Today, we see many women in public life, ranging the gamut from Hillary Clinton to Sharon Osborne, who have stepped out of the shadows of their husbands and families to pursue their own ambitions for themselves. Millions of ordinary women face the same challenge in our daily lives, as well.
After a couple of decades on the job, many of us feel that we have explored one option or direction as far as we can and now we want to do something else. Or, we have wanted to do that certain something else all along, but never had the chance, the opportunity, the backing and/or the nerve to pursue it.
Now we recognize that to stay with what we have always done simply by default would be stultifying and self-limiting. And money isn’t necessarily the object this time around, either. Now it is more a matter of what is personally satisfying and fulfilling than what is smart, stable or safe.
Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.
– Oprah Winfrey
When I was in my early fifties, I made the decision after years of procrastinating to begin publishing a quarterly journal about living in sync with the cycles
After a quarter of a century of studying, teaching, writing and celebrating, it was the next logical intellectual step in my exploration of the cycles of the cosmos and their physical, emotional, and social significance. This new publication would deal with how to live consciously with the changes of the seasons — including the seasons of our own lives.
Good idea or not, however, my well-meaning friends pointed out that I had no resources or backer to support this ambitious project. But I was beyond reason. My biological clock was ticking, though I wasn’t thinking of babies. Mortality was on my mind. Mine. If I didn’t do this now, when would I?
Needless to say, I didn’t listen to the criticism, constructive though it might have been, and went right on ahead with my plan anyway. And, yes, they were right. But though I incurred a very large debt as a result, I have no regrets. Publishing that journal was a most rewarding endeavor, a four-times-a-year-discipline that challenged me to stay in tune with, and respond to, the times, even as they change. This effort kept me alert and in the moment — a worthy lesson at any price.
I kept Always in Season: Living in Sync with the Cycles alive for eight years. Thirty-two issues. And I am still paying the bank interest for lending me the capital. But I am grateful for having taken the chance. It yielded me critical acclaim and loyal subscribers in thirty-one states and eight countries who were not simply readers but more like an extended community of like-minded souls, a network of spiritual support, an international circle of care and concern. Surely this is what truly matters.
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.