Older Single Women Reinventing Themselves
By Paula Santonocito
It’s why stories of older single women who fulfill their dreams resonate and inspire. Like the one about the New York woman who, at age 62, earned a degree in art history from Queens College.
Marriage, motherhood, and divorce may have deferred Anita Sokol’s education, but determination prevailed. After 10 years of taking classes on a part-time basis while working full-time and raising two children, this May, Sokol graduated with honors.
But how does an older single woman get there from here?
There’s no denying that older single women often have more obstacles than younger single women.
The older you are the more likely you are to have responsibilities, including children, dependent parents, and/or a hefty mortgage payment. Any one of these can be cause for pause when considering a change in your life’s path.
But even single women without any so-called major stumbling blocks sometimes feel unable to move forward. Where youth fuels exuberance and adventure, it can be difficult to overcome the fears and lethargy that tend to come with aging.
Part of the reluctance to rock the boat is based on hard-won experience. Older single women, especially those who’ve had their shares of ups and downs, whether related to career, finances, relationships or parenting, recognize the link between stability and peace of mind.
However, it can be a fine line between stability and stagnation.
If you have a nagging feeling that you should be doing more with your abilities, it’s probably time for a change. At the very least, you owe it to yourself to explore your options.
One of the great things about being an older single woman is that you know yourself much better than you once did.
You know your strengths, and you know your weaknesses. And, as an experienced, capable woman, you’re more resourceful when it comes to figuring out how to get to where you want to go.
Perhaps you need to pursue higher education in order to climb higher on the corporate ladder. Or maybe additional education is required to take an entirely different career path.
It could be that simply committing to developing new skills will give you a new direction.
Or maybe you’re at a geographic crossroads, as you consider relocating for a job that’s a little beyond your comfort zone. Like many single women, perhaps you’re enticed by an entrepreneurial opportunity.
Whatever your situation, it’s apt to be a little exciting. It’s also apt to be a little intimidating, especially if you listen to the naysayer in your head.
What if it’s more difficult than you anticipate? What if you don’t succeed? After all, you’re not just starting out in your career. At your age, shouldn’t you be sticking to the tried and true, with an eye toward retirement?
Here’s the real deal. Every day you work is another day in your career, and every day leads to another month, which leads to another year. Put another way, if you’re 50 and plan to work until you’re 65, by staying in place you’re resigning yourself to 15 years of mediocrity.
This isn’t to say you should randomly or haphazardly veer off a road that’s leading in a good direction for the sake of new experience. However, it’s never too late to make adjustments to your life’s journey, and a big part of that journey is your career.
So what if you’re not as young as you once were? Who is? One thing is for certain: You’re younger than you’ll ever be again.
There’s no time like the present to honor your dreams and ambitions, chart a course, and begin your journey. You can be 62 and have achieved your goal or you can be 62.
It’s up to you.
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