All year I have been dreading the day I turned 50, a milestone in everyone’s life. I’ve seen the happy facebook photos of friends and aquaintences, laughing and partying with their 10 closest friends as they celebrated their own 50th. It all seemed so epic. Mine was supposed to be epic. At least that was the plan, but we all know what happens to the best laid plans………
Fair warning, this is going to get a bit personal. And I’m going to be like Dr. Phil and tell it like it is. Truth is, turning 50 sucked. I said it. It was epic all right, but not how you might think. It was epically BAD. I am not just talking about the actual birthday, but also the months leading up to it. As tends to happen with me, I decided to go big or go home, or rather, life decided it for me. If you are going to do something, do it spectacularly! In this case, it seemed a stereotypical mid life crisis was in order.
Looking back, I’m thinking it would have been a whole lot easier to buy a fancy sportscar for my crisis and leave it at that. Sure, there would be a hefty price tag, but it seems I achieved that anyway. If you’ve been following my blog, you’d know that the first step I took in this crisis of sorts was burnout. Too much work, too much stress, too many responsibilities. Add a teenager into the mix doing what teenagers do and you get the drift. I ran away from home to the rocky mountains with a bag full of camping gear and removed myself from the situation. For two weeks it worked. I hiked, camped, drove around, and hung out in my hammock. I felt relaxed, a foreign concept to me. It was great, but when I came home, the situation deteriorated. So here it is. My relationship of 20 years ended. I was filled with feelings of failure, regret, upset, worry, sorrow, embarrassment. I didn’t want to talk about it, and still don’t. It is what it is. My focus now is on my child. So, moving on.
Due to a variety of factors like stress, the next step in my midlife crisis involved a visit to the hospital. I was convinced by a close friend to go when I had chest pain that radiated into my jaw and down my arm. You know where this is going. I spent 24 hours in the emergency room for a possible cardiac “event” and found out I most likely had diabetes. And of course my blood pressure was sky high. Fantastic. I didn’t want to go to the hospital. I figured it was nothing, I was only 49, and I would just take up valuable health care resources and make a fool of myself. My advice to others, don’t ignore symptoms. It could have ended very badly.
The actual day of my birthday was spent alone, with no cake, eating kit kat bars in bed. I can’t make this stuff up. I had a huge pity party. Just me and my two cats, Bob and Ninja. I’m not saying they weren’t supportive, but they weren’t much help either.
The next day the pity party had ended, and I’m happy to say that things are slowly starting to come around. My fear of not being able to do things by myself has faded, as I re-installed windows by myself and am slowly starting to de-clutter (that’s another story). Turns out I’m also handy with a drill and hammer. Ive also noticed lots of people have turned 50 and survived. A midlife crisis shows you who your friends are and strengthens those relationships. And I have AWESOME friends.
As I come out of this past year, my confidence is returning and small things are no longer big things. I have lots of plans for my glass business (thejeremiahtreeglass.com) and some great new designs in my head. And of course, more travel and adventure plans. Somehow I’m going to make this work. And as the title of my blog suggests, my story isn’t over.