My So-Called Mid-Life Crisis

My So-Called Mid-Life Crisis

A while back I wrote about trying to figure out whether or not I was having a mid-life crisis. I was going through the usual growing pains of turning 40 – saggy cheeks (of both varieties), confusion over the terms “woke” and “bae,” finding myself leaving the radio on the classic and soft rock stations more and more. But I didn’t feel I was quite there yet. How could I be sure?

Well, one way is to quit your job of 13 years with no backup plan other than a blog that hasn’t been used in almost a year and lofty goals of baking bread every day to save on groceries.

Will this plan work for you? Not sure. But I can tell you that for me, it worked like a charm. I am now sure I’m deep in the middle of mid-life crisis. Like saggy-cheeks-deep.

My daughter said this graphic is evidence that I am having a mid-life crisis.
How does one get to this point in their lives? Well, again, I’m not sure about you, but I for me, it started with “Days of Our Lives.”

Way back in 1994, I picked journalism as a career because I wanted to be like Jennifer Horton on “Days of Our Lives.” Not because I had a passion for journalism or ambitions of winning a Pulitzer Prize. No, I wanted my life to be like a soap opera. Seriously. That’s it.

jack and jen
Ahhh…life at The Spectator
And it sort of worked. For nearly 20 years, I fooled people into believing I was a journalist. I even fooled myself for a bit. And while my life in the newspaper business certainly was no soap opera, it was a job I was fairly good at. I even won a few awards.

As time wore on, though, it began to feel less and less like a world I belonged in and more like an less sexy version of Ernesto’s Cruise of Deception. I was apathetic and bored. I would spend an afternoon stewing over the fact that someone decided to bake a goddamn potato in the microwave for lunch, tying up the microwave for a whole six minutes! The highlight of my day was usually the Egg McMuffin I talked myself into buying. And that was before I even got to work.

Quitting was always in the back of my mind, but didn’t have the courage (or money) to actually do it. I convinced myself I needed the job. I’m not sure what changed exactly. Maybe it was the goddamn potato in the microwave. But it became clear that my job wasn’t working any more. My husband and I agreed we needed to find a way for me to make a change. We started budgeting a little better, started to pay down some lingering bills, and tried to change our relationship with money. I started to ask myself “Is having money for this dumb Egg McMuffin worth being unhappy?” Sometimes the answer was yes, because, honestly, Egg McMuffins are delicious. But more and more, the answer became no.

Then, four weeks ago, after yet another Monday when I came home practically in tears because I was so unhappy, my husband and I decided it was time to just do it. It didn’t matter that I had no job lined up or no real plan in place. It was worth it to both of us to take the risk.

The most surprising part of all of this was that telling my boss I was quitting wasn’t nearly as gratifying as I thought it would be. I spent years dreaming about marching into my office, quitting in a “Voshell out!” mic drop sort of way, and then marching right back out while Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” played me out.

It didn’t really happen that way. In fact, I felt like I was going to throw up. It was my career for almost two decades, after all. And the question “What do I do now?” still lingered.

I’m two weeks into my “early retirement” and I’m still not sure I have that all figured out. But I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be … for now. And I’m hoping returning to my first real love – the dashing and witty Jack Deveraux –  um, I mean, writing will help me find my way.

jack and jen wedding
Here’s to hoping I’m as happy as Jack and Jennifer!




29 thoughts on “My So-Called Mid-Life Crisis

  1. oh my gosh! I’ve been doing the A to Z challenge and thinking back to how much I enjoyed your posts and comments last year and seeing that you weren’t posting anymore. So I’m glad to see you even if it’s in the midst of a crisis. I hope things get better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Liam!!! I’m excited to be back and get caught up on everyone else’s posts! Glad you’re doing A to Z again! I’ll definitely check on your progress 😊


  2. Jean,
    I love your “Voshell Out” mic drop scenario!! Very funny! I believe you are where you are supposed to be, also. You will be fine and I am sure your career in writing has only just begun! I am excited for you.
    Your big Sis, Christi

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well written as usual. All I can say is, “You’re Back!”, with humor even in a crisis. Personally, I know you will be glad one day that you made this choice. Become the writer you always dreamed of being. That dream just got a little side-tracked with real life. Just write that great American novel while I am still on this earth to read it (no pressure, though)!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds like an incredibly stressful time but following your heart is always a good choice and you can never go wrong with Days of our Lives as your guide. Look how well things worked out for Jennifer? I have a hunch they’ll go even better for you. You have an engaging, wonderful writing style full of humor. So glad to see you’re blogging again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been wondering where you were! Glad to see you back and I love this post. I’m going through something similar myself, with big changes to come soon. I’m looking forward to reading about where life takes you from here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!!! Seems like change is in the air! I’ve heard from a couple of people who said they can relate to this! And I thought it was just me who was having some sort of breakdown 😊 I’m excited to read about what changes you have coming up! It’s good to be back!


  6. Hey Jean great to see you back on your blog! You know it’s time for a change when a baked potato pisses you off that bad. By the way, forty sucks, for sure, but you get used to it! I’m staring at sixty next year. How the hell did that happen? Best of luck in your new endeavor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ilona!! I’m excited to be back and to catch up with what everyone’s been up to. I felt bad for stepping away from the blogging world completely but I guess it’s what I needed to do! Hope all has been well with you! How’s the blogging biz been treating you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s good to get away from social media sometimes. But I’m glad you’re back. I’m just plugging away here, meeting more bloggers all the time. I enjoy it a lot more than facebook and don’t do twitter so it’s a good outlet for me. Thanks for asking Jean, welcome back.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Jean. I was always been a little worried about your sudden disappearance from WordPress. Glad to hear it was only a mid-life crisis! But seriously, I’ll look forward to enjoying your writing and sense of humor and the opportunity to get to know you better, again. Welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jason!! It’s great to be back! I’ve really missed all the great people I’ve met through this blog and am looking forward to seeing what everyone’s been up to! I enjoyed your photography and stories so much! Can’t wait to see what’s next!


  8. Sometimes following your heart is the most difficult thing to achieve in the world, when it particular comes to you. I have been going through the same thing. Guess I am also going through mid life crisis, which I am still trying to figure out, that’s is why I thought I will try my hand out at something I have always wanted to try out, which is writing. I have always felt I have lot of stories to share.

    Liked by 1 person

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