This week I am one of the featured bloggers in a series about bloggers of a certain age called Between the Lines at Katherine’s Corner. This series will introduce you to more than 80 midlife bloggers over the coming months that are making their voices heard at this pivotal time in their lives.
As a part of this series, I have been asked to share my feelings about being a blogger at this point in life…what’s the point, why do I do it, what’s in it for me. First and foremost, it’s about showing others they are not alone. You are not in this thing by yourself, nor am I. We can isolate if we want to, that’s a choice. Another choice, however, is that we can reach out and create the relationships we need in order to do amazing things in the second half of our lives. I prefer this choice myself.
Making a turnaround is not a new idea for me. Years ago, almost 20 years ago now, my husband and I lost everything we had. We had two businesses; one good, one bad. The bad one ate everything we had; every dollar, every resource, every semblance of peace, every creative fiber and every hint of confidence we might have had. I can still, to this day vividly remember what it felt like being eight months pregnant, with a three year old, leaving my car in the snowy parking lot of the bank to hand over the keys to what had been just a small part of the collateral for our business loan. I know the horror of standing, shaking in my boots, in bankruptcy court, I know what it feels like to move back in with family until you can get back on your feet. The normal reaction to these events is to feel like you are the only one.
My reaction to this event was to talk about it, share my story and experiences. My husband was the opposite; kept it tucked in, wrapped it in shame. By talking about it, I found so, so many people that had experienced virtually the same thing, that had wholeheartedly recovered from their experience and were there to encourage me that I would too. They showed me I wasn’t alone. Any guess who recovered faster from this traumatic event in our lives?
I’m not saying midlife is as traumatic as losing everything you own, although for some it certainly may include that. I successfully made a major turnaround in my 30’s and now I am doing the same in my 50’s. Regardless of my circumstances, I know that this is a powerful time in my life and I intend to make the most of it.
I started this turnaround last year when I quit a job that had crossed every boundary I personally had. It was the first time I really stood up for myself and said NO, enough! It allowed me to really think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my working days, not what was the next expected step.
The only thing I had ever dreamed of doing was being a writer. Blogging provides me an opportunity to develop the discipline I need in order to finally be that writer and to finish the writing projects I have had in my mind for so long. The bonus for me…it also provides an amazing community. There are people all over the world willing to help, provide feedback, guide the way – to show me I am not alone, neither are any of you.
Its been a year now since I started my blog, Turnaround at 50. If anything I write makes someone think, “Well, she survived and is making it work, maybe I can too.” then I have accomplished what I set out to do. In reading my blog, you will likely feel my transition…from being pissed off, exhausted and overwhelmed to actually being able to enjoy basic everyday things. I have no idea where the blog and my other writing will take me, but I am so glad to have made this choice!