Women have discovered that they are able to empower themselves in their later years and direct their energies and talents in significant ways. They’re living their lives as they want them to unfold — from the inside-out, instead of as old social norms had directed them from the outside-in.
Women looking toward their later decades have opened their eyes to new opportunities and new ways to make an impact with purpose and meaning. Yes, they can still enjoy creating and checking off a bucket list of fun experiences, but they’re seeing how much more they can do.
Let’s look at some inspiring examples of how women are choosing to show up in their later lives:
Arlene was a top administrator at a state university responsible for services for disabled students and staff. She enjoyed the people side of her job enough to put up with the administrative side. When anticipating her retirement, she knew she wanted to somehow stay involved with helping the disabled community. She had grown up with a deaf mother and had always been drawn to working with the deaf. Her training in sign language led her to pursue opportunities to interpret for the deaf in her post retirement years. It allowed her to participate and be productive in a way that was meaningful to her.
Amy’s 30-year career as a lawyer involved stressful 60- to 80-hour workweeks along with the demands of family life. It was exhausting yet satisfying work, but without a minute of spare time in her schedule, she’d had to give up being athletic. Once she decided to take early retirement at age 60, she eagerly returned to the physical activities she loved. She structured her newfound freedom with regular strength training, taking up pickle ball and joining a women’s cycling group. She also volunteers at the sports program at a local Boys and Girls club. In her retirement, she feels more alive and valued than ever.
Shirley had a 35-year career in nursing, dedicating her life to helping others, including caring for her elderly parents who lived with her for many years. After they died, she felt completely worn out. At age 62, she decided to retire. She spent a full year relaxing, visiting friends, reading books and taking it easy. But eventually, she realized she was feeling lonely and isolated. A friend told her about Red Cross programs needing retired nurses all around the globe. She decided to put her nursing skills back to use and she loves the travel component of going to new places and meeting new people. Shirley is living a life of service and impact back in the mainstream, but on her own terms.
As women, we have more choices than ever before. And today, more of us have the gifts of good health and vital years ahead. We don’t need to be invisible — we need reconnect with what’s inside and decide where we can joyfully use our talents.
Start by reassessing your essential self in these areas:
If we make a concerted effort to identify our passions, interests and skills, we can create ways to apply them out in the world and remain connected to the mainstream of life. Approaching our lives from the inside-out can do a world of good for ourselves and for others.
Read her book Building Blocks for the New Retirement
Joan Tabb is a career and executive coach, founder, and principal of Greatin8Coaching.com. She is a sought-after trainer and speaker, and a popular blogger atDear Coach Joan: Career Advice. Joan brings a 20-year leadership career from Apple, 3Com, Intel, Memorex and several start-ups to her focus on empowering people. She specializes in coaching people in transition. Building Blocks for the New Retirement follows her first book, Great in 8: Job Seeking Skills. Learn more at www.GreatIn8Coaching.com.
Originally published at zestnow.com