Today is one of those days that I am just having trouble finding the stamina to face head on, so instead I am sitting here at work (shhh!) writing a blog post. There is nothing out of the ordinary bothering me just the usual crap… I’m just feeling kinda down-ish, frustrated, lost.
I’ve admittedly been deeply involved in an on and off 3-4 year funk that some would call a mid-life crisis or as the MacMillan Dictionary explains:
Midlife Crisis: strong feelings of worry and doubt that some people have about their lives when they reach middle age.
Or from MedicineNet.com
Midlife Crisis: 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, brought on by fears and anxieties about growing older.
Or from Dictionary.com
Midlife Crisis: a period of psychological stress occurring in middle age, thought to be triggered by a physical, occupational, or domestic event, as menopause, diminution of physical prowess, job loss, or departure of children from the home.
Ah, the middle-aged mid-life crisis. It’s part of the reason, I sit at my computer and type out these blog posts. It’s kind of like therapy without the price tag. My wife, being in the mental health field thinks I am depressed. Screw that shit! I’m a pull up-your-bootstraps kinda guy, a “get over it… get your ass out of bed and face the world” kinda guy. C’mon honey, I’m just a middle-aged guy, dealing with some “emotional turmoil” and “psychological stress” and most importantly… the “diminution of my physical prowess”… now that’s some serious shit to have to work through. But in reality I know what the problem is. Life is just hard, and sometimes it’s really hard. Raising kids is hard. Being married is hard. Having responsibilities is hard. Owning a house is hard. Running a business is hard. Life is hard and it never really lets up and I’ve been doing it now for a long time. How did we all get signed up for this?
So, this is the deal. I’ve decided I want a sabbatical! I want to go into the woods and hibernate for a while, aka Henry David Thoreau.
This is how it’s gonna go down;
ME: “Hey Baby, I know you just spent the last four hours driving the kids around to all their activities and that dinner you’re cooking up, man it smells frikin’ awesome… but hey, I had this idea…. tell me what you think… see, you know how I’ve been having these feelings about, you know, the diminution of my physical prowess… well, I think I’m gonna go live in the woods for a few months, you know, just try it out… this whole Dad gig, wow, it’s pretty frikin’ tough… I just need to take a little time off. Maybe you could just bring me some groceries, like once a week, like Thoreau’s family did.”
WIFE: “Uh, excuse me… you’re going to what…. go live in the woods for a few months?”
ME: “Yeah, you know, just go find myself… take some time to reconnect with nature…you know… and my physical prowess. I’ll have my cell phone with me, you know, in case there’s an emergency or anything. I was thinking I could spend some time, you know, on my writing.”
WIFE: “You’re an asshole. You should be on Prozac or something!”
Okay, so that won’t work. But don’t you ever wish you could have a sabbatical? Just get away for a while, and I don’t mean like an all-expenses paid trip to Cancun. That’s fun too, but you have to pay for it, for like three months. I don’t mean in a Ted Kacsynski Unabomber kind of way either. I just mean get away… really simplify your life… lose the materialistic part and just live, you know, just for the sake of living. I know it’s not very realistic, it’s really not, especially in this culture of indulgence that we live in. I understand that and my wife always reminds me, “Steve, you’d miss all the fun stuff and the traveling… and the wine. Oh yeah, the wine… well I could make my own wine damn it… so there!
Anyway, back to my sabbatical. It makes me wonder how Thoreau pulled it off. I don’t know much about the guy, a quirky dude, I suspect. I’ve never read Walden Pond. Maybe I should! I do know he was a Harvard graduate and apparently he was never married. Maybe he just didn’t have many responsibilities or friends or maybe he had a girlfriend that was, you know, like totally flexible.
“Hey Baby, I know you just spent the last three hours hand washing my underpants in the stream and churning butter, but hey, I had this idea…. tell me what you think… I’m gonna go live in the woods for a couple of years, you know, just try it out, maybe write an all-time classic book… you know, this whole boyfriend gig, wow, it’s pretty frikin’ tough… I just need to take a little time off.”
GIRLFRIEND: Okay, baby… have fun… your so hot when you’re showing you’re weird eccentric side.
I don’t know… sometimes my wife and I sit around and talk about this, how to simplify, how to find a better way to live a happier, more fulfilling life and spend less time worrying about stuff and being stressed out. Then reality sinks in and the dishes have to be washed and the kids have to be picked up and the bills have to be paid. It’s frustrating sometimes, it really is, and maybe I’m just searching for an existential lifestyle that isn’t really possible anymore.
You know what though? I’m not ready to quit trying to find it. Maybe a sabbatical in the woods is not the answer… well, yeah, clearly it’s not the answer. But the answer is out there somewhere and I’ll keep blogging about it until I find it!