Happy Mother’s Day! I hope your day was filled with loving gestures and special moments. Yes, being a mom is one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences, so we all appreciate the recognition and sentiments. And keeping in line with true mothering fashion, the day is never 100% about us. It trickles down to our kids too, as we reward them with many hugs and kisses for their carefully written out thoughts and creations. Hallmark may be making a mint but in the end, we are the ones who are truly richer. Mother’s Day makes us all slow down and pause – one of my favorite places to go.
But what happens outside of being a mom? Recently, I have found myself in the same conversation with many women who all seem to be in a similar place: their children are growing increasingly independent, leaving them with more time for self reflection. No longer are we defined solely by motherhood. We can and do aspire to contribute to our own self development and set our sights on future chapters.
I think about my story a lot. If my life were a book, how will the chapters after being a mom read? I clearly know they will always be threaded with mothering (once you start, you can’t stop), but their main ideas will shift. Last week, I met with a friend to begin a journey of journaling together, a journey that holds us each accountable to actively thinking about who we are and where we are going.
If you think you are “over the hill” and have passed your prime to accomplish anything more, let these “older” women inspire you to seek out your dreams:
– Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book at the age of 64. I am pretty sure we all imagined ourselves as Laura at some point in our childhood while watching Little House on the Prairie.
– At the age of 40, Mother Teresa gave up the life she knew to pursue missionary work that lead her to be the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 69.
– Julia Child’s didn’t find cooking until her mid-30s.
– Grandma Moses painted her first painting at the young age of 76.
– JK Rowling completed the Harry Potter series at the age of 42.
– Vera Wang, from figure skating to fashion design at 40.
– Nina Zagat, along with her husband Bill, published the first restaurant review book Zagat at age 51.
– Susan Boyle made her first stage debut at the age of 48.
– With the publication of her first book at 41, Martha Stewart came into her fame.
– Zipcar was co-founded after Robin Chase’s 40th birthday.
– At the age of 64, Diana Nyad became the first woman to swim from Florida to Cuba.
– Did you know most inventions are born from people over 40?
Dare to dream of the day where you find yourself on a list like the one above. Age is meaningless; it’s never too late! Just think, outside of raising your children, your finest work might have yet to shine. How will your future chapters read?