As women, most often each event in our life comes with a significant change in our role, even how we define ourselves. In my own case, my evolution includes “Baby of my Family” (possibly spoiled if you ask my siblings), to Career Woman, to Wife, to Mother, to Working Mom, to Business Owner….and now to Empty Nester. In reflecting on each of those stages, every one of them included some sort of caregiving, be it family, or otherwise. A feeling of being “needed” resonates with me. So I wondered, as I enter this next phase, who will need me, and how drastically will my life change???
Now, fast forward to today and change has been cast upon all of us, upon the entire world, without warning (or preparation it seems). While our new reality feels strange, and the self isolating seems counter-intuitive to us, I find myself embracing this change, and realizing that there are so many great lessons that I can take from it. Here are just a few:
- Technology is our friend! It has removed barriers created by physical separation, and allowed us to be here virtually, to talk, to laugh, to cry, and sometimes just to sit with another person.
- The restrictions to “where” we work has enabled us to be extremely creative with the “how” we work, and as a result, is actually reducing stress for some folks.
- In my world, this erratic market has led us to taking care of clients by bringing creative ideas and solutions that both provide economic benefits and relieve the anxiety created by the volatility and news cycles.
- Given that we are all impacted in some way by this “enemy”, we are becoming more empathetic, more willing to find ways to help others, and we are realizing that we have to work together to fight it.
In some ways, life has stopped. It’s as if someone hit the pause button. I’ve often heard people say, “I’ll be able to do that when things slow down, when life slows down…..” It’s as if we have been given the opportunity to stop and reflect. To actually DO the things we never had time for. TO SEIZE THE DAY!!!!!!! It’s also an opportunity for us to assess what we have been doing, and to decide if it has served us well. Are we spending enough time on ourselves? Are we spending enough time with family? Are we planning our future? Or are we REPLANNING our future? Are we surrounding ourselves with positivity to lift us up, or negativity that is dragging us down?
As ironic as it may seem, this chaotic and unfamiliar “new reality”, has helped me tremendously. It is affirming what I suspect I already knew. Life is filled with change and the more that’s thrown at me, the stronger I become. Change throughout my life has made me who I am, and I am rarely in control of the “when” and “how”. I am, however, in control of how I embrace it. My next role? “Caregiver In Chief”? “Chief Financial Partner for Women”?
I can’t say yet what my new role will be, but I can say that I will always be those things I have been; a daughter, a mother, a wife, a professional, a working mom, a caregiver, a business owner, and yes, even an empty nester. It is all those things that we have been that make us the best of who we are.
One of the happiest moments in your life is when you find the courage to accept what you can’t change.