Entering midlife with eyes wide open. For some it’s a crisis for others it’s a battle. Aging has never been a big deal for me…. until now.
Midlife, in crisis, realizing now that forward is not a choice, it’s a demand. The things that I did not make time for in my youth will be what conquers me in my next stage. I see the start of wrinkles and lines and I feel a sucker punch to the stomach. It’s not so much that they are there, but that I wasn’t given the choice, no one asked me if I wanted to be painted with time.
I had taken for granted so much in the first stages of life. I would swear to you that skinny models in magazines did not affect my perspective on a woman’s body. I was confident… but I was also fortunate to have a metabolism that kept me from really having to dive deep into this social issue.
However, for the first time in my life, I had to buy the next size up. I wasn’t just spilling over my jeans, I couldn’t even do up the button. At first I blamed the pandemic and the baking we did to pass the time, but cutting that out didn’t change my shape, the way it used to. I could correct a five pound shift, once upon a time, without having to work for it but now, it won’t budge. I argue with myself about why this matters and can only conclude that evolution is scary. The me I was praised for is disappearing, leaving me to question: What do I have left? What will I be praised for when I am pear-shaped and wrinkled?
My body swells with a heat so powerful, something similar to shame, but it takes over every inch, electrifying my skin until it cries for peace and still continues to rage and so I do, I rage. I do not rage that my body is passing through the need to have children. I have enough children, I was done when my youngest was born. The emotion I feel is not in my control. Hormones, unhinged explode and suddenly I’m angry at my loved ones for breathing to close to me. I am battling for my grip on what I have grown accustomed to along with a fear of what is to come.
The crisis that comes with midlife–at least in the beginning–is about controlling your entrance into new territory. Some laugh, “Why control it? It’s inevitable.” I am not there yet. I do not dive head first into shallow water nor am I ready to shed the skin I’ve worn for decades to create a new shell, the one that I will wear as I slowly become invisible to the people around me. Colours less vibrant, shuffling through the world, watching people do important things, while I remember that I once mattered.
So I prepare.
I wonder who am I?
What do I love?
Am I fulfilled?
What am I doing with my life?
If feels like there is so little time to take this all on. Will I have enough money to enjoy my later years? Will I look back and know that life was good to me? That I left something behind of value? Realizing that if I’m going to do something with my life, now is the freakin’ time, but I have no idea what that something is…
Now that midlife is here the clock is ticking, I can hear it–daring–telling me, the end is coming… What are you going to do about it?!
Photo credit to Athena/Pexels