I’ve been trying to coin a new phrase: “the two-third’s-life crisis”. Somehow it doesn’t ring like “mid-life crisis”. But I was too busy to have a mid-life crisis. I had my children in my 30’s so I was still raising them at the supposed mid-life point.
Also, I think it’s more appropriate to have a life crisis when your joints have all agreed to rebel in concert and your metabolism slaps you in the face for messing around with it for too many years. In some ways, however, it’s disingenuous to label this point in my life as a crisis. Because I’m experiencing more freedom than I have in a few decades. An empty nest, menopause and the luxury to choose unemployment are sign posts I’m on the freedom trail. But please keep in mind, my darn joints make it tougher to hike that trial. Yes I know, “waa, waa, waa, poor, poor pitiful me”. Get out the mini violins.
Here’s why I’ve been entertaining the thought that I’m in a two-third’s-life crisis.
You somehow forget about freedom when you set out on your adult life journey. That journey starts out with some basic goals. For me it was to graduate from college and get a job to support myself. Well within a few years of graduating from college the job I stumbled into by the grace of God, had me making enough money to worry about taxes. My boss strongly advised I get myself a mortgage for the appropriate write-offs. The mortgage tied me to my job. The job tied me to a path that was not on the freedom trail.
I had two other goals in my 20’s. To be married and have children. The path to that goal was longer than I had envisioned. I didn’t meet my husband until a month before I was 29. But there’s a definite upside to that because my 20’s are when I started to learn to leave the trail map production to God. He had the appropriate drone to check out the terrain. I did not.
Back to my newfound freedom. Change is often what starts a crisis. Two-thirds into the average life span I sometimes feel I’m experiencing an overloaded backpack of change. Which trail should I set out on in this phase of my life? How can I set out anywhere with this heavy backpack? I suppose I can lighten it by finally dumping the control thing-a-majiggy out of it. And, it might be helpful if I took my kids, parents and friends out of the backpack. They didn’t ask me to carry them.
Another helpful thing would be if I set down the binoculars and asked the questions that should be asked daily whether you’re on a familiar trail or venturing onto a new trail. What would you have me do today Lord? Who can I love today Lord?
Those questions calm me down. They change my state of mind from crisis mode to living a privileged life. Those questions assume my life has purpose and really exciting trails to discover. Those questions assume I have a fabulous identity. Those questions assume I live for and because I have a loving God who is my guide.
I’m not saying I shouldn’t have goals beyond today. I’m just saying setting out to discover new goals shouldn’t put me in crisis mode. Feeling the stress of a crisis makes feeling the comfort of an ever present, all knowing, loving guide, pretty impossible. Today I’m picturing the Holy Spirit with a park ranger hat and that makes me smile. So long, to my silly two-third’s-life crisis. Hello, to spending time being silly with my Guide.