As soon as my husband gets home, I bounce out the door wearing my compression workout pants that make my butt look younger and my freshly applied makeup. “She’s having an affair,” thinks husband. “We’re having ice cream for dinner,” thinks son. “I better find that Lady Gaga Pandora station,” thinks me as I speed off to the gym while giving the finger to my midlife crisis.
It all started when I decided to quit my perfectly good full-time job and just work part-time. I’d spend more time with my son; I could get all those random projects done around the house and I could even have dinner ready for the family when they got home. Didn’t take long for me to realize my son would rather play on his X-box than go on a scavenger hunt with me; those unfinished projects were unfinished because they were mundane and trivial and really, there are only so many meatloaves and pans of spaghetti one household should consume in a year.
Within five months, I had faded faster than a do-it-yourself hair color kit. I had given up my job, my income and my sparkly attitude. I started gaining weight, stopped sleeping, and had spent ever part-time cent I earned to pay for medical bills for a still-undiagnosed issue. Even my doctors started using terms like “women your age” and “pre-menopausal.” So, I had just had the best years of my life and I missed them?
One day while literally stuffing myself into a body shaper, I realized I was approaching my birthday. My 45th birthday. Like a neon sign, the words MIDLIFE CRISIS flashed before me. Was I prepared to spend the rest of my days tucking bra fat into spandex? Was I going to start buying those shoes that sacrifice style for comfort? Was I just going to set back while the rest of the women at the table flirted with the waiter who was half my age? This crisis had to be turned into a confluence where the past-Ronda and the future-Ronda met.
The past few months, I’ve put in some “hard time” at the gym and feel a lot better about myself. I’ve also had to really think about where I am in life and where I want to be and what it is that truly makes me happy. There is no crisis, just an intermission.
Instead of this being the “last” half of my life, this is Act 2. The wardrobe change doesn’t even require sensible shoes yet. Though some of the characters from Act 1 are gone, I know there will be significant players in Act 2. The best part about this act is that I now have enough knowledge and experience to write my own lines.