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Blog Entry

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

Posted on: August 1, 2008 5:30 am
Edited on: August 1, 2008 5:36 am
 
Audrey Hepburn I am not. Here was a woman who seemed to have done everything in her life with dignity and grace, to include aging. I have no doubt, had her life not been cut short at 63, she would have continued to have done so. Katherine Hepburn is another woman who seemed to have aged with grace also. I remember seeing her “On Golden Pond” and silently hoping that when it comes time, that I will age as gracefully as she had. Unfortunately, I may be able to compare myself more to Joan Crawford, when it comes to aging.

I would say that I’m into week three of my mid-life crisis and I will admit, it’s been some what of a learning experience, or more perhaps, a lesson in confirming what I already suspected. I found out the three basic reasons I can get away with some of the things that I am able to get away with. The first reason is obvious, my age. Somewhere along the line, I quit being called on some of the things I say. Perhaps it’s because of confidence, but I’m thinking it’s more of being viewed as becoming an eccentric old woman who’s on the verge of dementia.

The second reason may have to do with my being married. Okay, I’m like most everyone else, I enjoy some harmless flirting. Fortunately or unfortunately, no one takes me seriously when I do. There was a time in my life I had to be careful, regardless of marital status, because harmless flirting was taken seriously. Now, even if I really wanted to have an affair, I’d get a laugh, a pat on the head and a request for cookies instead. Oh well, that’s another story.

The final reason is probably because I no longer give a rat’s sweet patootie whether someone approves or disapproves of what I do or say. Okay, there’s a limitation to that. I still need a paycheck, so I can of keep that in check at work, however, in other circumstances, gloves do tend to come off. At some point, I quit relying on others approval to boost my self-esteem. Not to say I don’t flatter easily, just that I’m not going to change what I do to become flattered.

I guess another lesson that I’ve learned is that there are going to be turning points in my life where I’ll have either mini- or major-crisis’s. I think we all do at some point in our lives. Whether it’s from a loss of a job or an injury that requires career changes, empty-nest syndrome, divorce or even, just a birthday. The question is how do we handle it? Some trade in the mini-van for a sports cars, others trade their spouse in for a younger “model”. Others tend to accept it and go on about their lives.

Perhaps it’s because I’m going through a stage where I’ve decided that I’m going to refuse growing old gracefully, that I’m at least able to at relate to others who may be going through their own “crisis”, as others who already went through theirs have been able to commiserate with me. Maybe that’s why I’m a little “softer” in my thought process when I hear of an aging Roger Clemens take the needle to extend his career, a little less judgemental on the rumors of A-Rod’s possible infidelities and yes, even a little sympathetic when I heard that Brett Favre decided he wasn’t actually ready for retirement.

We get to witness the “challenges” that aging presents to sports personalities and Hollywood celebrities, because they are in the public eye. For some, getting older hurts or potentially ends their career and they slip off into the sunset. For others, age only enhanced their careers. For those of us who are only in the eyes of our friends and family, ours is definitely less public, but no less a saga.

For me, the saga has just begun.
Category: General
Comments

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2008 1:02 pm
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

altsteelfan,

I'll be there, probably more active once it gets close to the season and the final cuts have been made. 

I'm not sure about the wisdom either, though I think we would consider it wisdom since we've supposedly learned from our mistakes.  I honestly believe we all get hit with it at sometime, some less dramatic as others.   Thanks for your input, I understand the financial setbacks that come about, that in itself places somewhat of a stress...lol. 



Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2008 12:11 pm
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

Thank goodness Steeler camp has arrived because now "MOM'S IN THE HOUSE". Good to see your a member of Three Rivers and Five Rings group!

Perhaps it's different for a man, but I think I have embraced this aging thing. Could be I'll change my mind if I suddenly morph into (or are told so) a curmudgen. To this point (mid forties) I can honestly say I have enjoyed the ride, all the twists and turns. the setbacks and roadblocks. I have enjoyed the wisdow that age has bestowed upon me. I can remeber my father saying when I was youmg "A stupid man makes no mistakes". Took me a long time to figure that one out, but once I did, making those mistakes and the wisdom gained were truly appreciated. About the only drawbacks that come to mind are the financial setbacks a college daughter (we discussed this previously) going to Chatham creates, mirrors and being blessed with a DOS based brain that contiunally keeps getting weaker. Oh well, not much we can do about this ailment so I for one plan on enjoying this ride as long as lasts!

Again, look forward to seeing your posts on the above mentioned group.   




Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2008 11:31 am
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

By one...I mean kid...not wife....alot of times the passion tends to regenerate once the chicks are out of the house. 



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2008 11:30 am
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

Well most women are more traditional.  You still have one at home which is going to definitely require some more patience on your part.  But you're taking the right steps...ummm...have you discussed this with your wife by chance? 



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2008 11:19 am
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

So I have to figure out a way to satisfy that qualm and craving without giving everything up to do it. 

You hit the nail flush on the head.  I think this involves mostly a lot of patience and well timed action.  A big concern of mine is I'm not sure what it will take to satisfy the qualm.  It needs to be more like parachuting was in that just the experience is enough, and not like the more additive golf where I want to play every week.  I hope it's more like putting out a small garbage can fire with an extinguisher and not like a California forest fire.  It's uncharted territory.  I feel vunerable right now, but noone is trying to take advange of me. 

we did spend time apart and the only thing I placed on him was that he didn't bring me back any disease

A much lower bar then most women would impose / expect.  I can see how military experiences would help give you this more open understanding attitude.  Unfortunately, my wife's attitude is much more traditional. 



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2008 6:14 am
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

Well Jelly,

I can honestly say the onset of menopause actually hit around the onset of my 47th birthday...so I think they both triggered the crisis. 

They say marriages move in cycles from romantic/passionate love, to friendship/comfort and back again.  I think it is when the friendship/comfort set in, so does a bit of discontentment.  We fool ourselves to think that it should be romantic/passionate all the time and I think it's when alot of marriages hit the friendship/comfort stage some feel that because the "fire went out" that the marriage is over with, thus the divorce rate.  Alot who wait out that stage and actually work at bringing it back (like you seem to be doing)  seem to end up happier with the results.

I think my husband and I have a different view point on marriage then alot of other couples.   I would not see him having an affair as a betrayal to me, but that's me, and that comes from some things that I've witnessed while I was in the military.  I spent a year on an unaccompanied tour to Korea and saw even the most faithful of husbands and wives succumb to the temptation.   Later, during my first marriage, I was stationed overseas and my ex stayed behind to go to school.  It was a constant struggle not to seek anothers arms when the nights got lonely.  In hindsight, I wondered why I didn't. 

In my current marriage, because of my husbands job, we did spend time apart and the only thing I placed on him was that he didn't bring me back any disease.  After all, we are, by nature, sexual creatures.   The problem comes because we are also creatures of emotions and we do have a conscience.  Way back when, long before women stood up and burned their bra's, it was okay for men to have both a wife and a mistress (though women weren't afforded the same luxury).   Now that society has said it's not okay for a married person to have an affair and the churches pressing that adultery is a sin, we fight our conscience. 

I know my "issues".  Once I hit adulthood, I wasn't in one place for any length of time.  Being in the military, I was never at one place for more then 4 years.  There was always something that "changed".  The longest was when I moved back to PA from California after having my daughter, which was a 10 year period between that and my having met and married my husband.  The marriage and subsequent move was a "change".  Now I'm in a place and a marriage/relationship for almost 10 years and the antsiness is setting in again.  But I'm a responsible adult who loves her husband and likes her marriage despite everything.  So I have to figure out a way to satisfy that qualm and craving without giving everything up to do it.  In some ways I'm lucky because I have a little more "flexibility" then some others, but I also have a lot more to balance then some others do also.

Good luck in finding a way to scratch your itch.



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: August 2, 2008 7:49 pm
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

I would say that I’m into week three of my mid-life crisis

Did the approaching of your 47th. birthday provide the trigger, or menopause perhaps?  I think I've been around the fringe of something for quite a while now, although I can't say when it started or even define what it is.  I think a large part of it has to do with wanting the wife and I to have more passionate sparks...... more like it was.  I've made some clear progress, but it's so agonizingly slow.   

Sometimes I think fedelity is overrated.  Nothing can deminish the deep lifetime love I have for my wife, nor (I thnk) her love for me.  Why not have a fling?   Other times I think fedelity isn't overrated.  Cross a line, and it may be hard to come back from dangerous territory.

My situation to me is largely confusion based.  I've been pretty good about making decisions over the years, but I'm not sure how to handle an itch you can't scratch or put ointment on to cure.  Who do you even consult on this topic?  What I'm typing right now is as close to a consultation as I'm likely to have.

I suspect my struggle is similar enough to yours that I understand and empathise with your difficulty.  I wish you / us all the luck in the world.

Great blog as always.  Looking forward to reading installment 2. 




Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2008 4:36 pm
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

Thanks...

I never grew up with being taught to say yes ma'am or no sir...never used those terms until I enlisted...lol.  Didn't mean that I didn't respect my elders. 

I think every person is deserving of respect, regardless of how old they are, until they show otherwise.  There's alot of us old folks who don't show the "younger" generation respect either nowdays.  So in a way, it's a tit-for-tat situation.  I think you're wise teaching your children the golden rule and I think that's where we've gotten lost some where. 



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2008 4:30 pm
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

Nice Blog.

I think unfortunately in today's society too many young kids and young adults just don't show the respect towards their elders as they should. That is a topic of conversation me and my best friend talk about quite often. When I was growing up, all you had on T.V. were family value shows that were very limited in the language and the amount of sking they could show. Everything was yes mam, yes sir, thank you, and so on. Nowadays everything you see on T.V. or hear on the radio is filled with disrepectful actions and comments. Today's youth has a feeling of invincibility and feel they should have to respect no one. I for one have made that one of my # 1 priorities in my life, and that is to teach my 2 children to treat others as you would want to be treated yourself and to treat others with the upmost kindness and respect. If somebody doesn't appreciate you for who you are, no matter age, physical being, mental being, and so on, then that person isn't worth knowing.




Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2008 4:17 pm
 

Lessons from Midlife - the Saga Begins

Oh and Joe...the cookies are in the mail...thank you again. 


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