I have just learned that I could be having quite possibly, maybe, potentially, a mid-life crisis.
Here are the facts.
I’m going to be 40 in less than 40 days.
I have been officially jobless since the beginning of the year and I have no idea what I really want to do next – hence, I’m having difficulty applying myself to anything of real merit.
My extra kilos aren’t going anywhere anytime soon – despite exercising 6 days a week. Although the additional ‘stay-at-home’ calorie intake probably isn’t helping this point!
I can’t imbibe like I used too without feeling rotten the next day.
My brain has turned to mush. My sparkling repartee, quick wit and astoundingly humorous opinions on just about anything seem to be eroding before my television…I mean eyes!
And finally, here’s a turn a phrase I never thought I’d use; my husband and I are officially trying for a baby. Bleuch… “trying for a baby”. It’s only news when there IS an actual baby. I’ve always been of the opinion that no one needs to know about the trying…until I started the climb to this mid-life what’s-it. Apparently there’s a whole market out there for ‘I’m trying for a baby’ stories. Just check into mamamia for half an hour. I do, frequently!
So here I am, five months into my unplanned sabbatical, sitting around the house in what can loosely be described as “active wear”, keeping a notebook so I can write and rewrite ‘to do’ lists just like I do when I’m in an office (with like, a ‘real job’). Only these days the key performance indicators on my lists relate to the house and home (get husband’s jeans mended, contact agent about leaking shower) and not the office (meet with CEO re: speech for Premier’s function).
Like too many gainfully-employed computer-bound people I refresh my Twitter and facebook stream more times in an hour than really necessary – only I’m allowed to. I haven’t got a job.
Or do I?
I have resisted the urge to soak up my unemployment with couch time. I get up every morning at roughly the same time as I always did. I still go to my personal trainer twice a week for 6.30am sessions – a much-loved activity that sadly, soon may be put on hold until the next pay cheque shows itself. Most days I go through my usual grooming routine just in case the phone rings. I’ve always been a hair and makeup girl – so that’s not unusual. I cook my husband breakfast and dinner. Some days I drive him to work. I draw the line at giving him lunch money and a clean hanky.
Then, without a meeting (read: coffee or lunch date) I set about something house related. Cleaning, cooking, washing, tidying, bill-paying, planning meals. I actually love this stuff. I have seriously turned my mind, head and heart to our home. A role I have seized with gusto. Home-loving Cancerian that I am it suits me. But it doesn’t satisfy me. It doesn’t stretch my brain and it doesn’t make me feel like I’m living up to my potential.
Unfortunately for me, I have a) high expectations of myself and b) a healthy creative ego that knows I’ve got something more to give/change/influence.
I wish I could be satisfied and fulfilled to be a stay-at-home wife (someday full-time mother) but what I have learned on this ‘sabbatical’ is that I NEED a job. Not only to pay the bills but to keep me in a routine that actually drives me towards reaching and achieving something. Without an actual job, with real money and real responsibilities, I too easily wander into struggle town and admire the view and wish I could be as clever/creative/brilliant as the people I pass along the way. I don’t think it’s the actual job itself I need either. I believe it’s the social infrastructure and the people that go with it. It’s being part of a team that solves problems, that informs and keeps organisations running.
You don’t get that buzz sitting around in ‘casual wear’ refreshing facebook all day.
But I’m working on it.
I’m working on writing about all these things in my life. Turning 40. Getting and losing jobs. Gaining and losing weight. Getting pregnant and losing it. And probably a whole a lot more in between.
I’ve always been someone that had an opinion – even if it wasn’t valid it was amusing!
I’ve always been a writer – just never prolific.
And I’ve always been too bloody hard on myself. Everything has to be perfect before I can start, go, do, be… I spent time formatting this page for fuck’s sake before I started typing. I correct typos along the way in spite of the fact that my mind is racing to the next thought so fast I’m worried I’ll lose it…what was I saying?…
Am I halfway there or have I got more past than future?
Now there’s a less-than-perfect thought.