Family Life

They say middle age has a fork and people take either one path or the other. One takes the person onward to further maturity, an outward facing mentality geared to help others. The other is a path to narcism, selfishness, an inward facing mentality that puts the self first and others a distant second.

The first path is a life that makes the most of the experiences gained over the years, helping the next generation and the community. It is one that consolidates, builds on the loving relationships in their lives and allows them to become a role model.

The second, through it has an exciting allure, is truly self destructive. It brings the person to disregard and even betray long time friends and mates as they seek to build a new self. Old relationships are disregarded, excitement and thrills are sought every bit as much as they were in the teen years. The result is a lonelier person with lower self esteem and damage to their family, often for generations to come.

Mr Carson, our chemistry teacher, has taken the second road. He lives on protein shakes and rolls up to school each morning in his new convertible car, loud music blaring clean across the blacktop. He's ditched his wife for a younger woman and he speaks to his teenage children like he was their "best bud." I know this because I am his son, and what he's done almost killed my Mom. She isn't the same anymore, needing pills just to function. He's such a coward. Rather than face his own mortality he screwed up our lives. For what, one more turn on the swings?

General

What, you’re uncomfortable? You don’t know what I look like? Well, take Angelina Jolie and put forty pounds on her, make her hair way less perfect, take off the make-up and add some freckles. Make the bone structure not quite so perfect, and take a few inches off her height, I’m average. I wasn’t always overweight though, not that I even look fat for my age really, just not skinny anymore. Hang on a minute, someone else is here. Oh, it’s Marsha, my longtime friend and she’s laughing her ass off. What, Marsha? I don’t look like Angelina? Not even if the Hunger Games prep team did overtime on me? Huh? Well, at least my husband is better lookin’ than Brad Pitt. There, that did it, she’s just giving me the raised eyebrow look now ‘cause she knows it’s true.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, March 14, 2015.

Found in Are you awake yet? - first draft, authored by Daisy.

General

The bench had been exposed to the elements for many seasons, likely it was older than Lara was. It had come to resemble driftwood, the bright tones of its once fresh state had become a sombre brown, but beautiful. She ran her fingers over the swirls in the wood grain, being so close to the ocean it was likely just as infused with salt from onshore breezes and the wintry gales that even made the air taste of brine. She turned to sit, feeling the slight give in the wood, any creak being lost beneath the sound of the waves on the pebbled beach if faced. She sat, not with the impatience of one waiting for a bus, but with the feeling of one savouring the moment. She felt the wind tousle her hair, cool, refreshing and let her eyes fall on the ocean, the horizon. She wondered how many had sat in this very spot and what their emotions were, perhaps some were newlyweds in love, some confused teenagers searching for meaning, some the old folk come to remember a loved one who's passed. She was none of those things, neither at the beginning of her life or the end, but old enough to cherish moments instead of wishing them away.

General

I cannot mourn the copper statue in my yard loosing its shine, it can no more resist aging than can I. With each passing year it has dulled, and I confess I thought of throwing it out. But then in recent years it has begun to oxidize and I find the green-blue bewitching, enchanting. So now with each passing year it becomes more beautiful; I hope that is what I do too. Not physically of course, let's face it, it's mostly down hill from twenty and the slope only gets steeper from forty. No, I hope to become kinder, wiser, more true to the person my inner child always asked me to be. Perhaps as the wrinkles deepen over my face so will the positive effect of my life on others. I want to slide into middle age with grace, not with an almighty splurging tantrum. But for now I will just sit with my tea and watch the birds, the statue and the joyful growing of the spring plants in the yard.

General

Travis ran his hands through his hair and it stuck in clumps, the paths of his fingers still visible right down to the scalp. Perhaps it was time for a wash after all, there was only so much the cologne could mask anyway. He broke the habit of a lifetime and kept looking in the mirror longer than was strictly necessary. He was a fixer-upper at best, but who wanted the job? There was hardly a queue forming.

General

Marvin sank into his forties like a favourite old armchair. He felt like this age was where he was supposed to be. Reminiscing his youth with his wife was fun, but he wasn't wishing to go back there. Those were crazy times, anxious times, building a career and financing a home. The hectic life of toddlers had given way to the social whirl of teenagers but in general life had slowed to a more sedate pace. Now he was head of his department and the local high-school, the house was half-paid for and his wife had gone back to work part-time. He ran the soccer-club, played golf and volunteered with his church. Everywhere he went he was greeted by students and their parents, many of whom were in his classes themselves years before. He didn't mind the white hair that lay snowy against his black skin, he wasn't bothered about taking his belt out a few notches. Life was good and the horizons clear.

General

The teacher had the look of one who had woken up one spring morning to find that their youth had passed by before they had had any fun. She gazed at the class as if their faces had become a sea, a moving mass of nothing she could focus on or care about. The lesson poured out from her in the same dull pattern it had for the past fifteen years, she even breathed in the same places. The smart suits she had diligently worn as a new graduate and given way to elastic waist-banded pants and long flowing tops. Her face knew how to perform all the right gestures, but the passion behind them had long since abandoned her. Most days her still brown hair was swept up into a plastic clasp, not to look professional, but to hide the fact that she was overdue for a shower. She still handed out homework, but didn't care if the kids did it or not. More coming back to her meant more marking, that meant less soap operas, never a good thing as far as she was concerned.

General

Middle age was suiting Clara rather well. As a teen she had been all over the map, in and out of relationships, new careers every couple of years. Her late twenties brought her the love of her life and soon came children. Now in her forties she's a picture of contentment. Sure life has its challenges, but she's stable, giving a strong base for those who depend on her. She splurges a bit more than she used to, a few more ice-creams and chocolate chip cookies, and she has a larger waistline to go with it.