The Adventure of the Male Midlife Crisis
How I Dealt With My Midlife Crisis.
There I was, approaching middle age. If the truth be known, I was probably already there. Forty-five years and counting. I had been in the same job since I left college aged twenty-two. I had always wanted to be a nurse, so when i qualified as a Registered Nurse I was really enthusiastic. I launched myself into a career where every day was different. I was eager to learn as much as I could and did many courses to expand my knowledge and changed work environments often to gain maximum experience. Over twenty-five years I worked in Orthopaedics, Burns & Plastic Surgery, Aged Care, Accident & Emergency, Teaching and Management. I enjoyed every minute of my career but eventually ran out of options to expand into.
I have a family, so earning a steady income was essential. I was stuck. I craved to expand my horizons but I had to keep working. With the recession job opportunities are few and far between. To coin a modern buzzword I decided to 'Think outside the box' and create opportunities for myself in addition to keeping my nursing job.
With advancing years and the knowledge that I'd have a steady income, my attitude to risk was rather 'gung-ho' so I went for all the activities that I wouldn't have had the courage to do in earlier life. I made a bucket list of the things that many people (including me) would like to do if they had the courage...
So I replaced my first ever car.
I sold my car and replaced it with a renovated Citroen 2CV which was the first car I ever owned at the age of 23 yrs. According to my family it was impractical. This was solely because they couldn't drive it. It has a peculiar column change manual gearbox, which meant that they weren't prepared to drive it in place of a modern 'normal' car. I did it anyway because it was for me and the others could drive my wife's ordinary Ford. Happiness flowed over me at the first turn of the engine. The memories became real again and when driving my car I was still in the first exciting flush of youth.
I went back to college, part time.
I decided to build on my education and do a Master's Degree part-time. My job didn't depend on it, in fact I was already as far up the promotion ladder as I wanted to be but this was purely for my own satisfaction. Something to look back on in retirement years and say to myself 'Yes, I accomplished that'. So it was that I got my Master's Degree in Nursing Practice Development.
As if that wasn't enough, I decided I'd try for membership of Mensa. I did the home test, passed that and was invited to attend the supervised test, which if passed, would qualify me for membership. I spent a day travelling to University College, Dublin to do the test, passed and became a member. I'm proud of that membership, which I maintain and contribute to the Mensa magazine and attend some social functions.
I Appeared on TV.
I Decided to do a bit of Acting.
What could be more adventurous than to try to break into the world of TV and Film? Not a chance I thought, so I took the plunge anyway and applied to an agent. The only experience I had was in a pantomime at college, so this was the big time for me. I went for an audition and landed the part of a barman in the British TV series, Inspector George Gently. That's me in the video playing the barman at 01.27 in the video. If I never get another part, that's OK, I've done it once and that's another tick on my bucket list.
I Wrote a Book and Got Published
This was a long-standing ambition of mine but how many people can make a living from writing? This was a no risk venture for me, so I wrote about what I knew, health care. I finally wrote a book on Fall Prevention for Older People. After loads of rejections from publishers, I finally got it accepted and it's now available from all bookshops and from online retailers. Just in case you're tempted to support me, it's called:
Fall Prevention for Older People: A Survival Guide.
Author: Graham Cannard
Publisher: Paragon Publishing.
That's another tick on the bucket list and I'm now planning on submitting some articles to travel magazines, so watch out for me!
Well, that's a question I'm still asking myself. I'm currently searching for my next adventure opportunity. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them. I want to do all the things that were too risky to try as a career in my early years but that most definitely excludes parachute jumps, bungee jumps and anything to do with physical risk. The mind is willing but the body is not able at this stage!
I've really enjoyed my mid-life crisis. It has been liberating and challenging. I'm ready for the next 10 years...bring it on!