“Why are you working? You don’t have to work,” my husband, Sheldon Good, said. To him it appeared I was toiling over the last paragraph of my musings to you, darlings. I looked up and said, “I have worked all my life because LIFE IS WORK.”
He looked startled. I went on, “I have put my effort into everything I have done since I was a first-grader, living in Kankakee by the Sea, learning to read and write. College was work and marriage was work. Motherhood was real work and making friends and running charitable organizations and participating in sports was work. I have always worked in order to achieve positive results.” He stared at me smiling and softly said, “I love you, Suzi Good.” I smiled back and went back to working.
Darlings, our histories as younger women are similar. After the age of 50, we scatter in all directions. Now we are faced with entering new and unsure passages in our lives. We have to work, yes work, at adapting to a new lifestyle. Many of us plow right in and many of us, like myself, faced this passage with puzzlement, asking ourselves, “Now what?” And for good reason…
No more constant mothering. Our active households are replaced with retired husbands altering the dynamics of home life and marriage. Some of us have left the workforce and careers, leaving not only a job but fondly thought of co-workers or we face a move from a large family home to a smaller space or move to a new community leaving all familiarity behind. And on and on.
Lots of unfamiliar adjustments and for some, lots of downtime figuring out what we really want to do to be happy and productive after the age of 50. Darlings, do not despair. Get to work. Find a new purpose and passion, get energized, take chances.
Be an explorer, seize new opportunities and remember …this is your time.
There is a great big world out there filled with many options to sink our teeth into for women over 50. It is up to you to find your niche. Now is not the time to shut down or slow down. It is time to find a new and vital lease on your life.
Five years ago I asked myself, “Now what?” I was busy but restless because I did not like what I was doing during the day. Fortunately, I believe in chance. I am a dreamer who believes dreams can come true. Call it my spiritual side.
One day, a happening came my way. I met a writer who told me to keep a journal for three months and never miss a day writing. She promised me, “You will find your voice.” I was not a writer by degree but then again I did not know how to read at age six until I worked and learned.
I was intrigued by her statement, “you will find your voice,” so I plunged into daily journaling for three months, never missing a day. It was not long after I found my center. I loved to write, to spend time alone with my inner thoughts in the quiet of the day and the quiet of the night with my precious dog Orchid by my side during the day and my fabulous husband by my side at night. My perspectives and perceptions of people, lifestyle, family, friends, personal needs, fears, desires and “who I really am” exploded outside my subconscious into consciousness. I thought about everything long and hard before I shared my musings and I must tell you, darlings, writing has changed my feelings about oh so many things. And, it is all good. And I am happy because I worked to find positive fulfillment.
Tips for seeking a new lease on life after 50
- Fate. Believe in fate. Take a flying leap.
- Challenge your mind. It is never too late to go back to school.
- Be creative: Work with your hands, plant your first garden, learn to work with clay or glass, needlepoint, knit or embroider.
- Join a group: A book group, movie group, card group, money group, any group that suits your fancy.
- Start traveling. Open up your mind to exploring the world. It is called wanderlust.
Last but not least, darlings, keep a journal and ‘you will find your voice.’