Original Story: USAToday.com
Hi Gladys, I am 55 and recently divorced. I have two kids who are both in college. During my marriage I work at various part-time jobs. But I can't say that I really did anything significant. Now I am in a situation where there is nothing to hold me back from really doing something with my life. I would like to start a small business but most of the business magazines I read seem to focus on young entrepreneurs. Sometimes I feel like I have waited to long. My friends keep telling me that it's never too late. But I don't know about that. -- M. L.
I agree with your friends, it's never too late. As long as you are living and breathing there is no reason to avoid venturing into new things.
Arriving at the mid-point in life has many rewards that you can bring to the world. You have gathered information and knowledge as a result of your experience during your life. And you have come to understand many things and most often that understanding leads to wisdom. And how that wisdom can be applied is unlimited.
You say that you haven't done anything significant, but I would say that raising kids, keeping a household running and working at any type of job outside of your home is significant. I often tell people who feel like you to make a list of all of the things that they have learned in life and in nearly every case they have expressed surprise at the things that life has taught. And even more important they have found several gems in their list that can be turned into a successful business
Taking care of a family is not an easy task. Each family member has his or her own personality and traits and must be dealt with individually and yet collectively. Facing divorce or the death of a spouse teaches one to learn to cope with change and uncertainty. And to handle your household while working outside of your home also gives you added skills.
My friend Marta worked in a part-time clerical position for years while raising her two kids and at the age of 59 she decided to enroll in a theological seminary to study theology and religion. After a several years of dedication and hard work she graduated with a degree and soon after was appointed to pastor a small church.
I have another friend who returned to school to get a Masters in Fine Arts so that she could sharpen her acting skills. Also at the age of 59, she received her degree and packed up her Volkswagen after selling her house and headed to California to find her way into acting. And so far she has managed to find quite a few acting jobs and she is often hired to perform in stage plays.
Keep in mind that Margaret Mead's career flourished in her mid-life and after divorce, as did Martha Stewart's.
The important thing is to have confidence in yourself and stop questioning your ability to reinvent yourself.