Stuck In The Middle With Me

Back on New Year’s Eve, I turned forty years old. I figure, if I’m lucky, I’ve hit the mid-point of my life. Getting older has never bothered me before. Like most kids, I couldn’t wait to grow up. Then I hit my twenties and realized everyone still referred to me as a kid. Made. Me. Nuts.
Hitting thirty was like I’d finally made it. I was a grown up. Then by thirty-one I was a divorced single mother embarking on a whole new life. Hard to believe that was a decade ago. I was scared but excited and ready to do whatever necessary to give my daughter a good life.
With forty came an entirely different mindset. Instead of looking ahead with excitement and endless drive, I’m looking back and thinking, “I thought I’d be farther along than this.” A thought that has singlehandedly erected a speed bump in my brain.Β 
Because life is funny like that, I’m stuck in the exact same spot in my MS. The middle.
I started revisions in December, almost immediately after finishing the rough draft. I know it’s best to wait a while before starting edits, but I’m sitting on a full request from a dream agent and while I cannot send her something that isn’t as good as I can make it, I don’t want to make her wait until 2014 to set eyes on the darn thing.Β 
Leave it to me to hit the middle of a manuscript and a mid-life crisis at the same time. Now if I can figure out which event is the cause and which is the effect, I might get myself moving again.

10 thoughts on “Stuck In The Middle With Me”

  1. Hey Terri,
    I hit a BIG birthday in December too. One with a zero on the end, and I’m not kidding, this was a TUFFIE! This gettin’ old is NOT for sissies. πŸ˜›

    Congrats on the request from Dream Agent!!! I’m sooo proud of you. I know you’ll get this middle stuff figured out, because you’re a bright kid… Yes, you’ll ALWAYS be a kid to me!


  2. TerriOsburn says:

    Thanks, AC! You’re the perfect example of someone who is only as old as she feels. You’re eternally young, my dear!

    I’m slowly getting this moving again. Picking up speed each day. Just need to keep this momentum going.

  3. I think our minds can play a lot of tricks on us when we’re in the middle of something. Sometimes it seems hard to even tell where that middle is! I’m always tentative about saying I’m half way done because I suspect the second half will be harder and take longer…which means I’m not really in the middle. LOL

    And being in the middle gets no respect. Not a lot of people are patting us on the back for the first half.

    Yep, the middle sucks. After convincing myself I have 3/4 left (when it might just be 1/4) and no one cares if I keep going (when everyone cheered at the beginning and will cheer when I finish) it’s no wonder the middle feels like quicksand.

    All we can do is keep going forward out of respect for we’ve already done. Which is a lot.

    Forty was tough for me too, but I do think after I adjusted I started looking forward again. You’ll get past this speed bump too. πŸ™‚

  4. TerriOsburn says:

    Thanks, Melissa. When I say the middle I mean page 125 of 251. LOL! Yes, I’m THAT literal.

    And now that you say the second half will be harder than the first half, I’m trying not to have palpitations. So I’m going to tell myself you mean when writing the rough draft and not in revisions.

    That’s my delusion and I’m sticking with it!

    Plus, for me, after a certain point, it feels like I hit a groove and it starts rolling down hill. Feeling like I’m getting over the hump and should be picking up steam very shortly!

    The 40 thing has become a daily affirmation that I’m not that old. Difficult when stuff like young coworkers not having heard of a musician I thought EVERYONE knew makes me feel instantly ancient.

    And now my daughter is listening to bands I’ve never heard of. Me. The former DJ who has been obsessed with music forever is now out of the loop. That’s depressing. πŸ™‚

  5. Maureen says:

    Eh, the second half is what it’s all about! I gave up on the whole half life is over… OMG, half of my life is over! Since I do intend on living until I’m 100, at least…

    Yeah, half way…I can agree that those places feel like forever in the doldrums…

    And the music! Hell, you saw me M&M…I know nothing about today’s music! Hell, they played things I knew but I didn’t recognize!

    Just push through, sweetie!

  6. TerriOsburn says:

    It’s not so much “Half of my life is over!” as “Half of my life is over and THIS is all the farther I’ve come?” LOL! But it’s fading now. Mostly winter blues, I’m guessing. And I needed a mental kick in the ass. Or head. Wherever a mental kick would be.

  7. When I turned thirty I felt the same way – now my life begins. And truthfully it does kind of feel that way.

    Every single day of your life is singular – your early days are not any more important than the later ones. They are all the memories and experiences you take with you every day. I say live it up!

  8. TerriOsburn says:

    Turning 30 is such a great time. Even when your marriage is imploding, you can still appreciate it. πŸ™‚

    My brain seems to be recovering from this nonsense. My life is not over or even close to it. I have many dreams left, most of which is traveling. Which I knew I’d be doing in my late 40s and beyond (once Kiddo is off being a grown up.)

    But that feeling of just being stuck is a real bummer.

  9. irisheyes says:

    If you ask me, you’ve come quite a long way!!! Think of where you’d be right now if you didn’t have the guts to change everything that was wrong and try to make it right. At least now you’re moving forward towards something instead of just existing (and existing in a horrible situation)! I think you should be very proud.

    And saying all that I can empathize with your mid-life crisis. I never thought I’d be weird about getting older but I’m getting there – noticing wrinkles, extra flab, no energy, fearful of every imaginable illness, plucking white hairs! LOL

    Like you, I spent so much of my life trying to be seen as a grown-up that it kind of snuck up on me. The funny thing is that I like where I am emotionally and psychologicly, it’s the physical that’s getting me down. Now that I’m secure enough to live the life I want to I’m just too tired. LOL

  10. TerriOsburn says:

    I’m with you on the health thing, Irish. I was very fortunate to be a relatively healthy person most of my life. And I still am. But a year I was patting myself on the back that I was on NO daily medications. Now I have four. *sigh*

    I’m in a good place, but the roller coaster of emotions is part of being human, I suppose. Still being on the ride at all is something for which to be thankful. πŸ™‚

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