Mid life crisis?????

terriksSeptember 13, 2012

I know that I'm coming to this a bit late, at age 55, but I am feeling adrift in my life right now.

My kids are grown, I have a boring part time job, and my husband doesn't seem to want to do the same things I do.

I would love to travel and see the world, and he has no desire for travel other than a beach vacation. We are at the stage in our lives where we have more time, money and freedom to do things, yet he is content to stay home.

I know that I need to find something for myself that I am passionate about, but have no idea what that thing is, or how to find it. The idea of spending the rest of my life like this is depressing.

Does anyone else feel this way?

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Terri, do you do any type volunteer work?

I am not at that point, but we do not have children, so I never went through the empty nest, etc. I feel very lucky that my husband and I do share interests, although we have our own "things" too.

I'm big on volunteering. Also, how do you feel about traveling without your husband? My mom and dad were in your situation, my dad would go on a few trips to appease my mom, but never more than a few days. Mom wanted to go all the time LOL. She finally found a group to travel with - it worked for them.

Just my two cents worth . . .

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Terriks, I'm so sorry that you're feeling adrift. I know that feeling, as I'm sure that most people do. It's human nature to ask from time to time, "Is this all there is for me?" It's normal to fantasize about how things might be if they were different, and to feel unsettled and uncertain, in varying degrees, about the path we're currently on.

The fact that you want to travel and see the world really speaks to me. That's my dream as well, but like your hubby, mine is content to return to the same island year after year and spend time on the beach. Not that I don't also enjoy that (because I truly do!), but there are other parts of the world that have a hold on my heart, and I want to visit them too. For me, the "solution" is in being able to travel with family members that share my interest in other locations besides the beach. Is there anyone that you could plan a trip with? I know it's at first a bit difficult to think of taking a vacation with someone besides your significant other, but I think that if it's something you truly crave/need, then you must find a way to do it. The first time I went to the UK with my mother and left DH at home (he didn't want to go, remember), it felt awkward. (I won't even go into the backlash from his parents when they found out I was doing this ... it was a very bad scene, but I stood my ground because it was that important to me to carry out my own dream.) I'm now planning the third trip away from him, and it's sort of become old hat at this point. I wish that he could/would have an interest in sharing these experiences with me, but it also means the world to me to be able to make these amazing memories with my mother.

In my previous marriage, I lived with a man who refused to vacation with me - anywhere. He was basically "married" to his business, and promised that when he retired, we would travel. I wasn't content to wait for that, so even in that relationship I spent time traveling with family members while he stayed home to work. I resented his refusal to ever go anywhere with me though, and that's a factor that definitely took its toll in the marriage. Being remarried now to someone who simply wants to travel to the beach is really fine with me ... Different relationship than before, different dynamic completely. And his gracious acceptance of my need to see other parts of the world only serves to make me love him more. But when I was in the previous marriage and harboring those resentful feelings, I think that's when I truly began to experience my own mid-life crisis. I distinctly remember waking up one Saturday morning (alone, because he had already woken early and gone into his office) in the big bedroom of our custom home, and the first thing that popped into my head was: Am I TRULY happy? I knew, instantly, that the answer was no. And that shook me to the core - but that was really the moment - the impetus - for the change that began to come about in my life.

I don't get the impression from what you've written that you are dissatisfied with your marriage; only that you're craving more for you. We need to pursue our dreams and find out what makes our heart sing, particularly as we move into middle age and beyond. Have you sat down with your DH and discussed your feelings with him? I know that's easier said than done with some men, but perhaps he would be open and receptive to hearing what you have to say without feeling it's an indictment of him. Can you discuss with him ways that you can continue to explore and pursue the activities that draw you in -- even if they exclude him?

I wish you all the very best. Life is such an amazingly interesting, confounding, miraculous journey!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Yes. Like Jen described with her first marriage, that is where I'm at now. But I DO go out and do things, like travel, on my own and with others. I do want my husband to share in those adventures with me, tho, because I DO like hanging out with him. It's just that he's boring any more-work-sleep is it with him.

I've talked with a lot of friends and there are two groups-those who are ready to live out their dreams but their SO's are not on the same page, and those who have found what works for them. I'm in the first camp for sure! I fantacize of what it would be like living out my simple dreams (just spending a couple hours at the farmers market with him would thrill me)- do I nag him to join me-knowing he won't or go out on my own?

Sorry-wish I had advice instead of griping. Maybe it IS mid-life crisis!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:43PM
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I think we are married to the same man, terriks! If I did not suggest travel, we would not go any where except to Florida. We have recently bought a house in Florida that we are currently renting. But, DH feels happy that he now has a place down there when we are ready to become snow birds. I, on the other hand, want to travel and I look at Florida as an extension of being home.
If your husband is agreeable, plan a trip with a family member or start with a girlfriends' weekend. He might change his mind and want to start going too if he sees you are doing this without him.
I hear what you are saying. What you really want is for DH to share this experience and WANT to go with you.
As for volunteering, I say you should start a Hooping group! You are passionate about it, you are good at it and it has worked wonders for you. I can see this going off in so many diffferent directions, from a teen program at your local youth center, to women your own age, to older adults at the senior center. I don't go to festivals and your post was the first I heard of Hooping for adults. (I am still figuring out which to buy, by the way, because you certainly inspired me.)
On a positive note, you are at this place now because everything else is stable. So in that sense, you are very lucky.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:34PM
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oooh Ellendi! The hooping group is a great idea!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Terri, I never had human kids and never really worked so I had a lot of time on my hands. While DH and I traveled together quite often, because I had more free time, I often traveled by myself....and loved it! I saw quite a bit of the world while traveling on my own.

Since you want to see the world, I encourage you to do so....whether it be with a friend or a group or by yourself. You never know when you won't be able to and you don't want to be at a point in your life wishing you had.

I had to go down to San Francisco to pick up our new kitten and I went a couple of days early and had a great time! It's easy to meet people but I do enjoy my alone time.

I think the hooping idea is a great one as well.

Volunteering is always a wonderful thing to do...but it's not always easy to find a perfect fit.

Wishing you the best and just wanted to say...you are NOT alone. :-)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I can relate to asking yourself, "is this how I want to spend the rest of my life?"

If I were you, I would not obsess about finding your passion. That's too much pressure. It it better to simply have new experiences, even ones that you think you are not interested in. And those experiences can be with your husband or without him.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:11PM
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terriks, would you consider taking some classes at a local community college? The exposure to new subjects & being with different kinds of people might give you the stimulation you need. There are usually great activities & clubs on campus you could participate in too. Perhaps you could start with some foreign language classes if you're interested in traveling abroad. Or a photography class so you can take better travel pictures.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Are there any travel clubs in your area? If so, I would urge you to join one. You can meet people with similar interests. Learning a language is a great idea, also.

I've been very lucky to have a husband who will travel with me wherever I want to go. I do, however, travel solo sometimes. Why don't you sit down with yours and explain how important this is to you. Sometimes men just don't give us the passionate responses that we'd like but still may be willing. If not, go with a friend or by yourself.

You're at the age that you are old enough not to be encumbered but young enough to enjoy. I just turned 61 and got a health diagnosis that may make travel impossible soon. Not a death sentence but something that will affect my mobility. I had to cancel trips to Paris and Italy. I am so happy that I was able to travel all that I did.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:49PM
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I know an empty-nester couple the wife of which is much more into travel than the husband. She simply goes on international trips without him, thereby eliminating any stress or resentment of people being forced to stay home or forced to travel.

She likes Rick Steves' tours, just as one point to jump off from.

I know another couple the husband of which is just physically not comfortable being away from his own home commode for weeks on end. Seriously. He's older and has to go frequently, and he's getting a bit unsteady on his feet, so he likes to know his terrain. So the wife will go visit her children in Switzerland and Australia and come back with great stories and updates for her husband--it works!

And I'm sure you know you can do volunteer-touring -- you can use skills you have to help out, say, in a central American country for a few weeks, or just be another pair of hands to help build houses, or wells, or whatever else.

Husbands and wives can't always be everything to each other, as much as we love each other--hope these are some ideas to bounce off of as you plan your exciting adventures : )

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:46AM
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Terriks, I'm so glad you posted this, because it is very timely for me. This is EXACTLY my position at the moment. My husband retired two years ago, and it has without question been the biggest adjustment of our married lives together. Part of that is due to the differences thrust upon us: he's around more, in "my" space, we have different roles now, etc. etc. But part of it is also due to my growing awareness that time is limited and if there are things I truly want to do, I must get on it. I think that's a pretty natural progression after raising children, being a stay-at-home mom for a long time, etc. My husband, on the other hand, seems to feel that now is the time to hunker down and stay home and spend as little of our nest egg as possible..... grrrr! I keep reminding him that he doesn't want to be the richest man in the cemetery, but it isn't resonating apparently. He's always been frugal, but we have managed because I have always handled the bill paying, and so he's been able to take a little bit of an 'out of sight, out of mind' approach, and been able to live with expenditures he would not have made. The thing is, I'm frugal myself, but I don't think the man would spend ANY money if he didn't have to. So even though I am frugal by the standards of ALL of my friends, I am not compared to him. Since he's around all the time more, that cloak of invisibility is suddenly lifted, and he's having a more difficult time ignoring the outflow....

So you can imagine his lack of enthusiasm to go and do anything like taking a trip somewhere.... I never have a problem traveling by myself. But now that the kids are almost out of the house, I find that I want that couplehood back. I want an enthusiastic partner to go on adventures with. I'm more than happy to take a few trips by myself, and even believe it's a healthy, good thing to make separate trips occasionally. But I also think that our relationship can only continue to grow by tending it, and sharing new things together is an important way, in my view, to do that.

So as I said, I think this is the most difficult adjustment of our married lives together. Although it is on my mind daily, I fear Captain Oblivious here is, well, a bit oblivious....

But I do thank you for posting this. I remember the comfort that came from sharing the challenges of babies and toddlers with other new moms. Somehow just knowing that everybody's three year old had occasional meltdowns took the angst out of the situation. So it is comforting to know that this isn't perhaps so much about OUR marriage, as it is a bit of a common phenom. I wonder if it breaks down along gender lines.... Do most women suddenly want to go out and grab life at this stage, while many men want to sit back and ponder it?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:03AM
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"Do most women suddenly want to go out and grab life at this stage? Yes!
...while many men want to sit back and ponder it? Yes again.
My husband is not frugel, so this does not play into my situation. He has been retired for ten years, but keeps busy with our real estate properties. He also likes to exercise and can do something every day and even twice a day.
He will never ask about going on a trip and he will never even suggest going out to dinner. When friends ask, I always say yes and I sometimes will just say I feel like going to a certain restuarant. He is always more than happy to go but weeks can go by and it would not occur to him to suggest an outing.
We always fo plan trips for special birthdays, a special anniversary etc. It seems that Terriks is going to be in Hawaii for her 55th, so maybe she should start planning yearly birthday trips. This could mean at least two a year.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Hi terriks, I have felt like that a few times over the years. Part of the problem was that my husband always wanted a beach vacation. We live in Florida for crying out loud. A while back I decided to put an end to the indecision which often led to going nowhere. I knew if I got his brothers involved I and we would go somewhere exciting. I first enlisted the help of my sister in-law. Next I narrowed down some places that had height to land and opportunities for me to hike or at least get some long exploring walks in. Next I found a place that had what I wanted and a beach for husband. Next I had to factor in sister in-laws love of shopping and brother in-laws need of some good bars. My pick was Italy where we all met up in Rome but spent the bulk of our trip in Positano that also included a day trip to Capri. It was perfect! I TOLD husband we were going to Italy and his brothers were going as well. He had already been, but he had never gone to the Amalfi Coast. I gave him some criteria and got him involved in the villa search which he really got into and picked something wonderful. In fact my plan went so well we even did a mini just us Madrid gig on the way home. I do know I will have to go through this for all overseas vacations but that's ok as I do enjoy his family and he is pretty good about making sure there is some just "us" time. This may be a gamble for those who are not sure about doing a big trip with either husbands friends or family but I did know that we all worked well together from previous GB trips. However, I also knew that going somewhere far away without including his family would be like pulling teeth. I remember the impossibly hard time I had on one trip getting him to leave his family in England to go to France. I had to threaten to swim across on my own.

Both my husband and I are in a weird place now that our boys are living on their own. Husband is going through his own adjustments with me putting my foot down and getting more assertive by the day. It seems that mostly he doesn't care if I just go ahead and make plans (as long as I involve him at some point). I find that narrowing down picks to two or three choices works best. Sometimes I even think he is relieved not to have to make the decisions. Still, we are both adjusting and I was thinking the other day that we are starting to treat our Rottie like a son instead of a dog lol.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:03PM
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I have also been helped immeasurably by finding an excellent female therapist and seeing her on occasion, when there's something specific weighing on me. My therapist is slightly older than I am and very down-to-earth. I feel more like I'm confiding in a trusted older friend than seeing a professional at times. I have never walked out of her office not feeling as though my burden had been lifted and I was inspired, motivated, and encouraged to either take a new path, or implement changes to improve the one I'm on. Is that something that appeals to you? Or how about life coaching? I know absolutely nothing about the coach I'm linking to, but just wanted to point out that there are valuable resources out there ... it's just a matter of finding what works for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Midlife Coaching for Women

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Thanks for all your thoughts. It is good to know that I'm not the only one going through this. And it's not so much the travel thing. I can and have traveled without him. That's the nice thing about having a child living abroad. ;)

Elledi summed up how I feel:

I hear what you are saying. What you really want is for DH to share this experience and WANT to go with you.

I like to hike and kayak, etc. and have girl friends to do that with, but it would be nice to share those experiences with my husband also.

And I feel a bit like a spoiled brat, because our upcoming trip to Maui will be our 3rd beach trip this year. He is doing very well at work and has won/earned these trips. But I have to be the one to plan activities while we are there. If I give him the choice of several activities I would love it if he would be enthusiastic about one of them, instead of just saying he'd do what I want to do. I actually have a better time when I have free time to myself to wander around a new town and explore on my own, than feeling like I am just dragging him along.

But I know that the main problem is me. I need to find something that I enjoy on a daily or weekly basis. I love the hooping ideas in theory, but I really lack the confidence to do that in real life. It's easy to encourage people about hooping here online. And I keep playing with the idea of taking some community college courses. I even took the placement exams last year. I did take some evening Spanish classes a couple of years ago. One day I will relearn all the Spanish I knew in high school.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Gosh, this is such a good thread to read through and to know that others are struggling with the "what next?" stage of life. I've been at such loose ends since my job was eliminated two years ago and I decided to call it quits from working. Financially it would have been better to work a couple more years but I didn't get that chance.

Terri, I wish I had a part time job, even if it is boring. If you're going to sit around being bored you may as well be paid for it.

I am divorced, and I have been on my own for 20 years. My job, house, friends, family and volunteer activities kept me plenty busy, but now I have time on my hands.

The first thing I would say is that it is not entirely your husband's responsibility to make your life fulfilling. We each have to do that for ourselves in my opinion. If you wait for someone else to make you happy, you may have a long wait.

Not having a partner to travel with is a problem, but maybe you have a friend or family (or one of the kids?) to go along. I know that a lot of women travel on group tours by themselves. I am trying to work up the courage to do that. Honestly, you will have a better time than with a husband who is being dragged along.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I am stunned that this is your third beach trip this year. You are wearing me out already and I like to travel!
We are taking a trip in a few weeks and have been anticipating, and casually planning it for a year.

I know we are on the extreme side, but some people just have more extroverted energy than others. In this one thing, dh and I are well matched but we aren't in many other areas. All part of marriage!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 5:42PM
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The first thing I would say is that it is not entirely your husband's responsibility to make your life fulfilling. We each have to do that for ourselves in my opinion. If you wait for someone else to make you happy, you may have a long wait.

I completely agree with this. What I hear Terriks saying, though, is that she has a deep-down desire for her DH to be more engaged in the relationship. I too have struggled with that desire, and have oftentimes just thrown my hands up and settled into the notion that so many men are simply that way. By and large, I am the planner in our marriage. I decide when we vacation, and where (as long as it's beachy). I do the research and legwork to actually make it happen, and sometimes it does feel like he just "goes along for the ride." Just this week I decided that we'll plan a visit to a big cat sanctuary that will constitute a weekend day trip. I don't think it would ever even occur to DH to learn about something like that, much less make plans to visit such a place. I guess I've resigned myself to being the one who takes the initiative ... although I do understand how it sometimes feels like I'm dragging him along, when he'd be just as happy to be sitting at home with his nose in a book.

On the other hand, I feel like I have a great deal of freedom of control over our activities. I have discovered that in many ways, I like to be the one in charge. So it's not entirely a bad thing!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Maybe you are secretly thinking it would be easier to do things on your own if you were really on your own...as in single and arranging days just around yourself.
We all have those thoughts once in a while. I'm sure our husbands do to. I sometimes fantasize about being divorced but dating my husband. I really couldn’t imagine life without him its just once in a while I miss that initial dating spark that we had.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Yes, I have enjoyed reading this thread immensely too. I so admire the women here, and how the answers and comments given have a common thread: create your own happiness!

It is clear Terri, that you are keenly aware of this fact, and I admire your wise decision to seek out your own destiny, even if you are not so sure what that will hold. Your impulses are healthy and on track. You recognize that you'd prefer one situation, the reality is another, and ask, what can *I* do to improve my quality of life? Significantly, you are not asking, "How can I change my partner to want what I want him to want?" You are simply acknowledging what *is* and contemplating what might be interesting and rewarding for *you.*

Sometimes the next step is not at all clear, but Terri, you are holding a brightly burning candle, rather than cursing the darkness, and that will certainly help you find the answers you are seeking. Best wishes on your quest.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

when he'd be just as happy to be sitting at home with his nose in a book.

So funny! On this vacation, I have had to say at least once every 6 weeks for the past year, that is an active vacation, We will be out doing things, not sitting around reading books ( although I am by far the more avid reader) and will
not have much time for leisurely reading and sitting around. We will get up early so we can see and experience new, fun, things.
These are some of the things we will be doing______, and will have lots of fun.

I hope it's stuck in his brain. He grunted at the museum planned outing. Sigh.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Bumble, I hope you are planning some activities your hubby will enjoy!

We enjoy traveling, but we are not big planners. We usually do at least one or two beach trips (spring and/or fall) a year. This year we've taken several camping trips also. If we are going somewhere new, we will read up a bit and identify some things we want to do, but we still kind of play it by ear and see what we feel like doing. Neither of us really enjoy having things planned out.

Terri - you should do those spanish classes! My mom was in her late 60's when she took french at the Senior Center. She also took a dance class, taught canasta there and took an art class. Actually, you did so good painting maybe you should look into some art classes.

I totally agree with no holding someone else responsible for your happiness - which I don't think you are doing - I just wanted to say I agree with that. We must be happy with ourselves first and I truly believe that makes us happier in other areas of our lives.

If I were you, I'd talk with your husband and explain how you are feeling, what you had hoped for at this stage in your lives, etc. and how much you'd like him to join you in some of these activities. Then I'd find some things I wanted to do and do them. Who knows, he may see that you are enjoying yourself and decide to come along.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:12PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Ehh, Tina, he will enjoy everything but as he might say, "it's not the beach!" to which I say, Who cares?
We've taken beach vacations for 17 years and while I have enjoyed them well enough, I would like to travel and see more than just another( well, the same) beach.

If he really didn't want to do anything, he wouldn't, he's very stubborn.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:50PM
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Thanks again for all the great insights. Hopefully I'm not coming across as too much of a whiner. Because I know that I have a really good life, that would make many envious. Thanks for letting me vent. It's usually my job as mom to listen to the venting from my kids.

I think that I'm really feeling the age thing right now. I feel better than I did 10 years ago, and I want to do all I can while I can. My 82 year old mom is still going strong, so I hope to follow in her footsteps. She's on an Alaska cruise right now and plans to zipline if the weather is good! And she has a new partner who is sharing fully in the adventure.

Terri, I wish I had a part time job, even if it is boring. If you're going to sit around being bored you may as well be paid for it.

That's exactly why I do this job. It gets me up and out of the house every day, and they are extremely flexible about giving me time off.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Terri, no you are not coming across as a whiner at all! Many here can relate.

Does everyones husband want a beach vacation?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Terri, you don't sound like you are whining at all.

I love to hear about your mom! You have a wonderful inspiration :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:10PM
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LOL Jterrilynn! I know many men who DON'T like the beach. My husband and I both love the water, lakes as well as the ocean. We absolutely love the Charleston and Savannah area and have visited many of the islands around there. We want to visit Daufaskie - it is accessed only by boat. We also spend alot of time at the lake. That said, there are plenty of other places we visit. We have particularly enjoyed Amish areas, areas in KY and VA (love the mountains and beautiful scenery), New England area, etc. But we do love to visit the beach and are within easy driving distance.

Sorry Terriks - didn't mean to turn this to a travel thread! I don't think you sound like you are whining either. I think everyone has times they are somewhat dissatisfied. That's how you came across to me - not that you are unhappy with your life, just a little dissatisfied with how things are going at this time in your life.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Tinam61, I live in flat Florida so I would love to hear of places you enjoy in the mountains. Please start a post! I am not a camper but really like day time activities outdoors.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:09PM
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Another perspective: In 25 years of marriage, we've never taken *A* vacation!

As for beaches, (I know this is very odd!) I would not touch a beach with a ten foot pole! A beach is my personal idea of hell, lol! I LIVE in Virginia Beach and have never stepped foot on the actual beach here. I have no interest in doing so. Can't abide the heat and the sun and that entire scene!

While we've never taken a "Vacation" per se, we have traveled. I've gone with dh to professional meetings all over the country. Of course, he'd be at the meeting, I'd be on my own. We also visited relatives who lived elsewhere on a few occasions.

In recent years, I haven't gone anywhere since our elderly cat is now very clingy and needy. Until she is "no longer with us" I guess I would go somewhere if I needed to while dh stayed home with the cat. Tried a pet sitter a couple of times, but that was not ideal.

Dh went on two work-related trips this summer, one of which, (Charlotte, NC) I would have liked to have gone on, but didn't because of kitty. (Love my cat girl!)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:05AM
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You've got to do just one thing that satisfies YOU! I'm another who thought of getting a part time job, and just a few days ago turned the big 70! Most of my travel is going to visit my kids/grands, but have no one who either wants to or can afford to do major traveling such as a European river cruise or trip to France or another country. I have way too much energy for someone of 'that age' so it's important for me to keep busy~that's why I rented a space at a local antique gallery. It's not a money making 'proposition' but since i've always enjoyed 'the hunt' of searching for things for my home, now it's for the purpose of selling. I also paint furniture, which is really my favorite thing to do.

I believe we all have been given a gift, a creative talent, be it music, painting, crafty, or whatever, and it's a blessing if we choose to pursue that talent. Since I also have a love of decorating, I have the opportunity to put together my space just as if it were a room in a home.

Since you can't spend 365 days traveling(unless you're a multi-millionaire!)do something that makes your heart sing. ;o)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Stinky! You mean this doesn't even appeal to you?

Actually, I almost wish it didn't appeal to me quite so much, as it would certainly improve our financial conditions if DH and I didn't feel compelled to have to see something like this at least once a year. ;-D

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Pattycakes, well-said, great advice! Your little business sounds so fun...good for you lady!

Sunnycottage, no darling, that does not appeal to me in the least! (I know, I'm an odd bird!). I think I need green in my outdoor spaces. I definitely need "cool" (as in temperature.)

I have loved traveling in big cities, which most people want to escape! I love NY! I love the theater and museums, and eating out (doesn't need to be fine dining...I prefer casual eateries!) I love the whole vibe of NY. And yes, I have found people there to be extremely friendly!

Boston (the history!), San Diego (the zoo!) Seattle (Public Market!), Vancouver (Wow!), and Victoria (Butchart Gardens!), were are other great cities I've enjoyed. Would love to see Chicago.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 10:17AM
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I hear ya, Stinky! I too love the vibe of certain cities - London being my absolute favorite. DH hated it there, though ... To him, it was overwhelming and exhausting. I just love that there is so much history, so much hustle and bustle, and just about every cultural/ethnic group imaginable represented.

Sorry - I think I've highjacked, and this should probably go in the vacations thread instead. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Sunnycottage -I want to be you when I grow up!

I too am one of those who just love the excitement of big cities, and find 1-2 days on the beach more than enough. This summer I finally got to see Chicago (loved it!). I've had the pleasure of growing up near Boston, vacationing a few times in NYC, visiting Seattle a few times, living in SF for many years, living in Wash. D.C., living outside Houston now, and find that the more cities I see, the more I want to see.... DD wants to go to college in NYC, so I may get more opportunities in the future! I fantasize about spending one year of our retirement in NYC, renting a furnished apt., and just having a fantastic year. But I don't think it's going to happen....

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:21AM
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I also love big cities, probably since I don't live in or near one. I went to NYC with my daughter a few years ago, and mentioned it as a possiblility of a place to go to my husband and he has zero interest in it. Saying it's just another city. No, it's not just a city, it's freakin' New York! And while I like the beach, I don't like isolated resorts, where you need to take a taxi or car to get anywhere interesting. And that's the only kind of vacations we have had this year.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:51AM
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Sunny, London must have been a blast!

Bestyears, I have a niece who just began her junior year at Barnard, and her sis started NYU this month! Studying and living in Manhattan...what an incredible experience! Your "year in the city" vision sounds outstanding to me!

I so agree, Terriks! New York is like no other city on the planet. It's amazing!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 12:54PM
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Heehee. Terriks, you and I are opposites on this issue. We love isolated areas. My husband and I are truly compatible in traveling. We neither one like big cities. Maybe because we have always lived in rural areas. A big city almost closes in on me. I mentioned this in the vacation thread. We have visited and enjoyed NYC, but it's overwhelming to me. Have visited DC many times. Philly was one city I remember distinctly not enjoying other than some of our stops. We have stayed in areas you can only reach by boat or ferry. LOVED it, although I do admit, I think about a medical emergency. Fortunately the places we have been do have emergency personnel, but it could be a bit of a problem if you needed to get to a hospital fast.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 2:29PM
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Hmmm, interesting and gratifying to know some of what I'm experiencing is shared by others. I too have a husband who adamantly refuses to travel. In our situation, I strongly suspect it has some undertones of passive-aggressiveness along with what others have mentioned. He can control at least the part of our relationship that involves that aspect of togetherness, or not. The other major component is also familiar from reading others' experiences. He simply has no interest in doing anything other than what he likes to do (diving/boating/canoeing).

Anyway, my nuance that is a bit different is that I do have a career that brings me deep, deep joy and fulfillment. However it also keeps me so busy and often stressed that increasingly I find myself thinking 'I wonder what life would be like if every day belonged to me, to do--or not do--just what I want.' I am feeling that I need to start expanding my horizons now, because in 7 years at 62 YO I want to be prepared to retire completely. Financially we are on track. But I do not want to be the person who leaves a job that provided all my stimulation and then find: nothing. So I am in the pre-planning phase of the next stage of life. I love working with the age group at my job (teenage/college) so my thought is to find an outlet in some kind of service that would let me do that on my own terms.

And as for traveling, given my druthers SunnyCottage that image is EXACTLY where I would choose to be! This summer I expanded my annual summer trip to Captiva (island on Florida's west coast) to 2 weeks and it was heaven. I could have stayed on and on and on. I do still want to see London though. And England in general. And Paris. And the national parks out west. And the South Pacific. At least thanks to this discussion I have some ideas about how to move forward with that phase of the midlife crisis :).

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:15AM
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