It’s Your Life – Claim It!
You get to be my age and life, as you know it is comfortable. You’ve finally become aware of how life works. Now that you’re on the downhill slide to the last slope. I am old. I’m a tough old bird and I share to encourage women who may be struggling with passages that I’ve already traveled. I don’t have all the answers. I do have answers to some troublesome life dilemmas. I tell women what I wish someone had told me.
If I can impart even a tiny portion of truth to women coming along after me, I will have fulfilled a meaningful purpose.
To grow old with grace may be a myth. To grow old with a soul fully developed is my goal. I have to work on this daily. And I do.
Events often bring turning points.
My divorce really shook up my self-image as a young mother of three. I’d put my heart and soul into being a wife and mother.
- I started a county childbirth education association. We trained about 500 couples in the Lamaze method of childbirth.
- I started a group for preschoolers called Traveling Treehouse Troopers. We took children to various places of interest in the community.
- I designed and made appliqued jumpsuits for toddlers.
I wasn’t prepared for three babies born in a 37-month span, but I made the most of the situation. Everything I did called on my creative drive. Life was certainly complicated. Then my husband started having an affair and our marriage fell apart.
Life as I knew it shifted drastically. My identity dissolved into a puddle.
I scrambled to get a job with a temp agency. Then I began looking for a teaching job-not so easy with teaching fields in Speech and Art. I eventually returned to college to get a teaching certificate in English, which made it much easier to land a position.
Still my personal identity suffered. All the rotten phrases came to mind: scorned women, divorcee, and single mother. I hate how we label people, but we do and I had to accept that.
Dr. Phil listed ten life laws in his book, Life Strategies. First one is “You either get it, or you don’t. Become one of those who gets it.” It took me a few years to get it. Once I made the decision to return to college for a Master’s Degree I developed a clearer identity of my own. I was well on way to “life strategy” #2: Create Your Own Experience. I had to accept the responsibility for my life. Playing the victim card “guaranteed me no progress, no healing, and no victory. I would never fix a problem by blaming someone else. Whether the cards I’d been dealt were good or bad, I was in charge of myself now,” as Dr. Phil says.
My challenge for you is to take these two strategies and apply them to your life.
1. Become a woman who gets it.
2. Create your own experience.
I’d really like to hear from you and how you are doing this.
I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. I am a Certified Professional Coach with Fowler International Academy. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving, published in July 2015, is available for purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble online.