I should be due for my mid-life crisis by now. I’m in my mid 40’s , a prime time for it to happen they say. Well so far, I have been able to avoid it. Talking to a lot of people , you can get the impression that a MLC ( mid life crisis ) comes out of the blue! At least, that’s what it seems to the partners of those having the crisis! Truth is, it’s something that’s probably been building up for some time.
What is a crisis anyhow? According to Dictionary.com, it’s “a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.” Also “a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.” I will step out on a limb here and say that people can create their own crisis by how they react to circumstances. We all have a choice in how we react, and that is determined by our attitude. I love the line from Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “If”;
“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same.”
The term he uses , “imposters” , is so poignant. What he’s basically saying is triumph and disaster are completely subjective terms, based on what our attitude is. I have a friend who is a quadriplegic, a result of a accident he had as a young man. In fact the incident happened on Australia Day, significant since it’s the anniversary of when that incident happened over 20 years ago. Prior to that accident, my friend freely admits his life was spinning out of control. He was a frequent user of drugs and alcohol, constantly exhibiting violent and uncontrollable behaviour. He parents didn’t know what to do with him! On that fateful day, while drunk, he dived into a river, unaware of how shallow the water was, and broke his neck. Through a series of incidents after that accident, he became a committed Christian and had a significant change in his life. He gave up drugs and alcohol and committed his life to helping others. He is now happily married and continues to be an encouragement and inspiration to many. I remember once asking him if he regretted having that accident. He said to me, “Dave, though I would love to be able to walk again, I am thankful for what happened to me that day! If it hadn’t been for that, I probably wouldn’t be here talking to you today. It was the catalyst that put my life on a better path”
That brings me to some positive aspects of mid life that I choose to reflect on, that I believe have contributed to me avoiding going through a MLC. They are;
- I have a wealth of wisdom that life has taught me that I didn’t have the benefit of 20yrs ago
- I don’t get treated anymore as a young upstart that doesn’t know anything, but people actually respect my opinion!( Well, most of the time! )
- I have visions and plans for the next twenty years of my life
- By taking care of myself properly , I am still able to participate in all the physical activities I did as a youth
- I have the joy of seeing my children grow and mature while still playing an important role in helping them do this
So while they say you should look at the cup that’s half full and not half empty, I’m glad for the half empty part because it represents all the good stuff still to come!