About five years ago I got my nose pierced. What might not have seemed like a big deal at the time turned out to be one of the very few defining moments in my life. Not just because I had an indescribable pants-wetting fear of anything at all going anywhere near my nose, or because I had a godforsaken needle pushed through said nose. Or even when I thought the piercing had fallen out the first night I slept and went back to get it re-pierced.
The defining moment came as I found myself lying on the cushioned table of an Icelandic tattoo parlour having pliers – yes, pliers! – inserted up my nose because it turns out it had got wedged inside my nose.
When I informed my now ex-husband that I’d got my nose pierced, he asked whether I was having some kind of mid-life crisis. And it got me wondering. Maybe I was. After all, at the time I was living in Iceland without said husband, living It up lavishly on my redundancy payout. If it was a mid-life crisis it was certainly an enjoyable one.
What is a mid-life crisis anyway?
Definition: An emotional period of doubt and anxiety sometimes experienced by people who realize that their life is already half over…
a period of dramatic self-doubt that is felt by some individuals in the “middle years” or middle age of life, as a result of sensing the passing of their own youth and the imminence of their old age.
Does that sound familiar?
It sure does for me. If that’s a mid-life crisis then I think I’ve been having one for about eight years now.
Every day I try to remember I only have one life to live until I shuffle off this mortal coil. Sometimes it guides me to make epic life-changing decisions (like move to Iceland). Sometimes I use it as an excuse to do something I know I probably shouldn’t (like eat a whole tub of Rice Pudding!)
Every day I remind myself that life is too short to not go after what you really want in life, pursue what makes you happy…that’s why we’re here isn’t it?
It’s a realisation of sorts. To comprehend in the most complete way that you are going to die. I’m not being morbid, it’s a fact that many of us are not too keen to face up to. But the reality for me is that more often than not it spurs me in to action and going after what I really, really want.
I don’t think a mid-life crisis has to happen in the middle of your life. I think it should happen way before you’ve even reached the middle!
In fact, I think it needs to happen to more people more regularly. We need these sobering moments to wake us up. To alert us to whatever path that we’re on that isn’t actually going the way we thought.
What am I doing stuck in this job I hate?
What am I doing wasting my time in a relationship that’s unfulfilling?
Why do I live in this country when I really want to live in the Bahamas selling inflatable bananas on the beach?
Why don’t I just phone this person and say I’m sorry/I love you/I miss you/I want to be with you?
Why am I wasting my time, the only time I’ve got, when I want to contribute something to my self/family/community/society/world?
A crisis is a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.
What is that decision for you?
Are you going to waste your life not taking action on what you really want?
Too many of us think we have all this time in the future when we’ll get to our dreams and goals, not realising that it needs to start right now. We need to park our excuses to the side and actually get on with it.
Embody the philosophy that life truly is too short to not make something of your life.
More importantly, LIVE by it.
I got a needle through my nose to prove it…