midlife mortality - realizing you aren't ready to die just yet

midlife blog ~ cresting the hill

This is a picture of my husband's midlife crisis purchase. He would deny it had anything to do with buying it when 50 was approaching, but a few years ago when that magic age was looming, he decided to get his motorbike licence and this 1,000CC Honda Firestorm.

I was quite please about the idea because I thought it would be cool riding the highways and byways and stopping for a coffee along the way. Great way to re-connect now that the kids were off our hands and doing their own thing.

I also had the thought.....because I tended to think about death quite a bit (see my previous post!) that if worse came to worse and we came off and died, at least the kids were adults and could take care of themselves and wouldn't miss us too much (yes, I am fairly morbid at times).

Anyhow, we had several great trips though the countryside and down South a bit and I loved the freedom (although wearing a bike jacket, gloves and a helmet does put a bit of a dampener on the "wind in the hair" type of freedom). I felt quite young and carefree and fairly invulnerable - except when there was a car in the lane next to us and I thought about how close my leg was to their passenger door!

Things were going swimmingly until the day we decided to go out for a ride for the morning and headed blissfully off towards the next town, about an hour away. Things came to a crashing halt when we were next to a 4WD at a little round-about and the driver was completely zoned out and obviously didn't see that there were other vehicles on the road besides himself. He casually turned right from the left hand lane and cut us off completely with nowhere to go. My husband turned but the bike went over (the 4WD owner didn't even notice us and drove obliviously off into the distance!) We picked ourselves and the bike up off the bitumen and dusted ourselves off and were thankful that we were alive.

I banged my knee fairly hard when we went over - and I later noticed scrapes on my helmet and gouges out of my jacket (very grateful for safety gear) and my favourite jeans got a hole in them. After we got home and the day wore on, my knee got sorer and more swollen and I couldn't bend my leg at all - off to the emergency department for an xray and some pain killers - nothing broken and just time needed for healing - the bruising got quite impressive over the next few weeks and I received lots of sympathy (nothing like a purple leg to bring out the "poor you" comments).

midlife blog ~ cresting the hill
Three views of my leg - not very pretty!
The amazing thing (other than the fact we survived relatively unscathed) was that, for those few seconds when I was on the ground getting my bearings, I was unbelievably relieved that I hadn't died. My idealistic notions of meeting my maker were brought up short with the reality of leaving earth before I was really ready and it has since made me very aware of my mortality (particularly on the back of the bike - which I tend to go on less since that day). Being in my 50s seems old at times, but man I have a lot of living still to do and I'm very grateful I am still around to do it!

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