Coming Of Age
© Deborah Turner
Life brings many obstacles to overcome in order to become the “me” that we were meant to be. The journey is sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle, but sooner or later we all end up at the corner of “Is this where I was going? And “What the hell have I done with my life?” It is a time in life when we take a glimpse of ourselves wondering what we could have, or should have done differently. A time when own childhood looks so much better than the “Nightmare on Elm Street” we thought it was at the time. We lament for the simpler days when we were prepared to take on the world and thought that anything was possible.
Middle-s-cent noun – Adults between the ages of 35 and 55. Middlescents is a transitional stage of physical and mental development occurring between mid life and the second half of our lives.
Our foundation is shifting
Middlescents is a time when middle-aged men and women go through many changes and stages, a time when you come to realize that the ride is half over. Our bodies change predictably, and all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men can’t make us as perky as we were before, marriage, kids, and a sinking mortgage. Things begin to shift; hair falls out and grows back in strange places, gray creeps in changing your natural hair color into number on a box, and gravity snickers at us every time we pass a mirror.
Middlescents can be a difficult time. Increased moodiness, conflicts with “kids these days,” and growth spurts that involve a rising number on the bathroom scale. The changes associated with middlescents conjure up pictures of old men driving hot red sports cars, and women walking around Wal-Mart with rollers in their hair, pajama pants and flip flops. Many middlescents begin complaining about loud music, omit dairy from their diets, and juggle careers, family, and aging parents. Middlescents are overworked and underpaid working at jobs that they rarely enjoy. Middlescents is a time in life when responsibilities overburden the carefree independence that we once experienced as a young adult. One is less self-conscious, and tends to be less self absorbed. Actually one would be hard pressed to find any time for one ’s self at all.
Side effects include
Risk factors for this age group may include but are not limited to: insomnia, loss of social skills, weakness in the knees and bladder, dry mouth, uncontrollable appetite, high cholesterol, foot odor, high blood pressure, fatigue, changes in vision, adult acne, constipation, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, uncontrolled weight gain, canker sores, forgetfulness, and hemorrhoids. Most side effects are minor and either do not require medical attention or can easily be treated with self medication.
No approval needed
However, don’t let the side effects scare you. Middlescents can be a great time of life. Not all changes are worse; some changes can be for the better. For example generally at this age one is less concerned with appearance, and one couldn’t care less about peer approval. It becomes a take me as I am or move on kind of attitude. No longer are you bending over backwards to please everyone and everything in your path. It is a time when you have been around long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. It is a time when you take the best of what you like out of life and unapologetically move on from what you don’t. You know your inner strengths, and reenergize yourself for the second half of your life, only this time your ahead of the game, you know now what you didn’t know then.
The simple life
Middlescents simplify their lives and are less judgmental than when they were young adults. It is a time when you are able move on from the hurts and baggage that you carried around needlessly for the first half of your life. You forgive those that you have been angry with, only now are you strong enough to realize that it was the anger that prevented you from moving on sooner. It is a time of compassion not only for others, but also for one’s self. You are able to look past the failures, mistakes, inadequacy, ugliness, imperfections and misfortunes of people around you knowing that there but for the Grace of God, go I. Finally able to realize that without God’s mercy you may have suffered a similar fate.
... If you have a middlescent in you life you will need to understand that ...
· Love is patient, When dad tries to make the waitress laugh just nod and smile.
· Give them what they want. They put up with you during your own adolescent years and now they deserve the same respect.
· Let them be lazy. They deserve just a little down time to put their feet up.
· Enjoy the journey. Even when not all days are a peach, learn to make lemonade.
· Learn to like simple pleasures. Be present and enjoy the moment.
· Practice equanimity. Let little irritations go, keeping your sanity through the challenges.
· Pick yourself up when you’re down, mainly because no one else will.
· Focus on the good, and not the bad.
· Lose arguments; you never really had a chance anyway.
More closet space
Middlescents secretly refer to an empty nest as simply having more closet space. Throughout the milestones of life there comes a time when they face the same milestones that their own parent faced. The only difference is in how we handle it. These days’ middlescents are active and look forward to approaching this stage of life in a whole new way. I call it “parents gone wild!” Parents looking forward to the days of umbrella drinks on the beach, and rediscovering the person that helped us raise our children. Children leave home, hopefully self-sufficient, and a positive addition to society. Parents secretly look forward to a freedom that they have not experienced since young adulthood when they were single and their pockets used to jingle. It’s like the ultimate retirement package.
I hope to one day survive middlescents, and come out better for it at the other end. I hope to live long enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor, and the hours of pushing and the huffing and puffing along the way. I hope to see my husband walk my daughters down the aisle. And I hope to see my own children have successful relationships, marriage, children, and a mortgage of their very own. Even though it is a long road sometimes full of potholes, I hope this for them because I have learned that no matter how bumpy the ride is, no matter what the side effects are, and no matter how it all ends, it is the ride that counts.