Today, while searching through midlife videos on YouTube, I found a new channel that intrigued me. The channel is called RedGreenTV and “Red Green” is the star. “Red” is played by Steve Smith. He was the handyman from The Red Green Show which was a Canadian TV comedy that aired from 1991 to 2006. Even though the comedy has been off the air for over 10 years, Steve still posts videos to his YouTube channel regularly and performs live a few times a year.
When interacting with partners, sponsors, customers, members, and The Back Forty community in general, there is one question that gets asked over and over.
Usually by that point, whoever I’m speaking with knows that our company, The Back Forty, is about making your second half of life your best half of life. So the logical jump is that we are talking about life between the years of 40 and 80. And this common misconception leads to questions like, why do you say midlife starts at 40? What if I’m over 80? What if I’m 37? Why are you putting these strict rules around what defines midlife?
To all of these questions, I say wait just a minute and let me explain.
If you didn’t know this, don’t worry. This phrase is less popular than over 80% of all words in the English dictionary. Like the definition mentions, it was originally used to describe the most remote 40 acres of a farm or ranch and was first used in the 1860s when the Homestead Act of 1862 granted 160 acres of land to anyone willing to farm it for at least five years (thus two front forty acres of land and two back forty acres of land). So, when farmers were too far away to be reached it was usually because they were in the back forty of their farm.
Knowing all of this probably brings up more questions than you originally had. For example, “what the heck does farming in the 1800s have to do with midlife?” Hang in there just a bit longer because it is all about to be made clear.
So, no. The Back Forty isn’t referring to the ages of 40-80. It is simply a complex metaphor demonstrating that midlife is full of even more possibilities than you could ever imagine. Many people believe that once you hit midlife your life gets more predictable. You have a family, responsibilities, a job, you have to save for retirement, or your children’s college…the list can go on and on. We at The Back Forty believe the opposite is true. Midlife is just the beginning and your first half of life was simply research for what is still to come.
Whether you are 35, 43, 67, 92 or anywhere in-between, we believe that the best things in your life are still ahead of you and that you can cultivate your own “back forty” to be full of playfulness, passion, and purpose.
If you would like to learn more about The Back Forty, click the link below to download our Co-Founder’s Top Ten Tips for a Radical Second Half of Life!
This week I want to share the following quote with you. Let’s jump right in and I’ll meet you (as always) on the other side:
There are many quotes, concepts, and ideas based on this general idea. Believe in yourself! Love yourself! Trust yourself! And all of these concepts boil down to the same idea; you have to believe in yourself before you can truly start to succeed.
This isn’t some obscure concept that will shock you to your core, but it might be something that you need to hear today. It’s easy to get so caught up in our day-to-day lives that we don’t even take the time to think about ourselves, not to mention the time to figure out (or remember) what our “unique greatness” is. And when we don’t think about why we need to be trusting, and loving, and believing in ourselves – it’s easy to just not.
What is your own unique greatness? Why should you believe in yourself? What do you love about yourself? What is something you haven’t been trusting your gut about and is there any reason for you to actually be doubting yourself?
You have incomprehensible potential within you. You are uniquely great. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to.
Spend just three minutes (180 seconds) thinking about why you are uniquely great and then carry that through the rest of your day because, as the quote says, “If you don’t commit to your own unique greatness, nobody else ever will.”
Today we are going to have a little fun!
I took the top five baby names (for men and women) between the years of 1952 and 1977 and turned them into the below fun graphs. Which names were the most popular? The least? And most importantly, is your name on the list?
David, James, and Michael made the top 5 list every single year in those 26 years!
John made the list 21 times. Robert made the list 20 times, Christopher made the list 6 times and Jason made the list 5 times.
But the most impressive statistic when it comes to these 26 years? The above 7 baby names were the ONLY names to make the top 5 list in all those years!
First of all, can I say wow? While only 7 names made the list for boys, the girls have 16 names on the list!
We have Mary in the lead, getting on the list 16 times in 26 years. Susan made the list 15 times, Lisa got listed 13 times, Linda 12 times, Jennifer and Karen 10 times, Kimberly and Michelle 9 times, Amy and Deborah/Debra 8 times, and Melissa and Patricia 5 times. Heather, Angela, Donna, and Jessica pull up the rear with 4, 3, 2, and 1 mentions on the list, respectively.
Today I am bringing you another quote. Have you ever heard the little voice in your head saying, “you can’t do that”? Maybe you think, “it’s too late for me to change careers” or “that’s just the way things are”.
Well, my quote today is here to tell you that those mindsets are simply incorrect. Take a moment to read it through and I”ll meet you on the other side.
Take a moment to think about that. By telling yourself that you can’t do something you are basically sealing your own fate.
If you decide you can’t then you won’t, but what would happen if you decided that you could?
If you decided that you could get that job, that you could change your lifestyle, that you could actually achieve your dreams and goals, then anything could be possible.
So this week I have a goal for you. Try to think of something that you haven’t done simply because the voice in your head said that you couldn’t, and go for it!
I stumbled across this video this morning and it actually made me laugh out loud. Take a moment to enjoy it!
How many people do you know who seem to be going through a “midlife crisis”? Once we hit midlife the word “crisis” often seems to hang over our heads. Like the song says, we start to see people around us having a crisis, or maybe we find ourselves in the midst of one ourselves.
Regardless of where you fall in the above scenario, you fall into one of two categories:
1 – You are going (or have already gone) through your own midlife crisis
2 – You see others going through their crisis and find yourself wondering, “am I next?”
No matter if you are well aware of the ups and downs of a midlife crisis or if you are dreading what might be coming your way, I have the perfect article for you!
If you find yourself wondering why you haven’t had your crisis yet, click here to see why you’re not alone!
Regardless of where you find yourself in midlife, remember that your crisis can be “twice as good as any big gut suckin’, sports car buyin’, self-deludin’, comb-over tryin’, skinny jean-wearin’, wrinkle denyin’, bucket listin’, grey hair dyin’, existential mid-life crisis!”
Click on the video below to listen to my top 30 songs to get you into the holiday spirit!
Or, if you would like to find the music on your own, here is a list of the 30 songs included in the above playlist.
Today I bring you some amusement from the past.
Nearly 35 years ago, in 1982, this game graced the board game shelves. Its tagline was “can you survive your mid-life crisis without cracking up, breaking up, or going broke?”
The game was produced in California by The Game Works, Inc in 1982 and was re-released in 1993. According to an article in The New York Times from 1993, the original version of the game sold 700,000 copies. I’m not sure when it went out of production, but it definitely is not easy to find today. It takes about an hour to play, requires 4-6 players, and is only intended for people over the age of 18.
The objective of the game was simply to make it through your midlife with more money, less stress, and fewer divorce points than the other players, and (most importantly) to avoid having to declare a mid-life crisis where you go broke, get divorced, or crack up before the game is over.
To start the game, each player is given a score card and a pawn to place on start. Each player starts the game with a career, $25,000, 500 stress points, and a marriage. To play, each player rolls the die, moves forward the respective number of spaces, and follows the direction on whichever space they land on. Each space can either add or subtract stress points, award or take away money, add or subtract divorce points, or have you use a crisis card or zap card.
An example of a Zap Card:
“PANIC – Your period is late. Go to Doctor and SUBTRACT $1,000 or have the child and ADD 300 STRESS POINTS.”
Basically, crisis cards are things that happen to you and zap cards are things you can make happen to other players. There are also special spaces including career spaces, retreats, and passage spaces.
An example of a Crisis Card:
“Your spouse keeps telling the kids that you are going through the change. Deny everything, talk about personal growth and self exploration. ADD 200 STRESS POINTS.”
When you land on a career space, you must pay the designated amount of money to the player who has that career. Retreats are the 3 big spaces in the middle of the board and they are the spaces you are sent to if you lose your mind, get divorced, or go broke. If you have over 1,500 stress points, you are required to go to Crack-up Ranch for “therapy”. If you get 3 divorce points you have to go to Divorce Gulch to attempt to reconcile with your spouse. If you go bankrupt, you must go to Bankrupt City where you basically become a homeless person begging for change.
The passage spaces are spaces that you cannot skip over. If you roll a 5 and there is a passage space 3 spaces ahead, you must stop there. These spaces make it possible for other players to force a crisis onto you.
The winner is the person with the most money. Each zap card, 100 stress points, or divorce point is equal to $1,000 that you must deduct from your total amount of money at the end of the game.
Happy Tuesday everyone! Or maybe not so happy?
Have you ever had one of those days when you just feel stuck? I’m sure you know the feeling, you feel stuck in your routine. You want to change things up, but you can’t. You’re so busy and you have work and a family to worry about. The last thing you have time for is adding something else to your list of responsibilities.
It’s because of thoughts like these that I give you today’s quote. Take a moment to read it:
It’s a pretty radical thought. To be completely free from your past decisions? To not be locked in by the choices you have made? It seems like a bit of a daydream. But what if I told you that it’s not a daydream and that you just need to be open to the possibilities?
Most people feel like they are stuck with the choices they made when they were younger. I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true. Try thinking of the first half of your life as research and development for your second half of life. What have you learned about what you enjoy? What do you hate? What are you curious about? Take all of this knowledge and build yourself the future you desire.
It’s not too late, actually, you’re right on time! It’s time to create your future based on the knowledge you have gained in your first half of life. All that’s left is to take your first step!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I hope that your day is full of family, friends, and good food. Enjoy this holiday and take a moment to be truly thankful for everything you have been given.
I’ll keep today’s post short and leave you with the following quote:
If you would like some more inspiration for this holiday, check out some of our previous posts!