The Road to Mid-life

07/Jul/2009

I was thinking about rebelling. Not in a present tense, but rather in a pattern-of-maturity. A “hindsight” if you will. “Enlightened Rebellion” even.

I realized my husband and I were together in High School when most people go through their rebellion. Our friends may have skipped class or chugged beer or started smoking but we were both first-borns too busy pleasing teachers and parents and each other. We were fairly straight laced aside from a few back-seat make-out sessions. We were home on time, we never did drugs and we never got pregnant. We stayed out of trouble and stayed in school.

image

We were model teenagers in a sense.

We broke up, went though our own “self discovery” a phase that got us to different colleges, new friends, new places. We tried on new people and jobs and lives, all while staying out of trouble and living as we were expected: Strong contributing citizens of society.

Then I turned 25.

I went in to what I can only call as “my six-month rebellion” where I stayed out for entire weekends at airplane hangers where friends would sky-dive and smoke pot at night, drink too much, and go to McDonalds for fries. It was stupid at best, dangerous at its worst. I did my first tandem skydive as a giant middle finger to my old life. I was fresh and new and starting over as a new person.

I’m so incredibly glad I did.

My husband, however, continued to work and be amazing. He continued to pursue a career, a path, a plan. He never did rebel. He never washed his hair free of expectation. He never jumped out of his proverbial airplane.

I contemplated this fact earlier today. I thought of all our friends who did rebel, who went through their time maturing to flip The Man the giant middle finger and face their new spirit and their new selves only to find peace and comfort in settling down later.

I wondered if there was in inverse relationship between rebellion and mid-life crisis.

I don’t see him heading off with another family or even a sports car. I don’t see him jumping out of an airplane or smoking pot when I’m at BlogHer. But I wonder: I wonder what life’s turns require rebellion and which require steadfast boring ticky-tacky houses with manicured yards or the lack-there-of. I wonder if nearing forty (In seven years, but still! It’s coming!)  will be harder on those who never rebelled at fourteen. And I wonder how to cultivate this in our family, for our children as they mature in to their own people and in us as we hit our mid-lives.

image

How do we maintain our sanity in a suburb of Seattle in a townhouse we paid too much for and work too hard to pay off?

I wonder.

Did you rebel? Did you come back? Did you settle down? And when are you buying your motorcycle to flip off The Man?

Hi

9 guests here now.

Comments

  1. I think about this, too. My husband and I were together in high school, too, although we rebelled together. And then in college we rebelled separately for awhile, by which I mean to say he whored it up a lot and I whored it up only a little. I hated him for doing that then, but now I am so glad. We needed it, if only so that now we come home to each other, happy.

    Although he DOES have a motorcycle. And a sailboat. He surfs every weekend. Meanwhile I read books. And knit. Which makes me wonder if I need to learn to skydive?

    By Susannah on 2009 07 07

  2. Susannah, LOVE this insight. Seriously. And ya skydiving? Meh. I think I’m ready to knit. smile

    By Mrs. Flinger on 2009 07 07

  3. i am smack dab in the middle of mine now.  on the inside.  i let a little slip out every now and then, but when i finally let it all out…man…look out world.

    By natalie on 2009 07 07

  4. I didn’t really rebel as a teenager. I drank, but no more than most teenagers. Didn’t do drugs, made good grades, etc.

    I don’t feel the need to rebel now that I’m only 5 years from forty, other than I feel the need to expand the way I see things, not necessarily reclaiming my youth. If that makes sense?

    By Heather, Queen of Shake Shake on 2009 07 08

  5. OMG. TAKE THAT HORRIBLE PICTURE DOWN!!!!!! lol. Oh les. Do you have ANY idea how many people read your website? and now…they have seen my buck teeth and my HUGE glasses. Why did mother make me where those stupid things? why didn’t she get me NORMAL glasses? EVER!?!?! why did I get “stuck in the 80’s with pigtails and Nasty glasses” because of her!?! ugh.

    Ps…Your man loves you and your family soooo much. His rebellion will be nothing but climbing to the top of Mt. Rainier. And swimming in the sound. WHOOOO step back y’all! lol. No worries babe, you’ve got one great hubby.

    By sister flinger on 2009 07 08

  6. OMG. TAKE THAT HORRIBLE PICTURE DOWN!!!!!! lol. Oh les. Do you have ANY idea how many people read your website? and now…they have seen my buck teeth and my HUGE glasses. Why did mother make me where those stupid things? why didn’t she get me NORMAL glasses? EVER!?!?! why did I get “stuck in the 80’s with pigtails and Nasty glasses” because of her!?! ugh.

    Ps…Your man loves you and your family soooo much. His rebellion will be nothing but climbing to the top of Mt. Rainier. And swimming in the sound. WHOOOO step back y’all! lol. No worries babe, you’ve got one great hubby.

    By sister flinger on 2009 07 08

  7. I was never cool nor brave enough to really rebel. In fact I am probably brasher now than I ever have been.

    By Aimee Greeblemonkey on 2009 07 08

  8. I’m pretty sure I may still be rebelling.

    By Miss Grace on 2009 07 08