My job was being a mother…

by Patti
(California )

My art

My art

Hi Wendy, I have read a lot of the posts here and found the input from you and others helpful.

I turn 65 this fall. My husband and I have recently moved from a more metropolitan area to a more country town setting. Only 5000 people in our town.

We did that because the cost of living was more affordable and we could have a home that had a yard to keep us busy during our golden years timeframe. Where we were before we could only afford a very small townhome.

We have loved our new house and our church, which I am very involved in. There are limited jobs here. I got a job as a caregiver to an older woman. The pace of it is good for me as I am slowing down, but there is not much in the way of interaction with the public.

My whole life all I wanted to do was be a mom and I accomplished that. My daughter and her family are still in the urban area an hour and a half away. We go down to see them and babysit their children maybe a couple times a month. They rarely come here. Of course they are busy with young children and growing new careers.

The main reason I am writing is because I feel hopeless. I do not feel any real purpose for my life without my children. My son lives about 45 minutes away and he is not married and we do spend time together once every couple of weeks also. But once a week with family does not fill my “purpose tank” in life.

I am an artist and have become better at painting as the years have gone on. I know I could post my work to try and sell it, but I’ve been down the path of doing small businesses and I’m not sure that I have what it takes to start another one. Although I do have my paintings on cards at four different shops around the area.

As well, I have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, which causes my life to slow down more than I wish it would. If I keep a really slow pace, I do OK, but too much will put me out of commission for a few days. I am more housebound than I wish.

All this to say, I feel very hopeless for the years ahead.

Any advice? Thank you for listening.

Comments for My job was being a mother…

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Thank you Michele, Wendy and Nancy
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your ideas and input. I would be interested in knowing how I would receive more help from you Wendy? You had indicated that I could reach out to you for ideas and help. Thank you again.

Wendy If you get my weekly newsletter, just hit reply and write to me! If not, on the top bar there is a contact wendy, write to me! :) Easy Peasy!

Expand your horizons
by: Michael - Upstate NY for the summer!

Patti - I am one of 5 children. Growing up, my Mom's biggest fear was that all of her children would grow up and move away. Well, you guessed it, that is what happened.

Some of us were within a 3 hour drive, others were 3,000 miles away. We all developed families, but still manage to visit and stay in touch. Cards on holidays, phone calls, and an online service my one sister tells me is called Facetime (where you see the person that you are talking to on the screen of your phone or laptop.)

If your grandchildren are old enough, you could invite them to spend a week with you during the summer.

It sounds like you are involved in your community and that there might be opportunities to expand the selling of your products online (I think Etsy is a site for selling artist-specific products.)

You might also be able to sell at local craft fairs and farmers markets in your area. Local libraries and municipal buildings sometimes will offer areas for local artists to display their works. Connect with other artists in your area to explore the possibilities.

Lastly, expand on the definition of what it means to be a Mother. This could include offering babysitting services, volunteering at your local hospital, reading to the children at your local library, and more.

As you grow and expand your horizons, you will feel more fulfilled within yourself, and that will make you a mother.

Wendy: Oh Michael! "my sister told me about facetime" -- Yikes! Are you a non-techy? Funny, I thought you were an up-to-date retiree... Just HAD to razz you!

Your art is beautiful
by: Nancy

I can relate to the chronic fatigue syndrome as I have had Long Covid for 13 months, the main symptom is fatigue.

I can also relate to loss of identity from being retired, as I had a hard time in the first years of my retirement.

Your paintings are beautiful. My sister commissions paintings of people from photographs. She has a website, but I think most of her painting commissions are from word of mouth. I have a houseful of paintings by her.

What saved me was my quilting hobby. My first project was quilting quilt tops done by my great aunt which were at least 50 years old. I've made quilts for all my friends and family and their pets, kept some quilts, and donated several to charities.

Also this website and Wendy were really helpful in adjusting to retirement. I can sure relate to the feeling of being lost. It does get better.

Wendy: Thank YOU Nancy!

You are doing good!
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

Hey, for making a big move, I think you are doing great! You found a church, have a yard, even still working. WOW

Yes, you miss the kids but that's life, right? I'm sure my mother missed Lorri and I when we both left the next --- and now I miss her post-death. Not easy either way,...

It sounds like you aren't keen on attempting an art business, but its relatively easy to do online nowadays. Other than making and uploading the art, its pretty much hands off. There are no upfront costs like in most businesses.

It would give you a reason and purpose to create more art, and even try different painting syles, etc... might be fun to see what gets purchased or not.

If people gravitate towards one purple violet, do sets of three different voilet artworks that might be purchased together. Just use your imagination.

If you have a Facebook account, you might post a page here and there "Look at what my art looks like online" and if your family and friends click, they will see the same flower on mugs, tshirts, notecards or whatever you choose.

If you might be interested, let me know and I can help you get started.

It could be FUN!

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