Okay, so I’m turning 50 very shortly.  Like within a week shortly.  Yay.  To be honest, I’ve had my share of “shoulda, coulda, woulda” moments lately and maybe some of it is related to my age.  But I think more than anything else, it’s likely related to the fact that I’m still clawing my way back into this decrepit job market.  Oh, don’t get me wrong; I’m still shocked every so often when I realize that I’ve already spent half a century on this rock.  And most of that went whizzing right by me like a taxi on a rainy night.  So here’s my question: what’s a mid life crisis anyway?

Really, there are no rules are there? No guidelines, no “Mid-Life Crisis for Dummies” book I can pick up at the Barnes and Noble discount table?  I did a quick search on Google for mid-life crisis, and cheese-and-rice, if that didn’t make me both confused and more depressed than I already was.  Really, is it that bad?  Some of the descriptions or symptomology:  Abuse of alcohol, marital affairs, acquisition of unusual or expensive items like cars, motorcycles or tattoos, paying acute attention to physical appearance and on and on.  Great, now I feel gypped.  I already have a motorcycle (had one since I was 15), love my occasional martini and probably should have bought “Just for Men” when I went white at thirty-five.  Heck, I was planning to use this as an excuse to quit everything and move to Florida so I could play lousy golf everyday and lie about my handicap.  Not because I miss my youth, but because I’m tired of having a handicap over 11.

So what next? What am I going to do for say, the next 50 years?  Well for starters, I’m going to make sure I continue to spend that quality time with my two girls before they fully realize that there are other men in the world besides daddy and I have to start competing for their attention.  I’m going to continue to wake up every morning and thank god for that beautiful lady sleeping next to me.  Then I’ll probably whine about the weather, bitch about my job, play my guitar, speed-eat M&M’s and get on with life like normal.

I don’t know, maybe it all sounds soooo boring. But I’ve lived a pretty decent life, had some great adventures and have all the rewards I need.  I guess I just have simple tastes, that’s all.  I honestly don’t see what a new Mercedes would do to make me feel 20 again.  Well, if I still drove like I did when I was 20, maybe the speeding tickets might bring back memories of my youth, but that’s about it.

So what about the “Shoulda, coulda, woulda” moments?  What if I had done one of those “coulda’s”? Only the path to here and now would have been different.  I’d still eventually end up at 50 in some other life.  If I had chosen a different path, would I have met my wife?  Would I have two beautiful children whom I adore and who love their father deeply?  The law of unintended consequences combined with permutations of the what-if scenarios might leave me desiring those very things I have now.  Yow, that was way too deep for a Friday night with only a glass of cheap red wine for support.

At this point in my life, I don’t desire the car, the boat, nose-ring or the tattoo on my left butt cheek that says “rebel”.  Nope, I find that my desires are still the same as they’ve been most of my life; to be a better father than I had, to be the husband my wife deserves and to never be ashamed of the man I am.

So there’s my dilemma.  What should I do for my mid-life crisis?  I may buy a new car in a year or so, but it’ll probably be boring and practical.  And only because I have 120,000 miles on the one I own now.  I’ll pass on the nose ring because frankly, I have a weak stomach and the thought of it just makes me gag.  I’ll stick with the white hair because I pretty much bought most of my suits and ties to work with the white: I don’t know if my old reddish brown color would work into my wardrobe.  Maybe I’ll do something drastic like switch from vodka to gin in my martinis.

Nah, I hate gin. Crisis averted…..