Midlife Makeover: Making a Living Versus Making a LIFE


Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line

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Warren and I went to a concert a few weeks ago and we saw a band Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line.

I was told beforehand that it was a “modern bluegrass” band and all I could think of was the stuff my father and grandparents tortured me with when I was a metalhead in the 80’s. I was skeptical but we were going to see good friends and do something new. I always want to spend more time with our friends and I’m all over trying new things these days!

Turns out I liked it and had a great time at the show. I liked the music and I posted the following on my facebook wall.


Midlife Makeover: Making a Living Versus Making a LIFE


It wasn’t just the music that I enjoyed but also the fact that the whole band seemed to be having a great time. They seemed to be really enjoying playing for the audience. They were doing something they loved, they were having fun and they were getting paid.

At some point in the chatter that happens when live bands are setting up for the next song I learned that Nora Jane used to be a teacher and she gave it up for a career in music. That got me to thinking about our situation and this midlife makeover we are going through.

You see, Warren has been applying for jobs since he got laid off 1) because he feels like he should and 2) it’s a requirement for unemployment. As a part of that process he recently went out of state for a job interview.

Eight hours from here. Eight hours away from our kids.

That has lead to much discussion about working and living. Working versus living.

I realize that my kids probably won’t stick around here forever – in fact a few of them have dreams of moving away and that’s OK. BUT, it’s one thing to think of losing my kids one at a time and entirely another thing to think of losing them all at once by moving 8 hours away.

There isn’t just the issue with the kids.

The new job would require LOTS of hours and LOTS of stress. He just got laid off from a job that was often very stressful, he commuted almost 2 hours a day and worked long hours.

Plus there is our joint venture and his new business. Do we give up those things that we LOVE to do for another hourly job? For a steady paycheck?

My mind keeps going back to the band above and all of the other artists and musicians we’ve got to visit with over the last couple of months or so. People who are doing what they LOVE, having FUN and GETTING PAID to do it.

I think about how much they’ve given up in order to have a LIFE as opposed to just making a living. I’ve thought about how many corporate jobs and steady paychecks have been passed over for some happiness, freedom and a creative lifestyle.

I know that at “our age” we should probably be taking the steady paycheck and saving for retirement. But the idea just makes us so darn sad. He hasn’t been offered the job out of state yet and we’ll have some big decisions to make if that time comes.

The problem is that we’ve seen the other side now. We’ve seen what it is do to things you LOVE, things that are IMPORTANT to you, to ENJOY what you do and have some FUN…

And to get PAID to do it.

Not a steady paycheck. Not a really good paycheck.

But perhaps a chance to make a really good LIFE.

We’ve got lots of life left in us still and we want to LIVE it. To relish it.



Want to see some people who have fun doing what they do?

This video is for you…




  1. says

    Girlfriend, I totally hear you. In fact, I just put up this video the other day: http://youtu.be/xaLDRSg6vic

    My husband is employed, but unhappy. Sometimes I think it’s harder for men to do what they love. They were programmed for so many years that they needed to be the “bread winner”. That was really their only identity, just like being a housewife and mommy was programmed into women. The world is changing (thankfully) but old messages die hard.

    • says

      Hi Laura,

      I watched the video when you posted it. It’s a good one.
      I totally agree with you on what we are programmed to do as women and men. I do think it is changing too. It’s easier for us now that we are really only responsible for ourselves. All of our kids are older and in college and/or working so it’s not like we are still trying to provide for a family of 6. Still. It’s a big change and more than a little scary. Ya know?


  2. says

    OMG! We are so walking the same path right now. We are waiting to here about a job my husband flew out to interview for. we are supposed to hear today and are stting on pins and needles. Problem is it is 3 states away and I would have to leave my kids ;( Life is so not fair sometimes.

    • says

      I feel for you, Deb. I’ll be sad if you have to leave your kids because I know how hard that would be for me.
      I’m crossing my fingers that everything works out the best for you both. ♥

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