That isn’t something we hear very often, is it? Usually, it’s the Baby Boomers who get all the attention, although Millennials are also claiming their share. But Generation X’ers like me? We’re like the introverted middle child sandwiched between two extroverts.
Personally, I am here for more of life than that! And I hope you are, too.
Unfortunately, life can get in the way of our best and boldest intentions. Between work commitments, continuing education, childrearing, household chores, and general adulting, most of us are living in the rat race. Add it all up, and it’s an 80-hour workweek.
No wonder we’re tired.
If we were 23 we could take a gap year. If we were 63 we could retire (maybe!).
But we’re too old for a gap year and too young for retirement. So what do we do?
We take expensive, distracted, guilty vacations, but the laptop and company iPhone are probably with us "just in case". One or two weeks is not enough time to really decompress, so we return home still feeling like we need a vacation!
Like many, I searched for ways to slow life down and simplify.
I read books on minimalism and de-junked to get rid of the clutter. I tried to set aside one day a week as a day of rest. Sadly, weekends were so full that I was unable to pull that off. I also looked at cutting back to part-time hours, but that was not a viable option for us.
We even considered selling our house and moving into something smaller. But our kids were happy and settled, and real estate prices have gone up quite a lot. We were better off staying where we were.
Wouldn’t it be great to take a break from all this busyness and travel for a year? Yes, for the sheer joy of a fresh adventure, to rest and rebuild my health, and to spend quality time with my family! It would also give me time to go deep and to create a vision for what I want the next 50 years to look like!
My heart said “yes,” but my husband said “no way”. He just didn’t see this as a realistic option.
Sadly, most U.S. employers don’t offer paid sabbaticals. A strong work ethic and positive work attitude are so sacred that taking some time off can be a big risk. Even those who “get it” may wonder how it’s possible to walk away without sabotaging their career.
But embarking upon a Midlife Escape is possible! We currently live in Valencia, Spain and are traveling Europe, so we are living proof. We’ve done the planning, plotted the savings, made sacrifices and adjustments, dreamed and despaired, recommitted and rejoiced.
Join me on this journey, and who knows? You may be inspired to plan your own Midlife Escape!