I had an epiphany Thursday morning while running. I seem to always have my best ideas while running, folding laundry or scrubbing the bathroom. Also, taking a shower and shaving my legs. I don’t know why that is, but I do.
Back to my Eureka! moment.
While I am enjoying (and learning a lot about myself) reading Rachel Hollis’ book, the thought occurred to me, that while there are a lot of good quality self-help/motivational books out on the market, they seem to be geared toward a younger crowd; the same can be said about photography sites that aim to teach you how to take beautiful photos of your young children. Don’t get me wrong, those books and those photography sites are jam packed with terrific content, but what about those of us who have older children or children who have already entered into adulthood?
I am 53 years old. When I turned 50, I was excited beyond belief. I was finally at my favorite number (I was exactly halfway through my life, having spent the first 25 years being a kid, a young married woman and a new mother. Now here I was ready to start on the second half of my life because I’m convinced that I’m going to live to be at least 100 years old. That was the pact I made with 4-year-old Joey, anyway); I had at least 25 years left to spend just as I liked and, like I said, I was excited beyond belief.
But now that I’m well established in my 50’s where do I go from here? You know, when you first set out being a parent, you’re filled with excitement and hope and the wonder of it all. But then the honeymoon period wears off, usually about the time the baby is cutting his fourth tooth and you’ve forgotten what an uninterrupted night’s sleep is. You do come out at the other end, however, still filled with the excitement, the hope and the wonder of it all, but at the fact that you survived raising your children and lived to write a blog post about it.
But your kids have grown, don’t like having their pictures taken anymore, and now you have all this free time. You begin dreaming about all the adventures you’re going to take, the endless amount of free time you’ll have to spend as you want and that huge open road that’s spread before you now that your kids are grown, self-sufficient and living on their own, creating their own lives. It’s all great for the first year, but now that you’ve got a semi-routine down, you find yourself in a bit of a quandary: yes, you have free time, but there’s still laundry to do, groceries to be bought, errands to run . . . all the same old same old from when you were an Active Parent. Those dreams still float around in your head, but they’re harder to catch and make true.
I know so many women who have invested their lives in the raising of their kids, something I think we all do as parents: your children are first and foremost the the most important people to take care of; but now they’re beginning to leave the house and you have time once again for yourself.
I am eager to start a sports/portrait photography business. In ten years, I want to see myself sitting next to David as we go across the country photographing mountain bike races and the people that ride those bikes. I want to take sports portraits of athletes. I want to take all these pictures and write about our adventures. Just sell our house, load up the Subaru with our laptops, cameras and lenses, David’s mountain bike and my trail runners, the dog and a few clothes and hit the road.
To sum up:
In ten years, I want to be a well established sports photographer, traveling the country with David taking pictures and writing about our adventures.
It’s a great dream and something that David and I have talked about doing for years. But how do I go about doing that if I’m well into my 50’s and 60’s? What does Rachel Hollis and all those other self-help/motivational gurus have to say about that?
And . . . while we’re on the subject of dealing with an empty nest, how can you talk your adult children into posing for you so you can practice portraiture?
A lot of questions, a lot ideas to be solved, a lot of goals to achieve. Maybe I should write a book for women my age.