So last we met, I told you about how I turned onto Teen Age Way. As the mom of an adolescent, I am learning to navigate my way down this bumpy road. But today I want to talk about the intersection of Teen Age Way and Middle Age Lane. Middle Age Lane is a well-worn highway that stretches for miles and has very few scenic attributes. Not unlike driving through cornfields in Nebraska or Iowa… Boooring!

I’m 41 years old (approaching 42, but shhhhhhh….). I’m married with children. I have a career. Each day looks disturbingly similar to the one that came before. I’ve reached middle age… and this terrifies me. I mean, really. What happened? Last I knew, I was living it up on a regular basis—going places (often *gasp* on weeknights!), meeting all sorts of new people, traveling around, and generally having A LOT of FUN. Suddenly, I’m mothering kids who think I’m totally uncool and are old enough to debate and talk back, worrying about paying bills, and dragging myself out of bed every morning to dive into a long list of adult-y responsibilities. I’m tired, I have wrinkles, and a night at home alone is like my greatest dream come true. Good god, where did the time go?

When your kids are little, you have no time to think. You’re busy every second, making things safe, wiping up poo, cooking and cleaning, and teaching basic survival skills. Then, all of a sudden, the kids are somewhat self-sufficient, and you take a look in the mirror and you’re like, “who the hell is that?” She looks like me, but kinda like my mom… ugh, then you go uncork that bottle of wine.

I refuse to drive a minivan (though I completely get why you would!) Instead, I’d like a 1963 convertible Aston Martin DB5 or a 1965 Chevy Corvair Monza (take note, Universe). About 45% of my body is covered in tattoos. I still love loud music, and taking my kids to soccer practice is like a mild form of torture (I do it because I love them!) In other words, I’m not exactly June Cleaver. But growing old and staying hip are really hard to do simultaneously. Sure, some would say I look good for my age. I hate that addendum. “For her age.” Puhleez, I don’t want my age to factor into it. I just want to look good! Tick tock, tick, tock…the clock says it’s too late and I should take all the compliments I can get. Stupid clock. Tattoos and loud music aside, many of us middle aged parents aren’t ready to be written off as “old” or “boring” just yet. Yet having a child who towers over you and thinks your social life is a bit sad can really trigger an identity crisis.

Listen up, kid, I used to be way cooler than you! I think. Possibly. Anyway, I’m pretty cool for a mom! There it is again, an addendum, “for a mom.” Screw that. I’m pretty cool! Period. I think. Possibly. Anyway, as my kid tries to find himself and formulate his identity, here I am going through my own identity crisis. This is where teenagerdom and middle age intersect. Let’s hope my vintage Aston Martin doesn’t collide with the later model [safe for a new driver] Honda Civic. I’ll keep you posted… ?

With Love & Compassion,

Adina Arden Cooper

I'm a healer, a guide, a supportive companion. A storyteller, an artist, an ally and an advocate. I help individuals thrive and communities come together through counseling, coaching, and community building. I believe that shared humanity is a powerful strength and that our stories connect us in beautiful and sacred ways. As I stumble, skip, or soar my way through this life, I invite you to join me on the journey. Likewise, I'm honored to travel with you. In witnessing one another, we find meaning.