Apr 4, 2007

Recruiting My Senses

by Faith St. Clair

Can anyone tell me where to find instructions on how to have a successful mid-life crisis?

I’ve looked everywhere and haven’t been able to find any instructions that sufficiently cover my frantic search for self, mission, form (of the physical kind), balance or brains.

I’m sure it’s in the same place as the how-to-be-a-good-parent-and-raise-happy-loving-obedient-faithful-always-doing-the-right-thing-children, the how-to-lose-50-pounds-without-chemicals-or-life-changing-habits, and the how-to-stay-focused-amidst-children, a-husband, re-structuring-at-work, work, learning, politics, wars, ACT’s, college-planning, financial-planning, yard-work, saving-your-children-in-a-social-decline, remodeling, homework, contemplating-new-second-careers, proms, church-callings, serving-others, cleaning-your-house, exercising, eating-right (which means shopping at healthy, pricey stores, reading all the ingredients and taking more time than to have raised the farm yourself), friends, family, fun, praying, pondering, fervent-praying, kneeling-to-pray, fasting-and-praying, or the smiling instructions are, but for the sanity of me, I can’t find them either.

I have a friend whose daughter asked her once, “Why can’t you be more like Faith? She’s always focused.” Focused?! I can’t see a thing! I’m going so fast and in so many directions, things are blurry. I don’t mind stopping on any one of the aforementioned avenues to bask in the fullness of what they can offer me as an aspiring-to-all-good-things-human in training. I feel like a jack of all trades, but master of none!

The chapters I want to look up in the instruction manual are, At What Point do You Have to be Grown Up and Declare that You Have Arrived and Have Become What You Always Wanted to Be? Or, What if You Never Figure What You Want to Be - Does That Mean You’ve Wasted Everything? I also need to read the section on How to Find the Priority in 100 Number-One Priorities.

I am grounded in the teachings of the gospel, the strength of positive thinking, the power of prayer, the confidence in being a daughter of God and in the direction these influences take me. But when your priority is not between good or bad, but rather between great and wonderful, important and meaningful, necessary and imminent, I kind of get sloshed in the middle of the spin cycle unable to find any focus.

So you say, “Have faith,” “Put it in the Lord’s hands,” “Carpe Diem!” I can’t seize the day, a month or even a lifetime if I can’t handle the seconds screeching by me! How can I be the captain of my soul when I can’t even recruit my senses?

Since I can’t find the right manual, I just want to make note that I’m 42 and have begun the blotching, sagging and wrinkling mode. If anyone has good information, I’d like to know how to restrict that to just the physical self so that it doesn’t seep into the mental and emotional self.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I get the what, I just need to know the how of having a successful mid-life crisis. If you find any helpful instructions, please share them.

And by the way, apparently I’m ahead of my time! I’m not supposed to be doing this until age 46. The good news is that it only lasts 2-3 years, unless you are a male, then you can expect it to last up to ten years! Whew!

Signing off…in what direction I’m not sure…

Faith St. Clair


  1. Faith,
    My first inclination is to just say, "Yes."

    I think this stage of our life (yeah...I'm there too...have been for a couple of years and glad to know it is almost finished!) is not unlike giving birth for the first time...no one can really prepare you for the experience because not only is it indescribable, it is different for everyone! I have a friend who asks all the time..."why didn't anyone tell me about this?"

    So, Faith, I think you have the beginnings of a book here. You could do a compilation of points of view from many different women and their experiences with aging. (Doug is reaading this and telling me I'm being sexest..I'll hit him later)Or...you could put together a book that progresses from one age to the next...young adulthood, the 30's, 40's etc. and show how a woman's life changes. Hey, want to do this together?

    Ha! I just added another item to our "good things to choose from" list! sorry about that!

    Seriously, I have found this stage to be the screaming-in-joy-and-terror-as-you rocket-through-a-downhill-stretch of-the-roller-coaster-ride. This is when we really exercise our faith and throw our hands in the air, close our eyes, and scream...feeling the thrill of it all the way down. YOu have the tools you need to make it through.

    I've gone on long enough! Thanks for the great blog, Faith...really made me think!

  2. That sounds like a great project. Are you up to it? I'm tackling anything and everything these days...why not this?

  3. You made me laugh with this one. When you get it figured out, pass the manual on to the rest of us. We could use it, too!

  4. Interesting posting. As someone two steps beyond where you are, I want to assure you that the best is yet to come. The only thing I feel is more awareness of my body. Or, of gravity weighing on my body. The pull of the earth, as if the earth is eager to have me, I guess. I wonder if this isn't preparation, a constant reminder of where I came from and the mortal shell that houses my spirit, and conditioning me to be okay with the split, because then I won't have this burden to carry any more.

    But in everything else, I'm soaring. What an absolutely wuuuuuunderful time of life!


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