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Saturday, June 23, 2001

Mid-life crisis

What are you doing for your mid-life crisis?

It didn't happen all at once...I'm sure most of us have had little hints of impending mid-life crisis. Like the shock we experienced the first time a great song on the radio ended with the DJ identifying the station as, "WXYZ...playing your favorite oldies." Or the time you were out driving late at night, and you suddenly got all misty eyed when a song on the radio transported you back to a high school date, the senior prom, or the care-free summers of '78 and '79.

Well, I'm turning 40 this year.

I have to admit, it's not as bad as I imagined it would be (and it's a hell-of-a-lot better than the alternative!) I've stopped worrying about where my hair went (or my feet, for that matter) and begun to actively embrace nostalgia. I've begun buying CDs of my favorite albums (since everything the kids listen to these days is crap) and occasionally I take down the yearbook. There is something about coming in from mowing the lawn, putting on an old Pink Floyd album, and looking at yearbook pictures of classmates who didn't make it to forty, to put things in perspective. I look out the window and see my wife weeding her flower garden...the kids laughing as they roll on the lawn with the dog...and I think, "I really should stop bitching about getting old". I look at the faces in the yearbook...blissfully unaware of the diseases / car crashes / overdoses / heart attacks, etc. rushing to meet them in life's relentless demolition derby.

I look at my own yearbook picture...all that promise (all that hair) and take stock of what I have to show for my life so far: A million bucks in the bank - Not yet; A Jag in the garage - Nope; A mansion on the beach in Westport - Not in this lifetime. Yet, here I sit, watching two wonderful children playing in the yard, and a beautiful, intelligent woman brushing the soil from her skirt.

As the wind blows through the last haunting chords of Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here', I head back out into the sunshine. I stop thinking about all the advice I'd give those fresh young yearbook faces, and realize it wouldn't have helped a bit. Those who are gone, wouldn't have benefited from my life experience, and those who've somehow managed to survive the charnel house that was the '80's and '90's have (hopefully) learned the important lessons on their own.

Posted by David Bogner on June 23, 2001 | Permalink


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