Some people might call this a mid-life crisis but that’s overstating things. These glimpses of my imperfection usually provide me with insight about myself and the way I look at life. More like lessons in humility but without the humiliation.
A few years ago, I was fretting about my children’s grades in school. I worried they should do better than they were doing. After all, my husband is very intelligent and I was always an A/B student. Or was I? Around that time my Dad had been cleaning out closets and came across a box of my old school papers. Of course, he passed them on to me (I probably should’ve paid him rent for storage all those years!) As I went through the papers, I came across a report card from 4th or 5th grade. I took a look and was surprised at the variety of letters I saw on the page. There were A’s and B’s, yes, but there were also C’s and I think even a D!
At first, I was a little horrified. I always thought I was a good student! What were those other grades doing there with the A’s and B’s? Slowly memories came back to me. I remembered struggling to learn my multiplication facts. I remembered test anxiety and stressed out evenings studying with Mom & Dad at the dining room table. Then it dawned on me. My kids are better students than I was at that age! At that moment, I realized that I could relax. My kids made good grades (better than mine, probably) and, after all, they were KIDS! They had time to work out the kinks and overcome whatever challenges were thrown their way.
So far the score is Reality-1, Laura-0.
More recently, I was at the lake with some friends where I got the opportunity to drive a Waverunner (Jet-ski, whatever) for the first time. Once I got the quick tutorial, I started off with my friend riding behind me to be my guide. At one point she said, “You can go faster if you want to.” Faster? Wasn’t I going fast as it was? After all, I was almost going 25 miles per hour! That’s the fastest I’d ever gone without a car surrounding me. So, I asked her how fast she’d gone when she was out on the lake. What? Did you say 60 miles an hour?!
So, I conveniently concluded that she was reckless and I was smart. Then, it was my husband’s turn out on the water. Before he left, I told him we were going to see which one of us was wilder. The gauntlet had been thrown down! Until that point I had no question which one of us was more of a daredevil. It was me, of course. Imagine my surprise when he got back from his spin around the lake. With a cocky smirk on my face, I asked the fateful question, “How fast did you go?” The answer that I never expected came-45 miles per hour. I had been beaten at my own silly game!
At that point I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was more cautious ( & probably more competitive!) than I realized. But, just like my report card incident, this realization sparked memories from childhood. I never liked sleeping over at friends’ houses. It took me forever to learn how to ride a bike because I was afraid of going fast. Yes, I am a cautious person. There’s no escaping it now.
Score update-Reality-2, Laura-0
After the “Epiphany of the Lake”, I had to laugh at myself and my delusions of grandeur. What was I thinking? Did I seriously think that I was a straight A student and a closet biker chick? No. Deep down I knew reality was, in fact, real. It seemed God was again reminding me of who I really am. Not in a hateful way. Not because He’s trying to bring me down a notch. But because He loves me and wants me to love Him as myself and not as the person I think I am or the person I think I should be.
So, instead of a mid-life crisis, I guess I’ve had a series of mid-life “moments” that let me laugh a bit at myself and remind me how human I really am. What a relief! Now I can relax and just be me. Of course, I’ll probably still need some reminders from time-to-time about who I really am. I’m sure God will help me out there. Until then, crisis averted.
Final Score-Reality-2, Laura-Humble (and Happy.)