT! WHAAAAAAT???”
I vow to only roll my eyes at my husband 10 times a day instead of the usual 50.
I vow to wake up every morning and breathe
I vow to always take life by the horns and take advantage of those glorious moments where there is nothing left to do but take a nap.
I vow to end these vows before I start annoying all of you.