My fortieth birthday is less than a month away. Since my mind has been processing a mid-life crisis for several years, I didn't expect to give this milestone much thought. Besides, I always said I'd die before turning forty. I still might.
But the occasion is making me more introspective than usual, and I will probably be writing a lot about it this month -- if I have the nerve to bare my innermost fears and self-loathing on the World Wide Web.
When I turned 30, I had the world by the balls. I had a six-figure income, a promising career, a successful business, the best physical condition of my life, engaging hobbies, and a loving wife.
In the new century, I have driven headlong into a ditch. My income has dwindled to an annual tax deduction, and my "career" is a case study in ennui. My body has suffered the double whammy of losing the war against genetics and losing interest in active pastimes. Actually, I'm not interested in much of anything these days, active or not. My wife is still around, which may be the only reason I am, too.
Most frustrating, my current dilemma is not that I can't get out of the ditch, it's that I can't even find a good reason to bother. I'm in a position that many would envy -- my wife doesn't mind being the breadwinner, I have lots of free time, and while not well off, I'm not broke. And yet I'm missing something, and I fear that I won't figure it out until it's too late to matter anymore.