Midlife crises come in all shapes and sizes. For some, it’s about throwing caution to the wind and buying a Porsche. Others might seize an opportunity to sail the South China Sea on a junk. Or do something completely radical, like run for an office for which one is uniquely unqualified.
While swimming around in my fifties, my life altered with scarce notice. In the space of eighteen months, I lost both my parents, found myself without a job, and discovered my husband had met someone else. Throw in a special needs teenaged son, an unexpected health scare and extreme stress about my future for good measure.
It’s enough to drive one around the bend.
After a sufficient period of morning my losses, I found redemption in retail. No, not the kind where one goes on a reckless purchasing spree, but in the form of a department store who offered me a position when nobody else seemed to be interested in my many successful accomplishments as a nonprofit professional. It’s not the solution I hoped for, but in many ways, I’ve been saved.
This position as a floor person introduced me to a vibrant community of individuals, many facing the same situation as me. We’re all trying to make a living, yet we’re struggling to stay alive. It’s not only the money, but our sanity we’ve had to scrimp together. In this position, I’ve gained the friendship of many, found sympathetic shoulders upon which to cry, support for my soul when I almost gave up, and not to mention a reason to get up and get earning.
Along the way, I’ve experienced it all. Customers provide me with a nonstop source of writing fodder. Every day I work, I gain another boatload of stories. I laugh more now. My colleagues share their lives with me and I’m richer for it. My confidence is returning as I stand on the cusp of a new life I never sought at this age.
Oh, and did I mention I was a writer?
This blog is dedicated to all of those, female and male, who find their dignity under assault and wandering down an uncertain path, unsure of what to expect. But as an old friend said to me, how do you know where the road is going if you’ve never been down it? Join me as I head into directions unknown and share in the wacky, madcap misadventures affectionately known as “Oh, S@#%! What the &*#@ Do I Do Now?”