At age 50 I am starting over. Welcome to My Do Over. Like millions of Americans, I was hit hard by what will someday be known as 'The Great Recession'. Here in Southeastern Michigan, our recession seemed to start long before the rest of the nation joined in and I suspect that despite the official announcement last year that the recession had ended, it will continue here for some time. I reluctantly stay in Michigan because I have parents who are in their 80's and although they remain active and at times amaze me; I need to be close by.
I have gone from having a career, a house, a little bit of affluence and a strong sense of who I was, to at one point, working three different part time jobs. I’ve gone from wearing business attire to uniform polo shirts. Instead of an office with a desk and a computer and a door that closed, my workspace became wherever I happened to be. I learned that I am not defined by what I do for a living and I have learned a great deal of humility and to be grateful just to have work.
Things have gotten better for me lately. One of the crummy part time jobs turned into something that has changed my life and given me a new direction. Also, I went back to school and am now only 4 credits away from a new career as a Paralegal. I would like to think that the worst is over but I have learned that we never really know what will happen next so it's best to live in the moment but still be prepared. I don't take much for granted anymore and I am grateful for what I do have. Strangely, in this process, I'm actually happier now than I can remember ever being.
I still have challenges ahead: adjusting to life in a small apartment; convincing an employer that although 50 and inexperienced, I am the Paralegal they need to hire; losing the 40 pounds that I like to blame on the recession; finding balance between my Parents needs and my own; getting a social life again; and (what the hell, let's go for broke) maybe even finding love.
My plan for this blog is to talk about the things that so many of us are going through--all the collateral damage that comes with simply losing our jobs or businesses and then about the changes we go through as a result--both positive and negative. So many of us are experiencing similar difficulties but with the added burden of doing it in isolation. My life started to change for the better when I started to share my experience with others and they started to share their experience with me. I hope yours will to.