My career is bottoming out. The kids have grown and left. What do I do now?
It’s not uncommon for women, starting in their early 40’s, to feel stuck in their life. This is the time when they realize that their dreams have all run out and they begin wondering if they can find new meaning and purpose for the rest of their life. I know because it happened to me. When I experienced my motherhood role shrinking and my job losing its enjoyment, I knew the time had come to reinvent myself. The scary part was, I had no idea how to begin.
According to actress Marlo Thomas, author of It Ain’t Over Until … Reinventing Your Life and Realizing Your Dreams, Anytime, At Any Age, there is no better time than right now to go for what you always wanted to do. Because, as Marlo says, “Since you’re going to keep on aging year after year anyway, you might as well spend that time working towards something that has always been important to you.”
I heard Marlo being interviewed by Patt Morrison as part of the LA Times Festival of Books. She was there to talk about how she came to write It Ain’t Over, a compilation of 60 stories of women who reached midlife, changed the direction they were going, and found new meaning and purpose in their lives. They overcame the myth of ageism and didn’t let it stop them from achieving new dreams.
What bits of advice did Marlo have for anyone wanting to make a change in their life?
- “Never face the facts or else you won’t get up in the morning.” This quote from actress Ruth Gordon points out that sometimes we let the truth stop us from moving forward. Don’t let being too fat, too old, too thin – however you see yourself – be the reason to give up before you even try.
- Act on your ideas. Take the first step. That is what will set you apart from others. Lots of people know there is a change that has to be made. However, only a few actually move forward and do something about it.
- You probably won’t be successful the first time you try. So what? From Thomas Edison: “I haven’t failed. I just found 10,000 ways to do something.” Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
- Find resources to help you. You are your best resource. Still, you don’t have to do it alone. Make a phone call. Ask around to find the help you are looking for. It’s not just who you know, but who you need to know.
- Every day, do one thing that will get you closer to what you want to achieve. Daily work to make it happen. Don’t stop believing in yourself.
Writing this blog was the change I knew I wanted to make. Being able to write, share information, and encourage others seemed a great fit. There has been a huge learning curve but it has been so worth it. Through my blogging, I’ve met incredible people, traveled, and been introduced to so many new things. I mess up sometimes and feel overwhelmed most of the time but it has all been worth it. My life has found new meaning and purpose and I am so grateful.
If you don’t know how to begin, may I suggest reading Marlo Thomas’ book? If only one of those ladies inspires you to make a difference, than for Marlo, writing the book was totally worth it.
What is something you’ve always wanted to do? There is no better time than now to start.