The Mid-Life Camaro Crisis

I’ve always considered myself a responsible person. Even as a teenager I had some sense of what was important as far as making a good decision. In fact I can say without exaggeration that I put other’s needs before more my own almost on a regular basis. It’s the way I am.

Last March, as many of you know, I became a first time father to a beautiful little girl. She quite literally changed my life and I can tell you how excited I am when I think of how the best days of my life are still ahead of me. Hands down her needs come first over any other aspect of my life. Anything I want comes second without a thought otherwise.

My wife said to me today that she had only now read a blog entry from last year around the time my daughter was born. She had noted a part of the blog where I mentioned the changes I was experiencing including the ease I found in giving up my material desires at the time. All I wanted was to be with my new daughter. But time passes and you find that certain points of view you had during highly emotional moments tend to, well… change a bit.

My daughter is now 13 months old and a very happy, chatty little girl. I’m still, and always will be, head over heels crazy about this kid but now that I feel more confident about my new found fatherhood I find my thoughts straying back to some old material wants/desires.

What’s occupying my thoughts recently? A 2010 yellow Camaro. I’ve come to the realization that the mid-life crisis is not only the real deal but it’s happening to me as I sit here hammering this entry out on my iPad. I’m 40 years old and I always put the needs of others before my own. Now, let’s just hypothetically maneuver into the position where for once in my life I put my needs ahead of anyone else’s. OK, OK, my “desires”! Afterall, who really “needs” a 426 horse powered muscle car?… I do.

My wife and I just purchased a stunning 3000 square foot house which we’ll move into at the end of June. Being that it’s over three times the size of the one we’re in right now we gotta lotta furniture to buy. Fortunately we made out like bandits on the sale of our current home. This’ll allow us to not only furnish the entire new house, but we’ll have enough left over to wipe out all of our debt. It’s really a dream come true. And what’s better than paying off your debt that immediately going right back into it?! Yeah that does sound really irresponsible when I put it that way.

Being debt free and freeing up the cash-flow doesn’t mean I’m gonna go out tomorrow lay it all down on a new Camaro. I still have to remember I’ve added a “Dad Mode” to my personality remote control. The needs of my family come first. To add to the equation my wife and I would like to plan on a sequel to our daughter. Kids ain’t cheap. But by my calculations and with a substantial raise coming to me in September we’ll be in a perfect spot to afford another wee one with a little leftover for a rainy day. But the mid-life crisis lingers on.

My wife was never big on the idea of me getting a new car, especially one as impractical as a Camaro. I think I may have brought up the issue at the wrong time, which is really ANY time when it comes to talking about something as frivolous as a new car. But I also failed to mention I’d be keeping my current car, a 2004 Honda Accord, perfect family sedan. Her concern, rightfully so, is that using money from my main income would mean less for the practical things like, oh say, the mortgage?? Plus it’d be nice to put some away.

So the way I see it if I don’t use any of my regular income to pay for a new car I can purchase said new car. I think something that wasn’t factored into the equation is that my line of work allows me to do additional jobs that provide me a smaller separate income. Two four-hour shifts out of each month should more than cover the payments. And that’s not including my artistic income. As far as I see it it’s win win. I don’t take money from my main income, I buy my Camaro using my separate income, I keep my wife happy and satisfy my mid-life crisis all at the same time.

Now I just have to convince myself that it’s OK for me to buy something so impractical. Something tells me it won’t be a problem when it looks like this: