As I was enjoying the last weekend prior to my 40th Birthday, I started to contemplate the idea of the stereotypical “Mid-Life Crisis” that some “grown men” express by buying sports cars or chasing after younger women. I then picked up my iPad to read a bit from Rick Johnson’s Book titled “Better Dads, Stronger Sons: How Fathers Can Guide Young Boys to Become Men of Character”. The following quote caught my attention…
“Midlife crisis happens when it finally hits us that we have not really accomplished anything significant with our lives, that our names will never be remembered beyond a few words in an obituary, that we wasted the nobility that God gave us by chasing after material goods and transitory, self-gratifying experiences.”
I am no psychiatrist nor do I mean to come across as the least bit judgmental or righteous. I firmly believe that life is too short not to be spent doing the things we enjoy most. And I am the first to admit that many people question how I choose to spend much of my time. Once again, I use the word “choice” because I truly believe everything we do is a choice. To get back to the original thought, why is it that I do not feel a mid-life crisis coming on? I guess because I have convinced myself that as a Father, Son, Spouse, Friend and Sailor, I continue to accomplish much in my life. That my ego is not so big as to give me a reason to panic knowing my legacy will not last forever. And that I have clearly not been chasing after “material goods”, “self-gratifying experiences” or as I see so often in the Navy, a specific rank. That said, I do feel a sense of urgency and though it is regarding time, it is not about a looming death.
The sense of urgency I feel is about maximizing the fleeting opportunity my wife and I share to nurture our son, as well as the relatively short time I have left to contribute to the lives of my fellow Sailors and the numerous friendships not yet fully developed.
As I have been known to say, “Life is so good I often times feel guilty.” So as I get ready to celebrate the end of my 40th year of life, I will catch my breath and enjoy the guilt. The guilt that comes with being so fortunate in so many ways. The guilt that comes with having no real regrets. And the guilt that comes with knowing the future remains promising.
- How will you ensure you don’t have a midlife crisis?
- What guilt are you content with feeling?
- How are you channeling that sense of urgency?