Our Midlife Crisis

Kansas City


I wrote “Life is a Journey” before my break in January not knowing we too, were unconsciously entering a psychological change in our own lives.

As I’ve written more than once, this winter was a little brutal on us here at Our Little House, not just with the cold, ice and snow or the multiple sprangs of wrists and ankles or bruised elbows and tailbones from falling in said conditions (because dogs still have to do their business and work has to be done no matter the weather).

Last year, we missed a lot of happenings with our loved ones back in our hometown. We try to make it back for as many landmark birthdays, anniversaries, showers and weddings as possible, but sometimes we can’t make them all.

Add in a good friend who had a heart attack last year, another who had to get a pace maker, the loss of Dale’s mother (while we made several trips to KC to be with her in her last weeks, we were not there when she actually passed, something I think my husband regrets), the death of a former neighbor, my godfather, a couple of former classmates and the arrival of the decade of my 50s and we have the making of a mid-life crisis.

The hard winter didn’t help our feelings of isolation. There were periods I couldn’t make it out of our hollow for 7-10 days. Dale was just lucky to have gotten to work all but once – which still requires a detour that adds 30 miles to his commute each day (previous winters have had him using this route maybe 1-3 times the whole winter. This winter, he was doing it sometimes 1-3 days per week).

The sudden resignation of our long-time pet sitter is also preventing us from regular visits home, work trips or even day trips into the nearest city 2 hours away (No, even pet friendly hotels will not allow a family with 5 dogs. Go figure!)

Like our neighbors who spent the past 10 years building their dream home only to decide they were too far in the country and decided they wanted to be closer to town, we didn’t foresee ourselves planning a retirement that splits our time between our new life in the country and our old one in the city.

When I look back on our move, I would say we made some of the most critical miscalculations that many people do when they relocate.

But that is where we’re at, we love our home here and we will not sell it, but we don’t want to continue to look at pictures, which represents the moments of our loved ones lives and not be a part of those.

We have to figure out how to juggle our lives and get home more often.

Another small home with a yard in the city would be perfect to go to with the dogs for visits, but we really don’t want the expense or upkeep of a second house. I love urban lofts, but they typically have pet restrictions (they are also crazy expensive).

That may bring us to a tiny place on wheels or a small RV.

We still haven’t redrawn our plan that will take us through the rest of our lives. Of course, finances are the deciding factor. Since we are skeptical of those emails we get telling us we have long lost relatives in some far away land ready to deposit millions in our bank account and we haven’t won the lottery, we will continue on our journey.

Right now, that is being grateful for the opportunity we have here in the beautiful Ozarks, living large and returning “home” to the ones we love when we can.

If you’ve lived away from your home, how did you handle missing milestone events in your loved one’s lives?

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2 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    This is something I think about as we’re planning on relocating. My daughters said they also will move where we’re planning on going but you never know. I don’t want to miss all the things with the grandkids because I’m with them now several days a week. My MIL is also thinking of relocating by us but we’ll see if she actually does as well because it’s a big move for a senior who’s been in her house for 30 years.

    • Kerri says:

      We were definitely in a different place when we moved, Mary. We were grieving the loss of my mother and we both really did need a change from our hometown. Now, we crave the familiarity of it. We love our house and land and my husband likes his job. There are so many good things here, but our loved ones aren’t. It’s definitely something for you to consider.