I think the old “midlife crisis” is misunderstood, and I’m not saying that because at my stage in life this golf quest might be considered a Midlife crisis. Here's a quick break down of what my thought process was when I saw "that guy" at "that age":
· You bought a sports car.
· That was an impulsive decision.
· You must be obsessed with appearances.
· You are feeling tied down, with no chance of change.
We all might find ourselves wanting to say “act your age”, or “be happy with what you have”. I also felt that way some 30 years ago, but now I believe most of these Midlife crisis folks are not trying to revert back to a time long gone, but they are re-discovering passions they have forgotten about.
Let me try and explain. Before I fully dedicated my life to raising kids, pursuing a very competitive career, and attending to my Wife’s wishes I played golf. I was out duffing it up all year long no matter the weather, no matter the location, and no matter responsibilities at home… I was always playing golf. One day I got married, and I still played golf. A short 2 years later our Daughter arrived, and I still played golf. I commuted 2 hours and 20 minutes each way to work, and I still played golf. That all changed when I returned home after one particular Sunday outing.
That Sunday morning, I was out of the house at 3:30am to make a 6:30 tee time some 60 miles away. I left quietly after a very restless “night” of up and down sleep with a colicky baby girl. My journey took me from St. James to Shelter Island with a quick stop in Mattituck to pick my golf partner and great friend Dave. Dave and I were obsessed with these Sunday morning outings. He and I would drive in all directions on Long Island to play golf, and for some unknown reason we needed to be the first ones out on the golf course.
As usual round was fun and after lunch we headed home getting me back at around 4 or 5 pm that day. I walked into the house and was greeted by what can only be described as a dose of reality served by an Anvil. The entire 2-bedroom house was covered in kid’s toys, clothes, what I think was last nights
dinner, and cheese Doodles. The TV was blaring The Little Mermaid, and my Wife and Daughter were, how should I say this, passed out on the couch. Clearly this was an extremely long day, probably a 13-hour struggle to quiet, please, and pacify a very fussy 8 month-old.
This was my wake-up call, it was time to hang’em up for a while and start supporting full time this new family of ours. I stepped over the sea of toys and crackers, walked into the garage, and quietly placed my clubs in a secure place knowing I would be not be seeing them for quite some time…I was not supporting the family enough and golf had to take a back seat for a bit. This simple no brainer decision was one of the best I have ever made.
What’s happening now in my life is very simple. I've go my own life back, the before kid’s life and the before climbing the career ladder life. I think this Midlife crisis term should be changed perhaps to Midlife reward. I believe most people go through the very same life I am going through and look up and say wow…I have not been able to listen to my music, watch my TV show,
and drive in a car alone for over 25/30 years. It takes a bit of time to rediscover these small but significant luxuries and I think folks celebrate this re-discovery in different ways. Maybe you shake off the Family van with a sports car? Maybe renew your wardrobe because the kids won’t steal the clothes and claim that it’s theirs anymore. Maybe you clean up the old kid’s bedroom and turn it into a golf quest “war room”. …Just a thought, and yes, I did that.
If you see me out on my quest I hope you come by and join me for a round. If not, please know I’m doing great and that this is not a Midlife crisis it’s my Midlife reward.
Off we go...