Wednesday, 29 September 2010

What mid-life crisis?

I noticed in todays newspaper that more and more thirty somethings are suffering from mid-life crises.

I don't get it.

Six months ago now I was made redundant from my job working for a local authority. To face the prospect of being out of work for the first time since leaving college was, I suppose, quite frightening.

I worried how would the bills get paid and would I lose all of my self worth? In reality walking out of work on my final day with no new job to go to was a terrifying prospect.

And yet, still out of work, something marvellous has happened since that day.

The past six months have been, without question, the best of my life and the reason is simple. I have realised the mind-blowing importance of my family, friends and community.

For the first time I have got to spend a lot of time with my children and you know what? They are wonderful.

Whether it has been watching my eldest son starting to cycle to school on his own, or helping my daughter with her homework and her pride when she gets a 'well done' from her teacher or enjoying the chats with my youngest when I put him to bed at night. It is all amazing.

I went in to my sons class recently to pick him up at the end of the day. He and his classmates had been doing a piece of work about the person they admire most and Regan had done his work about me. To say I welled up is somewhat of an understatement, but would he have done the same piece before I started spending so much time with him? I doubt it.

Spending more time with my wife, Clare, has also been reinvigorating and I have no doubt has lead to us having a much more fulfilling, loving and happy marriage. Clare has recently started a new, and demanding, job and the time I have spent at home as given me the opportunity to support her as much as she deserves and I am more than content to do this.

Likewise, for the first time ever we got to spend the whole of the long summer holidays as a family. It is true that we didn't go on any expensive holidays this year (a mobile home in The Netherlands on a very cold Easter was our substitute for a summer holiday) but the time we spent on day trips, picnics and visiting stately homes more than made up for that.

My time away from a rat-race job has also given me the chance to realise what a contribution we can make in our local communities. I have been lucky enough to help out at a couple of local schools in one capacity or another and seeing the difference a person can make there easily makes up for the terror of being out of work.

As for the future, who knows? Like anyone else we continue to worry about paying bills but what I do know for certain is this. These months out of work have been ones that I can happily say I will never forget.

Anyway, now back to the job search. I have to get a job if for no other reason that we did mention to the children that we would take them to Disneyworld when I got one. The only problem is that my youngest is now asking me at least five times a day 'Have you got that job yet Daddy?'

So as to those who say mid-life crises are on the up I say make the most of those people and things that are under your nose. They are more valuable than you can ever imagine.

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