Women Over 50 and Beginning New Chapters

“You don’t just have a story – you’re a story in the making, and you never know what the next chapter’s going to be. That’s what makes it exciting.”  Dan Millman

New Chapters…sometimes for women over fifty, especially as we advance further in age, we begin to believe the new chapters are over.  We may also begin to hate change and all that can come with it.  But, as the quote above says, it can be exciting… and, behind that thought, keep us alive and joyful if we have the courage to open a new chapter of our lives.

I realize this audience is very diverse.  Some are retired…some are still working and close to retirement…some are volunteers…some work at home…some are running non-profits…and some are like me, and must work as long as possible.  I have one friend who is a teacher and she says they will carry her body out on a stretcher of the school building  when she is finished.  Many of us just need that additional income in order to not burden family as we age.  But, I also believe it is important for me to continue to work because it brings me joy and keeps my mind active and alive.

In 2016, I stopped teaching high school journalism after sixteen years.  I had taught in order to help provide private education for my children when they were at home.  I was ready to return to my journalism/marketing roots and see what doors were open.  We all have dream jobs…some obtain them and some don’t.  I think since I first held Seventeen Magazine in my hands, I wanted to be a magazine editor.  For years, magazine publishing came with a reputation of fun and glamour.  So, when the opportunity came my way, (in my sixties!), to be a magazine editor, I grabbed it.  I am glad I did…I met so many incredible people, and learned a lot about our city.  I also know now that I can do that job…it is not out of my wheelhouse.  But, many print publications today, (not all), are  struggling to survive and some have become predominantly  advertising periodicals in order to be profitable, .where content is less important. I also love to write, and editing demanded less of it.  It did not take very long to know, the dream job was not me.  But, I had to do it in order to make that discovery.  It was a stressful job with lots of pressure and next to no time off.  If I was younger, I might have desired a longer stay for the sake of resume strength.  However, when you are older and know it is time to move on, then why wait too long? Life is short. The parting of our ways was mutual and happened in such a way, that it was perfect for me for so many reasons.  But there was fear….would any other company recognize experience and desire to take on someone my age.  Well, thankfully, a perfect company did.  I was pleasantly surprised that my age did not matter at all.

I cannot write too detailed in this space about where I am due to restrictions.  But, I can say I am in higher education, in a communications department which runs more like an advertising agency, and I am thrilled to be with a company which has more structure, more opportunity, and a greater purpose for the work.

There was a time in my life right after I left teaching when I feared and dreaded change.  Now, I kind of feed on it, because it does make life exciting.  Whether you are facing a move or a job change or a new phase of life such as empty nesting, I encourage you to set your anxieties aside and go forward with confidence. Expect good things to happen.

Does anyone else have a “New Chapter” story they would like to share?  We would all love the encouragement!   And I hope all of you will join with me…as we

KEEP SMILING!!

I have a big new office to decoate.  Here are some of the things I have been looking at……

 

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34 Comments

  1. I love the quote by Dan Millman, I am a huge fan of his books. I have been in the same job and in the same place for 37 years. I am not ready to retire so I am looking for other options. Quite scary after 37 years. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. You are so welcome, Teresa. I hope the journey leads to something which gives you purpose and joy! The good news is that there are places out there still looking for women like you…have hope!

  2. I have been worried about you and suspected job changes were in the works. “Greater purpose for the work” sounds very encouraging. Your story and your willingness and skill in telling it bolsters all of us. Perhaps sometime in the future you will be able to share some photos of your newly decorated office. I wish you the very best and will continue to be a big fan.

    1. Thank you so much. I was worried about me too and knew something needed to change quickly. My husband was very supportive and understanding through it all. The old job was robbing my joy and I hated that. I hope to share soon both offices I have am decorating…my home and work office. Still very much works in progress. Thank you for your insight and for your support!

  3. The Great Recession ruined my family financially and, unfortunately, my husband sat down and gave up on life. I quickly realized I had to be the bread winner. In my late 50s, I went to college and became a nurse. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I am so glad I did. I’m in my early 60’s and feel like this is the best time of my life. I would not wish my experiences on my worst enemy, but I survived, I thrived and I love where I am at now. Thanks for this column, Pam. You inspire me.

    1. Gloria, thank you so much for sharing. You inspire me…and I know others. I appreciate you being here.

    2. You inspire me! I had a similar experience including with my husband. I found my inner strength and 25 years later am remarried, working at an executive level after returning to school and doing well. Not easy but better for it. Just wanted to share.

  4. Pamela, I have no doubts you will thrive and bring the benefit of your experience, keen eye, and seasoned professionalism to your new workplace. Think of such work experiences as the forge for the sharp instrument that is your skill set. Not only did you survive, you gained insights that can only make you an even better leader in the future. Congratulations and may you experience joy and growth in your new position!

    1. You wrote this comment beautifully, Iri. I know each and every experience has value! I met some amazing women (like you!) along the way. I learned so much from my own mistakes and how I will react to certain things going forward. I do not regret the experience…and look so forward to what all the future holds. Thanks for the comment.

  5. As I read your article today, I felt like I was reading my own story. I left teaching after twenty years (at 54 years of age), and, while I was quite nervous about doing so, I knew it was the right move. My husband was very supportive and I have been able to help him manage his businesses. My dream is to write, and I am able to work on pieces that have been rolling around in my mind for years. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps to know that success and opportunities are still out there. Also, my first grandchild will be here in September, and I am thankful to be able to be readily available to help my daughter and son-in-law when they need it.

    1. I want to give you hope, Melody…enjoy each moment. I am thrilled to know I have provided encouragment. Congrats on grandbaby #1!!

  6. All the best! Change is not easy but it is a way to grow and to learn.
    I retired in my late 60s, remarried after being widowed and moved to a rural area. It has been an adventure especially after my second husband died. I am a great believer in the business of when one door closes another one opens. You will be fine. Will you have enough time to continue your blog? I hope so!

    1. I hope so too, Jill. I am going to give it a go and see if I can continue. It will be like working two full time jobs, but I do not want to give up the blog. I will be working hard!!

      1. Maybe you could limit your blog to three or four days a week. After all you do need time to regroup, get comfortable with your new job and just relax. Those of us who enjoy what you have to say will be happy with any time you can spare!

  7. Wow, Pamela, another inspiring, uplifting post from you. And, the comments from your followers with their own powerful stories and words of support and encouragement, well, I can’t say it often enough….what a wonderful community you’ve brought together here! Thank you so much for that and congratulations and best of luck to you in this new chapter of your life.

    1. Thank you, Deborah. This is a wonderful community! I love you guys so much and appreciate you so much. I am always inspired by what is shared here. Have a joyful week!

  8. Congratulations on your new job! You were brave enough to know it was time to move on and act on it. How exciting to be starting a new adventure that is a better fit for you. It’s inspiring to know that positive changes can happen even in our 60s.
    We moved from our house of 35 years a few years ago and I never thought I’d be comfortable in a new home. Surprisingly, this home is my happy place. I have come to love it and feel more at peace here than I did in my old home. We are now reaching the point that in the next couple of years we will be searching for another new home in a 55 and over community. Something that would have put me in a tailspin a few years ago is now an experience I’m looking forward to. I know that change can be a wonderful thing if we approach it with the right attitude and positivity. We just need to have faith!

    1. Absolutely, Linda! Thanks so much for sharing your story…I know it will encourage others!

  9. Congratulations on your new season in life. I love your blog and peaceful spirit.

    This week it will be one year that my husband has passed from glioblastoma..its been a peaceful weekend gardening and daydreaming. I was so excited as my mind was wandering that I will have the opportunity to retire soon. As soon as I can get my Medicare benefits. And I have 30 to 40 yrs of adventure ahead. Wondering what this chapter will hold. I am starting my own company as a Professional image consultant and excited to see who the Lord places in my life or has cross my path. Each season is fabulous when you move forward with a zeal for life and friends!

  10. Congratulations! I wish you every success with your new job! I wish you many wonderful new adventures!

  11. This is such wonderful news – I am so happy for you, Pamela! I was wondering if your upcoming news would be a job change…those posts about neglecting yourself due to the demands of life made me think this might be the case. I wish you all the best in your new position and I believe they are getting a treasure! If you need to cut back on your blogs, then by all means do so…but please, don’t completely stop! You have lots of women out here who love what you do! Be blessed!

    1. I don’t plan on stopping Shirley..but I might have to cut back every now and then. Your comment made me smile…thanks so much for the kind words and support.

  12. Congratulations Pam! What a great opportunity and hopefully one that will give you joy! Liking what we do for a living at any age is important, but all too often something that many of us never achieve. You are an inspiration! Whether the next chapter is work or volunteering or both, you inspire me to go out and find something that is really going to give me that joy, which has been missing much, much too long! Gloria’s story is also inspiring!

    1. You go, Karen….sind something you love and then do it. Yes, I am so glad Gloria shared!

  13. Congratulations! I wish you all the best. You are an excellent writer. They are lucky to get you.

  14. What a great post, Pam! It has been inspiring to read what you and the others have to say here! So great that we can share our stories and be a source of inspiration for each other.

    I will turn 60 in a few months and am very excited (and nervous) about this new phase!! I’m still working full time and probably will for a while. I’m thinking about what new paths I can take in the next several years.

  15. Pam, thank you for sharing your work situation. It has been a huge help as I faced a change in my job, with the closing of my division and a move to a lower paying, higher stress position that left me so anxious that it felt unbearable at times. I came to your blog today looking for comfort, and you did not let me down. I’m single, in my early sixties, and sometimes feel so “stuck”. Reading your blog gives me hope and expands my thinking.
    I actually resigned just yesterday due to finding a better paying job. I’m still a wreck, but hopefully I’ll be able to handle my new situation and regain a little confidence, has recently evaporated.
    Best of luck to you in your new endeavor, and thank you again. Your willingness to share has been a big help.

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