The Ups and Downs of Reinventing Your Life At 43 With a Kid

We went from often working for free to building a post-production company with our best friends that brought in millions of dollars, won Emmys, and fulfilled our lofty career goals

At the ages of 38 (Kristin) and 43 (Joe), we left our stressful big city careers and relocated to a charming Florida beach town where we knew no one but had the freedom to raise our 3-year-old son full time—and redefine our “dream life.”

As a couple, we made a pact long ago to try and keep our lives interesting. When things were getting stale, we should push ourselves out of our comfort zones and go bigger. If life is a game, we want to win and have as much fun as possible doing it.

Meeting and Making it in La La Land

Joe grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent his youth riding BMX bikes, breakdancing, and graffiti tagging “Smash” around town. Kristin is a former musical theatre nerd turned film nerd. She grew up taking tap classes, attending Broadway shows, and singing at church in Grand Rapids, MI.

By 2004, Joe bought his first home, and we moved into it together! Luckily a few years later, with the help of that house and a few diagonal moves on the work front, he managed to get himself entirely out of student loan and credit card debt (-75k).

First, Let’s talk about inertia. We had made that promise to each other to keep our lives exciting, and without realizing it, our life had developed, shall we say, a cage-like predictability. We came to refer to this phenomenon as “The Golden Hamster Wheel.”

In 2015, we were overjoyed by the birth of our son. We expected a difficult transition as we became new parents and returned to work. But we figured after the first year, it would be much easier. We were wrong.

Was the Missing Piece Our Progeny? (haha)

Not only did life not get back to normal, but it also got worse. Maintaining our lifestyle became much more complicated. We rushed to the office, leaving our son with a nanny all day (thank God she was the best human we could have ever hired).

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