It occurred to me the other day that people may think I am having a midlife crisis. I think of midlife crisis as making radical and unexpected life changes in an attempt to ward off old age. But it turns out there’s actually a whole psychological study around the topic. It is defined as “an emotional crisis of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle age.” Apparently it’s often associated with a depressive episode. Sheesh.
But what if what looked like a midlife crisis to others was really just the vision, courage and financial resources to make life changes that allow you to spend your time as you always wanted?
This is a list of things I want to do with my time, in no particular order:
- Read more. Read all the time and not feel guilty about it
- Write a blog
- Work less and spend more time with my family
- Be diligent in my study of the Bible
- Clean, purge and organize my home (still working on that)
- Make my home something wonderful, not just where we live (haven’t started work on that, but have invested lots of daydreaming)
- Travel with my family, expose my kids to life beyond.
- Be outside more
- Be in shape, really good shape (not even close yet)
- Take piano lessons
- Go on mission trips
- Be a better friend
I don’t think this list is unreasonable. However, our lives had insidiously become complicated to the point that the urgent unimportant had obliterated the original goal. Not a single thing on my list was doable.
Thank God that He again showed us the vision and gave us a yearning to simplify and return to the original plan for our lives. In order for that to be possible, we have to make some radical changes. It starts with selling off our investment properties and becoming debt free. I think of our debt like the Great Wall of China: it’s giant and unmovable. I can’t even imagine what lies beyond. I never actually thought of getting on top of it to see what’s on the other side, let alone crossing over. But God has encouraged us and we are on our way. Once we get there, we will be in control of our time and our lives.
Homeschooling is part of this vision too. It’s about taking control, doing things our way, following our priorities for our children’s education and getting out of a rigid schedule. It frees us to do things we used to assume were impossible.
So, it seems I’m not having a midlife crisis as defined by psychologists (thank goodness because that sounds pretty dark), or even according to what I thought a midlife crisis was (attempting to ward off old age). But we are in the process of making radical changes in our lives and that is probably disconcerting to the people around us. However, when God calls you to do something, it is very rarely something ordinary. I so appreciate our friends and family that continue to bear with us, even when they think we are crazy…or having a midlife crisis.