How Redefining After 50 Affected My Life (The Good and the Bad)Jan 18, 2022
I know I can't be the only one in this community who, as soon as she gets behind the wheel of the car, starts to think.
About everything and anything.
And, the four hour drive back from packing up my mom to move her closer to us was no different.
It was on that drive that I found myself reflecting on the past few months. During that time:
- My husband was recuperating from a health scare;
- My mother-in-law who lives with us was recuperating from a serious illness with home health in and out of our house;
- I moved my mom to live closer to us.
In addition, my dad and stepmom lived with us each summer and I made it a point to spend as much time as I possibly could with our five grandchildren.
Add to this the fact that I was feeling anxious and a little sad because I found myself "slowing down" in my career as a behavior analyst working with children on the autism spectrum and their families. I couldn't imagine what I would do with my days once I decided it was time to leave that job.
It was on that drive that I got thinking. And by the time I got home, I decided that I was going to do the thing I'd wanted to do ever since I can remember. I was going to write! And, I was going to write for women who were in the same boat I was. Women who are trying to figure out what they want to do after 50.
The next day I set to work creating Life Balance After 50.
Let's Start With the Positive
I Learned New Skills, and My Brain is Better For It
I quickly discovered that starting a blog was no easy feat. Especially for someone with a very firm fixed mindset belief that she is horrible at anything to do with technology.
I signed up for a pretty intensive step by step blogging course and got to work creating the name for my blog, setting up my website, and finally getting around to the part I loved. Creating content for my community of women.
I'll never forget the butterflies in my stomach the day I hit "publish" on my first blog post.
I was using my brain! I was learning new things and creating content. There is so much research out there on the value of continued learning as we age - on our emotional as well as our physical health.
I Hit The Ground Running Each Morning - Excited to Get My Day Going
I had something that was bringing me joy and passion and that I knew I could do for the rest of my life! I was excited to wake up each morning and do all of the things related to my blog and this community.
Don't get me wrong. I love all of my other roles. Being there for my family is my priority and always has been. And, although we were continuing to help with senior parents and grandchildren, these roles weren't as involved timewise as they had been when my kids were younger and at home.
I love my career as a behavior analyst. But, it was and is becoming increasingly difficult to manage the physical aspects of the job each day. If I was going to be crawling around on the floor playing with kids, I wanted it to be with my grandchildren at this point! In addition, I found myself avoiding the more behaviorally challenged kids at my job. And this wasn't fair to them or their families.
All of these things were robbing me of some of the joy I used to get from my career.
I was content overall. But I knew there was more that I could and wanted to do. And figuring it out was life changing.
I Discovered Communities of Like-Minded Women
This is likely the biggest blessing that came from my after 50 redefinition. Becoming part of two amazing communities:
1) This community of women on the Right Side of 50 who are looking to do "the thing;" and
2) A community of women content creators.
Both communities are a constant source of inspiration and an amazing resource. They hold me accountable and I've made friends in each.
And The One Not So Good...
The only not so great effect of my after 50 redefinition has been the additional role added to the existing juggling act. Naturally, some days are more of a juggling act than others, but that's always been the case.
And I suspect (and hope) that that will continue.
But, now, as I have started to slowly fade out the demands of my 25+ year career as a behavior analyst, instead of looking forward to the future with dread and anxiety, I have a plan. A purpose.
Best of all, my plan and purpose will allow me to continue to use my training and love of helping and working with people. While, at the same time, allowing me to continue to put my family first.
Looking forward to each day on the right side of 50 has been beyond amazing. I am so grateful.