Look, I find the single midlife lifestyle to be very rewarding in many respects. It can be at the very least a less complicated life, potentially, a life which is largely about, well, me.
I’m simply stating a fact. Of course, I do have an employer that has expectations that I must attend to, and I do. But, beyond that, I have few external voices demanding my attention. Or, perhaps I should say, no voices that I actually feel any sense of urgency to respond to.
I could very easily live a life of relative ease and self-absorption in the purest hedonistic sense. I could eat frequently at fine restaurants, drink the finest refreshments known to man, have someone take care of my house and personal needs such as cooking, laundry, and whatever cleaning might need done. Oh, and I could have a personal trainer and a masseuse, I suppose; a youngish, energetic and responsive female seems good. I could take periodically take trips to exotic places and partake of the local indulgences.
But, for the most part, I don’t. Now that I think about it, why haven’t I? Jeez! What’s the matter with me?
The fact is I live a relatively modest life on a material level, but a very full life on a practical, responsibility-level.
Materially I buy most of my weekly needs and wants from Walmart or other local no-frills supermarkets in my area. Most times I buy my steaks, chops and ribs on sale and my chardonnay is truly non-exotic at around $6 a bottle. For clothing and the like, I buy from Penney’s mostly. Am I a cheapskate? No. I simply don’t feel any strong impulse to own a Rolex or Maserati, or to be clothed in Armani.
But on a practical level, I have a lot going on. I often have too much going on. I basically work most of the time – whether at work or not at work. With work, formally defined, I have about one-and-a-half jobs in that one job. Then, my non-work work involves two or three personal investment accounts, a half dozen investment publications I try to keep up with nearly each day, couple of websites and such, rental property, etc. etc. You get the picture. I like to work.
I actually had a social life in the not-too-distant past, but somehow lost interest in that somewhere along the way.
The point is that for me it is easy to fill my days with interesting things, and frankly, they’re not bad things, per se. At times, I actually envy people who really do little, even nothing, on their weekends. They work at work and don’t during their non-work time. I’ve never been able to do that.
As a result, I’m always having to re-evaluate my involvements as I can easily get out of balance. At times I find that I’ve allocated my whole life to commitments that leave little room for other things. Important things. Spontaneous things. That’s where I find myself at this point in 2011.
So, I’ve put a moratorium on new projects. I’m trimming down my activities. I am terminating subscriptions and choosing less time-consuming investment approaches, even closing down some of them. Other projects are being pushed to conclusion and no new ones are being added.
As one might expect, I’m finding that I have more time to do a better job with those commitments that I’m keeping in my activity portfolio, things I still think are important to be doing. Makes sense, of course.
Transitions are about change. Big transitions call for big changes. I’m not sure we should ever stop changing.
I recently asked a special lady to join her life to mine. Call it my newest project. It’s one I truly wish to succeed at. It is a major transition, but one I’ve wanted to make for some time now.
I feel it is my responsibility to make sure there is ample room for her life in mine. She is not a website which I can neglect when I don’t have time for it. She is not a yard project that can drag on for another year or two until I finally get to it. No, she is a life unto herself. If I don’t work to bring her life into my life, and if she won’t do the same for mine, we will remain separate and distinct. And the idea of two becoming one will only amount to cruel poetry. I don’t like the sound of that.
I have learned a thing or two about relationships over the years - invest generously in them or you should not expect much of a return. And I want a big return from this investment.
About the Author: Master Hobbit