“You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life.” That’s a quote from the movie “You’ve Got Mail.” When all the odds are stacked against Kathleen Kelly and she finally admits defeat and decides to close her small bookshop, her mother’s friend offers those words of encouragement.
Change often requires a little courage, whether it’s retiring, moving to a new community, starting a new job or confronting a newly empty nest. Facing new situations means facing fears and doubts and anxiety—facing the unknown.
Hi, it’s Darlene Deluca writing today. This is my first post, and I want to give a shout-out to all the women fifty-plus years old out there who’ve dared to start over, who’ve had the courage to start a new business or career or a new life without a spouse. Those women whose lives have been upended by a death, divorce or “aging out” of a job. Women who are daring to imagine a different life. I know so many of them, and it’s a blast to watch them grow and succeed!
In 2007, the economy went south, the market tanked, and people lost their jobs. I survived several rounds of cuts, but then it happened – in 2009 I got my “downsizing” notice.
Long story short, it turned out to be the thing that pushed me on to new, more exciting endeavors. I’m not a big fan of change. If the layoff hadn’t occurred I’d probably still be plugging away at the same company I’d been with for twenty years.
At the time, the job market was not great for a 50-year-old woman. I had a Journalism degree, but all my clips were ancient because I’d moved into art direction and product development. And though I had a lot of art background and experience, I didn’t have the official art degree required for those kinds of jobs. Kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. The answer? Reinvent myself and forget Corporate America!
So, I became an author.
In my women’s fiction trilogy “The Women of Whitfield,” each of the main characters, three women who are friends in a small Kansas town, face some of these challenges. Within the pages, they find it takes courage to lean on someone else, to ask for help, to face gossip or single parenting or any of the myriad difficult decisions to be made in life.
Here’s a short snippet from Claire’s story: The Storm Within, book one in The Women of Whitfield.
Claire slid into a cool booth and ordered a cosmopolitan.
When it arrived, she squeezed in extra lime juice and lifted the glass. Just what she needed. She’d avoided dwelling on the upcoming meeting with her attorney, but now anxiety tightened her chest. Why had Lauren insisted on a meeting rather than simply sending another email? Why did it seem so rushed? What was the hurry? Limbo Land, Jane had called it. Get it done with and move on, the girls had told her. But move on to what?
She remembered her blank calendar and nearly choked on the drink. What was she going to do with the rest of her summer? The rest of her life, for that matter? She toyed with the lime in her glass, but no answers came to her. Those questions were too big. And they’d have to wait. First things first. She gathered her courage with the last swallow of the cosmo and then gathered her things.
Kudos to all of the women, real or fictional, finding the courage to get unstuck and keep going in the face of new challenges and opportunities!