Stories from Stepping Stones
Many women were generous about sharing their stories with us - and our readers. You can read them in full on our website, www.HerMentorCenter.com, but here's a brief sampling from 8 different women who had unique yet universal tales to tell in various past issues of Stepping Stones:
"The bad news came swiftly and completely unexpectedly - the office was being closed and I was out of a job. This was not the first time I had faced unemployment. In the past, I had always hunkered right down and launched a job search. This time I made a very different decision."
"I had heard from other friends who had already been there that the pleasure of grandparenting was the only activity that was not overly exaggerated. So I was looking forward to it with great glee, yet also with some trepidation. I didn't really know what to expect - from the baby, from our children, from my husband, from our co-grandparents or even from myself in this new situation."
"I hated being single. I really missed the company of a man. I am from a generation where my identity was being a wife. Without the marriage, I felt I had no identity. At least with a man, I felt useful and worthwhile. I was also very lonely. I missed being one-half of a relationship."
"I feel as if I am living a dream, sometimes scared but most often excited by my travel and volunteer opportunities. In looking back, I recollect my hope of retiring early enough to travel off the beaten path. Before I knew it, the safety of the intellectual journey spent in bookstores, at lectures and on the internet became the reality of leaving a gratifying and secure career for the unknown."
"Becoming an entrepreneur is a grand adventure! After a long, productive work life as an employee in both the public and private sectors, I retired. Since I was not working, I had more time to spend with my 86-year-old mother who lives in a nearby residential care home. Because she has many medical problems that impair the circulation to her extremities, she always complained that her hands were cold. I felt I had to help solve this problem both for her and the other folks in her residential home."
"With the shattering of the marriage and hope of growing old together, old buried dreams were suddenly free to surface. Marrying and becoming a mother immediately after college, I did not have the chance to travel to Asia or do very long meditation retreats like many of my friends who also taught Buddhist meditation. I found in myself a wild courage, born of: "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose!" I decided to leave everything I knew, jump off a cliff and free-fall through the abyss. I was where I wanted to be."
"I felt a void and lack of purpose following Mom's death. No longer volunteering or caring for Mom, my days were long. My oldest was soon leaving for college with the two younger ones flying the coop shortly behind him. What was I going to do with my life? I felt empty. What did I want to be when I grew up?"
"I don't know what the future holds. I'm learning to pay more attention to the present. But I do feel I've experienced a hard won transition that only time on this planet and an open mind could bring about. It is amazing how feared aging is when the focus is only on the physical when, in fact, it is a journey to wisdom and inner peace. I feel that I am finally at home within myself."
Come share your own story with us - or just read along with others. To subscribe to Stepping Stones, simply click on the link below and to the left labeled "FREE Newsletter." This month you'll receive our 75th issue.