My Mid-Life Crisis, Part 1

Over the last few weeks, I have shared with several folks (both friends and family) that I have entered, and am fully embracing what I call my midlife crisis.  Now, before you panic, I haven’t bought a sports car (my Subaru is just fine), my marriage is fine (any woman who has put up with me for 20+ years is a keeper for life), and I have no plans to quit my job and join the circus (though it is sometimes tempting).

Before I go any further, let me explain some terms that might be helpful.  Bear with my nerdiness, if you will.

  • Midlife – In just four short weeks, I will celebrate my 46th birthday.  If I plan to live to the ripe old age of 92, which would be pleasantly surprising, but not out of the question, given my family history, that places me smack dab in the middle of this life I’ve been given.  On top of that, I recently reflected that I’ve been engaged in full-time ministry for twenty-two years, which would place me halfway to a projected retirement age of 66.  In addition, our son just turned 11.  If he strikes out fully on his own after college graduation at 22, Barb and I have completed half of our time with a young one in the nest (fingers crossed!).  All of that is to say, I couldn’t be more midlife if I tried right now.
  • Crisis – We often define the word crisis in the negative – with synonyms like emergency, disaster or catastrophe.  However, crisis can also simply point to a time when important decisions must be made.  With this definition, we think of a crisis as more of a crossroads or turning point.  That’s how I’m looking at this season – a time during which I have to make some important decisions about the second half of my life, and how, by God’s grace, I hope to live it.

In too offhanded a way, I have said that the two parts of my midlife crisis are 1) getting healthy (in all the ways that can mean) and 2) saying what I need to say, regardless of whether or not others may like it.  But, as God often does, He has been using conversations with trusted confidantes, sermons and podcasts I’m listening to (including one actually titled, “Preparing for a Midlife Crisis” for heaven’s sake!), and my own reflection times to graciously shape some of those critical decisions I’m making about where I go from here.

Over the next few weeks, I want to unpack for myself (and if it’s helpful, for you) five critical decisions that I feel called to make for this next season.

  • Trust – Confront fear with courage
  • Invest – Make intentional time and space for my most important relationships
  • Speak – Find and use my unique voice
  • Love – Become love
  • Risk – Live without regrets

If I was inclined to get a tattoo – which will not happen because of my dislike for pain – I might tattoo those five words somewhere prominent on my person.  Instead, I’ll just write about them, and hopefully the writing will turn into the doing, which will lead to the living.  But I promise you, it won’t look anything like this.midlife crisis

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3 thoughts on “My Mid-Life Crisis, Part 1

  1. I had to laugh when I saw the picture above of the older guy with a sports car. My hubby had a little two-seater Mazda Miata when I met him in our 20’s. He’s now on his 3rd one, an MX-5. I’m sure when people see him at 61 in his little car they assume he’s just another older guy having a mid-life crisis, but truth be told he just loves them (they actually scare me a little bit, and I find myself saying a prayer for his safety every time he leaves the house). Now if he starts unbuttoning his shirt to his navel and wearing gold chains I met get worried!!! It’s funny how we try to deny our own age though. We actually keep saying that we are at mid-life, but nothing could be further from the truth unless we live to 120, haha. My maternal grandmother, who was the person I admired most and wanted to emulate as I grew up (she also had 7 children) went on to her reward just 3 weeks shy of her 94th birthday. So if I look at her life and divide those years into 4 seasons, we are well into the Autumn of our life, and in another decade will be breathing down the neck of Winter. I do remember that my late 40’s and early 50’s were difficult for me personally, change is never easy. But with age comes acceptance, and a whole new outlook on those remaining years, however many the Lord decides. And as you stated, the relationships and loving-to-the-full, and for me leaving a lasting legacy to my grandchildren filled with faith and love, just as my grandparents left to me, have all become the most important things ……….and boy does it make life sweet!

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  2. Have you read Falling Upward by Richard Rohr?  If not, you should.  Made a lot of sense for me as i went through my midlife season.

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

    Liked by 1 person

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