But lately I've come to see that my life has changed, and with it my world view has shifted too. I had assumed that every responsible adult was in a job where they laboured away all year and the light at the end of the tunnel was their few weeks of vacation time. But when you reach a "certain age" you start to figure out that there is more to life than the daily grind. I've started thinking about what is important and what needs to be left behind. There is less time to waste waiting around for things to change of their own accord.
I have spent years (maybe even decades) in jobs where I have lived from vacation to vacation. I would go to work and do all that was expected of me, plus a little bit more, and then go home and get up the next day and do it all again. My life looked a bit like a shampoo commercial - "Lather, Rinse and Repeat" over and over again ad infinitum. I thought that was normal until I started blogging and thinking and changing my perspective on midlife.
Rather than seeing myself as a "has been" who was stuck in a rut until I could bow out and retire, I started thinking about what would actually make me happy (whoa! big change of focus.) The idea that life was short and there was no reason to stay in a thankless job kept swirling around in my head. Taking the plunge and leaving the daily drudge behind was scary but so much better than sitting around waiting for an annual vacation for my chance of a brief moment of escape.
My life now is so much simpler, I work less days and have more than enough time to myself. I have time to stop and smell a few roses and I don't have a nagging sense of resentment because I actually like my new job. Life isn't perfect - I'm not rolling in dollar bills or sipping martinis on the deck of a yacht, but what I have made for myself in the last six months, is a re-invented life that I don't need to escape from. I'm not counting down the days until my next vacation, I'm not stuck in a never ending cycle of working more than I want to, I'm free to make my choices and enjoy the results of the last thirty or so years of nose-to-the-grindstone work. Life as a midlifer is pretty darn good....Seth was right after all!