I talk too much.
Countless thoughts are spawned in the fertile recesses of my mind, and are only given a few moments of incubation time before I give in to the irresistible impulse to birth them into the world in the form of unsolicited speech.
The poor people who happen to be within earshot of me tend to get that glazed-over look in their eye, the tell-tale sign that they are bored, praying for the end of the story, trying to find a point, or just simply thinking, “She never shuts up.”
Recently, I decided to channel my thoughts into something worthwhile and less annoying, so I took up writing and dove into my new hobby with vim and vigor.
However, my excitement quickly turned to self-doubt when I realized – who wants to read the mundane rants of a middle-aged housewife? Surprisingly, the clutter of my mind parted like the Red Sea to reveal the answer: My mundane middle-aged life is exactly what thousands of readers want to know about. I mean, who doesn’t wonder, what specifically is “middle age”? Are we there yet? Is there any way to turn around and go back?
We throw the term “middle age” around like so many other vague phrases common in daily vernacular, without really understanding what the words really mean. The definition of middle age is definitely debatable – some believe that statistical life-expectancy charts dictate that one is middle-aged when one is between 40 and 60 years old. But this view is almost universally met with resistance . . . “What? I’m not middle-aged!”
Such non-believers opine that they are only as old as they look, act or feel. But if this vague standard was the basis for determining middle age, I would bet my pricey wrinkle cream that the only people who would admit to being middle age would be standing in the early bird line on senior citizens night at the local Country Buffet, likely wearing pants well above their waistlines and orthopedic shoes, and definitely planning on getting seconds of the tapioca.
What are we so afraid of? For many of us, middle age represents the real “meat and potatoes” of life, when selfish interests are put on hold for hard work in the form of home buying, bill paying, child rearing, taxes, the struggle to ward off the physical effects of aging, and the battle to keep marriages intact through it all. Gone are the days of carefree self-discovery and unbridled fun-seeking – it’s time to get serious and figure out what the hell we are doing before we screw things up.
Middle age probably plays the most significant role in determining our long-term happiness. It is during this time that marriages are either cemented or broken, our children are forming their personalities (or criminal tendencies), and we either become comfortable with ourselves or we experience the proverbial mid-life crisis.
How on earth are we supposed to perform this tight rope act without falling into a deep dark abyss? Truthfully, I have no clue; however, I cannot help but think that if we just sit back and relax, we might just enjoy the ride. Why spend our substantive years pathetically fighting what nature and instinct have dictated for us? I’m not saying we should stop plucking our chin hairs and burn our extra supportive bras, I just think that the key to surviving middle age must be based at least partially on our willingness to give in and embrace the natural progression of our lives with a fun-loving spirit and the ability to laugh at it all.