Kids Gone, Dog Died–What Now?

“The kids are gone. The dog died, I hate my job and don’t know what else to do.”

I hear that refrain often from women in midlife–especially if they are widows. For without question, midlife IS more difficult when you don’t have a mate.

It’s even more discouraging if you don’t have a satisfying career.

“But what else can I do now? ” you ask.

Start by thinking about what actual activities would make you want to jump out of bed, run to your car and be impatient while you wait at red lights because you’re so anxious to begin your day.

That’s where you start trying to find more satisfying work.

Tally up all the skills you’ve learned in your previous and present work life, plus your education so many years ago, and see where those lead.

One widow named Sally mentioned she loves horses and her most happy hours lately are at the stable nearby, taking riding lessons. She stays afterward visiting managers, the facilities and especially the animals. Her degree happened to be in agriculture many years ago, but she doesn’t use that knowledge in her present job.

It’s pretty clear where she should begin inquiring about full- or part-time or even voluntary positions in her “after retirement” days.

And Sue loves to bake and make candy. Her finest creative moments are when she’s making fancy pastries and chocolates to serve at her own parties–or to bring to friends’ events. She has no such joy performing secretarial duties at the office.

We pointed out she can begin setting up a future company, (“Sweet Sue’s Sweets” perhaps?) All she needs are cards and weekends dedicated to the project until she can do it full time.

In both cases, that would get their minds off the beloved kids and the dear departed dog, and focused on moving forward.

So don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to stay where you are and feel sorry for yourself.

It’s more important to remember that this life is NOT a dress rehearsal and it’s up to you to make each day as happy and fulfilling as we can. And also remember no one can do it for you.

But of course, is always here to help, with our many years experience as the DR.JOB columnist syndicated in newspapers throughout the country.

So send us your questions and we may be able to help you develop and market a new career–and an exciting new life! ####