So, I said it was my birthday..........I am somewhat over 40-years-old, even though I think I am still in my early 30's. (Doesn't everyone feel this way?) I just recently began subscribing to MORE magazine, a mag for women like me. The February issue features the fabulous Emma Thompson on the cover, but it was the title of a featured article on the magazine cover that really struck a cord with me. It was all about reinventing yourself after 40. Why do women feel the need to reinvent? Why women over 40? What kind of reinventions are taking place? It may be as simple as changing your hairstyle, or as dramatic as leaving a corporate career to become a novelist. There are many reasons, really. The economy may be a big reason for this reinvention trend. I also think women over 40 are a demographic who are looking for more meaning and quality for the second half of their lives. They are taking their lives more personally than ever, after having had successful careers and raising their children.
I remember when I had to reinvent my life after I turned 40. I was a stay-at-home mom and my two sons were young - under 5-years-old - when my husband experienced a major health crisis that cost us our business and ended my plans for home-schooling my children. Mine was a forced reinvention. I did what I had to do.........I went back to work. While ours is an unconventional arrangement - although I have read that because of the economy more men than women are becoming unemployed, maybe we aren't so unconventional anymore - it works for us.
I must admit, though, that the idea of reinventing by choice is a dream I have. I can picture myself, creating art (maybe in a charming little coastal town - might as well dream BIG!), with 2-3 dogs, breathing at a much slower pace, not needing to surround myself with all the stuff that causes me to spend my weekends dusting and washing. My husband and my sons are there, too, but in the background of my dream.........watching me bloom..........in my reinvention.