I have heard quite a few women my age (approaching forty or already there) mention their desire to switch careers, take a new path, try a different adventure in the world of work.
Now seems to be a great time to consider this, since in my age bracket many of the mothers I know have been staying at home to care for the kids, who are now ready to start school. This frees up mom for an entire day – and suddenly the possibilities seem endless, if not a bit daunting.
I also feel with the economy the way that it is, many people are looking outside of what they once did and understanding that it might not be a bad time to make a switch into doing something that they enjoy – especially if they have either been laid off or are taking time off for child rearing and the like.
Yet at this age, forty, and even a bit younger, I often hear the idea of following a new career path followed by this sentiment: “I’m just too old now, though.”
The numbers, I’m sure, seem scary to many of these women. Add four years of college to 40 and you are mid-40; add a few more years if it is a medical or law degree and you are approaching fifty. Many women at this age feel they should be winding down in their careers, not revving up.
Except for the lady at yoga last night.
I’ve watched this silver haired woman for a while, enjoying different classes at the Y, and I have admired her. She’s petite and in shape, she’s got a great attitude and a wonderful personality. She is the kind of woman I aspire to be in fifteen years.
I overheard her talking to another woman in the class, a woman probably close to her sixties. She told this woman that she had just finished law school and, at the age of 52, was embarking on a new career.
I got chills.
So often we let this idea of ‘age’ stand between what it is we are doing and what it is we want to do. I’ve had this thought before. I’d like to take more classes in the design field to branch more out into print work, but I hear this in my head. “I’m almost forty. It’s been twenty years since I was in college. What am I thinking?”
This beautiful silver haired woman didn’t think this – or if she did, she ended up with the answer, “I’m thinking when I get done I will be doing something I really want to do.”
Once I found a clipping from a Dear Abby post. A woman in her upper years said she wanted to return to college to get a degree, something she had never done, but she was afraid that when she got out she would be even older.