You thought I was about to launch into a post about a miracle cream, the latest lipstick colors or what we must buy this-very-second to prove we are on message as we move, ever fashion forward into the new year.
No, that’s not what is on my mind nor is it what I’m seeing among my friends and with my daughter. I’m seeing an entirely new and far more exciting trend.
Many of the women near and dear to me are seriously thinking about, and acting upon, a campaign of reinvention. Reinvention is the new mode (the new black. . .?)
One friend did admit she thought she would try — for the first time ever — a bright shade of nail polish to signal her new and evolving status. “I can look down at my hands and see I’m moving in a different direction,” she said. Why not?
Some of the women I know have been pushed into reinvention by circumstances: employers who “downsized” (don’t you just love that word?); buy-outs; job consolidations, a euphemism that means two jobs equal one, and so on. Interestingly, all of the women in these situations somehow knew that they wanted “out.” They weren’t happy with their status quo, but they needed that outside push to set them on their new course.
Each one is exhilarated and yet slightly fearful of the unknown. The status quo can be stultifyingly comfortable after all, often offering little intellectual stimulation or new challenges. Still, as challenges go this is a big one, particularly for women of a certain age. I think we have to be quite creative to come up with ideas that are fulfilling and viable. We probably know what makes us feel accomplished and happy, but we might not know how that precisely translates into getting up, getting dressed and getting out there — either literally or figuratively speaking.
The women I know have a posse of close friends and a strong network of professional contacts. They have been talking to all of them, as they figure out how they want their reinventions to play out.
As of two weeks ago, my daughter has a new job and for the first time in her professional career she will be using her French every day. She’s very excited.
One of my best friends decided to take a buy-out, which will be followed by a vacation and a period of reflection. She has great plans for her future. She now wants to decide how to implement them. She will; she’s brilliant.
A good friend has, with great trepidation, decided to produce short lifestyle videos. They are wonderful, aspirational, beautiful.
Another close friend, while keeping her “real” very high profile job, has been working toward her master’s degree. Her goal, with her new diploma in hand, will be to help other women reinvent themselves. She set out on a very specific strategy to prepare herself to help others find their way. How fantastic is that?
A new, but now precious friend, decided to take an early retirement. Her reinvention involves lots of travel and contemplation. She hasn’t truly discovered what the next stage of her life will entail, but she feels “released and free,” which is definitely a fine beginning for a journey.
Three girlfriends, again with “real” jobs, are writing novels on the side. All are excellent writers and they have been dreaming for years about trying their hand at fiction. Now they’re doing it. They are disciplined and regularly set aside the time to escape into their writing.
Each of these women knows the following:
1.) Her strengths
2.) What she loves to do.
3.) What she hates to do.
4.) What will make her feel fulfilled.
Maybe I should add, what each one needs to do, which could mean how they see their evolution spiritually, emotionally and economically. Sometimes reinvention is not solely a luxury, but also a necessity to pay the bills.
My simple, but daunting foray into blogging several years ago was my reinvention and as you know that has had many happy consequences, not the least of which is meeting and “talking” — sometimes literally — with all of you.
Change can take many forms and I think it’s positively invigorating. This post from my dear friend, Patricia Yarberry Allen, co-founder of the extraordinary site, Women’s Voices For Change, talks about another type of moving on. She refers to her latest life-changing move as “Right-Sizing“.” Isn’t that a splendid way to look at our lives in most every context?
You’ll note the word “Change” in the title of the site. If you are not already a regular follower of WVFC, I promise you it can change your life. I highly recommend that you include it as a daily read resolution for 2016. It could help us in assessing which road to take toward reinvention, or at least amelioration. Some of us are less radical than others. . .
Let’s think of this new year as an adventure, each of us defining her interpretation of change, evolution and reinvention. We’re all in this together.