I have once again been pondering the great questions of life: Why am I here? What does the future hold for me? What if I turned into a giant pat of butter? What do I need? What do I want? Why do I do any of the things that I do? Would it be possible to build a fort out of Velveeta or Peeps? You know, the typical things people contemplate. There are many of factors contributing to my general malaise: job stress, the challenges of parenting, aging and, of course, the bitter Minnesota weather. So, I find myself feeling a little lost, in need of some sort of spiritual Strike Anywhere Match to set my soul on fire once again. I thought that match had arrived in the form of a non-fiction manuscript that I have been working on with friends. We had interest from a publisher and then an agent only to have both prospects fall apart. I am disappointed and discouraged and I've realized something surprising about myself through this process - persistence is not my strong suit. In "The Way We Were" (why yes I am quoting a Barbara Streisand movie), Hubbell writes a story that begins, "In a way, he was like the country he lived in; everything came too easily to him." I think that may be true of me as well. I didn't have to work hard in high school. I didn't work hard in college. The only challenge of graduate school was holding a full time job while attending school full time. I fell into a "good" job and I live comfortably. My personal life is just as I want it to be but my professional life is a source of much existential angst because my work brings me no joy. In order to change that, however, I would have to work hard and take risks and it's clear that this is not my modus operandi. I have always taken the path of least resistance. I live on the path of least resistance. I have been elected mayor of the place by the small number of P.L.R. denizens. I've always been comfortable there. I've strung a hammock between two trees and have a caipirinha stand out front, providing refreshments to all those who visit but don't stay. It's only in realizing all of this that I have begun to wonder if it's good for me, if I want more, if I'm willing to pack up my hammock and limes and amble on down the road. I honestly don't know. This, my friends, is a mid-life crisis. I might as well run out and buy a red mini cooper and have an affair with a blonde woman half my age. It's so trite and I do so hate being trite. But, it is what it is. So, what's next? I'll make you a caipirinha and let you swing in my hammock if you'll help me figure it out.
p.s. Not everything I write is depressing. I also wrote about football for Grace the Spot.