tweenior--a middle-aged person stuck between young and old


Wine glass by pool

Thanks for stopping by to check out Tweenior Moments, a blog designed to make you smile, commiserate and join me in an occasional “hell, yeah!” rant about family, friends and middle age (a.k.a. that stretch of time after you stopped getting carded at a bar but before you start getting carded for an AARP discount).

My philosophy? I’m middle-aging like a fine wine:
down-to-earthy & complex, medium-bodied, with a hint of sarcasm and a smooth-but-wrinkled finish. Pour yourself a glass of wine, stay a while and travel with me on my mid-life journey. Cheers!

The Backstory

“So listen up, 18-year-old me, here’s how life is going to play out for you. You’re going to go to college, get a degree (two degrees, actually), get married to your best friend, pay back student loans for many years while you climb the corporate ladder only to realize you don’t like climbing, so you quit to start your own publishing business and do some freelance writing. You’re going to love this! But even so, after realizing you’ve been married for a freakishly long time without having children (10 years by choice, much to the dismay of both sets of parents), you decide you’re finally ready to have kids (two boys – one with Asperger’s and one with ADHD) and then – wait for it – put your career on hold (for just a decade or so) while you throw yourself into the stay-at-home mom role and (gulp) also homeschool the boys as the pièce de résistance.”

“Wait, what?” you stammer. “But what about my B.A. in communications and my M.A. in public relations? My writing career? Can I still earn money? Am I still…relevant?”

(Insert muffled chuckle.)

“Well, that 15-year employment gap virtually kills your ability to pick up where you left off. But, if you don’t mind starting over, earning half of what you used to and competing with tech-savvy 20-somethings who are willing to put in 80 hours a week climbing that corporate ladder, then yes, you can jump right back in.”

Or not.

And thus, my blog was born.  :-)

With my younger son now in 10th grade at our local public high school and my older son now in college, it’s time for me to dust off my writing mojo and find my groove again (kinda like Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-discovery journey in Eat, Pray, Love — minus the divorce and the year-long, exotic paid sabbatical). Although I spent many years cranking out marketing copy, business communications, and PR materials for both corporate and non-profit clients, I just needed a fresh start. While I love that kind of writing (and still take on freelance writing projects), I felt the need to regain my sanity carve out some space and discover my redefined voice at the age 50.

Why? Because mid-life brings many gifts, including wisdom, greater self-acceptance and not really giving a sh*t about what others think (most of the time). But it also brings a renewed sense of self-doubt, a sporadic memory, sagging skin, and a sporadic memory. In general, middle age ushers in a transition time for everyone, as we all try to come to grips with where we are in life and how the hell we got here. But top this transition off with an off-the-beaten path in life and you’ve got an identity crisis bigger than Bruce Jenner’s.

Yep, I suddenly realized that I’m a “Tweenior”—stuck somewhere in middle age between young and old, between a hotter pre-baby body and a “better-stick-to-a-one-piece-bathing-suit” body; between an I’ve-got-all-the-time-in-the-world attitude and a let’s-start-shopping-for-burial-plots awareness; between a call-me-anytime invitation to my friends and a moratorium on any calls after 9pm. Just because AARP sends me a membership invitation at 49½ doesn’t mean I’m ready to sail on that ship just yet.

Which brings me back to . . . well, me. Don’t, for a second, think I regret my choice to forego my career to raise and educate my two boys. Wouldn’t have traded that time for all the corner offices in the world. But, now that I’m at the juncture of “What’s next?” and “Can I still pull off a tank top if my arms jiggle?” I need to reinvent “me” for the next chapter, while simultaneously raising my glass to past accomplishments and future endeavors.

To quote a street-wise woman (Pink):

“So raise your glass if you are wrong,
In all the right ways,
All my underdogs. . .
Just come on and come on and raise your glass . . . for me.”