It's cliché but...
I've officially decided that, yes, I am in the midst of a midlife crisis (and I started this post, somehow published it without finishing it, so maybe that's enough said, enough proof, do I really need to add other thoughts and/or examples?).
But, I think that this is where I am "at" in my life. Mid-40s, lots of transitions right now, a healthy dose of uncertainty, and, yes, I'll take that crisis.
To be honest, I probably felt this coming on last year, but triathlon proved to be a fantastic diversion for most of the year, and then the fall is always a busy time with the return to school. So, right about now - the February doldrums - the stars should align for that crisis moment.
Much of this is provoked by major changes that we are planning - good changes but stressful. I've alluded to this before, so I should put it out there, although I kind of hate to make a life announcement in the same breath that I'm talking about a crisis. Oh well, not much to do about that. Yes, the major change - we finally decided to bite the bullet and move to Colorado this summer!
Not a bad place to be... But, at the moment, I don't have a job yet and am kind of/really freaking out, even though it IS still premature. However, with so many people in my life asking me about said job, it doesn't exactly calm me down. And there are plenty of other "known unknowns" along with those "unknown unknowns" a la Rumsfeld.
Before I focus too much on the anxiety that this change is provoking (or is a part of?), I have to say that the move to Colorado is NOT a midlife crisis decision. It's actually something that we've wanted to do... probably ever since we married. Year after year, we return to Colorado at least twice to visit friends and family and to enjoy skiing, biking, hiking, you name it. We definitely love the opportunities to pursue an active lifestyle there, but that isn't the only motivating factor - after all, we live in CA and there are plenty of opportunities here too! Being closer to family and friends (we have several friends who have migrated to the Boulder/Denver area over the past few years) is a major factor, and, we feel that long-term, this is where we want to be. Rather than continuing to delay the plan ("Maybe next year, maybe in five years..."), we decided that we needed to just do it, as Nike recommends.
All of these changes are unfolding, and I am trying, without much success, to wrap my mind around the complex equation of finishing out my school year in an active and engaged manner, looking for a job (without taking rejection too hard), training for triathlon, and, the big one, picking up and moving - leaving friends, relationships, patterns that have all developed over 10 years. It's a bit much to handle at times, but I'm trying!
And to return to the midlife crisis moment - I can't totally separate it from all of the other changes happening in our lives. It does provoke me, in a good way, to think about what's next and to think about what I want to do, how do I want to live. These are questions that sprawl, once you pose them to yourself, and once they take up residency, they REALLY take up real estate in your brain. Or they have for me. Most days, I enjoy teaching, and on a good day, I *love* teaching, and Ican definitely see myself in the classroom until I retire, whenever that is. On the other hand, I also think that I would be okay with stepping away from the classroom, or taking some sort of a break and doing something different. But what that "different" is, I'm not sure. Not knowing is kind of scary, and leaving a job that has been so rewarding in many ways while also secure does unsettle me quite a bit. I think that it's a good moment in my life to be unsettled, but it's not easy. I'm sure that there are about two dozen, if not more, quotes about things that aren't easy being well worth the challenge. And I agree with that in theory, but living that experience is different.
However, as much as I'm a bit afraid of the unknown, I'd also like to embrace it. I used to pick up my life on a more regular basis, but I haven't in a while. So, maybe I need to get used to the unknown again. And, maybe I need to do the same for this little crisis - embrace it, ride through the storm and see where I end up on the other side.