Taking up the Rural lifestyle
Life is not a dress rehersal. If you hate your job, hate commuting, hate that tie, and really, REALLY hate commuting, why are you doing it? Are you waiting for your next life to get it right?
We're not advocating that you abandon your responsibilities to your spouse or family, that's a large part of life also, but you don't owe your entire life to a company or employer just because they gave you some money.
Our society doesn't really make many hard and fast rules you must follow. That’s called freedom. Instead, people make agreements with society and how happy you are with your life depends in large part on whether or not you ever realize that you don't have to accept the same agreement as your neighbor, father, co-worker, college roommate, etc.
Just because other people agreed to study hard, get a degree, then go to work for a big company or join the Civil Service then commute to work every day for 40 years doesn’t mean you have to do the same. One major downside of that life style is the pressure to spend yourself deep into debt by trying to fill the void in your sole that this sort of life can leave.
Don't get me wrong. A lot of people actually seem to enjoy and need this sort of regimented life, after all, because of the strict rules and hierarchical nature of the corporate beast, it's very similar to having a career in the military – only without the guns. If this sort of life is your free choice then by all means enjoy!
But there are a lot of us who don't care if we own an Armani suit (actually I do, but I haven't worn it in 10 years) or drive a new car every two years. Some people prefer to “work” 3 hour days, live where they aren't breathing bus fumes and don't have to try and sleep sleep through car alarms and sirens.
After you've fed, clothed, and housed your family, money's main function is to buy time. Since none of us know just how much time we have, does it make sense to suffer daily for the possibility that some day you will get to do something you enjoy?
Sheep in the Rafters is a blog and a forthcomming book about homesteadding at the turn of the century, but even more it's about life, a lifestyle, and how you can change gears at mid-life without ditching a wife and family to make the change.