One day you think: Oh, here is the rest of my life. It’s finally arrived.
The map of how you got here may be in front of you, but what to do now? No map for that.
Still we do figure it out.
Not all of us do it well. At least, not every time.
I solved life after college graduation rather fine. But post-divorce invoked a shaky time that curled my toes and wreaked havoc on providing for my daughter in a fitting way. (My mom sent money.)
What followed was a long stretch of eight years as a single working mother who layered up a strong sense of self and confidence. I carried that forward.
The first year of my second marriage created an interesting juxtaposition. How much could (or would) I compromise but still be in charge of me and my life?
My eleven-year-old daughter and I decorated her bedroom with Marimekko sheets and matching wallpaper. But I kept a suitcase with a stash of cash for a quick get-away for us inside my new closet.
Symbolic of questioning marriage survival, yes, but also a sign of my wobbly sureness. ‘Could I somehow have misjudged this man who seemed so solid in promise-keeping and honesty?’ I hadn’t.
But it was an uncertain year.
A pre-planned midlife crisis resulted in professional choices to season my skills and buoy my finances to a higher level than I dreamed possible. But when the economy stumbled, so did I.
Time to reinvent? Oh please. I ran away.
Sailing away for six months was a grand and valuable adventure. I only came back because I ran out of money. And because my husband hadn’t signed up for a marriage where he pinpointed his wife’s whereabouts by latitude and longitude.
In my late fifties, I wandered too long in and out of ideas that hovered over the transition into a third life.
No one should have to do that.
The conclusion was that I care deeply that I do a good job in all endeavors – especially this one of living the last third of life. I made a map.
Slipping into new shoes, I feel steady and rock-solid on this path.
Just like other times.
I may not have known that the spots of figuring out what’s-next-for-my-life would be so prevalent, but I know it now.
Your story has different twists and turns.
And as much as each of us tries to swerve and miss the place of no map, we still end up here.
Over and over again. (more…)