“Many people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75.” -Benjamin Franklin
I saw this quote last night and it hit a nerve.
I was around 25 when I began to tire of the quest for a fabulous life and started to settle … settle in with my then fiancé, settle down by staying in most nights, settle, settle, just settle for having few friends, for working a blah job with a kind boss. Settling didn’t feel like giving something up that I needed, it felt like ejecting the monkey of expectations off my back. This preempted the staid family life that followed and that I was so perfectly primed for. Be In the moment, simplify, focus on being a mother and wife. It worked.
I’m 41. Upon reflection, I’m not so sure if the living part of me died back then or if I simply learned how to truly live.
But, I feel restless now. I remember my adventurousness, my courage, my tendency to be led by wonder and to act on impulse. My current obligations and devotion to my responsibilities weigh like veiled burdens. I mean, I want to be a good mother first and foremost, it’s a choice but I sort of miss the options of recklessness and spontaneity.
This is not quite a mid-life crisis but only because I’m too self-aware to succumb. Still, this quiet yearning and less quiet questioning, are the stuff clichés are made of.
Forty something divorcée single mom secretly (hopefully it’s not obvious) questions her whole existence and begins to fantasize about busting loose.
This ain’t no “eat, pray, love,” but it might be as much of a cliché…yeah, I’m kind of wishing I could just take off to Italy and have affairs and meditate in India…”find myself.” Ugh, is it more of a cliché to do the eating, praying and loving or to just wish you could?
My kids are asleep. The bills are in a pile on my kitchen table. The dog has hot spots that need treating and my thighs have begun to rub together. Eat, pray, love? Not exactly. I guess I’ll compromise and just watch the movie.