I'm sitting in the Istanbul airport. It's sassy and modern, filled with sparkly duty free shops and attractive people. My layover is a couple of hours before my flight to Rome. It's a bit of a surprise that I'm here.
Crash and Burn
Not too many years ago I was a washed-up empty nester, a sad, depressed ex-soccer mom with no clue about what to do next. The bloom had fallen off my stem in a dull and squishy mess, and I watched from my lonely window as fresh new school children of happy new moms kicked my old bloom into the gutter thoughtlessly on their way to the first day of school. Ewww.
See, I can still get maudlin about the whole thing.
It was actually a rather depressing situation. My kids were gone, I had lost all my stuff in the financial mess of 2008. And I mean ALL my stuff: my houses, my cars, my money, my relationship, my businesses, my confidence, my garden, my cat. Most especially my mojo, it was gone too.
At a time when I expected to be settled and comfortable, my world had fallen apart around me. I was broke, depressed and alone.
Back to sitting in the airport in Turkey. I'm no longer depressed, sad or maudlin. I never did get back all my stuff, my garden, a relationship or my cat. But I'm happy and very excited about my life and my future.
I found my mojo.
How did that happen and what was the journey like? That's the point of this story.
Digging A Tunnel With a Spoon
It wasn't easy. As a matter of fact, it was very, very hard. Being a midlife woman that's going through a tough transition can be a lonely place. We're not exactly revered as being at our cutest, and no one seems to want us alone at their dinner parties. I didn't have the adorable factor of a homeless puppy, although at times I felt close to being one.
I was scared. I often felt my life was over and I had blown it. I didn't know what to do next and how I was going to survive. I felt like a loser. I looked around at my friends living much different lives and wondered what I had missed that they obviously got.
"I'm so scared."
"I'm too old to start over"
"I have no idea what to do next."
It was a very dark time for me, yet I couldn't bring myself to share with anyone about how bad it really was. I was too embarrassed about my life.
I did anything I could to stay afloat financially. I built up one of my businesses that had just about died. I learned to coupon like a mad woman. I lived on air. I cried, a lot.
Attitude was next. I started focusing on what mattered and not what looked good. My pastimes became connected to being outdoors, something that had always fed me. I had a strong foundation in positive mindset and I relied heavily on what helped me spiritually.
One very small step at a time I have built a life that works for me. It took years.
Finding My Midlife Mojo
Today, my world looks much different and feels much different than the old one. I had to let go of what I lost, and parts of that still feel sad. However, my new life is filled with happy times and exciting adventures.
I'm currently on my way to two months in Florence. Why? Because it sounded like fun. What a wonderful life that is! I've got a little apartment in downtown, a two-minute walk to the Duomo and I plan on having a wonderful adventure exploring my new city.
Next on my agenda, after a fun summer in my new home of Lake Tahoe, might be Panama or Ecuador.
My world feels like an endless list of possibilities. I'm no longer sad or scared.
As part of my new profession, I've started interviewing other women who have gone, or are going, through a tough Midlife transition. Not surprisingly their words are the same:
"I'm so scared"
"I'm too old to start over"
"I don't know what to do next"
It's tough getting kicked hard at a time when you thought life would feel warm, safe and comfortable. It's painful and often so unexpected.
No one should have to go through that alone.
Kimberly Montgomery is the creator of the Choices Notebook and blogger at FiftyJewels.com, where she encourages people to use their powers for good. Hop on over there to grab your FREE copy of the Choices Notebook Mini Kit.