Midlife Crisis

17 Oct


I’ve recently decided that I’m going through my first real midlife crisis. At least I hope that’s what it is—perhaps I have another 54 years ahead of me. Whatever it is though, I’m struggling to find the joy lately.

I could blame my depression on several things:

1) No takers on my novel so far. I do have one agent still looking at it, but no word back yet. I’m savvy enough to know that for new writers trying to get published, this is not uncommon. It’s still hard on the ego, though.

2) The ELECTION. Like a looky-loo at a car accident, I’m sickened but at the same time, strangely captivated. I can’t seem to pull my eyes away from the tragedy playing out on television while eagerly waiting for another car (or scandal) to plow into that already huge pile of carnage.

3) My children are growing up and leaving me. I know this is as it should be, but shedding my role as caretaker of four is harder than I thought it would be. Thank goodness I still have six years left with Isa.

4) Getting older sucks. Menopause, wrinkles, aches and pains all remind me that while inside I’m still that sixteen-year-old girl, my body proves that she is long gone. I should have loved her more when she was around.

“White-privileged, first-world problems,” my husband admonishes me. “Get over yourself.” As a person of color, he’s allowed to say this to me. Growing up poor in Mexico, he knows about real poverty, discrimination and suffering. Sure, I’ve had my moments of pain, but fully understand I’ve lead a privileged life. After recently calculating our wealth on Globalrichlist.com. I’m actually embarrassed to admit how far up on the scale we are. I have NO reason whatsoever to complain.

Still, I can’t seem to shake this feeling of “What if?” What if I’d starting writing earlier? What if I’d made exercise a priority throughout my life? What if I’d traveled the world when I was young and had the energy? What if I’d learned to love myself a long time ago?

Hey Jess—do you want some cheese with your whine?

Okay, rant over. No one can fix me but me. I need to look for the good, so I’m off to practice some intentional gratitude.

I’ll start with a heartfelt THANK YOU for following my blog. I truly appreciate your readership.

There. I feel better already.

Just to remind myself of how lucky I am, I’m posting some photos of things I’m grateful for:


Black-eyed Susans in the garden


Time spent with my beautiful daughters


My daily view of the Santa Ynez mountains


Isa and our babies, Cody and Leo


The vibrant color of this late autumn hollyhock.

family photo

There are really no words to express my gratitude for my family.

17 Responses to “Midlife Crisis”

  1. Liz October 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Love you, sweet lady! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Would love to catch up by going on a walk one day soon.

  2. Jacque October 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Saying it out loud will do more for you than not saying it. Acknowledge and yes, move on. I can so relate to almost everyone one of these whoas. It won’t do me any good to hang on them any longer than long enough to say them out loud.

  3. Theresa October 17, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    Hi Jessica! I agree, getting older so no fun. However you look exactly the same as when Maureen had her first piano lesson!
    Are you going to let me read your novel sometime? I’d be honored.
    PS your turn for lunch

    • Allegro non tanto October 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

      Thanks for the laugh, my friend! Yes, you can read my novel. Just keep it to yourself if you hate it. And I know it’s my turn for lunch!

  4. Tracey October 17, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    Hey, I completely understand! It’s always a bummer when a manuscript isn’t picked up. Going back to revisions never feels very good. And the election…ugh…I’ve just turned it all off. I’m barely on social media and I’m NOT looking at the news. What a disgrace. As for the kids, that kind of melancholy is par for the course. The hubs may be right, but that doesn’t diminish how you feel. Do something nice for yourself! And know that there are people out here who will happily attend your whine and cheese party. Cheers!

    • Allegro non tanto October 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

      Thanks for attending my whine and cheese party! It so helps to have friends out there who know what I’m going through! Hope to see more of you on Facebook after the election!

  5. darlenecraviotto October 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    I think we all need to go through these moments of angst. They help us re-focus on what we really want to do or be in our life. Do we live privileged lives? Yes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still suffer loss, worries, and fear. Being told to “get over it” seldom makes the angst better. It only makes us bury it, push it underground where it’s still there. You’re at a transition in life and everything you’re feeling is a normal part of that transition. Sharing helps and this blogpost was a great beginning for that.

    • Allegro non tanto October 17, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

      You are absolutely right, Darlene. It is so helpful to share our pain (and triumph) with others! Thank you for your uplifting comment.

  6. Linda Menesez October 17, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

    We all go through ups and downs in life, but if it’s a prolonged sadness, that’s another matter. There is help out there if you’re open to that. Sometimes it feels good to talk with a professional and possibly get a new perspective. I love your blog, and have followed it for quite awhile. I marvel at the photos of flowers in your garden. They’re so beautiful! I admire your courage in being so honest about your struggles. You write as if you are sitting there with the reader, sharing some coffee and heartfelt thoughts. That is quite a skill! Keep the faith, and stay patient with the process of getting your book published. It will happen when the time is right, and you connect with the perfect person to help it get done. In the meantime, a focus on your blessings is always so uplifting.

    Take good care,


    • Allegro non tanto October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

      Thank you, Linda for your kind and lovely words! Just connecting with people like you through my blog today has really lifted my spirits.

  7. Becky October 18, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    We all go through our waves of “stuff,” so I know exactly how you feel, but always know I’m in awe of you on many, many levels. Your love and endless creativity inspire me to no end. Btw my gut tells me your book WILL be published. Keep on persevering. In the meantime, get away from all this depressing election stuff and go for a walk on the beach! 😊

    • Allegro non tanto October 18, 2016 at 11:20 am #

      Or maybe I should do a triathlon!

      • Joan Fairfield October 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

        I am well past mid-life crisis. At 77 I still can’t bring myself to just quit a job I love and do ……..what? Every day more than one person asks why I have not retired. Absent those questions I am not certain retirement would cross my mind. My point is that 54 years old or 77 years old we look at our life, realize it will end one day, and wonder what it coulda, woulda, shoulda been if only we had or had not lived our time as we did. I have decided to stop beating myself up and be the best I can be even at this late stage of life. I think you are awesome and I believe we can sometimes be our worst critic. Love, Joan

      • Allegro non tanto October 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

        So well said, Joan! I admire you so much and I appreciate your wisdom!

  8. Melanie Jacobson October 31, 2016 at 5:58 am #

    I completely relate and love your expression of it, your acknowledgement of the truth that Rene brings to it, and your understanding that “intentional gratitude” can be an antidote. All good and inspiring. Thanks for finding and sharing the beauty in what otherwise can be a time of despair for thinking, questioning, fifty-something women in 2016.

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