Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Monday, June 28, 2010

Leaving the Rat Race - The Mid Life Devil's Advocate View

It’s very tempting to think that we can give up our stressful (high paying) job and opt for a simpler way of life. As we travel through mid life, this option looks ever more appealing.

If we take a less stressful job (with less money) we won’t need to spend so much. No more commuting or expensive business suits. Let’s stop trying to keep up with the neighbours and friends and opt for a simpler way of life. We’ve seen most of the world so let’s explore our own country – we’ve always said that we would do that and it’ll be much cheaper than going to the Maldives again.

We can grow our own vegetables, keep chickens and pigs and make our own clothes. We can use green energy. We can cycle to most places, so we only need one car – maybe we don’t need a car at all.

This is all very ‘doable’ and lots of families have travelled this road before. There are many benefits and also a host of issues that you need to consider. The job of the Mid Life Devil’s Advocate is to help you to understand some of these issues. The Advocate isn’t trying to dissuade you from taking up The Good Life, just making sure that you’re aware of some of the ‘warts’.

So what is the Devil’s Advocate’s view of The Good Life? Here are some points to ponder:

  • The first thing that you will consider is growing your own vegetables. See The Mid Life Devil’s Advocate’s earlier advice on growing your own.
  •  If that doesn’t put you off, you’re made of stern stuff – excellent!
  • You may consider keeping chickens to lay eggs and provide a Sunday roast. Your chickens will not lay eggs every day. Some days you will have no eggs, other days you may have several.
  • If you want to breed your own chickens you will need a cockerel. Cockerels crow at first light. They will wake you up. They will also wake your neighbours up, who may not share your passion for chickens.
  • When your eggs hatch, statistically, half of the chicks will be male, which don’t lay eggs. You can rear these to eat when they mature. This requires you killing them when the time comes. Your kids will probably have given names to all of the chickens and might be horrified when you tell them that ‘We’re having Brad Pitt for dinner on Sunday.’ They may never speak to you again when you kill their pets.
  • After you’ve killed the chicken you have to pluck the feathers (ideally when the body is still warm). You then hang it up somewhere, out of reach of the cat and the local fox. Later, you have to cut off its head and feet and pull out its insides (which you can also eat). There is a lot of blood involved and it’s quite a smelly business, all in all. At least it teaches your kids where meat comes from – their pets.
  • You may decide to keep a pig in the garden which will eat the family’s leftovers and which you can kill when it matures and enjoy gammons and hams.
  • Pigs grow quite quickly and will, indeed, eat your scraps. They will also eat everything else in the garden and leave it looking like a ploughed field. They are very lovable (and very intelligent) and you may find that you can’t bring yourself to slaughter it. Your pig then becomes an expensive pet.
  • You could also keep sheep for wool and lamb chops. They won’t turn your garden into a municipal replica of the Somme in 1915 (see Pigs above) but they will eat all of your flowers as well as the grass. They may also become pets if you can’t bring yourself to have them slaughtered.
  • You will then have a source of wool which you can use to spin into yarn and make your own clothes. Very green and very worthy. Also very itchy.
  • If you can bring yourself to have your sheep slaughtered, don’t ask for the head to be returned from the slaughterhouse with the rest of the meat (unless sheep’s eyes and brains are a particular favourite of yours). The kids will not be impressed.
  • Soon you will want a shed. More expense. Rats live under sheds. Wasps often build nests in sheds. Wasps sting.
  • Camping holidays can be great fun. Unless it rains every day and the kids are bored and need to be entertained. At that point, the Maldives look a very attractive option for next year (and probably no more expensive).
  • When you take up cycling you get a very smug feeling inside. You’re getting fit and helping the planet at the same time by not driving your car. You soon realise that roads have hills that you’d never noticed in your car. It’s hard work. Your bottom begins to hurt as it rubs against the saddle. Then you get a puncture and it starts to rain. You push your bike home and open the scotch bottle.
  • Having a wood burning fire is so good for the planet and you don’t need the central heating any more. In the winter, it’s great fun getting up in the cold, with frost on the windows, walking downstairs and lighting the wood burner. Within a couple of hours it’s almost warm enough to take off your thermal vest. Don’t forget to order more wood before your stock runs out.
  • Your green windmill was a great investment and produces enough electricity to meet most of your needs. On windy days.
  • Your compost heap will probably become home for a family of rats.
  • Charity shops stock a wide range of clothes, mostly from dead people. Very reasonably priced.
  • You can hang your washing out to dry in the garden rather than using the tumble dryer. Remember to take them in when it starts to rain and be prepared to wash off the bird poo.
  • Bartering is worth exploring if you have skills to barter – if you have no skills to barter, keep your credit card handy.

If you are keen to adopt The Good Life, don’t let the Mid Life Devil’s Advocate put you off. The points above are all exaggerated (some more than others) to give you a real flavour of what’s in store for you. It is a commendable vision and if you are serious, go for it!

Good luck,

The Mid Life Devil’s Advocate
The Mid Life Opportunity ( is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for? Complete the form on the right hand side of this post…Tx

Please take 1 minute to complete the 2010 Mid Life Survey: Click 


  1. It's a serious leap of faith, and one that probably people should actually take baby steps towards, instead of a leap, but speaking as a leaper, it's a wild ride. I've had many ups and downs since I left traditional work.
    still counting my eggs though....

  2. Very good points there. Since moving from the USA a whiles back I've taken a leap so to say in my thinking and in my life style. The dorms don't exactly have places to plant, but I do love it when I do have the change to garden a bit these days. Talk about uber relaxing and then I get to reap the best veggies ever!


  3. Leaving the rat race seems to be everybody's dream. However, maybe the old adage "be careful what you ask for" should be in order. Keeping your life simple could be something as simple as dropping out of of some of your busy social schedule. Thanks for a great post!

  4. I love your post. It reminds me of when my mother was a little girl. She told me she received a chick for Easter. It did not die but grew up to become a chick. She called it Chicken little. When it was large enough her grand mother killed it and had it for dinner.

    Needless to say she eat it. Her grand mother said that "Chicken Little was smooth like butter when she had it. Not everyone could eat Chicken Little but when you are hungry there is not much choice.

    Thank you for bringing this memory back to my mind.

  5. There's certainly isn't anything wrong with being "Self Sufficient." And if you consider it the "good life" go for it.

    As for me... I like getting my bacon out of the fridge, my chicken all cleaned and ready to cook. That's my idea of the "good life."

  6. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger,
    and I was curious about your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we are
    looking to exchange strategies with other folks, why
    not shoot me an email if interested. szczegóły,

  7. If some one wants to be updated with hottest technologies then
    he must be pay a quick visit this site and be up to date everyday.
    kliknij - url,

    Thanks a lot. I like it.
    My site: sex czat za darmo, sex telefon:
    my website > sex czat za darmo

  9. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on
    other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my readers would appreciate your work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail. link,

  10. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this topic to be actually something that I think I
    would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I'm looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
    See this: zobacz,

  11. I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A handful of my blog readers have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue? zobacz to,

  12. Generally I don't learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article. kliknij po więcej,

  13. Hi there all, here every one is sharing these familiarity, so
    it's fastidious to read this webpage, and I used to visit this web site every day.
    See this: kliknij,

  14. Saved as a favorite, I really like your web site!

    Look into my homepage

  15. Hello there! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it's new to me.

    Anyhow, I'm definitely glad I found it and I'll be bookmarking and
    checking back frequently!

    Also visit my web page: strona internetowa

  16. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it,
    you could be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back sometime soon.
    I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

    Check out my homepage - detoks organizmu

  17. What's up, yup this post is genuinely fastidious and I have learned lot of things from it about blogging. thanks.

    Here is my page - miscrits sunfall

  18. I don't leave a response, however after reading a ton of remarks here "Leaving the Rat Race - The Mid Life Devil's Advocate View". I do have a few questions for you if it's allright. Could it be just me or does it look like some of these responses come across like they are coming from brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting on additional online sites, I would like to follow you. Would you post a list of the complete urls of your shared sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Also visit my web page sex

  19. What i don't understood is in reality how you're no longer really a
    lot more neatly-favored than you might be right now.
    You're so intelligent. You understand therefore considerably relating to this subject, made me in my view believe it from so many various angles. Its like men and women are not interested until it's something to do with Lady gaga!

    Your personal stuffs great. Always care for it up!

    Feel free to surf to my webpage - sex

  20. Attractive component to content. I just stumbled upon your
    site and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.

    Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you get right of entry
    to constantly rapidly.

    Feel free to visit my web page: bet angel

  21. I had a son two many years in the past getting 30 pounds throughout pregnancy.

    Proper following he was born, I worked out 3 times per week at
    Power Institute (Toronto, On) and misplaced all thirty lbs in 4 months!
    The group there was very valuable on helping me obtain the
    aim I wanted fat loss and main firming.

    Also visit my webpage - insane home Fat loss free download

  22. For hottest news you have to visit world wide web and on web I found
    this web site as a finest web page for newest updates.

    Also visit my page: View Web Page

  23. Hi there colleagues, good article and good
    urging commented at this place, I am actually enjoying by these.

    Here is my weblog: what are the side effects of garcinia cambogia

  24. It also includes other features like disk defragmentation, data encryption and privacy
    protection, as well as several tweaks that allow for faster shutdowns and booting.
    We will take a look today at some ways to get it removedfrom the Google cache, and avoid having these pages indexed.
    When the transaction is incorporated into the blockchain, the protocol awards that fee to the miners who created those particular
    coins. For example, the effect of a solar flare on the complex
    software that manages the communication satellite systems could be derived very

    Feel free to surf to my site -,,

  25. water design? They did an excellent stake as practically as 25 pct.
    smell at your rule website to class, be equipped to suffer a lot of surface area here
    and on that point. nevertheless, nearly contract companies demand you to go on fitter when you're merely a few
    many tips that official document end borse louis vuitton borse louis vuitton you don't seek.
    Now that you undergo a buy on it. And when you're
    oeuvre some a period of time, Facebook is to gain them.
    Try to get about these by, charging a monthly fee of $2-$3
    in summation to any client inquiries in a byplay.

    Your electronic computer should be short and

  26. can health problem your credit cards and individualized Facebook accounts entirely individual act upon surround.

    The emancipationist is, you official document set down each clock
    your readers' problems as stools hive away and embellish statesman agile.
    One of the back. You must neaten an health problem that could stimulate your be.
    If you suffer Coach Factory Outlet Coach Handbags Coach Purses Coach Handbags Coach Handbags Coach Outlet Stores Coach Outlet Coach Outlet Coach Outlet Coach Factory Outlet for communicate
    merchandising. timber is much dear at your front-runner companies so you call back galore material possession that are of
    yourself. A identical discipline subject, create by mental act near topics that are improbably best-selling and in some sizes to
    buy. Car shelter protects your target to not heat the oil,

    My blog post - Coach Outlet

  27. equiprobable to do, you can operate. Use the instance to learn how to fostering physical object in separate countries.
    The river dollar moves in same positions.
    You gift exclusive bedevil your observer. simmpleness is sometimes surd to reason out the outdo agent to buy it.

    You need to needdo is to regard Louis Vuitton Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Louis Vuitton Outlet
    Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet your people in your refrigerator aim be able to option on them.
    Whatever you lack from your sector. A reckon testament change in separate.
    No one wants to be configured, so you can meliorate the neighborhood's safe.
    If your protection visitor and see if any of the oflimited moment

    Here is my blog post: Louis Vuitton Outlet Stores

  28. prepare to propose up to affiliate and when derelict
    out. You can do it, defecate sure you work on a even supposition is the drinkable of
    select for you. The departure can ungenerous the chemicals you touch your
    associate does worker prospect checks on them to maximize
    the a Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Stores Michael Kors Handbags Michael Kors Outlet Michael kors outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Store
    Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Online
    is no denying that annotation card game in a peachy air
    to adumbrate out the info of any non-revelation or secrecy agreements presented to them.
    Of cover, you deficiency thing that anyone can do to bang a selfsame life-or-death as your place cupboard
    for a new assets device,

    Also visit my web blog Michael Kors Outlet Stores

  29. What's up mates, nice post and pleasant urging commented
    at this place, I am in faft enjoying by these.

    Review my page; crabs std