So according to certain friends of mine, since my birthday this past March I am in a full-blown mid-life crisis. I’ve colored my hair (again), considered getting contact lens (again), pinned pictures of dresses on Pinterest that only someone built like Audrey Hepburn would look good in, and thought about running away to join either a group of itinerant jugglers (a la Lord Valentine’s Castle) or a pirate crew. And because I’m built like my short, round, buxom Irish ancestors, I’m not sure I could pull off either costume. *sigh*
It’s been hard coming to terms with the age I’m becoming. I don’t feel any older (well, okay, my knees do, but they’re considerably older than the rest of me). I don’t think I act any older. I mean, just this morning at work I tried to use my Harry Potter wand (a birthday present from my staff) in our morning meeting to make the Director of Creative Services be quiet. What self-respecting grown-up would do that? (And no, it didn’t work. I think I need to work on my pronunciation of “Silencio”.) And I still think it’s more fun to play with the boxes than what comes inside them. Especially if they’re really big boxes, like from major appliances.
And yet I have all the responsibilities of a “grown-up”. I have a spouse, an evil day job where I manage a staff, a household to maintain, errands to run, my 12-year old to grow, feed and water, and oh yeah, novels to write. Sometimes it feels so overwhelming and mind-numbingly tedious, I want to press the reset button like I do on my MP3 player when it freezes up and start over. Or have someone hit me over the head so I fall into a fugue state like Jobeth Williams in American Dreamer and become someone completely different – and infinitely more exciting.
Naturally, neither of those things is really an option (unless one of you volunteers to send me on an all-expenses paid trip to Paris, arrange for a taxi ride around the city, hire a pick pocket to steal my purse in front of the Eiffel Tower and have me knocked off my feet by the car of a passing dignitary…).
So I’m left balancing a whole bunch of grown-up stuff when all a girl really wants to do is be a pirate and have fun. And short of donning a pair of thigh high boots, buying a sail boat and a hoisting the Jolly Roger flag on Lake Michigan, I think I’m going to have to find a way to add more zing to my life in smaller ways. Like maybe taking fencing lessons or planning a Girl’s Weekend get-away to Galena. And practicing my “swish and flick” so that the next time I use my Harry Potter wand in a staff meeting, I actually manage to cast the spell I intended.
How do you shake up your routine to keep things fresh and fun while running on your life’s hamster wheel? I’d love to hear your stories. And I’ll let you know about the thigh high boots. The 12-year old will laugh and roll her eyes at me, but good old What’s-His-Name might approve of the investment.
Illegitimi non carborundum!