While some people might roll their eyes when they hear the term “midlife crisis,” many of the symptoms of that later-in-life panic are actually pretty great! Getting a tattoo, a new car, or a new wardrobe are all fun things that may indicate that you’re enjoying the liberation of an empty nest or a relaxing retirement, rather than panicking about your life. So, reconsider these five signs—you may want to be a cliché after all!
Pimp your ride
Now that you no longer need enough room in your car’s backseat for your kid’s hockey gear or for carpool, you can finally trade in your bulky minivan for a sleek, new sports car. There’s never been a sweeter sound than that of your two-door drive closing its doors with the click of a button (and if you’re really panicking, maybe even that convertible roof) with Cream’s “I Feel Free” blaring out your pristine windows into the wide-open air.
You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. In the past, you may not have been too keen on your offspring’s ever-changing ink, but getting something meaningful together can deepen your bond—and it’s also exciting. We’re not exactly encouraging you to go out and get a sleeve, but something small and classy in a discrete location can be thrilling. Just don’t get addicted! One tattoo is plenty.
Take a trip and treat yourself
One of the best parts of being an empty nester or recently retired is a newfound freedom to travel. No more collecting vacation days or scheduling your trips around your children’s school holidays, now you can finally take that extravagant month-long (or longer!) excursion to Europe you’ve only been dreaming about. And while you’re there, don’t forget to shop. Collect vibrant, valuable textiles from Asia or South America and pick up that lavish couture dress from France.
Try a new look
Admit it. You’ve had that exact same hairstyle since the ‘80s. You always seem to pick out the same neutral colours in similar shapes for your wardrobe. Ditch the familiar look and reinvent yourself. Skip the hair salon you’ve been going to since you can remember and try a brand new stylist for an edgier, more modern look. Do you balk at the idea of wearing hot pink? Live a little and give it a shot. Try it, even if it’s only in the form of a toque or scarf. You might just fall in love with the new you.
Make a new (pet) friend
Not having a job to go to everyday or kids to care for can feel lonely at times. Although getting a dog is a lot of work and is a decision not to be taken lightly, it can offer the companionship and purpose you might be craving. It also forces you to leave the house and get exercise when it’s time to walk Fido—and it also encourages you to socialize with others out walking their dogs. You’ll get to know your neighbours in a new way—ones you probably never even knew you had. Find your perfect dog breed match here. Or, if you’re a more experienced dog owner, consider a rescue. There are so many wonderful dogs out there looking for a loving home and an owner just like you.
Also on RNR: