What'cha gonna do when your well runs dry…
(Bob Marley & The Wailers, 1965)
If you are of a certain age, you will relate to the above quote. The only thing constant about life is change…What You Gonna Do when it does? Do you have a plan when your nest is empty? When your career hits a blip? There are a lot of years left when you are 50+, what'cha gonna do?
Perhaps you are caught up in helping raise your grands…and realize keeping up with them is a challenge. Then THEY grow up. Now what? You do have options. You now have the opportunity to create the YOU you have always thought about. The world is your oyster and there is nothing to hold you back!
Close your eyes and imagine yourself as a child through age 16. What did you enjoy? Coloring, playing an instrument, home ec,, gardening? Go to a quiet spot. Light a candle. Turn the phone off. Just you. Close your eyes and think of all the activities you enjoy…not kids or grands, husbands or ex-husbands. YOU. This is dreaming, where you can do anything you choose. No restrictions…we can overcome those…sky is the limit!
Get an immediate negative thought? "oh, I can't do THAT", "where would I study", "what would I do with it after I learn it", "I just can't", "I can't afford it". Shut the negative voice down (mine is named Victoria), The message probably came from someone else anyway. Name the voice so you can tell her/him to shut up OUTLOUD. We have earned the right to talk out loud to ourselves.
OR, maybe that voice said, "I always wanted to try...", "I wonder if…", "maybe I could…", "what if…"?
If you just want to learn about wine "just 'cause', then do it! You have already had a career, so give up the idea of having to DO something after you learn about wine. Being the Wine Sommelier at Tavern on the Green is not a possibility now so no one will expect you to attain that lofty goal. Besides, it closed. You can use your training by picking out your OWN wine for you and/or your tribe…and that will be enough.
Dreamed of an advanced college degree? DO it! "I'm too old", "I'd be embarrassed", "I don't want to look stupid". STOP! How old are you going to be if you DON'T enroll? Many colleges have adult programs where you can audit classes for free.
And, sometimes there is a whisper that runs on repeat, "but, what are you going to do with it." A surefire way to smother your dream. Guess what? You don't have to do ANYTHING with it. At this stage, it is the PROCESS, not the PRODUCT!
With actuarial tables today, we can all end up with as many years after age 50 as we had to GET to age 50. OMG! Let's break that down. Age 1-20 was spent in school, 20-55 raising kids (cooking, shopping, soccer) and being a corporate wife perhaps, or being your own corporate wife. How much of YOU did you lose in these activities? Feel like you lost YOU while nurturing everyone else?
No demand for cooking 3 meals a day after your nest is empty, is there? Did you enjoy cooking? Then go to cooking school and cook for neighbors!
Put some thought in this, then think about ART. Learning to be creative with colors is something you can do until the day you ... um ...transition (?). Renoir had such bad arthritis his brushes had to be taped to his hands. "It's too hard", "I don't know how", "I don't know where to start", "I'd be embarrassed". STOP!
Any subject you decide to do should give you the chance for release from your everyday boredom. Any outlet that deserves your focus should be satisfying for many years.
You got this! Be sure to get my free "Axully Art Roadmap" and learn how I did it. Age 51, empty nest...hell, NO NEST to empty...daughter didn't make it out of our house fire on Christmas morning...and my entire life exploded. Art became my focus, my salvation, my burning desire to learn. Along the way, I discovered that the act of painting gave me peace.
Peace where I could heal. Peace I could laugh again.
What YOU going to do when the well runs dry?