I’ve always found the term “midlife crisis” to be a bit of a misrepresentation. Basically it means that you’ve reached a point in your life when you’re suddenly aware of your own mortality and you’d better goddamn well have some fun before you die. Where’s the crisis in that? Thank god you came to this realization before you got too old to do anything about it. At this point in your life, if you’ve followed the conventional path, you’ve probably been working and raising kids and acting like a responsible mature adult for years. Empty-nest syndrome has a lot to do with it as well. One day you discover that the kids are old enough to look after themselves. Then they move out to go to college or start their own lives.
Assuming your relationship has survived the trials and tribulations of raising kids, suddenly you and your significant other find something that was carefully packed away or misplaced for years: Your Lives BC (before children). What to do…what to do? It’s only natural to pick up where you left off. What were your passions and interests when you were younger? What kind of fun did you like to have? Now you have the time and, most likely, the money to do all the things you always wanted to do, but couldn’t afford to, when you were a kid.
In other words, it’s summer time, baby. The season of prolific spring is over and it’s now time to revert at least partially to a child-like state. Play, relax, take that trip, drink too much, buy some kind of over-indulgent grown up toy like a Ferrari, or a sailboat, eat a lot of ice-cream, get a tattoo, take ukulele lessons.
Buy something completely pointless. Like a bubble machine.
A friend of mine recently posted this on facebook:
You know what I’ve always wanted? A bubble machine.
You know what I just bought? A bubble machine.
You know why? Because fuck you, it’s my midlife crisis and I’ll do what I damn well please.
Kidding. I just love bubbles.
This got me thinking about the whole midlife crisis idea. People tend to use it as excuse for doing something crazy and uncharacteristic for a person their age. The thing is that my friend and I are the same age, and we’re hardly middle-aged. I told him that this isn’t a midlife crisis at all. We’re in the summer of our lives, when it finally becomes “okay” to have fun again, to be immature if we want to without having to explain anything. In Sweden we have a saying: “Sommaren är kort.” It means, “summer is short.” Winter is just around the corner so you’d better lap up as much of the summer while you still can. However, I see no reason why we shouldn’t make our summer time last until the very last day of our lives.
So have another drink, put bacon on that sandwich, turn that that music up, stay up all night finishing that book, binge an entire season of Game of Thrones. #YOLO
And yes indeed, buy that bubble machine. Sommaren är kort.