Hold onto your hat

and let's hope it's not one of those silly red ones that older women wear to tea parties. I mean, it's cute, but I'm just not READY YET.

I am at that age; you know, the one where a woman becomes "a woman of a certain age" and men buy new red sports cars. Or acquire tattoos, mistresses, and other obsessions. My particular riff on it is to dream of amazing sex that will burn away all my fear and grief, Poof! like magic.

Here's a cosmic, comic twist (try saying that several times really fast.) I was driving down Highway One this afternoon in the sparkling winter sunlight, ruminating over this post, and who should I see driving north in a flashy red Italian sports car, but a local gent (and internationally recognized silver fox) named.... Ted Turner!

Hmmm, I wonder how I can get him to look at this blog???

Isn't he a nice man?

Because Big Sur is such an itty bitty fish pond, folks like Mr. Turner really, really stand out, and they can pop up at the oddest moments.

Seriously, it's not getting older that bothers me that much; I'm fit and have good health (knock on wood.) I love to dance and hike, and take pleasure in going deeper with friends in heart-felt conversation. Depth increases with age, I believe. The perspective I have today should be wiser than the one I used to navigate my 20's. You think? Think again!

Here's one way of dealing with decades old insecurity: try to control everything, and when that fails (as it always does), act out! It's shocking how that 25 year old woman is still inside me, fuming, sitting on so much despair. I bang the drum of my discontent until what I love runs into the hills and hides.

At life's mid-way point (assuming I'll live to be 92) it's inevitable that I look at what I've accomplished, and what I still need (and WANT) to do in order to make a graceful exit someday. So, an obligation for self-reflection and a deep longing to make it all better, really fast, using old habits that don't work anymore.

This scenario can certainly precipitate a crisis, at any age. Hey, I'm not alone! There are 43 million American women aged 40 to 60. I think we all could use some time on the fainting couch.

photo by Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, 1872

During this transformative time, I take comfort in the beauty of Big Sur, asking her to please be my true love. The warm breeze off the mountain, the damp grass on my bare feet, the falling stars, and the great, mothering expanse of the ocean, nurture me in a way that mere mortals simply can't.

Nature, as the purest manifestation of god, is love. She can also be a *****, which just means we need to appreciate her tender moods as much as we can.

According to one source, the “average age at onset of a self-described 'mid-life crisis' is 46. Mid life crises last about 3-10 years in men and 2-5 years in women."Is this you?

Do you have a mid-life story to tell? Go ahead, post a comment...

sonrisaj sonrisaj
46-50, F
9 Responses Jan 2, 2008

Thank you. I too am working on my framing this as juicy. Embracing this change , this turbulent exciting spicy season of life.

I do wish I had more funds for a proper break down. I am at the start of menopause, so I have tons of juice, lots of extra estrogen. Also lots of irregularities which might take me a while to learn how to ride those waves.

The good part is I have lots of time to figure it out...looks like I am going to be one of those that have unpredictable everything for years and years.

Hit my mid-life crisis when my employer decided to send my job overseas, on top of starting to have problems with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I haven't been able to motivate myself enough to look for a new job, after having allowed myself a few months off while I had a bit of severance. I'm single, so this HAS TO come to an end, soon. Ugh. Hate the idea of going back to the same kind of work (was burnt out on it), but with the economy the way it is, there's not much opportunity to change career paths. Guess I'd better grab a Powerball ticket.

It is great you got severance pay...that helps...I wish I had..I,resigned from a job and had to grab something quick...I wish I had been allowed a proper depression.

Well, three months' severance wasn't exactly a bonanza.

information well and good ... I like your way of thinking about Treatment.<br />
Thanks for sharing<br />
Tubal Ligation Reversal see on http://www.mybabydoc.com/

tonon...If your wife had been on antidepressants for years..it's possible she has become immune or no longer needs them . She really should gradually GRADUALLY wean herself from the meds. This will cause some major mood swings but once it's over she and a doctor can better guage if she even needs them anymore. it's possible her menopause has eliminated her need for the drugs and now the drugs are the problem.<br />
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Also, she may be suffering from Chronic fatigue Syndrome. It will be difficult to diagnose unless she's clean from the psych meds. It's been difficult for me. The thought of getting a drink can seem like climbing a mountian to me. I force myself to do a certain amount of housework or gardening or cooking everyday. I do it, but it's like moving through quicksand. The fact that your wife won't force herself to do anything...that sounds like she needs off the psych meds.

WEAN only under a doctor's supervision. Some side-effects can be pretty severe/disabling.

I saw it was posted awhile ago, great to come across it! I'm glad you're in high spirits and good health.<br />
<br />
Yes, shutting down can be psychological as well as hormonal, inter-related probably. I hope she gets a naturopath.

Hi Quazrazi, thanks for your comments. I wrote this little piece so long ago, but it really rang home. I just started taking low dose bcps to offset some of the intense mood stuff I've been feeling the past two years, other than that, my transition (knock wood) has been relatively easy. I am trying to fr<x>ame this time as juicy, exciting, and to be lived fully. <br />
<br />
(If someone is "shutting down" I wonder if there are deeper issues, not related to hormonal changes, but psychological instead...)<br />
<br />
Happy new year!<br />
Linda Rowland-Jones<br />

tononi6- are you just sharing her experiences, looking to vent about not having meals made because she's shut down, what exactly?<br />
<br />
If you do empathize with her and what she's going through, in spite of your world being altered from what you've become accustomed to, then by all means write again for a fuller picture.<br />
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It is vastly different for each woman depending on many, many varying factors. Encourage her to keep a journal. Eat well. Seek natural remedies. GET OFF of the pharmaceuticals that can far worsen her condition & her health just to help a few symptoms.<br />
<br />
Depression, endometriosis and fibroids can be improved with natural and alternative medicine. Get her a naturopathic doctor.<br />
<br />
Thank you to sonrisaj for being so eloquent. When I'm not so feisty, I'll comment something useful about your lovely entry.

My wife has been going through the perimenopause experience for three years; it has been an absolute nightmare for both of us.<br />
It all began when she decided to cut down on her working hours as a Registered Nurse. This was arranged and she joined a nursing agency so that she could pick the hours she wanted to work. She was 44 years old at the time. She booked shifts and then mysteriously the agency cancelled them, or so my wife told me. One day this happened and I threatened to phone the agency to find out what was going on. She then confessed to cancelling them herself.<br />
So she stopped working altogether; not just as a nurse but in every sense of the word; I had to hire a cleaning lady and someone to look after the garden; I have had to buy food and prepare it whilst working long hours in my own business; my wife has 'closed down' altogether. This has been going on for three years.<br />
<br />
She has a history of fibroids and endometriosis; she has had several operations for the removal of these things and if that were not enough she has been on tablets for anxiety and depression for decades.<br />
<br />
I will write again to give a fuller picture.

This is me. I'm turning 46 in July and am having a midlife crisis.