The Kids Are Grown- What Do I Do Now?

How a mentor can help you when you are starting new

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I have aged out of my job. I’ve been a homeschooling Mom for the past 18 years, and my youngest is now in college. Suddenly, there is no one who needs to be driven somewhere, no classes to arrange and teach, none of the daily Mom-isms that I did every day for years. I have blocks of time where I can actually do something that I want to do, but what? And How?

Art by Susan Soffer Cohn

Being a SAHM was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life. We made a lot of sacrifices for me to be home with our kids, including living on one income. Now that I have more time, I would like to bring in some income to save for retirement,. I’ve been a blogger for about 22 years. I love writing and have made a good side hustle out of it. Could I make writing my full-time job?

I’ve had a million stories in my head for a while now, but I wasn’t sure where to start. Did I have what it takes to move to the next level? I had no idea of where to start. I needed someone to show me the ropes-a mentor. Was it even feasible to get a mentor at my age? How do you get one? I looked to Susan Soffer Cohn, author of “The Art of the Mentor” for some advice. She was much like me, in her 50’s and trying something new. In her book, she took me through her transformation from the boardroom to the gallery, stepping out of her comfort zone, and with the help of her art mentors discovers the beauty and magic of art. I asked her if she thought a mentor could help me become a full-time writer, or <gasp> even take on writing a book at my age. Was I too old to start this? Her answer inspired me:

As long as we are alive, we are capable of growing and learning every day. Face every day with optimism, gratitude, and joy and especially curiosity.  See everyone you meet as a teacher who might make your life more dynamic.  Read, discuss, listen, try.

Susan Soffer Cohn

I took her advice and met up with a group of writers in my town. They have encouraged me so much, and I’ve been writing more and more! In fact, I had an article recently published in a major mainstream magazine, and have the first draft of a book under way, something I may not have strived for without the support of my mentors.

I like to joke and say I finally figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up, and it’s true. I am a writer. I wouldn’t have been able to say that without having met my mentors.

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