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