Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mid-Life Crisis?

I think I'm entering the early stages of a mid-life crisis.  Crisis is such a strong word.  I'm really not close to that yet, but there are things happening in my brain that make me feel like maybe I don't know myself that well.  I consider myself a fairly easy-to-understand person.  I think that once people hang out with me for a few minutes, they pretty much know what kind of person I am.  And if you read my blog, folks, you REALLY know me.  Which can be unsettling at times, since there are several people who read this that know me way better than I know them....  oh well.

Anyway, my crisis (since it's all about me, right?).  Once I describe my big issues, you will get a good look at how small my life is.  Because again, crisis is a strong word.

Two things have been floating around in my head, and the more they float there, the bigger they get, until I'm laying awake at night thinking about them.  I'll start with the smaller issue:

I am considering learning how to ride a motorcycle.  Drive, not just be a passenger behind the hubby.  I know!  No big deal.  But for some reason I'm obsessing over it.  I feel so old and silly to be even considering it.  And there's that safety issue--if you're not a fan of motorcycles you can find all kind of statistics about how unsafe they are, and if you are a fan you can find all kind of statistics about how safe they are (if you're not a dumbass).  But I'm a mom now (did you know that?) and my welfare means more to me now than it used to.  I don't even enjoy rides anymore!  I used to LOVE amusement park rides--the scarier the better.  Now all I see are my kids flying out of them to their death, or me dying in some horrible roller coaster accident and leaving my kids without a mom.  I went on the dang ferris wheel with the kids at the State Fair a few years ago and I was so petrified that one of them was going to jump out that I felt like I was going to puke the whole time.  I am that wonkers.  So becoming a licensed operator of a motorcycle seems a bit crazy to me, but I can't stop thinking about it.

We already have a motorcycle that I could use.  It's a perfect size for me, and hubby says it's very easy to drive and comfortable.  It was my dad's, and I think he'd be pretty happy about me using it.  No matter what my mom says.  She hates them!  But it's so impractical!  I can't put groceries on it.  I can't put both the kids on it.  In fact, I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to have a kid on it with me.  I can barely stand it when hubby does that, and he's a very experienced and safe motorcycle driver.

Plus, we live in Minnesota.  Which means half the year I couldn't ride it anyway.

But there is one thing it would be handy for, which brings me to part II of my mid-life crisis:

I'm thinking of going back to school.  At my advanced age, I am still an upperclassman at the University of Minnesota.  I attended school there for six years, off an on, and never graduated.  My life was INSANE back then.  That's a series of posts for a whole different time, folks.  But for reasons I can't possibly fit here, it was impossible for me to be a serious student back then.  I think I switched my major five times, and I was horribly broke the entire time, so I was just never able to reach that degree.  Once I stopped trying and settled into a very comfortable job as an executive-level secretary, and also settled into a very comfortable marriage, I gave up the whole school thing.  Happily.  I've actually never regretted anything, I LOVED the University, but I never really knew what I wanted to do with my future anyway, other than be a mom.  So I am that.  But now my kids are middle-aged, too, in a way.  Meaning that they're at that halfway point to the time when they're graduating and leaving me to live whatever kind of life I have left when they're out of the house.  And that's what makes me think there might be something out there I could be interested in other than laundry and grocery shopping.  (Not to belittle stay-at-home moms, mind you, I AM ONE.  And I KNOW how much work and heartache it takes, don't get offended.  I'm sarcastic about it simply because I have earned that right.)  Part of why I'm nervous about what my life will be when the kids are out of here is the simple fact of how much work they are.  I don't want to feel empty when they're off on their own, I want to be proud of my own life and have my own pursuits.

But holy cow is the idea scary.  I go walk around the campus with the hubby once in a while, and I feel OLD.  I am old!  I remember when I was a freshman there, and I'd see all the parents bring their kids to help them move into the dorms.  Or I'd see parents come watch their kids at events they were in.  These parents seemed old.  That's me now!  I'm almost that age, and the thought of being a student there with all those kids is bizarre.  I'm sure it would be different for me now.  It's not like I'll be living in a campus apartment and bar-hopping every weekend (or almost every night, ahem).  I'm an old lady.  I'll be there to attend my classes, and it will probably be just one or two a week, and in the evening, with several other old people there doing the exact same thing as me.  Right?

So that part's scary.  The other side of that coin, though, is sort of awesome.  I don't have the same insecurities as I did back then.  I would be taking the whole education side of it seriously, and have a goal this time.  Unlike when I was a kid there with a nightmare going on in my family that I was trying to ignore, and falling in love and breaking up and falling in love again were my main concerns, and I was DEAD BROKE.  I have a super stable home life.  I have money.  I don't have to worry about buying books or paying tuition.  I don't give a S--T what the other students think of me there.

Another big problem with this whole idea:  I have NO CLUE what I want to do.  None.  I have to figure out what kind of degree I want.  And I really don't want it to be in something that I can't do anything with, like general Sociology.  I don't want to graduate just to say I did.  I want a degree that I can use for something.  So that means I have to figure out what I want that something to be.  You would fall over laughing if you could get into my head and see all the craziness I have been considering.  Everything from being a teacher to a private investigator (thanks Miss N.S.!) to being a suit in an office.  I honestly have no clue.  And I'm hoping that the advisors there will help me find a path...  Poor folks.  Maybe there's a degree in buying and reselling antiques and flea market stuff.  Ha!

And there's another benefit to this big mess:  If I do this, I think I might be able to get season tickets to Gopher sporting events!  For student prices!  I wonder if I'd have to be in the student section with all the drunk kids with maroon and gold body paint...

Anyway, that's the junk that's keeping me up at night lately.  And summer's going by way too fast.  I need to make an appointment to go up to the campus and do some investigating.

Thanks for sitting with me while I pick my brain.


  1. Come to campus and let's have lunch!

  2. Come on now, you get to be in classes with other old people! I'll be in huge classes packed with 18 year olds and I'm literally twice their age! If I can do it, you can do it. Besides, if we do it together, maybe we can get some classes around the same time and bum around campus together. We can shake our heads at all the whipper-snappers and try to remember being that young and idiotic. We can actually do well in our classes because we have our priorities straight and an adult attention span. I'm doing this with or without you, but things are always so much better when they're with you.

  3. Another good read! =) ... I'd say 'why not' to both!

  4. I think you would be a great teacher!

  5. Thanks, y'all. I do look forward to the possibility of wearing leggings and Gopher hoodies every day...

  6. I hope you not only go back to school but ride the motorcycle to campus every week! Most admirable. Found you on the Blog Hop. Hope you'll follow me back... and good luck!!!

  7. Thanks for the great post!:) Am excited to read more! Stopping by from the blog hop! Am now a new follower:) Would love if you could follow me back!

  8. My babies are still young, but I can relate to the mid life crisis. Right now mine is the do we want to have one more baby crisis, but I often think of what I will do with my life when my kids are a little older, and both of these options are on my list. I stopped by from the blog hop and am leaving a follower! Can't wait to see which one you choose, and I would love if you came over to Figuring it Out as we Grow and followed me back :)

  9. hi. i'm on a blog hop. i determined to visit and follow everyone on the list. i would love for you to visit and follow me.

    new follower bev

  10. I say do them BOTH!!! Ride your motorcycle to campus!! Your path will show its self to you, go with your heart and you will succeed!! Thanks for linking up this week, hope you enjoy it and will keep coming back and keep WRITING!!!

  11. Get on the motorcycle and go back to school! Advanced age? I am 53 and have been attending college at night for the past 4 years (only 104 more years to go!)

    Popped in on the blog hop - give me a visit some time at

  12. I would skip the motorcycle, only because I have become the most ridiculous scaredy cat in the world since my kids were born. Heights about do me in. All I do is picture one of their little heads splatting on the ground below. We went to Niagara Falls for a vacation, which I'd been to several times before, but the time we went with kids, I was a complete wreck. I get your fears.
    As for school, have at it!