“The most difficult part of achieving perfection, is finding something to do for an encore.“
Why this blog?
AN ENCORE LIFE was created to explore the ups and downs of life for people in or beyond their “mid-point”. I hope it provides a positive, if somewhat irreverent, forum to discuss the unexpected experiences that life presents.
December 31st 2014 marked an odd anniversary for me. It was one full year since I said goodbye to a business I purchased, built, and nurtured for 17 years. I was lucky in this still-struggling economy to have found an eager buyer of my continuing education company.
I was made for that business! I am a nurse. I have been a clinical nurse, a nursing educator, a nursing administrator, a nursing executive, and a nurse business owner. Taking on that last role was the most challenging, and the most rewarding. Transitioning from a knowledge base that included the Krebs Cycle, the 12 cranial nerves (I still remember the mnemonic: On Old Olympus’ Towering Top, A Finn And German Viewed Some Hops), the nursing process and the theory of adult learning; to one that included foreign concepts of S corporations, C corporations, and cash flow analysis, was indeed perplexing!
Learning to understand the workings of a micro-business consisted of an initial six months of mini business school as my retired accountant father spent hours tutoring me on the secrets to effective negotiation, the tax considerations of different business structures, the ins and outs of financial reports, and the importance of a sound business plan. This was followed by 16 1/2 years of monthly educational and financial reviews as he, fondly referred to as “my surly accountant”, stuck with me through thick and thin.
Prior to buying the business, I had worked at a local hospital for 5½ years honing my skills as educator, manager, and administrator. So, let me see if my father’s tutelage helped me with math – 17 (6 month planning, 16.5 years owning) plus 5.5 = 22.5. The last time I actively searched for a job was 22½ years ago. The last time I filled out an application was 22½ years ago. The last time I interviewed for a position was 22½ years ago.
22½ years ago I was 39 years old.
At 39 years of age, I was a married working mother of a teenage son, a preteen daughter, and a toddler son. My husband and I lived a very active life as healthcare professionals (he, a clinical pharmacist), often working second jobs as adjunct faculty. We also led a parent’s life filled with soccer games, band and chorus performances, parent-teacher conferences, religion classes, and family vacations. I was a master’s prepared nurse who had worked up through the ranks in nursing homes and hospitals and considered myself an accomplished professional – even a whiz kid! I had spoken at several local, regional, and national meetings. I was an expert in my field. I was employable.
How things have changed!
As exciting as it was to finally be able to take some time to myself (any business owner will tell you that it is a 60-80+ hours a week job that goes with you on every evening, weekend, holiday, vacation, and funeral leave you take); I was ill-prepared for the sudden dearth of activity.
At 61 years of age, I am living life on a smaller scale. My children are all grown and out of the house. I am the proud grandmother of the three most adorable, intelligent, and talented children of all time (yeah, yeah, I know…) that I occasionally accompany to their school events, recitals, and soccer games. I am a doctorally prepared nurse and I do not quite know what to do with my time now. What do I want to do next professionally? What new mountain should I climb? Most importantly – what do I want to be when I grow up?
So, after almost a year of rejuvenation, rejection, and reflection, I have decided to start a blog. Surely I am not the only underemployed, highly educated, somewhat motivated, 60+ year-old out there. So I have decided to connect (we used to call it “network”) with like-minded individuals; to share insights; to suggest resources; and to generally discuss (revel, complain, question) this new phase in life.
But what is it about?
I intend to delve into a myriad of seemingly disconnected topics such as:
· Deciding to sell the business
· The hell that is online job applications
· The organized life – dealing with mind-numbing boredom
· I am now a homemaker
· I am not retired – I am unemployed!
· My next career as spy
· Breaking the Candy Crush habit!
· Travel. Now. Often.
· Why must we listen to adult-diaper commercials while watching the evening news?
· Moving from “whiz kid” to “withered id”
· Oh, it is hell getting older
· A new type of networking – Facebook
· Financial reckoning and the realities of “getting on”
· Am I becoming agoraphobic?
· Rightsizing my life
· Saying goodbye
· The meaning of life – finding meaning in my life
I hope you will join me and have some fun, shed some tears, and reflect on transitions.
I welcome you to AN ENCORE LIFE.