Starting Over With Confidence and Curiosity for Women 50+


Starting over as a woman over fifty may not be what you planned, but you have more – and more valuable! – assets than you realize. Instead of thinking you’re too old to start over as a woman over 50 or 55 (or even 58 or 59), focus on what you do have and what you can do.

Women who feel forced to start over have a different approach than women who accept that while this isn’t what they would’ve chosen at this stage of life, they will move on with hope and faith. Women over fifty know that nothing is ever promised or guaranteed, and that starting over when life knocks you down is simply part of living fully, madly, and deeply.

If you tell yourself you have no choice – if you feel stuck and helpless – you’re putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage. You’re no longer a woman who needs a little encouragement to start over. You’re wandering into the “I’m helpless please rescue me” wilderness, and that is a dangerous place to be.

Choose to start over, to rebuild your life and move forward no matter what brought you here. Look up and meet the gaze of God. Remember who you are and why you were created. You are a Holy Girl, deeply loved and cherished by the God who created you to blossom, flourish, grow forward! If your faith is weak and your relationship with Jesus dusty and limp, prioritize spirituality as part of your journey.

Starting over as a woman over fifty isn’t something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of! Hold your head up. Straighten your spine, square your shoulders, and look forward. Walk tall and bold, even if you feel small and scared. It’s time to stop looking back and start moving forward. Know that God created you exactly the way you are for a reason. He is walking beside you, and He won’t let you down.

Starting Over in a New Season of Life

Here’s what a 55 year old She Blossoms reader said on It’s Time to Stop Looking Back and Start Over:

“My husband’s job has taken us around many countries for all of our married life and I eventually had to give up my own career. Now my kids have left home and I have hardly any self-esteem. I feel constantly frustrated and angry. I put this down to the lack of a satisfying job and marriage. If we lived in one place I might have developed my own interests, friends and a career. As it is, I feel I have no options. The fear of making things worse is very real. Do you have any advice on starting over for women over 50?”

Find kindred spirits

Blossom Tips How to Start Over Women Over Fifty
Starting Over for Women Over Fifty

One of the most damaging thoughts when you’re starting over (whether you’re 50 or 20, 70 or 30) is believing you have to do this alone. If you buy the lie that you’re the only woman in this exact situation, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. You’re judging, condemning, and isolating yourself. Instead of withdrawing, find women over fifty who are kindred spirits. They don’t necessarily have to be starting over, they just have to “get” you. Find women you can relate to, whether you have the same sense of humor, values, job title, or faith. Make friends.

Be curious about your future

Starting over is scary, especially for women over fifty who don’t have a solid retirement plan, good health benefits, supportive family, good friends, secure job or hopeful future. If you truly have lost everything that matters to you and you’re literally living on the street with nothing but a shopping cart, then you’ve hit rock bottom. Since life can’t get any worse, be curious about how good your life can get from now on.

The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life – A Creative and Practical Guide by Margaret Lobenstine offers a life-planning strategy that fits women who feel like they’re a “jack-of-all-trades and master of none.” If you aren’t sure what your future holds – and you’re not trained or prepared to work in the current marketplace – you may need to shift your mindset. Read books like this and learn how to design a vibrant, fulfilling life by managing your time, thriving on many interests without feeling scattered, and starting over even if you feel overwhelmed.

Identify your assets

When I was working on my MSW (Master of Social Work), I took a class that required us to list our assets. I had no idea how many assets women have! Women 50+ have even more resources and assets than younger women. If you know how to identify and use your assets, you can start over with more confidence and curiosity.

Emotional assets include self-awareness, strength, intelligence, emotional health, resilience, and the ability to cope with stress. A huge emotional asset is the ability to be positive and grateful to be part of the “starting over for women over 50” group. Spirituality is another emotional asset, and so is the ability to communicate effectively.

Personal or social assets include friends, family, peers, and people we haven’t even met yet. For example, if you’re starting over at 50 and think you have no personal assets, you might be surprised to know that at this moment you have just connected with one! I am now one of your assets, because I am a source of support, comfort, and connection.

Financial assets don’t just include cash or credit, they include the ability to budget your money, manage your money, and live on what you earn. A healthy relationship with money is a huge financial asset – and it will help when you’re a woman starting over at 50. A career is a wonderful asset…but we can’t have everything, can we?

Community assets include organizations that help women who are starting over at 50 or any age, such as social services, the police, victim services, support groups, etc. Websites and blogs that encourage and support women are community assets as well.

Your physical health is another asset when you’re starting over as a woman over 50. Are you mobile and able-bodied? Be grateful. Maybe you’re struggling with an emotional health issue like depression or a physical health issue such as ulcerative colitis (like I am)…but you can walk and talk and speak. Those are assets that will help you start over at 50 or any age!

Look at yourself objectively

It may not seem like you have “marketable skills” to find a new job or start a new career – but you are more valuable than you think. Your life experience, family history, household skills are all valuable assets. You might not be able to see your unique assets, especially if you’re scared about starting over. If you’re recovering from an unhealthy or abusive marriage, you may feel terrible about yourself.

We’re so used to living with ourselves, we can’t see how unique and special we are! For example, I lived and taught in Africa for three years. I shrug it off as a normal, common part of life. But when I tell people I lived in Africa, they’re actually interested in me! Sometimes I forget that living and working oversees is a cool thing to do. And that’s the tricky part about assets: sometimes you can’t see them because you’re living right in the middle of them. You take them for granted, which doesn’t help you start over with curiosity and confidence. Get help identifying your assets, especially if you’re a shy or tentative woman over fifty.

Face your liabilities

Starting Over for Women Over 50
Starting Over for Women Over 50

I found a great article on starting over for women over 50 (or any age), by Dalonika McDonald of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Parole Division. She says: “It is time for everyone, no matter what you’re starting over from; to take control over your life. Flush all forms of complaining or being the victim. Take the driver’s seat, whether you’re coming from prison or a palace. Find the new you.” – from How Do I Start All Over Again? Effective Methods for a New Start.

McDonald works with women who are transitioning from prison life. I haven’t discussed the liabilities part of my “how to identify assets and liabilities” claim yet – but I am certain that leaving prison and starting over with a criminal record is perceived as a liability by both the woman and the community she eventually settles in.

The trick for women starting over at 50 is to learn how to live in uncertainty, and to trust that everything will work out fine. Read articles such as Starting Over in Your 60s – After Your Husband Dies.

Expect to be scared to start over

Fear is normal. So is anxiety and turmoil. Feel free to share your fears and anxieties in the comments section below. Don’t suppress or swallow your feelings, or they’ll grow bigger and stronger. Even better than writing about your fears is writing to God about everything! I write to Him in my journal every morning; we talk about everything from fear to joy, peace to anger.

Another great way to cope with fear of starting over is to read books like Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. Your fear won’t go away, but you can STILL move forward in your life with confidence and curiosity! Remember that women over 50 have heaps of valuable wisdom and experience to share with the world.

Need more encouragement? Here’s an article about how one of my favorite women in the Bible started over: Starting Over With Ruth – Growing Forward.

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34 thoughts on “Starting Over With Confidence and Curiosity for Women 50+

  • Laurie Post author

    A poem by Mary Oliver to encourage us to keep moving forward with confidence and curiosity…

    The Journey

    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and began,
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice —
    though the whole house
    began to tremble
    and you felt the old tug
    at your ankles.

    “Mend my life!”
    each voice cried.

    But you didn’t stop.

    You knew what you had to do,
    though the wind pried
    with its stiff fingers
    at the very foundations,
    though their melancholy
    was terrible.

    It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road full of fallen
    branches and stones.

    But little by little,
    as you left their voices behind,
    the stars began to burn
    through the sheets of clouds,
    and there was a new voice
    which you slowly
    recognized as your own,
    that kept you company
    as you strode deeper and deeper
    into the world,
    determined to do
    the only thing you could do —
    determined to save
    the only life you could save.

    ― Mary Oliver

  • Georgia O'Leary

    What a blessing to find this article! I am turning 55, soon. Never married and little family. I left a career two years ago and moved and lost a great guy six years ago to help care for my mom, vascular dementia. Now, I can go anywhere. Leaving cold NY and returning to my place of warmth, literally, and passion…Miami area. We choose what appeals to us, don’t let negative folks change your mind or kill your dreams! My mom used to say “What’s the alternative to being this age, death?” She meant that we [hopefully] feel very fortunate to be alive, live each year as you can…Take small steps, learn to trust your gut and be kind to yourself, we are all worthy of self-respect and love.

  • Linda

    After a marriage of 31 years (where I was a stay at home Mom for most of the time) and 4 children I am now on my own. Still have my oldest (adult dependent son) and daughter(17) living with me. Not formally divorced yet, because he intentionally has no taxable income. Works under the table. Having trouble seeing any assets.

  • Kathy

    I’ve been married since I was 19. Been with him since I was 15. Moved to Vegas to be w him at 16 years old. Lived there 22 years. Stay at home mom. Raised 3 Boys, my oldest son got married had 4 boys. 31 years old. Took his Life!! This past February! Am Devistated! Didn’t know how bad his Marriage had become. Was separated and living w us when it happened!! Our lives have been Turned upside Down!! My sons ( was soon to be exwife) didn’t even show up when it happened! My husbands estranged family came to our home and have caused horrible problems! My daughter n law kept us from speaking at our own sons Service! I didn’t know at the time l! My family was trying to protect me. And she had kept my grandsons away from us!! It’s been almost a year! 4 months later my mom passed! She was My Best Friend! I don’t know how to Survive This!! But Know I Have to Go On!! But my marriage is in Ruin! Has been long before this happened but always kept trying to stay together. He is Not Worthy of me l! This I know! But Stupid Me Stayed. I want to Start Over! But I am a Stay at home mom and grandma of 56 years old!! My Life feels like it’s Over as I once Knew it! And loosing my Son is The Worst, Deepest Aching Pain in My Soul!! Feel So Alone!! But I know I can not and do not want to stay w my husband in a husband and wife way Ever again! But why is it Soo Hard?!! Because I’ve been w him since I was a kid. And I never wanted my family broke apart, but now loosing my Sweet Sweet Son. My Family is Sooo Broke! I can’t keep going like this. Please help me to get out of my own way. I am in such deep Grief! Please Help me to deal with all of this and there’s SooMuch More! How can I Ever be happy again?! And take hold of a little bit of a life for myself! I don’t know what to do?? I try to post and says this a duplicate. I have never wrote this and if I had I’ve had no response this will not let post

    • Lara

      I am so sorry for your loss!!!! Breaks my heart!!! I lost my son he was 21 to an accidental overdose but he was self-medicating from anguish he had inside. Your son was suffering so terribly inside too. You probably have a lot of guilt thinking you might have been able to save him do something to save him! I do too and I don’t think I’ll ever get over the guilt of “I should have seen it coming and I could have saved him my precious son!!!” Losing a child is an unspeakable pain and I still cry everyday and my son has been gone since 2004. I am 57 now. The loss of my son was like an explosion went off and everybody suffered but sadly my daughter was 13 and they were best friends when he died. She was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and cutting herself. I divorced soon after I lost my son and looking back I wish I wasn’t so reckless but I was in so much pain and so angry that I burnt the whole village down and lost everything. If I could go back I would not be as Reckless of course hindsight. Maybe I wouldn’t have couldn’t have changed my anger and pain but I wish I had better support and a level head so I could make better decisions. I’m not sorry I divorced it was a bad marriage for a long time but I could have done it more gracefully and spared my daughter the pain she went through by losing everything and the consequences of my Reckless Behavior. Raichu and starting over at 57 and it’s scary but this article is a bit of a life changing read. I’m so hungry for it I’m going back to read over it and check out the other books available. Hang in there it’s hell it is absolute hell but it’s true through time it gets a little bit easier and I hated it when people told me that but it’s true.

  • Kathy

    I’ve been married since I was 19. Been with him since I was 15. Moved to Vegas to be w him at 16 years old. Lived there 22 years. Stay at home mom. Raised 3 Boys, my oldest son got married had 4 boys. 31 years old. Took his Life!! This past February! Am Devistated! Didn’t know how bad his Marriage had become. Was separated and living w us when it happened!! Our lives have been Turned upside Down!! My sons ( was soon to be exwife) didn’t even show up when it happened! My husbands estranged family came to our home and have caused horrible problems! My daughter n law kept us from speaking at our own sons Service! I didn’t know at the time l! My family was trying to protect me. And she had kept my grandsons away from us!! It’s been almost a year! 4 months later my mom passed! She was My Best Friend! I don’t know how to Survive This!! But Know I Have to Go On!! But my marriage is in Ruin! Has been long before this happened but always kept trying to stay together. He is Not Worthy of me l! This I know! But Stupid Me Stayed. I want to Start Over! But I am a Stay at home mom and grandma of 56 years old!! My Life feels like it’s Over as I once Knew it! And loosing my Son is The Worst, Deepest Aching Pain in My Soul!! Feel So Alone!! But I know I can not and do not want to stay w my husband in a husband and wife way Ever again! But why is it Soo Hard?!! Because I’ve been w him since I was a kid. And I never wanted my family broke apart, but now loosing my Sweet Sweet Son. My Family is Sooo Broke! I can’t keep going like this. Please help me to get out of my own way. I am in such deep Grief! Please Help me to deal with all of this and there’s SooMuch More! How can I Ever be happy again?! And take hold of a little bit of a life for myself! I don’t know what to do??

  • Enola G

    I found this less helpful than just another place to sell self help books or links to your blog where you continue to suggest books to by or hook us up on yet another email newsletter to clog up my already too abundant inbox. I’m tired of buying books! I’m tired of redundant newsletters! I want real help for FREE! and I want it now while I actually have a few moments for me, which is rare!! What did I learn from your article? That I have no assets and outrageous liabilities. Even the comments show me that you really aren’t so much in the helping others business as the helping yourself. A lot of the women reading this and commenting are like me, at their wits end. We are searching for answers right now in this moment and we don’t have money to buy stupid books or downloads that promise answers but really only drain us of just a few more drops of hope when they don’t work and a nice little gap in our pocket book. Give us real advise, guidance or help and stop making promises you can’t keep. We’ve had enough of those. Thanks!

    • Laurie Post author

      Thank you for your feedback, Enola – I appreciate it! I hear you saying you need answers right now, in this moment. And you have no assets and outrageous liabilities. That’s a really hard place to be for a woman over 50. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and that help is so hard to find.

      You’re welcome to come back anytime, and share more about your situation. Sometimes it helps to just vent and get it all out, especially if you can’t find the help you’re looking for.

      Take good care of yourself, Enola, for you are worth taking good care of!

      Blessings,
      Laurie

      • Frieda

        Enola is in a position many single women and men are at age over 50.
        In case you haven’t heard, there is age discrimination in the work place. Also due to the rising cost of living a single person can barely make it. I had one protracted illness that wiped me out financially. There was no spouse or family to pick up the slack. Now I am fine but I and many of my other over 50 friends who are highly qualified cannot even get the most menial job due to age discrimination. If you have a break in your earnings and debt due to illness and are single, it is not an easy road. Buying a self help book is not necessary. Enola, you have loads of company including me. Rest assured you will make it through. Many others are struggling in a similar manner. Hold your head up and do your best. Living singly is not an easy thing as a personal or economic proposition.

        • Cristina

          Hi Frieda
          I like very much your answer, is so true everything you wrote . I am 53 years old women and lost my job I was sick , I have no family and live alone . Now searching for a job endless, even I have experience and skills , is a lot of age discrimination .
          Only hope is what I have left from a day to another .

          Thank you
          Cristina

    • Michelle

      Enola G,
      I understand your frustration, however, projecting and demanding that everyone “fix” you right now is so delusional. I hope things have gotten better. Laurie has great insight and knows what she is taking about.
      One thing for sure is that your are not accepting any accountability for your part in the relationship.
      Your emotions are displaced. And your behavior says a lot about you.
      A broken heart is the devil at play!
      So instead of continuing with the negativity, obvious a product from your pain, why not take a minute and think about what someone is saying. There are no quick fixes. Everyday is a chance to heal. Find your peace.
      I will pray for your healing. Respectfully M

  • Susan McCallum

    I am 53, lived my life for my husband and kids who are now grown, husband divorced me and returned a year later to attempt a reconciliation which was about 8 years ago and we are no better than when he came back. I finished my degree in Psychology but Kaplan University did not set up an internship for me so I am stuck with a degree that I cannot use. I have been trying to find work for about 2 years now, I have issues with social anxiety and I believe it is showing in my interviews so I have yet to find anything. I have 140,000.00 in student loans, nothing saved due to a recent financial problem with my ex and my son which is a long story in itself. I do not know where to turn, I have no friends, family is not an option. My biggest fear is starting over and ending up homeless. I just do not know where to go now.

    • Rosalind

      Hi Susan

      I would like to support you as a woman who had to find the starting over tools
      Focus only on your day , thinking of helping others everyday and only for that day got me through my most difficult days, the feelings you will feel from helping anyone in any situation that the universe puts in front of you builds opportunities
      Love is all around you

  • Andy

    From what I see, most ladies in these circumstances are looking to get into some type of office work job. Concentrate on networking with small businesses to get that first job. Pay will be very little, but the experience is what is needed. Most large companies aren’t going to hire someone older who hasn’t worked in decades. Look at businesses like real estate and insurance offices. Lots of times the brokers of these offices are people who started over and they are much more understanding and willing to hire people in these type of situations. They also are people who work a job that entails lots of risk, so they aren’t afraid to go against the grain a little and take a chance on someone.

    The biggest issue I see is people keep trying to fit into a situation, where the people in charge of those situations, are not going to allow you in.

    Another great option for people in these situations is to start their own small service business. Pet sitting, baby sitting, book keeping, house cleaning, help people declutter/organize their house, closet design/remodeling, even something like window cleaning…….. lots to do out there. If you can’t do the actual physical work, hire it out to someone who can. You concentrate on getting the sales, organizing the labor etc…..

    It is VERY SIMPLE to do. It is slow to start, but picks up speed pretty quick. Anyone can start a small service business. You can start one in the next five minutes.

    Also, most important, see a therapist and get that self confidence back.

    Just get out there and start building life experiences, talking to people about your situation, seeking out opportunities etc…. There will be a ton of rejection, but you will also find great people willing to help and you will learn and find opportunity.

    Good luck

    • Susan McCallum

      Andy, how does a person start over in a new place with nothing? You say it is simple but I have ran it over in my mind and do not see how it is possible unless it can be done in the current city the person lives in. In my case that is not an option, the work is not here, the town it small.

    • Williams

      Andy, you are so short sighted. Nobody can afford to move into a place to even try and start over, by cleaning windows. Women deserve better than that, even if you are over 50, even the more so. We women are not unable, just because we are over 50. Slaves to our husbands and children, now we are outcasts. I suppose you cleaned windows and houses to try and make your living or looked after dogs for petty cash to try and make a living. How dare you!!!l Do you think women over 50 doesn’t have any life experiences and we must go learn that? We are not incompetant creatures. I suppose you speak for yourself, only! I don’t want to hear comments from a person like this. It’s people like you that makes it harder for others. Seeing that it is so simple to do, It is clear your life experiences count for nothing at all. Unfortunately people don’t listen to sad situations. Women all over the world read this for help and guidence, not to read this kind of message that is not applicable to real life and situations. We unfortunately don’t have the luxury of these kind of orginizations or food coupons. Only a corrupt goverment that is no good and leaves everybody stranded. Financially it is impossible. Maybe you should learn something about the world around you, except your little space you live in.

  • Kim

    I love your tone, your succinct style AND your approach to life, dear Adventurous Writer! Thank you for being there for us today and every day! <3

  • Glenda R Wood

    Wonderful & uplifting! Thank you! I found your article “starting over for women over 50” now I feel I have a starting point an a much better outlook. Thanks again!

  • Bev

    Is it a job, marriage or both you starting over from?
    I’m a 54 year old woman who walked away from a high stress 35 year career a year ago. I thought my problems in my relationship were in large part, a side effect from my stresses at work. But unfortunately now one year later the relationship is worse!
    With my income dropping drastically I now am stuck in the relationship. It took a lot out of me leaving the career, I just hope I can dig real deep and find the strength to make the change I should have in the first place!
    Good luck Brianna

  • Withheld

    Not so easy “starting over” at my age – 59. I am never married, no kids. I had a long illness from age 40-50 which cost me all my money, left me in debt and derailed my career. At age 50 I began a relationship with a man with whom I thought I’d get married.It ended painfully and left me even more drained and demoralized. I began to get back on track with work to some extent, but have been having a rough go of it recently.
    I have to say, I have been through a lot and always had a fairly cheerful countenance. However I now feel exhausted from the effort of starting over and over again. And very sad that I cannot seem to get it going. I feel very overwhelmed by the difficulty of getting the simplest things accomplished.
    I was so smart, energetic and resourceful when I was younger. Now I simply feel “pooped”. I have no real support group and although I live in a big city I feel very isolated.
    I am sure I am not the only woman who feels this way. I am attractive and intelligent and try to take care of my health. Emotionally and physically I feel weak and drained.
    As I mentioned, I was very sick for a long time. I am going for a physical exam with a specialist next week. I have had a hard time retaining a suitable physician who is knowledgeable about my condition due to very minimal health coverage and inability to pay out of pocket.
    They say health is wealth and that’s the truth. I hope I can make it. I feel very tired.

    • Kim

      You speak as I think …verbatim! At 58, it’s hard to saunter up to the plate with the same enthusiasm as we might have in previous decades. If you’re in Toronto, let’s set up a wee support group for women over 50 who are starting over. Time to get ‘unstuck’, I too, am done wasting time in this rut.

  • Laurie Post author

    There is no doubt about it, starting over is difficult for women over 50! Finding a job can be hard when you have health issues, and employers aren’t always leaping at the chance to hire a mature woman. And though the economy and job market seems to be picking up, it’s still not easy to find work.

    One of my 56 year old friends recently quit her job. It was incredibly stressful for her, for 2 years she stayed in a workplace that was toxic and difficult. She finally quit – and was terrified she wouldn’t find another job! Plus she has a 9 year old son, she’s a single mom, and her ex-husband has his own emotional and physical health issues to deal with.

    But she found a job after 2 months of unemployment. She took a week-long seminar through WorkBC – an employment counseling organization through the government – and they actually hired her as their receptionist!

    Don’t lose hope. You CAN start over and you WILL find the right role and place for yourself. It may take effort and perseverance, but you are strong and wise and you have your Big Girl panties on!

    Here’s another article I wrote for women who are starting over:

    5 Ideas for Creating a Better Life – And So She Blossoms
    http://www.theadventurouswriter.com/she/how-to-create-a-better-life-she-blossoms/

    Don’t give up. Start small by figuring out where you want your life to go, what you want. Just make little decisions right now, take tiny steps towards your goals. It’s okay to be tentative and shaky at first!

    And, surround yourself with women who are supportive, smart, and kind. You don’t need to find other women who are starting over after 50, but you might find it helpful to connect with women who’ve been where you are.

    Take good care of yourself. Sign up for my newsletter, so you get regular doses of inspiration and encouragement 🙂

    Blessings,
    Laurie

    • Rosalind

      Such a feeling of support and hope

      I am 52 I have been a relationship with my partner where we shared our lives together, including our business we worked very hard for years then when we reached a successful moment in our business his ego was dented he wanted the success story to belong to him so he pushed me out if the business broke me day by day with unbelievable behaviour lies bullying
      I realised I’d been living a lie with s narcissist

      He had been having an affair with the cleaner and ready move on from me

      I didn’t see it coming and within a couple of months I was left with nothing no income no love
      Just me to start over

      Reading this article has inspired me to stop feeling the victim as I have so much experience knowledge and passion for life

      I would love to help anyone rebuild there world
      As I sure am very experienced

      Rosalind

  • Deanna

    I am 52 years old and married. I was laid off my job after 23 years because the company decided to outsource. My job took care of the health insurance and all the utilities. I am a juvenile diabetic who take insulin 4 times a day. My marriage is dead. I tried getting another job in my field, but all I get is you are a great fit but we chose someone else, or you are over qualified. We know they found someone younger or someone they could pay less. However I am a survival so I thought about my skills and talent. I started cleaning houses on my own, I do poetry for money, I started my own business doing what I use to do. I took a job making a lot less but it has health insurance.
    My business has not made me any real money yet but every bit count. I feel like I need to move out of marriage, however don’t know where to start with no credit and no real money,

  • Debra Arbic

    My name is Debra, age 53, I was married twice, two daughters, both marriages took place at the ages of 19 and 24!, what the heck do we know then!? right?, raised them, then decided to go into the UNITED STATES ARMY 1986-1994!
    Had two more, two sons, my youngest is now 22 years old. I raised my boys with no help, no college, took temp. jobs, in the manufactory field. Moved around a lot, trying to make others happy, never good at relationships so that was no big deal, I just stopped dating, concentrated on my sons. Kept moving from Kentucky to Ohio, back and forth, that hurts your resume, believe me. I’m now in Las Vegas, NV. But prior to coming here I had three major surgeries in the past three years.

    I cant do factory work no more because I don’t have the upper Body strength, I went from a size 7-8 to a size 1-3, from stress, I’m back up at a 5 now, but have no other skills, I’ve gotten up on every engine site for jobs, theres really nothing out here but customer service, and hospitality. I even went through a 6 week internship for house cleaning, like I really need to be shown how to clean, I inspected rooms in the Army. My sons are constantly saying,” mom work at McDonalds do something!!!!!! I cant do that!, its not beneath me per say, just that I would be fired after day one!, the younger generation now days have no respect for their elders, and believe me!, they would think they were in basic training!!!! lol!!!, but because I have no skills its making me so depressed and feeling unworthy, and Yes! I’ve gone to the VA for help, all they say here is we have computers, you may use them to look for work! This could be you! and there is no money for schooling, I have nothing coming in for support either, my son pays all the bills, and acts as if I owe him!!!

    Thanks for reading my story! Debra.

    • Janine Bowen

      Perhaps you could benefit from speaking with a therapist. There are organizations in virtually every town who provide services free of charge, or on a sliding fee scale. It sounds like you need someone other than your family to speak with, who will help you to see where to start and to help with your depression. It isn’t fun to be older and lacking in skills, but there is help everywhere if you are ready to look for it. Doing nothing is your enemy. So what if kids have no respect? Neither do adults. I’ve had bosses as old as 80 who were narcissistic psychopaths. You must develop respect for yourself, not expect it from others because you managed to stay alive for a certain number of years. Work on your health, eat ONLY nutritious foods, start a workout program (even if you can only move your eyelids), do NOT watch television, make a schedule and stick to it. Get enough sleep. There are many ways to make money if you feel that fast-food is not your thing – care for children, pet sit, walk dogs, make jewelry/crafts/clothes and sell them online and at markets, get your LPN and work at a hospital (many places will pay for LPN training), work at a college doing anything and take free classes, grow plants and flowers or do landscaping. But more than anything else, read over what you wrote above and see how often you built an imaginary brick wall to stop you from doing anything at all. Believe me I know it is hard when the world has taken, taken, taken and it seems like you should get something back and all you can see are people who don’t understand. The truth is that YOU gave, gave, gave, unaware that at some point it would bite you in the ass. It sounds like your kids love you and that seeing you like this is distressing them. It’s not your son’s responsibility to pay your bills forever – it is awesome that he is helping you! They want you to be well-adjusted and happy and productive and you keep saying “I can’t” and they have no idea how to deal with that. They CAN’T understand, and they shouldn’t have to. You made the choices that you made, and you now have to give yourself a reality check and stop hoping that there is any other answer other than “I have got to get a job and make a plan to make my life work”. You will not see any opportunity if you do not get out and look for it. Get your Real Estate license, sell cars, drive a taxi, learn Microsoft Office and become a receptionist/admin. Get a job in retail, work with the mentally handicapped, work in a nursing home – there are so many ways to make yourself useful and happy – but you have to commit to being your own best friend first. Thank your kids daily for their support and tell them you know that they are right and that you are going to report at least one thing you have done each day to move your life in a positive direction, Ask them to gush over it, even if it seems really small, because you are rebuilding your foundation of self-sufficiency and need it to be really strong. I bet they will. Good-luck and stay strong.

      • Melody

        I am 46. It is true.You can make decent money walking dogs but depends on the demand for it in your area. The place I used to live had high demand for this and I was able to make decent money. Did it for 5 years building my clientele. Unfortunately I had to move due to husband and feel miserable I lost my business, contacts, financial freedom. There is no demand for this service here so I am planning to start another business. What is stopping me is what if I put my time and energy into building another business only to have to move again!

  • Leona Heraty

    We have so many hidden talents and assets that we don’t even know we have, which should help with starting over for women over 50.

    I think we need to use the 80/20 rule when looking at any challenge in life…we know the challenge exists, but we should focus on the solution, not the challenge. In other words, focus 80% of our time on the solution and only 20% on the challenge itself. Yes, it’s not easy to start over at any stage in life, and go in another direction, but really, our age is just a number, and it can only limit our abilities and opportunities if we allow it to. I believe that Grandma Moses, the famous painter, didn’t even start painting until she was in her 70s!

  • katie

    After 30 years of marriage to a wonderful kind man, no kids by choice, we have decided to separate to see how it goes. For so very long, we have not shared the same interests. I can’t change him nor should I but, we both deserve to be happy. Yes, I am bored out of my mind. There has been no spark, no sex, no enthusiasm for anything. I love being outdoors, camping, motorcycling, kayaking, and traveling. He is content working and being on the computer most of his time off. I have had two affairs and don’t like myself for having them but, we all need love and shared interests. My thoughts on marriage are that people simply should not get married in the first place. I will never marry again. Being alone but having friends and interests are enough for me. (I always admired Katherine Hepburn.) Any thoughts?

    • Steve

      Yes, there is never an excuse for cheating, no excuse at all. You should have ended your relationship the minute you planned on cheating, and cheating just doesn’t happen. Sounds to me like your partner is getting all the blame here, while I see you as being the problem. Do I sound a little harsh? With regard to moving on, that’s exactly what you should do, as your relationship is well and truly knackered. You should never marry again because you can’t keep to your vows. Well, that’s my dig out of the way, now I will wish you luck and hope you have learned from your mistakes.

      • Leah

        You don’t sound like a woman over 50 Steve. You sound like a bitter man, who has been cheated on. Find a site for yourself. Good luck in getting over your pain and expanding your mind to understand more about women and human experiences. Hopefully someday you will learn to have empathy for others.

  • Brianna

    I am a woman considering starting over at 56 and feel the fear that it brings. It seems that it would be easier to avoid this discomfort by not doing anything until…later. But I need to convince myself that starting now will be easier than starting 2, 5, or 10 years down the road. Feel the fear…and do it anyway is a great book to recognize that we pay a price for each day we delay.