• RachelH

Labor Day

A Day Meant to Pay Tribute to the Contributions of American Workers Got Me Thinking

It's forever felt like the window of opportunity closes a bit more every year a woman celebrates a birthday. We all know in principle this shouldn't be but I suspect most of us can attest to a narrative, self imposed or otherwise, that says, "you're too old for that, you had your shot, it's too late..." I think it's only in the last several years that women are regularly, and en masse, shoving that window wide while shouting, "....annnnd STAY open!" We're so cool, aren't we?

Look, I'm the first to toss up the red flags and hurdles when considering a new venture. I've said, to myself, ALL the things people say when wanting something that just seems so out of reach. I get it. I'm not here to tell you to behave recklessly, leaving a wake as you muscle ahead on that path to what you desire. I do, however, want to encourage you to give some more thought to the fact that you can reinvent yourself any time you want! Isn't that awesome? You are never too late to step into that door you shut long ago, and in fact, I'm guessing you're right on time!

Many women describe feeling "invisible," or "left behind" during middle age but reframing these lies is at the heart of taking that next step towards our ambitions. Perhaps we focused on children or the goals of spouses or found ourselves years into a job we felt we had to take for one reason or another. The wisdom and changing circumstances of these middle years has prompted many women to take stock and consider that there is no truth in the "invisible, left behind" talk. Those are lines from a very old playbook that no one is reading anymore. The question now is no longer what should I want, but rather, what do I want? Beyond the many constraints or responsibilities that tethered us, midlife women are looking around and saying, "It's my time now." And that is a wonderful thing! Yay!

I've had lots of starts and new careers and several winding paths to nowhere. I thought every single one of them was a great idea. Well, maybe not all of them, but you know what I mean. It's never too late to pivot your direction and start something new. Take that step, Girl. Take a step in the direction you want to go. Fear's the thing that's always gotten in the way of my taking a step towards something I really wanted. And when I look back, the fear was rarely about my own abilities. Rather, it was attached to old records playing in my mind; the voice of someone else dropping little bombs of their own projected panic and insecurity that I then absorbed as my own! You know what would've helped me get over paralytic paranoia? Taking a freaking step. Taking a step towards the thing I wanted. And then taking another, and another. You know what else? Listening to my gut. God, if only I'd done that more! When I look back at the things I didn't dive into because I failed to trust myself....boy, do I get mad. And sad! But then, I choose to accept what is and move forward from the place I'm at now. And this is a great place because I'm no longer hindered by old fears and anxieties and I'm no longer worried about what the heck anyone else might have to say about me and my choices. I know that there is joy to be had ahead and that joy is there for you! There are accolades to receive and wisdom to impart wherever you go, so get going, Lady! Don't let age be the excuse that stands in the way of whatever you want to pursue. You have too much to share, too much left to learn.

Let the next task you take on be a labor of love. And while you're thinking about what that is today, let's share in a virtual standing ovation to those unseen laborers working without thanks, at high risk and for little income to keep food coming to all of us during these particularly precarious days. To health care providers, teachers, parents, supermarket stockers, shoppers and delivery personnel...I know I'm neglecting to mention many, but your tireless laboring should be recognized, even here, on this very small platform.

Happy Labor Day, Gals!


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