I'm not going to lie. The past couple of months have been rough. Now that I'm not mothering on a regular basis I have realized that I may have loved being a mom to an unhealthy level. Not stalking-my-children-and-their-friends unhealthy, but I mommed enough that I was occasionally able to set aside the fact that I wasn't all that crazy about me as a person, forgot to have hobbies, and accidentally lived a little vicariously through my kids. And so as a way to not cope when I became an empty-nester, I almost stopped going to church, got a crush on someone way too young and way too wrong for me and have binge watched all streaming services to the point that I need to start a 12-step program for my entertainment addiction. Then one evening as I was driving to my brother's house it hit me - I am having a mid-life crisis! This was a huge relief because I was starting to feel like I had completely lost my mind. If something has a name and you're familiar with it, it becomes far less frightening.
Realizing you are having a mid-life crisis and doing something about, however, are completely different things. So it's taken me some time to figure out what I'm going to do with this new phase of life. No one ever talks about women having mid-life crises. What are women supposed to do? From what I understand men get convertibles, or motorcycles, or both. Start dressing in ridiculous trends, flirt (or more) with women half their age, and attempt to convince themselves that they totally make the dad-bod look good. Having no idea what to do in this "crisis" and not being willing to even look on google for ideas - because it would require me to pause my third hour of television - I decided I shouldn't refer to it as a crisis. I considered naming it a mid-life awareness, but thought better of it and decided to name it Fred Jr. Fred Sr. happens to be the name of the 1974 pinto station wagon we had growing up. It was a lovely shade of rust with wood paneling on the side and doors that each weighed approximately 900 pounds. While I appreciated the cool reputation that Fred gave me in high school - particularly when people realized the passenger door was literally tied closed with rope - I was happier once Fred and I were able to bid farewell.
Fred Sr. and I parted ways when the kind owner of a wreckage yard gave me $100 - but I don't know of a repository for unstable emotions and so I have had to come up with a plan. Here is my plan: I have decided to be perfect. This is a really good plan. If I were perfect I feel like I would not feel directionless, would have more energy and would be excited about where my life is heading. I would finish everything I started, besides television, and would generally be a more delightful person to be around - because part of my perfection would, of course, involve a lot of humility and a witty sense of humor.
I know what you're thinking. You think I'm kidding. Well, Fred Jr. has me just off-kilter enough to not be kidding. I still have a tiny bit of logic left and so there are a few caveats to my perfection plan. Everyone is always talking about the mind-body-spirit connection and so "my perfect" will involve a few things in each category that I've always wanted to change. I like the idea of waking up tomorrow and leaving behind all of the worrying and obsessing I do that does nothing but energize Fred Jr. It sounds so fantastic that I don't want to try one thing at a time. I'm doing it all at once. Obviously, in so doing I will discover a whole new layer of imperfections, but something new to obsess about sounds great. I also know it will be hard, but I have had a headache for 9 days and figure the pain will just blend in. Luckily you will get updates every couple of days to help hold me accountable to ridding myself of Fred Jr. and think of the fun you'll have reading about each soul-sucking way of life I'm leaving behind. My television watching has taught me that pretty much all of life's problems can be solved in under an hour...and I'm going to take an entire month. So what could go wrong? Fred Jr. start packing your bags!