Since starting this blog in November of 2006, I have used a series of tag lines to describe what it is about. Initially, I used “Traveling the world, following my joy.” By the time I had I returned from my around-the-world backpacking trip last fall, I realized that joy comes from within. This realization, along with the fact that I had completed my long-term travels for the immediate future, led me to change my tag line a few times, until I finally settled on “One woman’s midlife crisis and her search for a meaningful life”
Although the search for a meaningful life continues to describe my quest, I have often wondered about the validity of the “midlife crisis” part of the tag line. I’ve done the math. I’m 56 years old. If this is a midlife crisis, my statement implies that I expect to live to the ripe old age of 112. I considered changing it to “three-quarter life crisis,” but that suggests a lifespan of 76 years or so, and I certainly hope to live longer than that. A two-thirds life crisis? That just sounds ridiculous. I decided to leave it as is, even though the word ‘midlife’ didn’t seem quite right to me.
But now I am vindicated. The other day I discovered Frank Calloway, an artist who draws murals of remembrances from his childhood on sheets of butcher paper that sometimes stretch more than 30 feet long. Calloway is a schizophrenic who has spent much of his life in mental institutions. His artistic talent emerged in the 1980’s after he took an art class. The upshot? Calloway is 112 years old. Go midlife.