I shall be 46 in less than a month. Holy crap. Now is about the time I should start to feel the stirrings of a midlife crisis. I’m not sure I’ll know it if it hits, though, because I’ve been in crisis since my twenties. And I’ve always wanted a Harley. I also think it’s pretty presumptuous to assume 46 may be my midlife point. That means I will live to 92. Hooooooly crap on a cracker. I’m grumpy enough right now; can you imagine what I’ll be like at ninety frickin’ two? It even scares me, and I’ll be too deaf to hear myself complain at that point, nor will I remember having done so five minutes later.
Life seems to have been passing faster and faster as I’ve aged, and I expect that feeling will only continue and intensify. Verily, I am hurtling towards death. Pretty soon I will have to go back to bed almost as soon as I get up, so short will be my day.
I wonder how my feelings towards my freelance writing will change as the years pass. Will I in my sixties experience a flourish that rivals the insane drive to be published that defined my twenties? Or will I lose all interest and instead buy myself that Harley? (That should ensure I don’t reach 92, at any rate.)
If/when I retire, I’d like to think that the notes and ideas I have for years been scribbling in my red book will coalesce into at least one new novel, but, if I’m honest, I have a rather pessimistic notion that the freedom to freelance that retirement affords me will coincide with a hefty dose of mañana. My new project will forever begin tomorrow. I will be too busy turning my skin to leather and polishing the chrome bits on my Fat Boy (that’s a Harley, in case any of you thought I was coming out.)
I find this midlife thing to be quite startling. I am thinking more than I ever did, and that’s a hell of a lot considering I have suffered the disquiet of constant brain chatter since I was a kid. You’ll know from my blogs that there’s a lot of silliness in that thinking, but you’ll also, I hope, have spotted the odd bit of profundity.
I think I need to write a new novel. Not because I think anyone will want to read it. Just to bring a little order to my mental proceedings. The novel-writing process is a therapeutic one when it really gets underway. Akin, I suppose, to the basket-weaving offered to the tired-of-mind in certain wards we don’t like to talk about. I need to unravel the dusty and knotted wires and leads and redundant scarts that are looping through my brain and replace them all with a couple of sleek new HDMIs.
Alas, I don’t have the time at the moment, so it’s all going to stay in my middle-aged head. All the best thoughts I’ve had; the most potent insights; the brightest realisations; the darkest contemplations.
Then again, so what? What am I thinking that hasn’t been thought by every midlifer before me? There is nothing new under the sun.
Speaking of which, I should stop writing and get outside.