My Crisis: Having The Time Of My Life

I’m in the midst of a crisis right now. And I’m having the time of my life going through it!

My crisis is the midlife sort of variety and since I’m not a fan of surprises, I started it myself.  It got rolling last spring after I broke my foot and I had too much time on my hands, too much thinking time that is.  I was also experiencing or had recently gone through some common mitigating factors:  both of my parents passed in the last few years, I had some health issues of my own, I wasn’t happy in my job, and my social life had become almost non-existent, just to name a few.  Oh yeah, and I turned 45 last year.  So I was ready for one and welcomed it with open arms, an open mind, and an open heart.

Here are two definitions of crisis, according to the Oxford dictionaries:

1.1  A time when a difficult or important decision must be made.

1.2  The turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death.

I’d like to elaborate on the latter definition.  It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend years ago when she told me her doctor defined disease as being “ill at ease” and that not all disease is physical.  Looking back to last year, I would say I was suffering from a soul sickness of sorts, I was spiritually ill at ease.  My turning point was breaking my foot, I made quite a few important changes, and I am definitely in recovery.

See, there can be a silver lining to having a midlife crisis.  I’m proof of it and I’m not the only one.  According to research done by psychologists Oliver Robinson and Gordon Wright, half of the people they studied said their lives had become better as a result of the changes they made.  Here are a few examples of how my life has improved:

•   I made a big career change and now work fewer hours with less stress.  This gave me time to start the book I’ve been thinking about for 10+ years and this blog I just got going.

•   I have more time to spend with family and friends.  Notably, last month I took my three kids to Cleveland for our first ever real family vacation.

•   I am taking better care of my health.  Got new glasses, had my first mammogram, and have an appointment this week to sign up for a quit smoking program (I haven’t quit quitting!).

So in response to today’s Daily Prompt, am I happy with the way I react to crisis situations?  For some in my life, perhaps not.  But for the midlife crisis I am currently in, most definitely.  I’m having a blast.

1969: The Year Everything Changed

Today’s Daily Prompt is to write page three of your autobiography.  I have never even thought about writing one so this stumped me.  Then I got to wondering what happened in the world the year I was born and how those events may have shaped how my life played out.

As the joke goes, ‘if you remember the sixties, you weren’t there’.  Well, I was there for a wee bit, about 2½ months but, no, I don’t remember a darn thing. After Googling 1969, one of the things I saw referenced a number of times was a book by Rob Kirkpatrick called 1969 The Year Everything Changed.  It was published in 2009 as a 40th anniversary of what many will agree was a defining year on many accounts.  I’ve added it to my “To Read Soon” list.

So here’s a list of a few things that happened in 1969 and how they influenced my life …

CC0 - public domain

CC0 – public domain

•  Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon on July 20th.  One of my favourite quotes since I was a little girl has been “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”  –  Norman Vincent Peale

•  One word:  Woodstock.  The music of the artists and bands that both played at the festival and those who were invited but declined to attend are on my current playlists and my favourite SiriusXM channels.

•  Other music notes:  The Who gave us the rock opera Tommy (my son performed in a stage version of this a few years back), Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II were released (respect the Zep), and the Jackson 5 were introduced to the world (I got to see Michael in concert as a 16th birthday present).

•  No fault divorce (aka irreconcilable differences) became legal.  My parents divorced on these grounds, as did I.

•  The Ontario Science Centre opened in Toronto, ON.  I have visited there many a time, both as a youngin’ myself and with my own 3 chitlin’s and I have many wonderful memories of my times there.  Most notable – touching some contraption that made my hair stand up on its ends!

•  Sesame Street debuted on NET (the predecessor to PBS).  Beyond the obvious of this show helping me learn my 1-2-3’s, my A-B-C’s, and my P’s & Q’s, it also taught me about friendship, perseverance, and accepting people for who they are.

•  The first successful message on ARPANET was sent on October 29th.  This was the network that became the basis for the internet.  I’m using it now, and likely so are you.  As an aside, that first message was a single word:  login.

•  Recognize this phrase?  “And now for something completely different.”  Monty Python’s Flying Circus began broadcasting on the BBC with a genre of humour the writers and actors intended to be impossible to categorize.  I think they succeeded.  Just a month ago while vacationing with my kids in Cleveland, OH, I picked up one of their comedy sketch albums, Matching Tie & Handkerchief, to add to my vinyl collection.

•  Canada’s Prime Minister was Pierre Elliot Trudeau.  I was born on his 50th birthday and years later got to wish him a happy birthday on our special day when I met him in Ottawa near his home, out with his sons walking their dogs.

•  I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou was published.  This woman’s writings have provided me with strength, inspiration, and curiosity.  My mom loved her work too and just as I wrote that I had a wonderful image of the two of them at the big artisan’s room up in the sky, sharing a hearty laugh, and having a cup’o’tea.

•  1969 was the year John Fogerty declares as CCR’s best.  My son and I saw him last fall on his current tour, 1969 One Extraordinary Year.  Been there, bought the t-shirt.

•  And … I was born in 1969.  Enough said.