Our generation has always been known as adventurous and ready for whatever’s next. So, it is only natural that at this point in our lives, we find ourselves reflecting on what we’ve done . . . and what we might want to do.
We’ve spent decades accumulating skills, experiences, knowledge, contacts and wisdom. What do you want to do with yours?
Maybe you’re in a career that you love, and you plan on doing exactly what you’re doing until you’re well past ninety. Maybe you’ve been a lifelong homemaker or are busy as a full-time grandmother. Maybe you’re poised to retire, or you already did . . . and maybe you even want to get back into the work force because you’ve come to the realization that many of us are going to have to work for a few years past the traditional retirement age of 65 because the economy hasn’t exactly panned out the way we had hoped.
Or . . . maybe you don’t need to keep earning but you want to stay engaged and active.
But, it isn’t always easy to know what to do, or how to get started. And, there can be roadblocks along the way.
Sometimes, in our youth-centric society, it’s easy to convince ourselves that once we are over fifty, we are obsolete and should sit quietly, out of sight. But, that’s the wrong thing to do. Read today’s paper and you’ll see a growing list of problems and issues that would benefit from your experience, knowledge, skills, and compassion–all of which are the result of your years on this planet.
While researching the chapter on “What’s Next” for THE BEST OF EVERYTHING AFTER 50, I came across a fantastic book — WE ARE THE NEW RADICALS: A MANIFESTO FOR REINVENTING YOURSELF AND SAVING THE WORLD, which encourages individuals to turn their passions into meaningful and financially rewarding work. I contacted the author, Julia Moulden, to talk more about her “New Radical” movement. Julia told me during our first conversation that “There are endless possibilities for experienced women to use their well-earned skills to support the things that matter to them, whatever that is.” We all have talents and skills and certainly by the time we’re in our fifties, we have experience. The last thing we should do is start to doubt ourselves, or our abilities.
Julia’s own dream didn’t materialize until she was almost fifty. At that point, she figure that, barring any unforeseen disaster, she had over thirty productive years left in her. She had gone through a divorce in her late forties, and made the transition from “do I want to work” to “I have to work.” But after twenty-five years as a successful speechwriter, Julia was getting restless. She found herself thinking about an earlier time in her life when she was still in college and talked with friends about changing the world. She realized that other women she knew–many of them in their fifties–had the same questions. Julia decided to combine her expertise with her dream of making a difference in the world . . . and created a new business. The New Radicals Movement was born.
Julia is a fabulous role model for women of all ages, and I encourage you to read her book, whatever you’re thinking about doing. She inspired me to be fearless about pursuing my dream to be an author and speaker, and she will inspire you, too. Follow Julia on Twitter: @JuliaMoulden and read her posts on the Huffington Post every week in the Living Section. (Pssst . . . she also tells me that a new book will be coming out soon!)
Best of Everything,