Am I Having a Mid-Life Crisis?

Do girls get mid-life crises?  It seems like that term is thrown around more often in relation to guys, you know when the sensible 9 to 5 suit wearing dude decides to buy a bright red sports car in his mid forties.  But lately, I’m wondering if I’m having a mid-life crisis.

I’ve debated A LOT about writing this post.  Should I?  Should I not?  Is it too personal?  Well, without a question, what’s on my mind is personal, but then I go back to what the purpose of this blog is:  documenting my quest to life a healthy life in mind, body and soul.

So 2 years into this blogging adventure, I’ve written a lot about how I stay physically healthy, not so much about health in other areas.   And I’m sitting here realizing that I just haven’t been very happy lately, a sure sign that something’s out of whack.

No, I don’t mean to imply that life will always be a bed of roses and I should be going around grinning like a fool without a care in the world 24/7.  But I do know that joy is possible, regardless of circumstances, because joy is a choice.  But somewhere along the way, I’ve allowed circumstances to take over and I find myself feeling unmotivated, down in the dumps, and just blah.

But the thing is my life is pretty good.  I have a comfortable home, friends, family, the ability to work and earn all the money I need.  So it’s not so much physical circumstances that are getting me down.  I think it’s more mental fatigue.

I’ve been a nurse for a quarter of a century now, and over those 25 years, I’ve seen a lot.  I’ve seen babies being born.  I’ve been there as old and young people have died.  I’ve cared for drug addicts, diabetics, people with heart failure, people waiting for a liver transplant.  I’ve cared for victims of drunk drivers whose lives will never be the same as the result of their injuries.  I feel like I’ve seen it all, but then I go to work and realize I haven’t.  It’s a stressful, fast-paced, physically demanding, and highly regulated profession, and I come home so many times wondering if I really made a difference.

The thing that eats at me, though, is that person who is my age or younger, fighting chronic diseases that could possibly have been prevented by lifestyle changes.  Losing 63 pounds and the aches and pains that went along with lugging around all that extra weight ignited a  passion within me for health and fitness and eventually led to a personal training certification.  It was the one option I could find that would allow me to work specifically towards preventing disease.

So what’s the problem, you say?

I wish I knew.  Things just feel overwhelming at the moment.   I don’t dislike being a nurse, but there’s the question of where does my passion for health and fitness fit?  I find myself wanting to take my career in that direction, and while I have a vision for what I’d like to do, I don’t know how to make it happen.  Or maybe it’s that I’m scared to make it happen.  I feel overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge there is to learn in a new field, even though so much overlaps with healthcare.  I’m nearly paralyzed by the fear of not being good enough, of not knowing enough, of not being effective at helping people make those lifestyle changes, the thing I want most to do.

And so I feel myself just stalling, staying where I’m comfortable despite the  dissatisfaction, letting fear steal my joy.

And the thing is, I’m not quite sure how to bust out of this funk and restore my mental health.  I tend to find, though, for me that mental and spiritual health tend to go hand in hand, so I think a lot of praying and listening to God is in my future!

So I put this out there not for sympathy but in the spirit of transparency.  I’m not sure how I’ll get to the other side of this mental wall, but I have (at least I’m trying to find) faith that I’ll find the way eventually.

Talk to me:

Can girls have a mid-life crisis?

What’s your solution for feeling down in the dumps?


On the Other Side of Fear

You may remember that last August I started a fitness and health training program with a goal of becoming a certified personal trainer in mind.  At the time, I questioned my sanity.  I mean, I’ve invested 24 years into my nursing career.  I have a masters degree in nursing, for Pete’s sake!  Was I really thinking about throwing all that away to follow some hair brained scheme of becoming a personal trainer?

Now I’m one week away from finishing the classroom portion of the program.  One week!  And I’m swimming in fear.  As I’ve talked with career services at the school to make plans to begin my 180 hours of externship, the reality of the path I’m on hit me like a ton of bricks.  We’re talking waking up at night, doubts swirling in my mind, feelings of inadequacy ripping me apart.  Am I crazy?  I’m in my 40’s, well established in a steady career…and yet, here I am, hoping to launch my own business in a completely different field.  I really must be nuts.  What if it doesn’t take off?  What if I don’t know how to run a business?  What if I don’t know how to help my clients?  What if I can’t even get any clients?  What if…?

“What if” has been the bane of my existence for most of my life.  It’s that fear of failure, of caring more about what others think of me than of just trying.  It’s the fear that I’m not good enough.

So as I’m grappling with these feelings yet again (seriously, when will fear just leave me alone?), I find myself thinking about why my blog is titled On the Other Side of Fat, Fear, and Forty.  On the other side of fear…

On the other side of fear, there’s the risk of failure, for sure.  But there’s also the huge opportunity for growth in that failure.  And isn’t that what failure really is–just not learning from the experience?

On the other side of fear, there’s hope–hope for new beginnings, of living out a passion, of not just surviving but LIVING.

On the other side of fear, there’s faith.  Taking a step of faith has got to be one of the most uncomfortable and scary things ever, but trusting that God has my back works that faith muscle and makes it grow.

On the other side of fear, there’s endless possibility.  Who knows really what could happen?  Maybe what happens is something totally different than what I envisioned.

On the other side of fear, there’s peace.  Maybe things don’t pan out the way I’d hoped or expected, but at least I don’t have the regret of never knowing because I never tried.

On the other side of fear, there’s adventure!  I mean, I’m taking an untraveled path.  Whatever happens, it’s sure to be a new experience, and good or bad,  it’s bound to be an adventure.

So I’m buckling my seatbelt, preparing for the leap, and hoping my nerves don’t fail me!  Ready or not, here we go!!!

Talk to me:

What’s been the most scary thing you’ve ever done?

If you could do anything you wanted, knowing that you wouldn’t fail, what would it be?

I May Be Nuts but I Have to Try

I’m starting a new adventure.  I’m a bit hesitant to talk about it because, quite frankly, I’m scared.  I’m afraid I’m going to fall flat on my face, and everyone’s going to think I’m a fool.  Or they might just think I’m a fool for even thinking about it.  I mean, it’s not like I’m in the prime of my youth or anything.  On the other hand, I’m not all that old, and what’s the harm of following a dream?  Of pursuing your passion?

What is she babbling about, you ask?  Well…If you’ve spent anytime with me here On the Other Side, you know I’ve gone from fat to fit and from coach potato to runner.  I hope my passion for health and fitness shines through because more than anything else, except Jesus, I am passionate about health and fitness.  I never get tired of talking about it, reading about it, wanting to help people find their healthy.  I could spend the rest of my life helping people in their pursuit of health and fitness and be totally happy.

What I’m talking about is different from my job as a nurse.  At the hospital, I take care of sick people and help them reach their maximum level of independence.  What I’m talking about is helping people find their way through unhealthy lifestyles to a life of fitness and one full of health. What I’m talking about is being a health and fitness trainer.

After 2 years of thinking about it and trying to find a work schedule that would allow me to work through a program, I finally bit the bullet and…drum roll, please….enrolled in a health and fitness trainer program.

So I’m sitting in class today, the second day of the program, wondering if I am out of my mind.  I have a good career, a masters degree in my field, and I’m in my 40’s.  I must be crazy to think about tackling a new field of study!  Right?  I mean, who does that???  I must be nuts.

Then, the instructor showed us this video.

And there was my answer.  Failure may be a part of the journey, but it’s never too late to pursue our dreams.  The end may not look like what we anticipated, but that’s okay too.

So I don’t know what will happen.  I have some ideas of what I would like to see happen.  And maybe nothing will happen.  But I have to try.  I don’t want to reach the end of my life and wonder “what if…?”