Is anybody else struggling with who they wanna be when they grow up?
My kids are adults now. They live independently. Successfully. Without me. Which is as it’s supposed to be. If I did my job right, and I think I did, they are well equipped to live as responsible decent human beings. I continue to pray that they love God and follow Him as they did in their youth.
But I’m left with wondering what I should do next. Now that I’ve raised my kids, it’s time to find what’s on the agenda for me.
Most women my age – early in empty nesting – have gone back to work. Some have gone back to school. Many, including myself, are volunteering.
I’m excited about a new ministry that I am starting – a chapter of Fresh Hope at our church, which is a peer-led support group for folks who struggle with mental illness, and their loved ones. This is a ministry that I’m really excited about, and have dreamed of for years. It’s finally happening! Our training as facilitators is almost complete, and we’ll start meeting as a group at the beginning of January.
I’m quitting my job – again – right before Christmas – and will dedicate myself to this new ministry. But I wonder what I’ll do with my extra time, and am looking into becoming a peer support specialist. The training I’ve found doesn’t quite fit into my otherwise-free schedule, so I’ll explore continuing education as an option.
I’m also thinking about writing a book, which is something I think many bloggers consider. But I have a friend who has recommended a program that helped him publish his book, so it’s worth more review.
I considered all of these concerns in a previous blog post, so I’m not surprised that they are still issues I’m resolving. I probably need to discuss all of this with my therapist, since it seems to be a recurring theme!
But I think I’ve made her mad, or at least, I’ve introduced conflict into our relationship. That’s not a bad thing – just an issue to be addressed. I need to be honest with her as I consider my life and depression and all that it entails. She pointed out at our last appointment that I’m going to have my depression “in my face” if I write a book about it. That, along with the mental health support group, puts my depression front and center, and she cautioned me about balancing that with health so as not to be waylaid by it. Good point.
But I need some help navigating my next steps. I need clarification. I need her to say back to me what I’m saying, since I can’t seem to hear myself. What is it I want to do? What steps do I take to make “it” happen? What other commitments can I make that are healthy and feed my long-term goals? I need her to help me figure this out.
And if you have any insights, I’m listening! Please include your thoughts in the comments below!