Is This a Midlife Crisis

Or just the way things are now?

Kate Brennan
Human Parts
Published in
3 min readFeb 27, 2024


Cartoon drawing of road with sign “midlife crisis ahead” and woman falling through a hole in ground
Created by writer in Canva

I have developed a compulsion to create things, as if I am in desperate search of a missing piece to unlock a puzzle and the clock is ticking.

I have come-to, seeming mid-fugue, at a dining room table covered with paints and coffee pods, while my child belts Wish in the next room. I have a vague memory of participating in a craft fair.

I awake soaked in sweat. How did I get these penguin pajamas? My dreams are so vivid they could be premonitions. Did I accidentally drop acid before I fell asleep? It feels like there is always a full moon. I have an urge to howl.

In the morning, it hurts to have slept. In fact, everything hurts all the time, but the maladies seem uncategorizable. Is there a flesh doctor? Someone who works with air or the lack of it? Which doctor treats existential malaise?

I purchase things with non-FDA approved medicinal properties, ancient remedies for some ailment I inherited by osmosis but cannot identify. I consider hosting a cacao ceremony. I consider building a greenhouse. I consider moving to the middle of nowhere and living off the grid.

Is this mid-life? I wonder. It seems too soon, but I suppose it’s mathematically plausible. I wonder about the type of math they are teaching now and realize I may not be able to help my child with homework. Isn’t the food pyramid a sham now? What happened to the brontosaurus? Is Pluto even a planet? It feels like nothing I learned is true.

Bold intrusive thoughts pop into my head while I’m driving: Maybe I should walk dogs, or open a bakery, or learn to farm. We should join a PSA, be zero waste, raise chickens. I get really into the idea of composting before I realize how much I’m disgusted by garbage.

I am tangled in yarn but I have no recollection of purchasing it.

I want to plant things and watch them grow, then eat them, and walk by the produce in the grocery store while giving an internal…



Kate Brennan
Human Parts

More Humor. More Humanity. Avid Reader. Idea-Generator. Opportunity Matchmaker. Lives in Capitals. The answer to “Did you make that?” is “Yes.”