One always think of oneself as young till confronted with something from one’s past which conveys the message of the ageing process. In other words, ‘Oh My Goodness, have i aged too?‘ is the repeating phrase in one’s head from that moment on.
It is my firm belief that there is a trigger moment for the onset of the midlife crisis. The trigger moment may be an unconscious one.
Looking back now, my midlife crisis started making itself felt while I was watching a Bollywood movie, ‘Om Shanti Om’. The song and dance scene (video above) where past and present actors made mini appearances had a huge effect on me. The actors whom I had been fans of in the 1970s, during my teen years, were looking much older.
I left the cinema worried. A few days later I went out and bought a whole lot of make up and smartened up my appearance. That, my dear reader, was when the seeds of my midlife crisis were sown though I didn’t realise it. Most of us don’t.
The make up helped. Imagining myself looking like some glorious female Bollywood actress helped the mental fear factor.
So, it was with some interest that I read about the defining moment of the midlife crisis for Michael Booker, deputy editor of The Express newspaper. He writes with remarkable frankness about how he bought exactly the same shirt and, wait for it, swimming shorts which Daniel Craig wore in a Bond movie.
If you haven’t seen that iconic photo of Daniel Craig emerging in glistening form from the sea then you haven’t lived or, perhaps, this says more about my midlife fantasies than yours, dear reader.
Michael Booker writes, “Unfortunately, where he (Daniel Craig) wore his while on the trail of an assassin who’d stolen a hard drive containing details of undercover agents, I looked more like I was trying to infiltrate a budgie smuggling ring.Since then the Bond paraphernalia has mounted up; mountaineering sunglasses, water bottles, tea towels, you name it I’ve got it.”
Not even lockdown has dampened Michael Booker’s efforts to become 007 in his own home. If you read the article, you will see that he has continued to buy Bond copy cat stuff but feels that this ‘crisis’ is time bound. He expects it to end when Daniel Craig’s last Bond film is released later this year. Heaven help him (Michael Booker and not Daniel Craig, that is) if the Pandemic makes this impossible.
Putting a time limit on one’s midlife crisis is a new one on me. I am fully expecting mine to keep playing out till it decides that it has reached a natural end. It came upon me undetected and plays havoc about once a day with my mind. I catch myself looking online at more make up and hair colouring products. In lots of ways it absolves me of having to take responsibility. ‘It’s my midlife crisis,’ I say, as an Amazon person delivers another package. I then resort to the ‘Good Person’ argument which goes, you know. “as long as I am not hurting anyone blah, blah”.
In my Venn diagram of life my midlife crisis straddles my hopes and fears. There are things which I still wish to do before old age beckons unless the virus gets me first. Lockdown is giving me time and space to do this. I have had one major accomplishment but more of this later. Suffice to say that a midlife crisis can also be a great motivator. I may not look like a Bollywood actress but I look a darn sight better than I did.