I had worked part-time for the past 11 years, at the Offutt-based movie theater. Due to decisions well above my pay grade, I am out of that job.

At 48, I’m in the twilight region of life; do I start all over again and get a new job? Do I go back to school and get a degree? Do I finally write the great American romance novel that has been dancing around my brain? Or do I sit on the couch, paralyzed with uncertainty?

I’ve basically been doing the latter, waiting for a burning bush to show up and say what it is I am supposed to be doing.

When we get older and lose a parent, decisions get harder to make.

That unquestionable safety net and/or guiding influence is gone, leaving a great gaping hole that should be filled with maturity and wisdom to stand on your own.

It also doesn’t help that the kids are pretty much on automatic pilot these days, and I’m only activated when there is a money issue, or if a chauffeur is needed. Most times I am that machine in the corner that makes food and nags on cue.

Even working only on the weekends as I did, the job gave me another identity. I was the boss of the place, and made decisions that weren’t met with sighs and eye rolls. I was a person without the codicils of being the wife-mother social appendage. I also coached my daughter’s final year in softball before she aged out of the league. So next year, I will have my first free summer in eight years.

I could finally get the new knee that I’ve been putting off for the past year, and the resulting physical therapy would give me a purpose to get moving each day — but that seems a little desperate.

So my question to you all is this; how do you start the next act without being sure you are done with the previous one?

These are treacherous waters to navigate and I could sure use some advice.


Z. Carlson is married with two teenage children. She works part time. Read her here on momaha.com


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