.

More on the Fertile Void (the female midlife crisis) Hot Conversation

I just read Suzanne Braun Levine’s post on the “fertile void” and I was relieved to find that this ambiguity will end at some point.

I left my employment in Dec of 2007 because lacking a work-life balance became unbearable. I was divorced six months before leaving my job and felt that what I needed was the time to reflect on the next direction in my life.

Well, a year and a half later, I’m still unsure of what it is I want to do. I get impatient with myself because it would seem I should know by now. Goodness, I’m 53 years old and have had a year and a half to figure it out!!

I undertook a course in Judicial Reporting simply because it’s a lucrative, freelance opportunity and I’m still working on certification speeds.

However, I don’t love it, which was one of my requirements for this stage of life.

I would love to hear from other women about their journey to authenticity or self-actualization. How did you traverse this fertile void and what tips do you have for those of us still stuck on the journey?

Posted in work & money.

Related posts:

  1. “The fertile void”: The female midlife crisis
  2. What Midlife Crisis?
  3. Has anyone “hit the wall” so to speak as in a midlife crisis?
  4. 10 ways to turn a professional crisis into a professional breakthrough
  5. 10 tips from women who achieved their dreams in midlife

add your responses

29 Responses

  1. Generic Image LMLedford says

    Hi -

    I just received my 90-day notice at my job and am contemplating my next adventure too.  I’ve been a paralegal for as long as I can remember and I really want to do something different.  I started an “opportunities journal” where I write an occupation on one page and then list the skills I have and what I might need.  I guess I have been in the legal field for a long time.  LOL.  I want to be creative and out of the cubicle so very much and I just know that keeping my focus on possibles rather nots will bring me some grand ideas.  And, shoot, if one doesn’t work out, I’ll just try another.

    Blessings to you on your journey – I’ll be thinking of you from Toledo – or wherever I am at any given moment.  I think Samantha Brown should just step aside and let me do her job!!!!!

    Linda

    0 like

    • Gwen O Gwen O says

      Linda:  As I mentioned to others on this site, I’m so happy that the Law of Attraction brought me back to Vibrant Nation today!  I signed up awhile back and then got lost in social media.  Just want to let you know that I was a Realtor for 7 years and then the market shifted…. leaving me lost for a quite awhile.  At the same time my husband was in a car accident – rear ended, 2 major surgeries and not able to work for over a year.  Out of that fog I came to the awareness, with some awesome tools, of what I wanted to be now that I’m all grown up — a Life Coach for other boomer women seeking their ENCORE Career Path!  I’m lovin life again!!!  I believe that we are all unique and have unique gifts and talents to bring the world…life purpose…dharma.   My dharma is to help other boomer women discover theirs!  Kind of like grandbabies, if I would have know it would have been this much fun, I would have done it a long time ago!  LOL!!! 

      Trust your gut and keep your focus on the possibliities…  I’d love to connect.   Till then, take care and make it a GREAT day!    Gwen    http://www.discoveryourdharma.com  gwen@discoveryourdharma.com

       

      0 like

  2. WoodsFTL WoodsFTL says

    Dear Joma – I have always lived by the creed that we don’t have to decide what to do forever – just what we’re going to do next!  I tell this to my children (from the time they were in high school onward) and to others of any age who are looking to make a change in career. And we are blessed to live in a time when making that change is not frowned upon! Sometimes we spend a season in a valley (the Judicial Reporting?) and then we find something that seems great – and it is for that season of our life…and there may be things we learn in each place that equip ua for the next

    Now that I have been in one place nine years, I am wondering about the next place God has for me on the path… praying you find yours!

    0 like

    • Gwen O Gwen O says

      WoodsFTL:  Sorry I don’t know your real first name… but I just wanted to pop in and tell you how much I appreciated your advice to Joma!  Ahh… if you would have only been around a few times in my life!!  Great advice!  And it’s so the truth!  Have a wonderful adventure, regardless where you are or what you are doing!   Gwen

      http://www.discoveryourfharma.com   gwen@discoveryourdharma.com

       

      0 like

  3. Generic Image Lark says

    Have you read What Color is Your Parachute? It is a book that will guide you in exercises that help you focus on what you enjoy doing, etc.

    Lark

    0 like

  4. LJnew LJnew says

    I wish I could give you some guidance.   I also feel the same pain, decapitated by the banking system as a VP last year I thought I would find a position immediately, it was like getting divorced in a small town, no one wanted to talk to me….so I decided to go back to school to pursue another career (I was in marketing and advertising for financial services).  I thought social services would be the way to go but that will take until I am 60 and who hires a 60 year old, huh???  I eventually work it out, but I would love to hear from anyone out there if they have had any success.

    0 like

    • Gwen O Gwen O says

      LJ:  Hey there, I have some really good news!  As a Life Coach for Boomer Women Seeking their ENCORE Career Path, have you checked out the book  ENCORE: Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life?  Because there are so many of us boomers (78 million and as of 2009 — 8,000 turning 60 EVERYDAY for the next 15 years!)   Therefore, just like we’ve done since we were born, we are remodeling sociiety as we barrel through it.  And retirement is no different!  We are young and vital and at 60 we have the possibility of another 20 good years!!  Just think about how much fun you can have in 20 years!!!  In addition, I believe that we all are here with our unique gifts and talents…life purpose…dharma, to do what we are meant to do.  Discover what you LOVE, do it, and the money will follow!  Plus, society will be shifting to accomodate us.  Employers are going to see the benefit of hiring you at 60 with your wealth of experience and energy!  Go for it!  You’ll be 60 if you go for it or not!!  Go for it!  LOL!!!  I look forward to our paths crossing again!  Till then, take care & make it a GREAT day!!!  Gwen

      gwen@discoveryourdharma.com   http://www.discoveryourdharma.com

       

      0 like

  5. Generic Image markiesparkle says

    Joma, I’m in the same spot.  Finally, thanks to Unemployment Insurance, have some time to figure out what I want to do — but what I want to DO doesn’t really pay.  Like, I want to weave.  I want to sew.  I want to create, in the textile/fabric arts.  How can I make a living doing that?  I can’t do these things fast enough to make money.  And it takes money for the yarn & fabric — which I don’t have at the moment.

    I don’t know.  But I’m praying, and trying to stay in vibrational alignment.  A way will open.  I believe it.

    Marsha

    0 like

    • Gwen O Gwen O says

      Markie Sparkle  Is that your REAL name?  If so, I LOVE IT!!!  I see you signed off as Marsha, but I LOVE Ms Sparkle!  Anyway, as I’ve been typing frantically to other women on this site!   I signed up for VN awhile ago when I was first starting to learn about social media networking.  And the Law of Attraction just brought me back today!  I feel as if it’s almost like I was called to come and respond to these posts!  LOL!!!  I’m a firm believer of the Law of Attraction and I just need to tell you that if you are able to be as specific as possible with your creative weaving, sewing and textile/ fabric art business…. someone is making money doing it! So why not YOU?  Do what you LOVE & the money will follow!  I have clients who want a job socializing with a purpose but WHO would pay someone to do THAT job?  Hmmm…. the name OPRAH pops in my mind!  LOL!  If you believe you CAN, or you believe you CAN’T — you’re right!   Yes, I believe a WAY will open…     I look forward to our paths crossing!  Till then, I’m sending you good energy!  Take care and make it a GREAT day!!!   Gwen

      gwen@discoveryourdharma.com    http://www.discoveryourdharma.com

      0 like

    • Generic Image sews n sews says

      Markiesparkle, I, love to sew and I do a lot of it.  I have a part time ‘real’ job that brings in $$$.  I then spend most of my free time sewing.  I even manage to exchange some of my finished work for $$$.  Have you thought of getting a space at possibly an Art and Wine festival?  I would think that hand woven products would be great sellers there.  I bet it would be especially good if you not only displayed your finished work but also worked on your loom in the booth.

       

      sews n sews

      0 like

  6. Gwen O Gwen O says

    Joma:   Thanks for sharing your story re: the “void”.   I signed up for Vibrant Nation awhile back and then got busy putting together my blog, et al….  It’s almost ready!  Whew, not my strength but necessary!  I’m excited to have the law of attraction bring me back here today! 

    My strength IS being a life coach for boomer women seeking their ENCORE career path!  I’ve found that I’ve been an unofficial Life Coach for most of my life but thought work had to be “hard”!  I’m loving it!  My dharma…or life purpose, is helping other boomer women discover theirs!   Ahh… what a wonderful gift!!   First tip:  Don’t “should” on yourself!  LOL!!   Would love to connect!  Till then, take care and make it a GREAT day!!!   Gwen  

    0 like

  7. Generic Image LadyM says

    Joma, I am 57 and was laid off in Nov 2007.  I am a experienced, certified and talented I/T Project Manager…you would think I could capitalize on that experience…however, it is the last thing that I want to do at this stage of my life!! I too was recently divorced.  I am now living in a new City (though family is here also).  The only thing that I have figured out so far is that I do NOT want to be is a “9;00 – 5:00-er” in corporate america (though, we always worked more than 40 hours per week LOL).   Since my professional background has always been in Information Technology, I am leveraging those skills to become an Internet Marketer.  AND I am keeping my mind and heart open to new opportunities, regardless of what are they may be in. 

    My one tip is to relax & enjoy the journey and don’t let it frustrate you that you are uncertain about your new direction in life.  And don’t listen to your love ones who may want to ”push” you into something just to see you “settled”.

    Good luck and “keep on truckin’”

    0 like

    • Gwen O Gwen O says

      LadyM:  Hip, Hip Horray!!  You’ve figured out that you DO NOT want to be a 9-5er in corporate america!!!  HUGE!  Congrats!   I love what you said in your post and I want to add something.  I have a saying on my home office wall:   IF NOTHING’s FOR SURE, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!  We all have unique talents, gifts, passions, strengths…life purpose…dharma!  Trust yourself and go for it!  I look forward to our paths crossing again.  Till then, take care and make it a mah-vel-ous day!!!   Gwen, Life Coach for Boomer Women Seeking their ENCORE Career Path   gwen@discoveryourdharma.com   http://www.discoveryourdharma.com

      0 like

  8. Cathys997 Cathys997 says

    Just want you to know I’m being interviewed by Emily Woodman-Nance on radio on Friday. Millions of people are in transition and not sure what to do next. We’re going to discuss the first step to any change involves looking inward. We’ll offer specific advice on how to start the process. Please tune in.

    There are four ways that people can listen to the show on Friday, July 24, 2009 from 9:00 – 10:00 am:

    · Internet Stream
    http://www.kuci.org/kuci-flash.html
    If problems occur go to http://www.kuci.org to listen
    · 88.9 FM – Orange County area
    · iTunes/Radio/public.kuci
    · http://www.kuci.org/iphone/

    0 like

    • Gwen O Gwen O says

      Awesome Cathy!  Thanks!  

      Gwen

      Gwen Orwiler DISCOVER YOUR DHARMA Life Coach for Boomer Women Seeking their ENCORE Career Path   gwen@discoveryourdharma.com  http://www.discoveryourdharma.com

       

      0 like

    • ColleenBx ColleenBx says

      Hi! I live in NYC and have never listened to a broadcast on my pc… I hope I can do it tomorrow AM (Is it West Coast time?) because I need to hear this… I am 51, unemployed and divorced yes, BUT, I have my health and a very generous family, I have a CAR that is mine…I co-own my beautiful spacious apt with my sister but I live here solo with my two cats… I have been looking for work for over a year… It is ironic that I FINALLY got my BA in my forties and this is the first time I ever really had to struggle to find a job… I am still glad I quit my last job to go back to school full time.. It was a total BLAST as a sober adult to learn and question..and read and write papers… I have no clue what I wish to do next but from reading these posts just now, I am reminded that I can try new things and maybe even read that “Parachute” book that I bought a few years ago..LOL!  Anyway, I enjoyed reading all of the posts here and I am reminded that I am not alone… and that my life can be an adventure.. esp since I have nobody else to answer to!!  Thank you!

      0 like

  9. Generic Image JoAnn Q. says

    I read Inspiration, Your Ultimate Calling by Dr. Wayne Dyer 3 years ago when I was “retired early” because of a repetitive stress injury.  This book helped me to feel conneceted to myself again.  Dr. Dyer shows us how to come from a place of inspiration within us and uncover what really makes our hearts sing. I have since found an industry and a business that I love.  I feel blessed to have found a way to feed my sould and my bank account.  I continually pick up this book for continued inspiration.

    I’m currently listening to Dr. Dyer’s latests CD’s - Excuses Be Gone.  I cannot recommend these enough!!! He helps us to see what our life can be like if we cannot use our tired, old excuses.  Very transformative.

    I hope this helps you,

    JoAnn Q.

    0 like

    • Gwen O Gwen O says

      Joann:  Yes, Isn’t Dr Dyer WONDERFUL!?!  I love the Inspiration, Your Ultimate Calling AND Excuses Be Gone (saw it on PBS!).  I just finished a wonderful CD by Dr Dyer and Deepak Chopra called What You Really, Really, Really, Really Want (Yep! 4 Reallies for a reason!  LOL!)  It’s REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good!  LOL!  I LOVE your comment about “feeding your soul and your bank account”  beautiful!   I look forward to our paths crossing again on VN.  Make it a phenominal day!   Gwen

      0 like

    • Generic Image LadyM says

      JoAnn, just finished listening to Dr. Dyer’s “EXCUSES BE GONE” … loved it!!!!  Found it refreshing, motivating … left me with a feeling that I can accomplish anything, so I need to stop focusing on all the mistakes I’ve made (and oh there are been many and some pretty BIG ones too!! LOL).  Actually I keep the CDs in my car so I can play them over and over while driving.  they really keep me ‘juiced up’.  I highly recommend them to anyone.  I will have pick up a copy of “Inspiration, your Ultimate Calling” – thanks for the recommendation.

      Have a great day!!!!!

       

      0 like

  10. Generic Image Betsy Smith says

    When I was 56 I competed for the presidency of a large instituion in higher education and lost to the man. After a few short months, I requested that he “buy out” my contract because my integrity was way out of alignment with his. Although I chose to leave my institution, I experienced great difficulty re-establishing myself because I so identified with my “professsional” identity.

    Many, many, many women over 50 come to that “oh my God, now what” moment. Second Blooming for Women: Growing a Life that Matters after Fifty will be available this October and it is a guide for women over fifty to live a vibrant, fulfilling life.

    Do you know your life purpose? Knowing this will direct you into the next chapter of your life. Are you aware of your strengths and talents? What fun it is to concentrate on “what I do best” rather than” how can I improve”. Can you identify the “weeds” in your way? When you are clear about your barriers, it is much easierr to overcome them.

    If you are free of heart disease and cancer, you have another 40 years of life ahead of you – your Second Half of Life.

    Be purposeful in how you create that wonderful time in life. Make this time of your life – THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE

     

    0 like

    • Gwen O Gwen O says

      Betsy:  Ahhh… LOVE your post!  You are a women after my own heart!  EXCELLENT!  Exactly!  Did you write Second Blooming?  Oh, I can’t wait to read it!  As a Life Coach for Boomer Women seeking their ENCORE Career Path I have some wonderful tools for my clients…but this book sounds like it needs to be in my library!!!  Look forward to our paths crossing!  Till then, take care and make it a wonderful day!   Gwen

      gwen@discoveryourdharma.com   http://www.discoveryourdharma.com

       

      0 like

    • Generic Image LadyM says

      Betsy, I look forward to reading your book when it comes out.  I have often said (during my professional corporate years) “What do want to be when I grow up” … now I am no longer in corp America so I have time to focus and concentrate on what it is that I want to do, how do I leverage my talents into a new career… I realize the possibilities are endless and searching them is a lot of fun!!!

      0 like

  11. Sandra4 Sandra4 says

    After working more than thirty-one years as a clinical psychologist, I retired at age 55 and began writing children’s books. This is like the “dessert” of my life! Who knew that I would begin a whole new career which would become “the love of my life?” My book Hot Issues, Cool Choices: Facing Bullies, Peer Pressure, Popularity, and Put-Downs is dedicated to a 12-year-old Minnesota boy who took his own life as a result of being bullied and all the stories in the book are based on true bullying experiences students told me during my school visits. I think this is probably my favorite books because of all the letters and e-mails I have received from its readers telling me their own stories. As I read these letters, it’s almost like I have completed the cycle and am again listening as a psychologist. I’m so glad it’s never too late to begin again!

    0 like

  12. Generic Image terrymania57 says

    Keep talking. I wasn’t sure what was next for me until I met a friend of a friend.  We hit it off and after a few lengthy conversations, she persuaded me to continue writing and start a blog.  It’s been so rewarding for me and for those around me and it looks like it may actually pay off.  I’m getting recognition and attention from people in high places.  Good luck to you and thank you for sharing.  It reminds us that we are  not alone.

    0 like

  13. Generic Image Littleosco says

    I’m 52 years old and returned to school in 2007 at the local community college to make a career change.  A mid-life crisis, I guess.  I never got a college degree and decided to pursue my love of computers further by completing an associate degree in computer information systems.  They are honoring credits I got 30 years ago so I didn’t have to start from scratch.  I can only afford to take one or two classes at a time but I absolutely love learning something new each term and I’m getting straight A’s.  Then, I was laid off in September of 2008 from a purchasing position with an engineering firm.  I kind of thought it was coming due to a slowdown in business.  I’m really burned out on that kind of work and now, nearly a year later, I have yet to find employment and I’m afraid I’ll have to fall back on purchasing because that’s all I know how to do.  I realize at this point that I won’t be making the same amount of money I used to and have had to set my sights lower.  I would really like to find something completely different that pays a decent salary.  I wouldn’t even mind working an off shift.  One of the life changes I made since I have been off work is to start back to the gym.  I’ve lost 25 pounds and go to the gym 4-5 days a week.  I absolutely love it.  I’ve been married 31 years and have never had this amount of time at home, even when the kids were little.  I thoroughly enjoy having my days to myself while my husband is at work and spend my time with my school work, working out, and staying caught up on my housework.  I know this will come to an end as soon as I start back to work.  Money is tight but the bills are getting paid and I’ve never been happier.  I believe when I find work, I will be much more appreciative of having a job, no matter what it is.

    0 like

    • ColleenBx ColleenBx says

      Congratulations on incorporating going to the gym into your life.. I hope to achieve that soon.. My sister is treating me to five days at Canyon Ranch this week and I wish to get a kick start there to begin to exercise on a daily basis even if it is just a little bit.. I am happy to read that you started doing this at this point in your life.. BRAVA!!!

      0 like

  14. Generic Image alaskangal says

    My problem is not what career path to take, but to figure out where I want to LIVE the rest of my life! How do you choose?  I getting tired of living out of a storage unit, not ever having a place of permanentize. I move between my regular teaching position out in the boon docks, (I hate the location), then come back to a small community to work in a gift shop, selling things to vactioners from all around the world. I have begun looking at the districts along the road system. So how do you choose a new employer and community to live in? Girls can you help?

    0 like

  15. Generic Image 173to137 says

    From where I sit you are already self-actualized and authentic.  You may not yet have exactly what you think you want.  But how many times in life do we think that we want something and then when we really understand it we wonder what we were thinking.  It seems that you have been blessed with abilities and opportunities not everyone gets in life. It has been my experience that the journey for me included more years of being not really sure of one thing or another than being in the groove.  LOL

    0 like

  16. Generic Image Marie H says

    Im facing 57 this May. Had a transplant Nov. 2004 and have spent years trying to figue out what to do with what is left of my life. Living in the “moment” sometimes is all you can do. Sometimes I reach out. Still don’t know where or if all the choices where lead, but there are choices.

    0 like

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting