Suddenly Everything Changes…Again…Handling new challenges over 50

Roller Coaster Rides from 2020 on over 50 Feeling 40

2020 has been one big roller coaster ride for the majority of us.  Six months of events so far that none of us could’ve predicted in January.  I should not have been surprised when on the same day my blog turns 10, my employer lays off 243 people…of which I am one. Oh, I have suspected the worst for some time now.  Higher Education was hit hard by the coronavirus and is still in flux.  Most employees in higher education are funded making their jobs safe and secure.  But, for those of us added to the budget without funding (grants etc) we were some of the first to receive a wave goodbye.

Mr. B was hoping I would make it in the professional world for three more years before needing to file for retirement.  It doesn’t appear that will be the case because I really have no desire to return to an office at this time, But, my grandson has taught me to change my perspective.  He is the oldest grandchild at the ripe old age of 7.  He loves being home with his brothers and parents, and he loves the easy life with no rushing or stress to finish projects for school or activities.  So, each time my daughter has told him something has been cancelled, his response has been, “This is my best year ever!”



With the determination to make this “the best year ever,” I have decided the following:

  1. I will harbor no bitterness or anger. That only hurts me…no one else.
  2. I will not blame this on aging. As the talented Diane Von Furstenberg wrote, “Aging is out of your control. How you handle it is in your hands.”
  3. I will view this as an opportunity to finally do what I have been meant to do my whole life…be a full time writer of what I want to write. I heard this quote in the last few months and keep it in my phone: “You don’t want to wake up and realize that you didn’t do what you were destined to do.” I began writing in 5th grade and it has been a part of me ever since that time.  I believe I was destined to write.  With that said, I do have many plans.
  4. Accept change as inevitable. It seems like my life on the other side of 50 has been one new chapter after another.  Just over age 50, I have: Gone through a major reinvention inside and out; started this blog; completed 16 years as a high school teacher; experienced two years as Editor-in-Chief of a local city magazine; served two years as an Associate Communications Director in a public university in the 7th largest city in the country, finally, for the past 10 years I have constantly worked two jobs and not taken a real vacation.

So, here I go… once again…change is forced upon me.   This time I am very excited and ready!

5.  Finally, without the distractions of other commitments, I can pour more of myself into this blog. I love the blog…the audience…the topics…and have always been forced to only give it half of me.  Now, I can give it all and I am excited to see where that will lead. I am excited about what the future many hold.




I do need to generate income where ever possible.  This will effect Mr. B and me in many ways, but I have promised him to give it my all and do everything I can to make this work.  There was a time four years ago that I thought I could make this plunge, but I allowed fear to set in and stop me.

  1. First of all, if you are a praying woman…please add me to your prayer list.  
  2. Next, the easiest way for me to generate income is to build the audience and numbers I reach with the site. If you share it and tell others about it, then you are helping me in huge ways. Ask any Facebook groups you are in to stop by and visit the blog.  The more who come, the more I will make through ads on the site.  I will continue to build it…make the content relatable and hope more will come.
  3. If you are shopping and click through brands in the slideshows and make your purchase that way, then I will make an affiliate fee. I also make affiliate fees on Amazon (why I link books through Amazon) and through the sales of GOLI at the bottom of each post.
  4. Please be patient with the ads and with sponsored posts. They make it possible for me to cover costs and remain here.
  5. When I announce other projects, please consider supporting them. This will not happen soon…I am still reeling some from the changes.  But also reeling with ideas in my head. 




As the high school musical cast sings…we are all in this together.  So please let me know, how I can help you.  What topics would you like discussed…what items are you shopping for…what are your favorite places to shop??  Let me know how I can serve you best through this site.

I am so appreciative of each one of you….I said in January that 2020 was going to be a special year.  I obviously did not know at the time what that meant…but I am determined to make it special and to give you great content each time you visit.

Thank you for the listening ear! if anyone else has lost work due to the pandemic, my heart goes out to you.  Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.   I will see you tomorrow with more about my journey to become an elegant woman.   And I promise to always……………………………………………….


Today’s slideshow is called FUN FINDS ON ETSY!


Pamela Lutrell for Goli GummiesThere are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income.  Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE.  Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician.  My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product.  I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link.  Thanks for the support.  This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!


Mr. B and I love our meals from Sun Basket!

Sun Basket on Over 50 Feeling 40


Sun Basket is a delicious, easy, fun home delivery meal plan


My Complexion Loves Chamonix:

Chamonix on Over 50 Feeling 40


All natural, plant-cell technology skincare


By Pamela Lutrell


  1. First of all, I’m that praying woman and you are on my list. I understand the feelings of uncertainty because this happened to me with my first, what I considered to be my career, job. I remember being excited and scared at the same time. Like you did after teaching, I transitioned to something else that I felt God led me to and made it work for many years. But as I moved through my early 60’s, I started to realize how short life is, and that I didn’t want it to end in an office. You now have freedom to pursue your dreams, unencumbered by schedules except those you establish. When I retired it took me a full year to adjust. I’ve heard others say that too, but know that everyone is different. It just took me a long time. That said, retirement is a planned event, losing a job while still planning to stay in it is different in that there’s the shock factor even if you expect it’s coming. You’ll do just fine Pam. I think we have to give ourselves some time and grace to have various reactions to the big changes and adjustments. As I sit here this morning listening to the birds and loving summer and being outside, it seems really good. I had to make some financial adjustments, but it is worth it. How wonderful that you can pursue your writing Pam. You have lot to share with the world. I’ll be praying!

      1. I am also a praying women and will include you in my prayers. I love your grandsons attitude and have started to feel the same way. You will be fine and I’m sure you will learn to enjoy this new freedom.

          1. Oh Pam, I’ve been praying that your position wouldn’t be eliminated. My sister, Laura works, worked, at ITC and was also eliminated yesterday. I will continue praying for you and that our heavenly father guides you to your true calling. Keep the faith, be well, and stay safe.

    1. I enjoy your blog very much and would like to order clothing purchases through you. For example, last week I decided to order some clothes from Macy’s on a sale and you didn’t happen to feature any Macy’s links on your blog that day. What to do? If you had links everyday to all of your shopping stores I could go to your blog any day when I wanted to make a purchase. Please advise and enjoy retirement.

      1. Hi Mary, Macy’s was gone for awhile and did not pay affiliates, but the day they returned I featured them. Your idea is a good one. I will make sure I have some of these in the slideshow every day! Thank you so much for saying something!

        1. Pamela, IMO that would be an excellent idea particularly for your Canadian readers like myself. Reason being; we not only have to consider the difference in exchange rate but often shipping costs and taxes are outrageous which in turn dissuades many of us not to make a purchase. -Brenda-

  2. I am excited for you. You are logical, and intelligent. This is going to be great. P.S give us more from that grandchild, hes my kind of guy, lol.

      1. Your writing gives joy and excellent advice to so many. I will certainly keep you in my prayers. I always look forward to reading your blog and receiving your sound advice. Be well and be safe.

        1. I do enjoy your blog!
          A fork in your road…..embrace it!
          Love your grandson’s attitude!
          I needed that today…pandemic fatigue & our weather is so terrible,cold & rainy!
          I will download a new audible book this afternoon.

  3. I was sorry to hear about the change in your employment. We went through something similar a month ago, and while I’m okay for now, things can change rapidly. Depending on the relationship with your employer, you may want to start the first year using unemployment. The government subsidy has been substantially improved thanks to COVID-19.

    Your blog is fantastic and I’m glad that you’ll have time to focus on it. If I can ever do anything to help, please reach out. I’ll be keeping you close in prayer.


  4. First off, prayers said! I’m sorry you are facing this unexpected turn of events. But this does open your world up to so many other possibilities! And you are always ready for the challenge! As the workplace changes and not feeling so safe, I am also reconsidering my future. I work in a school and have been hearing rumors that there is pressure to return to business as usual in September, despite what the experts say. Working closely with young children in and overcrowded classroom seems like a recipe for disaster. So in the coming months, I’ll be needing to make some tough decisions. The financial piece is sadly the one that needs to be considered first.
    But whatever happens, we will make it through! We need to keep our faith strong and hope alive!
    Whatever we can do to help you, I know I’m on board!
    Hang in there!!

  5. Oh, Pam. I’m so sorry for the job loss. I will definitely add you to my prayer list. Life is challenging right now for sure. But I believe you have what it takes to shape this change into something awesome. I love the blog, especially the new elegance track, and will continue to recommend it to every woman I come in contact with.

    1. T am so sorry for your layoff – I will be keeping you in my prayers. You are being very optimistic about the changes going on in your life, which I am sure will make your transition a little easier. I love your blog, and find it very inspiring. I will try to steer more readers your way and assist you with your revenue generation as much as I can. Looking forward to seeing what the future holds for you. H hope you have a great afternoon!

      1. Thanks so much Glenda…the prayers and the helping with the revenue, even in small ways, is amazing. Thank you for sharing the blog with others.

  6. First, you are are on the prayer list!,2. what did you teach. I taught 9th,19 and 11 high school English For many years. 3. Like the DVF quote. My husband and I are finally beginning to settle into this new schedule, not doing anything that is not really important and not having to get up and go to do an event that is really not that special in the scheme of things. Nature fills a vacuum and if something is really that important,than someone else will!
    the important things, family, God and country!Stay safe,best wishes.

    1. Thank you, Susan! I taught high school journalism for all grades! I oversaw a news magazine, a broadcast team and the yearbook. In the summers, I taught speech. It was tons of fun!

  7. Hi Pam! I am so sorry about your job loss. I know how jolting that can be. However, your attitude is so great and the fact that you are excited about this change will lead to your success!!

    I just returned from a 2 month furlough, but I have good deal of anxiety about the future of my job, particularly since I will be turning 62 soon. Thanks to your encouragement a while back, I’ve been applying and interviewing for various positions and that has been a real boost to my confidence. I’m not too old to change course! Thank you!

    Keeping you in my prayers and sending out positive vibes for all who have been impacted by this virus!

    1. Thanks, Beth! So glad I was able to provide encouragement! Never let age hold you back! Keep at it!

  8. Praying for you as you transition through these changes. I so enjoy your blog and wish you well on this new journey.

  9. Think of this as the universe giving you a shove in the direction your heart wants to go anyway. I have faith that you will make it all work out. Trust the universe & most of all trust yourself. As your grandson says “this is my best year ever”. It can be yours too. Not rushing through life is definitely one of the perks of being elegant!

  10. Back in 2009 when the economy was falling apart, I was in your shoes. Feels like the rug has been pulled out from under you – even if you had a premonition this might happen. Had to make some major financial adjustments – but the bright side was there too. Projects I wanted to finish, books I wanted to read, more time for my granddaughters, walks on sunny days, or just taking time in the morning for that slow cup of coffee became my new reality. I look forward to being part of your new adventure.

  11. Pam, I have always believed that when God closes one door another opens. I am looking forward to seeing what changes you make to the blog. Prayers.

    1. Thanks Tina! I love that song from Sound of Music! I hope to make enhancements more than changes… there’s so much to be done and I am excited!

  12. Your grandson is my new hero! More people who speak to me truthfully have loved being home with family and pets during this pandemic. (Not the pandemic mind you, just that they are “home”) . Truth for so many!
    Onto you, I am a praying woman too and you are now one of my beads. Something just tells be you will be fine! Once the shock subsides, you will see everything clearly. As you mention, finding what you were meant to do. You have! I’m sending a prayer and a virtual hug to you right now.

  13. This is a stressful, horrible, unstable time. Us religious mamas still have to believe that God is in control, but it’s harder some days! It’s the school’s loss, but potentially a gain for the literary world and for your family that you don’t have the academic job. Praying for your peaceful transition

  14. L🌼VE & Hugs from Oregon, Pam . . .I am sorry they pulled the rug like that, but will be happy to see your journey forward. Please continue to write about your personal quests, whether it is to maximize your health, be the most elegant lady you can, or overcome a financial hurdle such as this. I believe most ladies connect over our commonalities of the heart, with fashion or homemaking or whatever blog topic just the catalyst to meet and become friends at a distance. You’ve got this!!
    With grace and courage, and the prayers and support of your friends/readers, everything will be okay. Remember: you sparkle & shine! 🎵

  15. Pam, I think you will find this a blessing in disguise! Once you have adjusted to the change you will find yourself free to enjoy life in a new way. You will be able to delve into writing for sheer pleasure. Do take a vacation somewhere that you have always dreamed of.

    I enjoy you blog, so keep up the good work!

  16. Karen’s words were wise. You were not eliminated because of age or performance. You are another victim of covid. I like your personal stories, your kitchen, a dinner party. You can expand on those type of stories. Two friends had to take early retirement recently. Finances were changed! It is hard to replace a good salary but most of us saved for an easy retirement. Now those expectations have all changed, no big trips this year, no fancy dinners out, no expensive clothes to purchase…our AmEx bills are way down! I buy Goli through you. I think it has helped me.

  17. Praying for you….hang in there! Love your positive attitude! We retired 3 years ago and you are correct…life is full of changes. Some fun, some not so much – but it’s how you handle them. My dear husband had a heart attack in February ( out of the blue, no symptoms) and he is recovering. Just the other day I gave him a card that said “Some of our best times are still ahead of us!” At 66 and 65 I really believe that….and some of your best times are in the future for you ! Blessings to you !

  18. Adding you to my prayers as well. You will get through this; of course you will. A couple of thoughts: first, this affected 243 people, and though you “know” this, i hope you truly internalize it. It has nothing to do with age or quality of work (Unfortunately, I know how we women can think). Also, you mentioned downsizing several months ago. I wondered how you were feeling about that. We did it, never looked back and are way happier and more financially secure in our condo community than we were before in our larger home. And finally, consider adding a lipstick from Ulta, and maybe some accessories or undies or something from Kohl’s or a store like that for each slideshow. I think readers buy from those stores a lot and I would be glad to click through your link to purchase whatever I’m in the market for. This is a new adventure. Like you, I have had several careers, and that can make us more able to embrace change. Use all those research skills before you make a lot of decisions …. it is a huge strength for you.

  19. It appears that you have a whole bunch of us women praying for you, and your newest direction. Like others I’ve always felt that God opens another door because He cares for us, and has made His plans for us. We simply have to use our God-given talents and good sense to see … and use those blessings in our lives. Your abilities to connect with so many is especially appreciated by this retired teacher of 31 years. However, I taught biology, chemistry, and physics so my means of communication was not through writing as much as experimenting. I look forward to your daily blog, and glean something uplifting every day. Sending you many good thoughts for future blessings. Keep writing.

  20. Sorry to hear this Pam. If anyone can make lemonade out of these lemons it’s you! Wishing you the very best as you pursue your writing full time.

  21. I am being selfish in stating that your loss will be our gain. You said you will pour more time into the blog, and not that it was lacking, but I look forward to seeing the new content you come up with. Your slideshow featured Etsy and I am an Etsy lover. I would love to support shops on Etsy from the USA that you know personally, or have had good experiences with. Please let me know of any of your favorites. Best of luck with this new stage in your life and I look forward to traveling with you on this journey through your blog.

    1. I will do that with Etsy, Michele. I have never paid attention to where the shops are located but I will do that and see if I can compile a USA list. Thanks for the support.

  22. Praying for you Pam. I have gone through many, many changes this year too — none were planned. I keep telling myself “everything happens for a reason”. I hope this turns into a positive for you and me.

  23. Oh goodness. The bloggers I follow are all experiencing life changes. We truly are in this together. Best wishes to you. I loved the Etsy Finds—keep that up. I’m sure you’ll have many great ideas for us in the future. Take a deep breath, calm the spinning thoughts and go forward with confidence.

    1. Thank you, Sue. That is exactly what I am doing. Thanks for feedback on the slideshows!

  24. Your positive attitude inspires me! I also work in higher education and for the past week have felt increasing anxiety due to discussions about budget cuts. In addition, I’ve noticed my boss’s decreased interaction with me while focusing more attention on my younger coworker who makes less money than I do. And, guess who has trained her for the last six months….!! Needless to say, I feel it’s just a matter of time before I’m in your shoes. Prayers to you as you transition to new adventures! I appreciate your blog and have learned so much from you!

    1. I hope you get to stay, CJ. Please let me know what happens. All higher ed finds itself in a precarious position right now. I am certain the younger employee knows who taught them their skills for that job. I am really looking forward to a new chapter…so if this happens, persevere and be hopeful.

  25. I am sending prayers your way as you make this new transition. I know it is unexpected but you’ve got this challenge. You have so many gifts to share with the world. My guess is that you will soon find yourself as busy as you were with a second job!!!! Take this long weekend to relax and breathe and enjoy your family. Then you will be refreshed to start anew next week.

  26. “Best year ever!” How uplifting is that? When all the dust settles from this I know you’ll find yourself saying the same thing. Those who look at challenges more as opportunities for positive changes know that the best is ahead. That light that you and Mr. B saw when discussing future retirement wasn’t the train coming toward you—it was the end of the tunnel. All you have to do now is get your bearings and move on. Best wishes…….

  27. Prayers said! After the dust settles, I hope you are in a better spot than ever before. I will continue to recommend your blog to others because it is wonderful. Stay strong and be well!

  28. Pamela,
    Stay strong. Your grandson has a good perspective. You have strengths and skills, your home office, and an established daily routine to work effectively in your office. Life may not be how you want it right now, but you have weathered much change and you will weather this one too.
    Stay safe, stay well too,

  29. When you’re on a rollercoaster, all you can do is hang on. And scream a bit from time to time when it gets scary! 🙂

  30. I really don’t know how you worked full time and produced a daily blog. After the shock wears off you may find you have a much better work/life balance. Here’s to a great new chapter for you!

  31. Oh my, this happened to me in 2018. I wanted to work until I was 70. I loved my job. That wasn’t to be so I applied for social security. My husband had retired about 6 months earlier and was working part time. I did start working part time in a store close to home. Lots of pluses. I love this blog and relate to you and your experiences. We apparently like the same styles, have similar shapes, before COVID we had similar hair. You’ll make it work out to your advantage, but i know it’s a bit unsettling. Looking forward to hearing how you’re doing on the blog!

  32. Oh my, I know you were thinking it might happen, but it is always a shock! My husband and I went through this several times….higher ed is a tough area to be in…I hope you give yourself time to decompress. I love your blog and am excited to follow your new adventures.

  33. Pam,
    I just have recently started reading blogs again and have always enjoyed yours so of course you are on my prayer list. I too have let fear hold me back from things I’d like to do, one of them is starting a blog. Maybe you could offer an on line class on starting a blog for the over 50 crowd (or anyone). I know you will do great in this next chapter, your resilance and tenacity show through in this blog.

      1. I am so sorry for your furlough,. It is an uncertain world we live in and cannot take anything for granted except for the peace, love and truth of our God . Commit everything you do to Him in prayer and thanksgiving and you will have peace. Thank you for your continued sharing of this blog. You are in my prayers.

  34. I’ve been there and you do come out the other side. I lost my job in 2009 when the economy and real estate market crashed. I was too young to collect from SSA. At the same time, my daughter and her husband both lost their jobs when she was 7 months pregnant with her 1st child. Then they lost their home. I couldn’t sleep for months. We pulled out our 401 and bought a home for them to rent. If I would have known that 10 years later…well, we have a rental worth over 2x more, they now have 3 children and my daughter returned to get her 2nd college degree and is a nurse testing for COVID. You will soar over this, and at your 20th blog anniversary you will celebrate this opportunity. Prayers, faith and determination will win!

  35. Congratulations on your new adventures and taking a different path in your life journey. I wish you well, and as women, I love when we support and uplift each other.
    Personally I think we could all benefit from your seven year old grandsons advice.
    I’m going to do my best to make 2020 one of the best years in whatever way I can. It all starts with perspective,attitude and with me.

  36. Please keep your sunny outlook and beautiful smile. I love your fashion articles and as a retiree myself, I’m looking forward to seeing more casual fashion (my favorite stores are Dillards, Talbots, J Jill, and Chicos) as well as health and beauty features. It would be fun also to see photos of different locations in your beautiful city. Stay healthy, that’s something you can’t buy – although my Goli dummies help!

      1. Oops! Sorry, I meant Goli gummies! My computer likes dummies better. LOL Take care! We all love you!

  37. Hi there!
    Praying for you to see God’s hand at work in all this turmoil.
    My husband decided this was his year to retire, again (third time’s the charm), so he has made the giant leap as of last Friday. It was ultimately my decision to make for him so I prayed for guidance and wisdom and gave him the go ahead. I know his health will really benefit from the new less-stress lifestyle. I will work a few more years if allowed and if I stay healthy…that is my plan anyway, we shall see.
    I so agree with your grandson, this has been a great year so far. Our adult son is at home with us and we have so enjoyed the time together.

  38. Hugs and prayers go out to you Pam. You are a beautiful writer, and now you’ll have more time for your writing and your blog. Hopefully this will turn into a blessing. We have to try and find the silver lining in everything..Your little grandson has a great attitude…..he must have gotten it from you!!

  39. So sorry to hear this, Pam. While I’m not religious, I do believe in the power of positive thought & healing energy, so am sending you plenty of both. I also utterly believe that every downturn in our fortunes holds within it the seeds of some wonderful opportunity if only we stay open to it, which I know you are. That doesn’t stop it from being a bit scary at first though, or keep us from waking up in a panic at 2AM, so be gentle with yourself & don’t forget to add plenty of self-care to your days. Take a deep breath now & again & remind yourself that everything happens when & as it should & that all is well. And don’t underestimate the benefits of losing yourself in a good movie or book now & again! Sometimes a “light escape” is just what we need.

  40. First of all, I join Karen, Donna, and others above in adding you to my prayer list. How wonderful to share this space with supportive godly women who share an interest in fashion, but who look beyond that to the things in life that are much more important! I’m sorry to hear of this sudden shift in your plans, but I absolutely love your grandson’s attitude and it appears that he takes after his grandmother! I love your desire to make this unplanned ending the beginning of something even better and when it comes to writing, I understand completely where you’re coming from. I, too, feel that I was born to write and retirement has given me the time and freedom to do that. I look forward to seeing where this journey takes you!

  41. I am sorry for the loss of your job. I will be praying for God to place guiding hand upon you & for Him to place the right opportunities in your path. It does take time to start on a new & unexpected journey, but I am sure that you will handle this in the same positive manner that you have done with other things. God Bless you.

  42. Pamela,
    The circumstances of my job changed in October of 2019. I made the decision to leave my job and file for Social Security. I had 3 writing projects I had wanted to finish for at least 10 years. Since then I have completed one project and I am working on the second project, a book I began writing 14 years ago. Everyday I get up and work on a project I want to do. It is joyful, I wish I had the opportunity to do this 20 years ago. It will all work out. When one door closes another one opens.

  43. Praying for you, Pam! I lost my job suddenly several years ago – I was called to HR and that was it. I was dreaming of the day I could retire but at 56, it was too soon! That feeling is one I will NEVER forget… and I can imagine you are feeling something similar now. If anyone can make this work, YOU can! You are so positive and optimistic and have so many wonderful talents and gifts – I’m excited to see where this journey takes you! THIS will be the jewel in your crown! Lots of folks love you, admire you and are praying for you! Oh, yes…..and take that long overdue vacation – you’ve earned it!!! 🙂

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