Restarting life to better fit our hearts Jan07


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Restarting life to better fit our hearts

We haven’t been impulsive, we didn’t dump each other for younger women and we didn’t buy a red sports car (oh crap – now that I think about it, we did buy the maroon scooter). I was going to say that while Allison and I have ultimately accepted that we are experiencing a “midlife crisis“, at least we’re not being stereotypical about it. Hmm, the scooter. Even so, I think I’ll hold my ground on this small point for now, at least for a couple more paragraphs.

We’re in our forties, unhappy with the state of our minds and bodies, we’re not fulfilled by our jobs, wondering where we’re going with our lives, we feel trapped and dream of the simple life, and we recently experienced the death of a parent. That’s like a perfect score on the RUHA-MCT (the r u having a midlife crisis test).

My problem is that the phrase “midlife crisis” usually precipitates laughter or pity, visions of sad pathetic characters from the movies doing all kinds of shallow things to try to feel better about themselves or their lives. Ugh. So like a kid, wearing a too-tight, itchy turtleneck sweater, of course I read up on the condition hoping to find some evidence that would allow me to shed that particular stupid cliché. I liked this Taoist perspective best.

A midlife crisis is actually the attempt to restart life to better fit a person’s heart.

Signs of a Midlife Transformation by Tao Master Casey Kochmer.

Tony-the-Tiger Much better. That’s the right size and feels more like a breathable poly-cotton blend vintage t-shirt. That definition I can wear. And it’s what we do to “cure” the crisis that matters most right? So that’s where I’m sticking to my guns about NOT being stereotypical. We’re nothing like those characters in the movies.

(Don’t even try to bring up Albert Brooks in Lost in America – we watched it – they were in their 30’s, they quit their jobs on the spur of the moment, they pulled out their entire nest egg in cash and referred to it as “dropping out of society”. We’re older, we’re not touching our retirement, we have a detailed plan to travel and volunteer for one year and we’re NOT going to drive our much more stylish Winnebago through Vegas!)

Anyway – here’s the prescription we’re taking to cure our midlife crisis.

With over 2 years of planning and dreaming under our belts, Allison and I finally sold our beautiful, but expensive home in May 2012, left our lucrative, but high-stress careers in January 2013, we’re packing up the RV, putting anything that won’t fit (but is important) in storage and on March 1st, 2013, we are going to …

[Pause. Sorry, I’m having a word dilemma.

The obvious, a.k.a. boring and expected choice is “embark”. Of course it works because it generally refers to the boarding of a ship or vehicle and in this case it’s apropos relative to the RV. Webster says it also implies that we are beginning a course of action that is important. True, true.

But what about undergo (like a cosmetic surgery), or undertake (all weighty with commitment), or endeavor (dripping with the grammatical sweat of implied effort), or venture (a dare-devil-y, risky-frisky word – frisky because it’s short for adventure). It’s too hard to choose just one word.

Well, I guess unlike packing the RV, this blog is probably the only place where I will be free to bring more than I need (metaphorically at least) so here goes.]

We are preparing to embark, undergo, undertake, endeavor, AND venture forth on a pivotal life-journey; a year of living in our RV on a quest to see all of the wonderful places in our country, to be outside in nature, to walk/hike/bike/swim/row, to revel in beauty, to feel peace, to experience true silence in our minds, no voices, no lists, no stress, to care deeply about both body and soul and how we feed them, to explore our passions and actually try them on instead of just thinking about them, to give of ourselves to a service, to use our hands, our hearts, our minds in the pursuit of making others lives better, to open ourselves up to any new opportunity that is out there waiting for us, to move out into life and the world so that it can interact with us and us with it.

Come along for the ride as we spend a year CHASING WHAT’S NEXT!