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#118714 - 07/25/09 09:58 AM Handling a Mid Life Crisis
TomM Offline
member

Registered: 11/05/05
Posts: 26
This isn't directly related to hiking but I am wondering how people handled their Mid Life Crisis. There's no doubt that I am in the middle of one.

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#118716 - 07/25/09 10:04 AM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6560
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Well, backpacking and hiking are certainly a good way to cope with one!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#118736 - 07/25/09 09:56 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
rockettman Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/22/09
Posts: 14
Loc: Maine
I've backpacked most of my life, so I bought a motorcycle. A Suzuki DL 650. Great fun.

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#118740 - 07/26/09 12:25 AM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I don't know if it is so much the mid life crisis thing, but property is paid off, money is more plentiful and easier to save up. I bagged Mt Whitney on my 50th, almost six years ago, bought a crotch rocket five or six years ago too, have a sportier car now, but it is more economical then anything else. I'm single, so no worries about kids or grandkids. I'm just able to do more stuff now if I want to. Going to AK in a couple weeks, my dream trip/thing to do in life. Not something you can do much of. My one trip maybe.

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#118741 - 07/26/09 01:45 AM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2964
Loc: Portland, OR
I think that a mid-life crisis is mainly about not letting your whole life get plowed under as fertilizer to increase the harvest of others. You have to figure out a more equitable balance between what benefits your dependents and your employers and what benefits you.

Don't worry about dying. We all do that. No getting around that. Use what you have learned in the past couple of decades since becoming an adult to construct a better way to live the last few decades (knock on wood) of your life.

Running around in a tizzy and undoing everything you've done so far is not generally a good response to that challenge. Taking a good hard look at your priorities and what you need to change about them, and why, is a very good idea.

In my case, I quit an excellent job and spent several years just regaining my health and well-being after nearly two decades of fairly extreme (and wholly necessary) self-sacrifice. In my case, it was the right answer. Just as getting and keeping that job had been the right answer ten years earlier.

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#118742 - 07/26/09 09:24 AM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3585
Loc: Texas
I've coined the phrase "Salmon Years" for this point in life. Spawned, now rolling down stream waiting for the bear. grin
I wouldn't say I'm in a 'mid-life' crisis but I have ramped up activities I fear not being able to do well in 10 or so years.
Music for one...I'm in two bands, recording, gigging, having a blast. Took up kayaking a couple of years ago too. Playing music in regular Irish music pub sessions as well.
You know your doing it right when the wife and grown kids start noticing you are 'busy' doing your own thing, more often. grin I've supported them, now I support ME! cool
(fun to say....I'm still very responsible for "them")
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#118744 - 07/26/09 10:13 AM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1767
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
When I was nearing fifty, twenty-plus years ago, I realized that what I was doing was basically running on a treadmill. I was bored, frustrated and not at all comfortable with myself. The expectations I had had for my career were hugely different from the reality. And, the life I had built for me and my family was not a comfortable fit.

My wife and I decided then to simplify our lives and quit being "wage-slaves". For the ten years between this decision and my "retirement" while still in my fifties, we rid ourselves of most of our encumbrances, we started aggressively saving and investing and worked assiduously at ridding ourselves of debt. I kept my job but changed my attitude towards it from trying to work my way up the career ladder to just doing what I was paid to do, as well as possible. That attitude change made a huge difference.

By the time I was in my late fifties, we were financially independent and no longer needed to work to have a satisfying life. I had quit my job and we lived in a rural part of western Washington in a house we had built, grew most of our food, and lived pretty much off the grid. We now live a little more on the grid in Arizona but the idea is the same. We are self-sufficient and have enough income to indulge ourselves in a few interests. We live a life others consider to be genteel poverty but it suits us and we are happy. We carry long term health care insurance and feel our future is secure though probably not luxurious.

I recall a lot of the people I worked with hitting the mid-life "Is this all there is?" crisis. A lot of them started chasing younger women, drinking a lot, or got a tattoo, or hair transplants, or bought a Harley and grew farcical whiskers, or bought a big boat, or some or all of the above. I honestly think my idea worked better, at least for me.


Edited by Pika (07/26/09 12:08 PM)
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#118761 - 07/26/09 04:59 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: Pika]
TomM Offline
member

Registered: 11/05/05
Posts: 26
Originally Posted By Pika

I recall a lot of the people I worked with hitting the mid-life "Is this all there is?" crisis. A lot of them started chasing younger women, drinking a lot, or got a tattoo, or hair transplants, or bought a Harley and grew farcical whiskers, or bought a big boat, or some or all of the above. I honestly think my idea worked better, at least for me.


Here's my story. I am 46 and have spent my life pursuing career and adventure, both with success. I know find myself asking "Is this it?". I am not interested in boats, fast cars or any of the other things associated with a mid-life crisis. In fact I want to go the other way and settle down with a family. My dilemma is that I feel I may have waited too long.

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#118772 - 07/26/09 09:03 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I always have a goal or goals, that leaves me little time to worry about scary things like depression or death.

I don't always make all of my goals, but I try. I think it's better to try and fail than not to try at all.

My goals are always experiences......not things.

My real goal is.......to always have goals. Even if I make fewer and fewer as I age.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#118778 - 07/27/09 12:39 AM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: Pika]
Marc Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 36
Loc: Iowa
That is one fascinating and inspirational story Pika. I can hardly wait for it to come out in paperback.
Tom, before you go assiduously pursuing the meaning of life may I quote a famous and wise wizard?

A heart is not judged by how much you love, but how much you are loved by others.

now kiss your wife, slap your face, and go to bed.

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#118789 - 07/27/09 01:58 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: Marc]
ndsol Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: Houston, Texas
Not to make light of the subject, but thought that this comic was interesting.

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#118804 - 07/27/09 08:40 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Originally Posted By TomM


Here's my story. I am 46 and have spent my life pursuing career and adventure, both with success. I know find myself asking "Is this it?". I am not interested in boats, fast cars or any of the other things associated with a mid-life crisis. In fact I want to go the other way and settle down with a family. My dilemma is that I feel I may have waited too long.


Easier for a guy ;-) On one of the other forums a long time member finally got married in his late 40's and now has his first child. All I can say is this: my dad was better with my son than he was with us as kids - he made time for my son where when we were kids he was too busy trying to get his business going. So my point? Make it a goal to find someone to share your life with and who is family oriented if that is what you want. And never overlook being a step dad - it isn't easy being a step parent but you can influence children to be better humans. Being older gives one more patience, more wisdom. That isn't a bad thing.
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Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#118812 - 07/27/09 10:16 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: sarbar]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Quote:
but you can influence children to be better humans



Or you can join a Scout troop and serve as an Assistant Scout Master and teach them everything you know about camping/hiking.

It definitely keeps you hopping and somewhat "young", at least at heart. And watching some of these "boys" grow up into young men is quite satisfying.

Tango
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#118838 - 07/28/09 04:21 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: sarbar]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By sarbar

On one of the other forums a long time member finally got married in his late 40's and now has his first child. All I can say is this: my dad was better with my son than he was with us as kids - he made time for my son where when we were kids he was too busy trying to get his business going.


Yeah, there's plusses and minuses to having kids when you are young. I'm 40 and have an 18 and a 16 year old (both of whom are great kids, couldn't ask for better) Sometimes I alternate between wondering "how the heck did that happen" and feeling like "I've missed everything while working!" The rational side of me knows I haven't and I try to do the absolute best I can as a dad, but I've always wondered how it would be different if I had waited until I was "established" - which I guess would be about now. I don't regret the decision I just wonder if I would have had more time to devote later how things would have been "different". but in the end Je ne regrete rien - There's always grandkids (however I perpetually jokingly lecture my daughter (18) that I'm not "old" and so such thoughts can not happen until I am 50.. doesn't matter if she's ready it's all about me...)

(Yeah, I know I will deservingly get chewed out for the 50 and "old" comment by all the rest of you.. fire away)


_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#118839 - 07/28/09 04:23 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: Tango61]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Tango61
Quote:
but you can influence children to be better humans



Or you can join a Scout troop and serve as an Assistant Scout Master and teach them everything you know about camping/hiking.


You scouting types and this forum frequently remind me that I should really think about doing this... Yes I did scouting and the experience was less than perfect for me but perhaps that's all the more reason to do so.

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#118847 - 07/28/09 06:42 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: phat]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
phat,

I was 37 when my daughter was born. Recently I asked her if she wanted to go on a four night trip into the Grand Canyon. She said she was not fit enough.

What has happened to the world when the 23 years old worry about keeping up with the 60 year olds?
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#118848 - 07/28/09 06:44 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
If you do not enjoy your work then change your career to something you enjoy.

If you enjoy your work then give back to the community. Service clubs are great.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#118854 - 07/28/09 09:22 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: phat]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
Phat,
I think you experience would be invaluable, especially with winter camping. In a lot of areas, winter camping is not encouraged. I know that if I lived in snow country, I would love to learn to camp in winter.

If you register as an "adult leader" with the council, then you can offer specific skills to all the troops in the council. This way you don't have to be tied into just one group and be responsible for more than what you want to do.

Although I am an ASM with a troop, I offer my expertise in teaching First Aid and Backpacking (light weight!) to all the troops in our council.

I'm not sure how things work in Canada, but I'm sure the principle is the same.

T
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#118867 - 07/29/09 12:29 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: Tango61]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada


Unless I'm wrong (some of what I hear is probably rumour and innuendo) I believe winter camping is discouraged for "safety reasons" by scouts canada. Last I heard the only kids who got
to do that were the kids who signed up for the Canadian Forces Cadets program here.

I'll look into it. Something tells me the paranoia and goofiness may chase me off. but I promise to try smile

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#118908 - 07/30/09 01:57 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
Haiwee Offline
member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 330
Loc: Southern California
I guess I'm lucky; I hit what I consider to have been my "mid-life crisis" when I was still in my thirties. It was then that I figured out what, for me, is the key to happiness: figure out what it is you really like to do, and do it as often as humanly possible. When you can't, then spend as much time as possible dreaming of and planning for the activities you really like to do.

Don't get me wrong -- I have a career and I work hard. Fortunately, as an outside sales person I have lots of down time driving from town to town to see my customers, so I have a lot of time to dream and plan my next backpacking or hunting or fishing adventure. When I'm at home I spend most of my spare time pouring over maps, reading guidebooks, checking out outdoor-related web sites, reloading shotgun shells or tying flies.

Of course, my ex-wife though me a bit obsessive -- which may explain why I'm not married any more. But I'm happy, and to me that's what is most important.
_________________________
My blog on politics, the environment and the outdoors: Haiwee.blogspot.com

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#119751 - 08/23/09 01:53 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: Haiwee]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
At the age of 42, I had two kids grown and out and the last one a senior in high school. I decided to change careers. After 6 years as a reserve Deputy Sheriff, I started the Academy with a bunch of 20 somethings. That was 14 years ago and I haven't regreted it. When you are young and have kids, your focus should be on them and raising them right but once that is complete, it is time to do what makes you happy. Life is too short to waste doing something you don't enjoy.

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#119921 - 08/26/09 04:44 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: OregonMouse]
norm Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 2
Loc: central idaho
Hi;
I'm new here, but must state that "mid life" snuck by me and I didn't even notice. The only thing that "screams at me is the fact that the high mountain lakes have moved futher back and have gained altitude. The sad thing that I have noticed is the influx of those who don't care about us bottom feeders. One of my favorite lakes has been taken over by an out- sider and he informed me that the lake was now his and that I not only could not walk across his property to the lake, but that I could not fish the lake either.
When I informed him that I wasn't sure he could tie up a lake that has always a public place ,he said I was stupid and to get off his place.

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#119939 - 08/26/09 08:35 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: norm]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2964
Loc: Portland, OR
You say "it has always (been) a public place"?

There's a concept in the law that any pathway that has been well-established by public use, even if it runs through private land, becomes a public right-of-way after a certain number of years. I wish I could tell you how long it needs to be used.

Anyway, if the previous owner(s) allowed the public to access the lake via a well-defined route, and you can rustle up some relilable witnesses who can prove it has had continuous use for a long time, you have a good case.

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#119962 - 08/27/09 10:08 AM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: aimless]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
"Adverse possession" is the legal term. The time requirement varies by state. Aerial photos are a good evidence.

Might also want to check "prescriptive easement."
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#119975 - 08/27/09 11:50 AM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: aimless]
norm Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 2
Loc: central idaho
Hi again;
Discussing the trail leading to Hump lake from the main road is a mute point in the opinion of the land owner. He claims the lake as well. This is a parcel of land that was set aside for the mining claims when this part of the state was placed into a wilderness area (The Gospels) years ago. The land in question is a minning claim that was purchased and then patened. He has title to it. I have no reason to question this. The claim takes in three sides of the lake and crosses the lake near the far end.This lake has been used by the general public for the last several decades. ( I have fished there since 1954) There has never been any trouble with the people who owned any of these claims before. (actually, there has been no minning there since I've been going there. This has been a favorite site to camp and enjoy the outdoors to many over the years, after all, It is in the middle of a "wilderness Ares" He is in the process of building a huge structure right out over the water. I have been told that the material is being flown in by helicoptor. I know he has certain rights . How he obtained these rights might be suspect. However I cannot understand how he can prevent one from fishing the lake, even if one were to walk around to the end that is not his.If he is right, one will be restricted to using only a few feet at the upper end. Years ago, the state of Idaho planted the lake with trout and now I assume he feels he owns the fish as well. I cannot understand how one person can come in, enjoy a pristine area, claim it for himself at the expense of all those who have shared it since the early 1900s This place has been an "usual and accustomed" place to the Nez Perce indians to harvest edible plants, fish and other items. That right has been protected by the treaty of 1863 and signed by the president of the USA. Private land ownership is superceded by this treaty. Lawsuits have been brought in the past to offset this "right", however, every case has found in favor of the Nez Perce. In other words, one might buy a parcel of land within the "usual and accustomed places" that they used to "gather" items of lively- hood, but the land owner cannot prevent them from them crossing the property.This is set in stone. He however, is telling them to "to get the hell off his land" ,and "they sure as hell can not fish his lake". I was there when he said it. If the tribe should take this matter up ,he will be in for a big surprise, but it wouldn't help the non- tribal members any.

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#121401 - 09/23/09 12:48 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Not sure what a mid-Life crisis is. I've been in a mid-life crisis all of my life. Still playing R&R at 56 and working on music that 20 somethings like. You can see what I mean, Go to
www.musicbuilder.com/calculated X
I can't stop now, I've tried several times and it doesn't work.
Besides, 56 is the new 36. I just forget stuff sometimes and that can't always be a bad thing. I think.....
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Enjoy your next trip...

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#121402 - 09/23/09 12:52 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: norm]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I would have to question that.
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Enjoy your next trip...

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#121403 - 09/23/09 12:58 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: aimless]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
It's amazing to me how an employer can suck the life out of you. I know I left several decent paying gigs because someone wanted to own my life,time etc. I've always been much happier doing my own thing and making it on what I earn.
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Enjoy your next trip...

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#121533 - 09/26/09 03:29 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: chaz]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Relationships can do that too. crazy

I agree... find work you love, job satisfaction goes a long way. I could be paid better if I went to a different company, but having already worked for them I know exactly how I would be treated, and the extra few bucks an hour just isn't worth it. I don't get paid what I'm worth, but I'm a valued member of our team, and believe me, that has kept me going through some really bad financial times!

MNS
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#121829 - 10/03/09 10:03 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
Swimswithtrout Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
Two years ago I did the longest duration, self- supported trip of my life...so far. 52 yrs old at the time and a 25 day trip wandering the Beartooth's, 17 days straight of xc hiking. I'm looking forward to a longer trip in the Wind's, my favorite Range.

I've been self-employed for the past 25 yrs and I felt it was finally time to use the perks of not having to see how much vacation time I had accrued.

_________________________
Want to see the Wind's ?

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#122833 - 10/23/09 09:46 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: Swimswithtrout]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
At age 40 for fathers day. I bought a Harley. Year later I bought a mini pop up camper to pull behind it. Wife and I love it. About 3 years later I took wife and kids back to Great Smokey Mtns Nat. Park. I had not been there since 1981. I spent two Chrismas vacations backpacking there with my Dad in High School. I hiked almost every day myself this trip, up to 12 miles a day. June 28, 2008 Dad and best friend next to my wife passed away! March 2010 Im returning to GSNP in Memory! I am backpacking again for 4 days. Anybody that would like to join in? I would be honored. I know Dad will be along for the hike!

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#123168 - 10/30/09 01:32 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
wildthing Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 982
Loc: Victoria, B.C.
Tom don't waste any more time! Get out there on the trail with women and see who you can hike with. Even a strenuous day hike is a great testing ground for getting along. I took my wife in the canoe and she was so well-balanced that I knew instinctively she was going to be with me on the trip. She also proved to be a keen backpacker although scared of bears, heights, and cold nights. It is what a partner will do despite her fears or dislikes that proves their quality.

Luckily for men, it is never too late to start a family! Just remember, it isn't always who you think looks perfect who will end up staying the course.
_________________________
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#123181 - 10/30/09 06:14 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: Kent W]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
WOW !!! That sounds like it would be a great trip. I have spent many days in the SMNP and it's a great place to be. we are going up there in the middle of November and plan to spend three or four days some where up near Clingman's Dome or just north of there. I also did some camping near Cade's Cove in the early seventies but that area has really changed since then. I don't know if you can even hike up there any more. That's back when every one carries 60 lb. packs and could do nothing but sleep once you got to where you could because you were so darn tired from carrying such a heavy load. Although we were a lot younger then, the load still took it's toll after a few miles walking...sabre11004... sleep sleep sleep sleep
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#124971 - 12/09/09 01:43 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
Chris Witzgall Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 6
Loc: North Carolina
We are handling ours, by selling most everything, and taking off cruising on our sailboat for a year or two. Wanna buy a house?

Chris

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#125204 - 12/14/09 05:32 PM Re: Handling a Mid Life Crisis [Re: TomM]
madyarddog Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 5
Loc: Indiana
To TomM,it is never too late!if u have been mulling over the subject for a while maybe it"s time to settle down and start a family,besides u are only 46 thats not old in my book.I restarted my life over with my significate other at 40 and 15 years later we are still together and enjoy each others company.But the only differance is we did"nt want to have any more kids,besides she was"nt able to do so anymore anyways.But I hope if u start searching or if u allready have someone in mind the key to a good relationship is communication,honestyand comittment GOOD LUCK..............MYD.


Edited by madyarddog (12/14/09 05:39 PM)
Edit Reason: oops

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