Avoiding the Mid-Life Meltdown

How many of you have the mind frame of if you work your butt off now, you’ll be able to retire early and spend your days doing nothing but riding your bike?

Nose to the grindstoneWell, it may seem like a good plan but I’m here to shoot holes in it for you.  I wrote a Make it Happen Monday post once before that talked about how life should not be put off to be lived some time in the future….you should Do it Now.  I have to remind myself of that one quite often, and reading over that post might help your thought pattern as well.

Another reason why doing all the good things right now is the only way to go, is so you can avoid having the Mid-Life Meltdown.

Your life needs downtime to regularly have time for things like family, cycling, and all other forms of relaxation and enjoyment in your life.

“Spend your life with your nose to the grindstone, and end up with nothing more than a flat nose”

I’m not going to mention names, but someone very close to me has been going at 150 mph ever since I’ve known him.  He’s constantly exhausting his mind and body with the amount of work he does.  There’s several times where he’s worked a month straight with little or no days off, just to receive a cash bonus at the end of it all.

This work-work attitude came along with limited time to dedicate to his family and other personal forms of release and enjoyment.  Years kept going by and his nose continued being flattened down by the grindstone.  Then one day he just snapped.

I won’t get into the details, but it’s the classic story of a mid-life meltdown.  Sad but true.

I look back at my life and sometimes feel that all my “mini-retirements” have held me from keeping up with other people my age.  But seeing this happen to someone so close to me, really makes it all hit home.  My nose has definitely never come close to the grindstone….and that’s perfectly okay with me.

  • Eric Hutchins

    I think about you and Amanda and the life that you guys have carved out. You guys have done such a great job getting your priorities right and setting a pretty amazing example for your kids.

    I think that what is awesome about the lives we get to lead is the freedom that we have to make choices, and opportunities we get to create the situations that make us happy. Of course its really easy to loose sight of what is truly important and we start to listen to what OTHER people think will make us happy.

    We are NOT all the same. And what drives one persons happiness does NOT necessarily do it for another. THAT IS GREAT! really.

    Pamela and I are really busy right now but, amazing things are happening for her in her writing and we are working on creating a rest-of-our-lives place that we love and gives us joy and peace and security, things that are important to us. (or at least security within reasonable assumptions of course, no one knows what tomorrow really brings). So while we are working hard we think that the end result will be pretty cool, so it doesn’t feel like work, if that makes sense.

    Anyway, Thanks for the thought provoking post. Ride on.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Eric, I would never classify you as a person who is grinding down their nose. You work hard, but along the way you know how to still enjoy the day to day and make time for what matters most. You are the exception. I love how you know exactly what you’re doing and where you want to go. Not too many people have it all planned out like that….but it’s the ones who do, that get there.

  • Paul Kirby

    I’ve long given up the idea that I’ll ever actually be able to retire – or want to, really.

    I have several friends that seem to be too busy for their kids or, worse, don’t seem to want to spend time with them. As aggravating as they can be, I love spending time with my boys while they’re young and still want the Dad around. Making time for friends, family, and fun can be difficult, but the payoff is so worth the effort. Good post. Thanks, Daryl.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks, Paul. I’m glad you liked it I appreciate you leaving your comments. It’s awesome that you don’t feel the need to ever retire.

  • http://www.reasons2ride.com/ Joel Phillips

    I left a Latin quote on the “Do it now” post; Nisi Nunc Quando it means, “If not now, then when”?

    and I would like to leave this quote on this post;

    “There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there’s only scarcity of resolve to make it happen”. ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Good stuff, Joel. That is a very intriguing quote….thanks for sharing it. If people like you keep spreading the message….it’s bound to start sticking.

  • AmandaGaleKotyk

    Great advice. I’m thankful for our lifestyle, even if it means we can’t have as much “stuff” as people around us…the experiences and memories are more than worth it! When the kids are grown, you won’t have regrets of not spending enough time with them…they’re so fortunate to have you as their Dad!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Be sure to keep me focused on what matters most. Luckily I’ve been able to spend a lot of quality time with my Family and I plan on keeping it that way. Lifestyle and Family is always going to be first priority.