Saturday, November 7, 2009

I love my life

In spite of my midlife crisis, I've had a lot of moments recently when I've thought to myself, "I love my life!" This is one of those moments:

I'm stretched out on the couch under a warm blanket with a cat on my lap and a fire in the fireplace. I'm listening to A read bedtime stories to R upstairs. And, I can hear the stove making noises as it heats up my mulled cider mixed with blueberry port. I have a book to read (Jane Austen, of course!). The laundry is folded, the house is reasonably clean. It was a beautiful fall day, and I got to spend a few hours of it outside with my boys, raking leaves.

Life is good. :-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So THIS is a midlife crisis... and Jane Austen is bad for me

It dawned on me last week that I'm having my midlife crisis. And that it's been going on for a few months. My version of a midlife crisis has included (so far):
  • Buying a new wardrobe (not so bad and actually was a long time coming; could be considered a necessity)
  • Going out more often with girlfriends (a good thing!)
  • Freaking out about R getting older (understandable) 
Those aren't anything to worry about. But here's the more recent set of crisis behaviors:
  • Reading Jane Austen novels over and over again, especially Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion
  • Watching movies of Jane Austen novels over and over again, especially Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion
  • Getting frustrated with real life because people and relationships aren't like they are in Jane Austen novels
  • Losing sleep from re-hashing in my mind stupid things I did in the past
  • Playing the "What if?" game (i.e., playing out scenarios in my head in which I chose different paths in my past)
I suppose I could be doing far worse things - heaven knows I've been witness to some disastrous midlife crises among my friends. (Although A's has been pretty tame. He's just buying guitars and amplifiers and taking guitar lessons online.)

The Jane Austen stuff is just funny. I love her novels, nearly all of them anyway. And, every few years, I pull them out and read them until the wee hours of the night because I can't put them down. And, I get lost in the romance and that time period and wish I lived back then. But eventually I realize that women's lives were pretty darn crappy then. Also, that I probably wouldn't have been a member of the gentry. I think with my family background, I would have been some kind of scullery maid. So the longing wears off. :-) Plus, my gut tells me that even in Jane Austen's times, men did not actually write letters like Mark Darcy's and Frederick Wentworth's.

Re-hashing mistakes from my past - well, a little remorse can be a good thing. But I try not to dwell on it too much because there isn't much I can do to change things or make amends now. I was young once and stupid sometimes.

The "What if?" game could be dangerous. What if I had dated this person or that person instead of just being friends? But as I've thought about these things, I've actually re-realized that A and I were truly meant to be together. It reminded me that A is the right person for me and always has been (even if he has never written me a letter about how I pierce his soul - darn it, Jane Austen!). Although the path I took to find him may have had some crazy turns and detours, I ended up in the right place.

Maybe it's not my midlife crisis. Maybe I should call it my midlife renewal.