The gift of formative personal work

During October (ah, October... anyone else love this month?)I'll be sharing some highlights and clips from Second Bloom interviews on social media and here on the blog. Quite frankly I'm trying to entice you into joining us for this excellent series of conversations with extraordinary, ordinary women.

2022 update: You can listen to all these interviews here.

Women who have transitioned from homemaking and child-raising careers into training programs, bachelors, and masters degrees; women working in corporate professions, universities, and small businesses; writers, students, guides, helpers, musicians, designers, administrators, managers and healers.

Mothers with kids still at home and actively parenting tweens, teens and young adults. Mothers who have long launched birds from the nest. Mostly homeschoolers; for many years, or just a few. Mothers of two or three, or five or six children. Grandmothers.

Women with a strong commitment to that first career of homemaking and child raising, who have experienced or are experiencing a Second Bloom in midlife.

These are great stories. And I want you to hear them!

Mothering changes us. As you know. Some would say, it's our becoming. I know it's been mine.

It takes us on a particular life trajectory and it also equips us with certain skills and perspectives our pre-mother selves did not possess. And we bring those with us into every other endeavour we do, including midlife career changes and vocational pursuits.

The first interview in the series is with Bethany Lee.

Bethany is a published author, a hospice harpist, and choral accompanist. She lives at the edge of the woods in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley. She's married to Bryan and is the mother of two young adult daughters, whom she homeschooled.

In this short audio clip she shares a particular insight from her own journey that I think is really helpful for those of us who are looking to define a vocational path in midlife.

Did you catch that little bit at the end where she says this:

It's been a real gift to come to a career from this many years of formative personal work. To come with a lot more certainty here in my 40's than I would have had in my 20's about who I am and what it is I want to offer the world.

Can I get an amen? The self-awareness and self-knowledge we gain through the years of mothering, as we allow ourselves to be changed by that journey and to grow into our ourselves, is a real asset we have when starting something in midlife. We've gone through some stuff, and if we've done the work, we know who we are at a level of insight not available to us in our young adulthood.

Many of us did not have careers before motherhood, or during the majority of our active mothering years. Some of us work part-time, we volunteer, we are active in our kids' schools or we homeschool them ourselves, we take care of our homes. You'll hear this in Bethany's story for sure.

But this doesn't mean we won't have careers someday, if we so desire. And it doesn't mean we need to fret during the child-raising years about how that will come to be.

Something I've learned in these interviews is that everyone approaches this differently. Some of us need to plan and plot and put the wheels in motion during the child-raising years. You'll hear those stories in Second Bloom. And others of us feel content doing what we're called to do now and when a new season arrives we step across that threshold ready to go. It's our time.

There's no one right way.

What can we learn together from the life experience and wisdom of women's stories?

Listen to this series of interviews to find out.

« Second Bloom Conversation with Bethany Lee
Softer, older, rounder (The mountains are calling) »

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