ACKNOWLEDGING MY MID-LIFE CRISIS
I think I will have a mid-life crisis. I’m not interested in purchasing a sports car or having an affair, but something is happening to me. I will be fifty-one in October and there is a growing awareness of imminent change.
Maybe it was the wedding that reminded me of this. After walking my daughter Karli down the aisle on August 24th, I turned and conducted the wedding ceremony. This is what I said after hugging her and shaking Doug’s hand:
Karli, on the day you were born I held you in my arms and felt an indescribable love for you as our firstborn child. That love has never diminished-- only grown.
Today, your mother and I are filled with joy as we release you from our home to be joined with Doug in starting your marriage. The Scriptures teach that God’s blessings extend for a thousand generations. That has certainly been true in the way God blessed our lives with you.
Doug, we love you for the man that you are and have never doubted the love that you have for Karli. We see how good you are to each other. We believe in you. On behalf of Marsha and I we release our only daughter to your care. We trust you and Karli to prove God’s love and faithfulness to one another.
And with that, I proceeded to lead them through the ceremony that confirmed the end of one life chapter and the beginning of another. My little girl is a grown woman and her stuff is in another house across town. We loaded two vehicles and drove the rest of it over to her place while they honeymooned in Cuba.
For fun, Karli, my wife Marsha and I sat down a week before the wedding and watched our wedding video from 1989. We laughed at our youthful ‘deer in the headlights’ appearance and the hair and clothing styles that seemed so cool at the time.
It truly was a ‘time-machine’ experience as I realized that our parents were the ages we are now. Our grandparents at the wedding are mostly in the grave as well as many other relatives and friends of a short time ago.
It is our parents that are now the grandparents and health concerns are a part of their everyday lives.
I am a middle-aged man thinking about what is behind and what is to come. I know I am not alone to be pondering these transitions.
For the approximately 10% of middle aged adults who go through an age-related midlife crisis, the condition is most common ranging from the ages of 40-60 (a large study in the 1990s found that the average age at onset of a self-described midlife crisis was 46). Midlife crises last about 3–10 years in men and 2–5 years in women.[i]