My friend and I were having a conversation the other day about the unnecessary pressures we place upon ourselves to fit into these “norms” we have created in our heads. You can’t really blame us though. We grew up with the understanding that as children we went to school and got an education and afterwards, we got a job or career. Later in life we would have a family and we would work to support them and our lifestyles until we retired or dropped dead, whichever came first.
For both of us, in the decade that we grew up, this was the only norm we lived and breathed. It was what we saw our parents do, it was what our friend’s parents did, and it was what was expected of us. Most of us even aspired to it.
Now my friend and I, both women of a certain age, at this point in life have found ourselves without our careers for different reasons. The dilemma is, we didn’t retire and we’re definitely not dead, so what the hell do we do now? We have been so brainwashed into thinking that we need to be doing something besides just kicking back and enjoying this downtime for however how long the ride lasts.
“Should I get a job?” “Should I feel guilty about not having a job?” These are just some of the questions that run through our heads daily. The truth is, there are no “cookie cutter” answers, it all depends on your situation. I do understand that for some people, for whatever the reason, even the mere thought of going without a job cannot be entertained and that’s okay. Fortunately, at this stage of our lives, that is not the case for either of us.
We’ve both been working for a long time, and we have both led hectic lives raising our families and juggling, professional demands. So, now that we have gotten the chance to slow down, even if only for just for a little while, I say we should embrace it. We have earned the right to enjoy it to the fullest, without guilt or trepidation.
So, my friend, I know you’re reading this. Let us enjoy this time of rest. We can think about what we want to do with our lives, later. Who knows, like in earlier years, maybe we can decide on a beach somewhere in Jamaica!
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