Am I having a midlife crisis and more importantly, what does that mean? Being a responsible journalist (okay bIogger, what’s the difference these days?) I did my research and consulted Google. After a few taps of the keyboard I was greeted by the following definition: a period of personal emotional turmoil and coping challenges that some people encounter when they reach middle age, accompanied by a desire for change in their lives (MedicineNet.com).
The part that resonates with me is the bit about a desire for change and maybe a little bit about being middle aged. If I want to take a break from my life in Australia and live overseas, does that mean I’m suffering a period of emotional turmoil? Most guys my age who experience this feeling of uncertainty either go out and buy a sports car, or hook up with a girl 10 to 15 years younger. I have to be honest, both of these options sound appealing; especially the sports car. I’m sure many of you thought I’d opt for the younger girlfriend. No chance with Sarah reading over my shoulder.
I’ll be honest life is great – I have a wonderful fiancée (Sarah) of almost 10 years (and she’s quite happy still being my fiancée), and a baby boy named Harry (our blue healer puppy of almost 9 years). So why do I feel dissatisfied or disheartened with my journey through life?
Sarah and I recently returned from an overseas trip and the moment we touched down on the tarmac it dawned upon me. This is as good as it gets. Small trips abroad every couple of years to scratch an itch that just won’t go away. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, spoiled or even selfish but, why do I have to conform to years of debt, children and the routine of life. Is there a time limit to when we have to be mature, sensible and financially secure? Can’t I relive my youth and run away? Or am I being irresponsible? So many questions to ponder and who is qualified to answer them?
I decided to consulted the thoughts and opinions of those I respect and value; family, friends, several bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and the local cab driver chauffeuring me home.
At first the discussion centred on gossip, financial security, owning a home and the obvious question all engaged couples are asked (especially by mums) what about children? Time to open another bottle of Sauvignon Blanc; don’t you just love bottles of wine with screw cap lids?
Several hours and a couple of bottles later the conversation suddenly takes a more favourable path. Before I continue, I must mention that all of my friends are married with children, paying off home loans and are all engrained in the cycle of life. I must also state they are all blissfully happy; well most of them anyway and I have know doubt in the future I’ll aspire to be like them.
Back to the conversation, which I must say was making me feel more assured and excited about my decision and less concerned about the label bestowed upon middle aged men by society. Suddenly the diplomatic words of advice were being replaced by responses of support and encouragement with an underlying tone of envy.
By the time we’d collectively finished the final bottle of one of Barossa Valley’s finest, the support was unanimous and overwhelming. ‘You’d be mad not to go,’ they laughed. What’s stopping you from taking a break from life and jetting off they all argued? Suddenly the spotlight was back on me. I always liked being the centre of attention.
I still felt I needed to consult the one occupation that many would deem society’s therapists, or to a lesser extent – community sounding boards. I hear a car horn beep from outside. I say farewell to my friends and hop into the taxi where I’m greeted with a friendly g’day mate, were you heading? I’m glad you asked…