Here I am barely past 40. I look beyond today where my children have grown and moved on in their lives. And as I smile anticipating what their bright young futures will be like, I think to myself; “What the heck am I going to do with myself?!?”
Indeed I have been employed in the past although essentially mastered no specific trade. And, embarrassingly enough, I have attended various trade schools and had a little college although never truly completed them. You could say I had a tendency to not follow through with anything relative to self-improvement in order to enhance my career goals. Either that, or I’ve been taking care of my family. Both applicable.
I’m certainly not lazy. I am quite proactive when it comes to being a mother, wife, and friend, and yes – an employee when I worked. Yet somehow this 1950’s persona is unsatisfactory and frightening to me in this stage in my life. I am quite certainly yearning for a bigger purpose. Is it solely for my own satisfaction? Or to relieve myself of societal pressures?
When I naively stated my concerns openly to my mother-in-law, her response was,”Aren’t you happy just being a wife and mother?”
My initial response was to feel defensive and ask,”What does that have to do with anything? Your son has a career and is still a husband and father, isn’t he?” But, I decided to pause at the question and deciphered it was in fact a statement more than a question; that my mother in-law was possibly offering validation to the job I’ve done as a wife to her son and mother to her grandchildren and that she was well aware of the sacrifices and dedication it can take. But for me the question remained; what to do when my children have left the nest? I am not a twiddle-my-thumbs type of gal after all.
My dear friend Vickie advised me to do what I love… I love to read. I love to write. I love to cook and bake. I love music. I love to sing. I definitely possess a love for the creative. But surely all of these loves are interests or hobbies and not career potentials and some not even talents I come close to possess. I choose to KEEP my love of these interests and not feel obligated in doing them. Sounds realistic, right? Or, am I making excuses? Is a potential career outside of my loves a gateway to 8-5 misery?
At this moment, my family have arrived home from work and school. My plans to enhance my career, figure out my life’s purpose, and my mid-life crisis will have to wait until at least tomorrow.