Thursday, March 3, 2011

What Do I Want to do Now that I am Grown Up?

...that is the question.  I am an empty-nester.  I have been home for about 4 1/2  months since returning from Paris...I set a soft deadline to find something...the purpose driven life...within six months of returning...and lo and behold, that coincides with my turning 50 next month.  For some reason, I have this sense of urgency about redefining myself...finding the purpose that suits me...that pleases me.  I struggle with the "selfishness" of it too.  I want to put myself first...maybe for the first time in my life...but it is something akin to putting roller skates on a horse...very awkward, uncomfortable, oddly amusing and wholly unanticipated.  I mean, here I am and I just do not know what to do!

I am trying my hand at writing...but I have no idea how to make a career out of writing.  I am developing recipes along with food and wine parings...a cookbook?  But which niche?

I have been approached by folks, asking me why don't I become a caterer?  Maybe an event planner?

I have had people suggest that I develop private tours here in the States and tours, food tours, history tours, shopping tours and touristy tours...hmm.

I'd like to continue to develop my skill sets.  I'd like to make some know tangible value appreciation for work well done.  My husband wants me to learn how to make sushi!

I want to enjoy what I do...avocation versus vocation...I'd like to make some "mad" money and I'd like to make a difference.

I have been involved with volunteer work since 1991.  I have worked since I was 12...having a regular babysitting job, working retail, teaching, administration, and then a really dedicated volunteer service life for the last 20 years...all rewarding, somewhat satisfying...but now what?  Without sounding or being selfish, I'd like to find something for me to do that makes me happy and addresses my interests and desires...this is not an easy thing to do. 

Women my age and from this generation in particular are masters at putting everyone else first...we are that sandwich generation...caring for kids...concerned for parents and other aging family members and friends.  Trying to find the delicate balance of all the needs of others on the fulcrum of our shoulders.  Well, the scale has children are adults, and although that doesn't mean I won't do, care, worry, provide for them...I have learned to let them go it on their own first...and usually quite successfully. 

For the "Greatest Generation" and the older boomers in my life, I try to advise and assist without patronizing. Sometimes I have thought it would be so much easier for So and So to just move in with us so I could take over and take care of that person.  I need to remind myself that these people are my elders...adults who have managed for years and although facing new challenges and more difficulties, respect and dignity need to be maintained. 

I am that person you look for in a crowd when you need help, information, advice.  Just last week, I was sitting at the airport with about 200 other passengers waiting our delayed flight.  I was sitting three seats in from the end of a row, reading a book and a woman who obviously was running late and unaware of our predicament, looked at the myriad of faces, saw me reading "My Life In France" by Julia Child and came over to me, to ask why the flight was delayed.  Bill was sitting to my right...another woman to my left...but she walked right up to me and asked.  I told her what I knew...pointed her to the ticket agents if she needed more info and smiled.  My husband leaned over to me and said, "It must be your face."   This kind of stuff happens all the time. 

Senior citizens seek me out in grocery stores.  I am often asked to reach for explain what something is...."what are hearts of palm and how do you cook them?"  I have read labels for folks and even helped some people find what they are looking for...nice, yes, but not the career move I am looking for.

I have been hugged and given hugs to complete strangers.  Occasionally, I will give correct change to someone who is struggling to find the right amount while on line at the store, coffee shop, etc. 

So what do I do with this?  I feel like I am waiting for someone to grant me permission to emerge from this chrysalis...but who will emerge?  What will I do? 

1 comment:

  1. Urban Oasis shopping tours with fashion expert Imani Alexander. Meet fashion designers face-to-face while experiencing a unique NYC shopping tour. Step directly inside fashion designers' actual showrooms and studios (not stores) and save 40% to 65% off retail.