Forget your 2014 retirement age. Let's talk about your 2014 encore career age--and it's now.
Never heard of an encore career this New Year? That's about to change. In fact, as Marci Alboher -- a former lawyer and reporter who is fittingly now the vice president of Encore.org -- writes in The Encore Career Handbook, "Research shows that 9 million people are already in encore careers, and another 31 million are keen to move in that direction." They are "crafting their encores and helping to create a movement for personal renewal and social good," she writes.
I'm one of those 9 million. After all, my "change" was what launched my new beginning and improved encore career as a perimenopause and menopause awareness expert.
See, when I entered early menopause, I acted like the Wicked Witch of the West, slept like an insomniac, couldn't find my way through a case of never-clearing brain fog, and sadly waved goodbye as my estrogen and vagina packed up and moved to the desert--and I'm not talking about Las Vegas!
After struggling in silence for three long years, I figured it was time for a new beginning. I took out my journal and started writing about my menopause experiences. While, at first, the journaling was a way to escape from all the loneliness and menopause symptom confusion, it soon became a gift that I intended to give to my daughter. It would be a guide to perimenopause and menopause -- something she could turn to when she was older and found herself experiencing signs of menopause as I did then.
The more I learned of the various menopause symptoms, and how many women were suffering through them in silence, however, the more I wanted to share my newfound menopause knowledge with the sisterhood of all women. So the journal became my book, and then led to the creation of EllenDolgen.com, the home of Menopause Mondays.
I now have a purpose in my 2014 life that is bigger than me: Supporting women through perimenopause and menopause so that they can lead the happy, healthy and fulfilled lives they deserve. Best of all, I found that purpose during my life's second act: menopause. My mission is ageless and so am I. I am living a great life of passion and purpose after menopause. After all, 60 is the new 40!
As far as our 2014 lives during early menopause and menopause are concerned, we make the rules and set our own goals! Take, for instance, the six postmenopausal women featured in the new Britain TV documentary Fabulous Fashionistas. These women share a love of style and a "screw that" attitude I love -- at least, when it comes to maintaining the status quo.
Perhaps my favorite fashionista in the documentary is 76-year-old Jean Woods. Following the death of her husband of 56 years, she applied for a job at Gap to make ends meet -- and she found her passion in fashion. She later got a job at a fashion boutique in London and is now considered one of the most fashion-forward women across the pond. "Perhaps when you get older you know what suits you," she says. "Also, I like to dress as I want to dress. When I put something on, I don't think 'will anybody think I look good?', I just think in my own mind whether I look good. I don't really think about other people." Like I said, style, passion, and drive know no age.
So, again, I ask: What's your 2014 passion? Now's the time to set goals share it with the world. After all, our years have given us the greatest gift from which any new beginning career can benefit: experience. We know our priorities, our goals, and what mark we want to make on future generations of women. So let's make that New Year mark!
P.S. Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!
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Ellen Dolgen is an outspoken women's health and wellness advocate, menopause awareness expert, author, and speaker.
After struggling through the silence that surrounds menopause, Ellen resolved to help women reach out and end the confusion, embarrassment, and less-than-lovely symptoms that come with "the change." Her passion to be a "sister" to all women fueled Ellen's book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of her women's wellness journey, and in response to the overwhelming thirst of her ever-expanding audience for empowering information, Ellen's weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM was born.
Menopause MondaysTM allows Ellen an expansive platform from which she broadens her discussion of menopause, women's health, and life as a menopausal (and fabulous!) woman. Her weekly Menopause News Flash provides a one-stop shop for the latest menopause and women's health news and research, allowing women the access and know-how needed to take charge of their health and happiness. In addition to Ellen's ever-growing social media presence, EllenDolgen.com has fast become "the place" on the web for informative and entertaining women's menopause and wellness engagement. Ellen is #1 on Dr. Oz Sharecare.com Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Menopause. In 2012 and 2013 EllenDolgen.com was named first on the list of the "Best Menopause Blogs" by Healthline. Ellen is also a regular contributor to over a dozen leading women's health blogs. Her motto is: Reaching out is IN! Suffering in silence is OUT!
Ellen has appeared on the "TODAY Show," "The Katie Show," "NBC Nightly News", the "Rachael Ray Show," "The Doctors," Oprah Radio, Playboy Radio, NPR's "Tell Me More," Doctor Radio, and dozens of regional and national media outlets. In 2011 she appeared in a sold-out, San Diego production of "The Vagina Monologues." Ellen was one of the first regular contributors to debut on The Huffington Post's, Huff/Post50, which targets 116 million Americans over the age of 50.