What the Heck Happened?

Now I know what it means to have a Mid Life Crisis!  I have always heard that men go through these things and end up buying crazy sports cars or some such thing.  All my life I assumed that women were immune to Mid Life Crisis’.  That assumption is proving incorrect!  I haven’t gone out and purchased a crazy fast car.  I did; however, buy a crazy Golden Doodle that I didn’t need!  LOL!!!

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Seriously, I have reached my late 50’s.  One day not long ago, I woke up, looked at myself in the mirror and said to myself, “What the HELL happened to you, who are you and what are you doing in my mirror!  The sobering, soul-shocking answer was that I didn’t know who I was anymore!  I didn’t recognize that face looking back at me from the mirror and I had no idea how I had let myself get in this condition.

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First of all, my identity.  There was a fast paced high school life full of homework, sports and social events.  Its all kind of a blur to be honest.  Then there was college – a dreadful four years of being tossed out my comfort zone and into a world of thousands of teenagers being turned loose without parental control.  WOW!  Again, most of those years have been reduced to a foggy memory.  Then right into a marriage to my high school sweetheart, a year and a half of figuring out how to be married adults and then came parenthood!  And parenthood is where we stayed until now.  All of my jobs revolved around our children.  I was a day care director where I could take our young children with me to work every day for no charge.  When they got to be school age, I became a Realtor so that I could make my own schedule.  I had a standing appointment everyday for 3:00 when our children got home from school.  We were at every sporting event, were chaperones for trips and were there for our children no matter what!  Being parents is what we did and we did it well!  Then came the time when our children got drivers licenses, cars, social lives and started talking about going to college!  These ungrateful rogues were going to up and walk out on us!  After all we had done for them!  Are you kidding me!  I completely freaked out.  Just the thought of empty nesting threw me into a state of panic.  What would I do if there were not children to mother?  Who would I be if I wasn’t So and So’s mom?  To prevent this loss of identity, we decided to extend our parenting life by adding to our family through international adoption.  Whew!  Crisis averted!  We had a 9 month old baby to raise!  YAY!  Life as we knew it could continue!  It has been a wonderful experience, but let me tell you, parenting in your 20’s and 30’s is WAY easier than parenting in your 40’s and 50’s!  Now that we have our youngest child to age 17, I am exhausted and I still don’t know who I am as an individual.

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Then there is my body.  You know, you give birth a couple times, have a few injuries, a couple of medical issues and go through a couple of life changing, drop you to your knees, hard times and things happen.  When all of this crisis came to a head, I had to look at myself in the mirror.  I mean a full length mirror with me in my birthday suit.  HOLY COW!!!   Where was my cute little cheerleader body that I had when we started our family?  Believe me when I say it was LONG gone!!!  I was practically TWICE the woman I once was!!!  OMG OMG OMG!!!!  What a horror!!

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And then there was that face looking back at me that wasn’t the me I remembered.  When I didn’t even recognize myself I realized I had to make some changes.  For the first time ever, I have to figure out who I am when I am not someone’s wife or parent.  I am still both of those things, but I am also me.   I just have to figure out who me really is.  While I am figuring that out, I want to make my body healthier so that it can carry the real me though the rest of this journey.  The road is going to be rough and rugged.  Are you ready to go along with me?  Lets all figure out who we are together!