This year marks 30 years of marriage for my husband and me. It has been quite a journey to get to this midpoint of our lives. Our early marriage involved multiple moves, career changes and after seven years of coupledom, we were blessed with three beautiful, amazing children within four years. A busy adventure to say the least. With each new opportunity, we have asked ourselves the question, What’s Next.
The reason I am telling you this is because my story is one of transition and transformation. I am always answering the question, What’s Next. I have embraced a lifetime of reinventing and repurposing myself. As you will see from this abbreviated narrative of my life, my choice was to accept transition and make the most of it at every stage. I am still doing this today.
As a child, I moved six times, and attended nine schools before my 11th birthday. My young life involved reinventing myself each time we moved and I began a new school. I remember in 4th grade, while living in Florida, my parents were not delighted with the public school in our town. After one week, I transferred to the local parochial school. That lasted two days. On day two, one of the nuns pulled me out of line and told me my skirt was too short. I was told if I came back the next day with a short skirt, I would be given a needle and thread in the principal’s office to let down my hem. That was fairly traumatic, so day three, I transferred into a private school. Three schools in two weeks, quite a lesson in transition.
This theme of transition and answering the question, What’s Next continued right into my marriage. Following our honeymoon, we immediately moved from Connecticut to Indiana where my husband was stationed in the Air Force. Leaving my corporate job, I was now considered an Officer’s wife and not Pamela, the business woman. I had to ask myself, What’s Next when one week after I arrived, the Air Force created a mandate stating that Officer’s wives were not permitted to work outside the home. What’s Next…I reinvented myself and went back to school.
When my husband separated from the Air Force and began a civilian career, we were given several choices for where we wanted to live. What’s Next…we lived in three different states and with each move, I reinvented myself by starting a new job, meeting new friends, and embracing a new home. Ultimately we settled on Cape Cod 17 years ago.
During the time that our children were growing up, I was basically a single Mom, as my husband’s job required a lot of travel. Before the kids started school, What’s Next…a home business. When the kids got older, What’s Next…a retail store. Then, before our full nest started to empty, I took a really hard look at what I wanted to do with my remaining career years. I asked again, What’s Next that would make my soul sing? I reinvented myself once more by becoming a Certified Life Coach. I seized the opportunity to coach women through their Midlife and Millennial transitions. This was something I felt passionate about. And now at this stage in my life, I have the luxury of no concern for the impact this career would have on the rest of the family.
At every fork in the road, I have embraced the What’s Next. My husband and I are beginning to embrace the biggest one yet. We are Empty Nesters, and with that comes all kinds of possibility. No doubt we will be transitioning and reinventing ourselves and our lives over and over through our next chapter. I can’t wait. At Midlife, I am living a Sparkling life!
Have a Sparkling day!