Is This All There Is?
How Writing Helped My Midlife Crisis

As I neared my 50th birthday, I looked back on decades spent alone at my desk developing software and writing computer help files. I asked myself, “Is this it? Am I going to be doing this for the rest of my life?” To break out of my old patterns, I began to read self-help books, and one central concept caught my attention. Stephen Covey, in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says that, to live effectively, we should consciously try to succeed at each of our many roles. His advice stirred me to action. Until then, on arriving home from work in the evening, I would go limp and sag onto the couch. I decided to do more with my time.

Step-Nesting: Or, Empty Nesting with One Husband,
Two Shelter Dogs, and the Occasional 12-Year-Old

I’m sitting in my office hoping my 12-year-old stepdaughter will behave badly. That way, I’ll have something juicy to write about as a lead-in to this article. How great if I can show you in real time how complicated it can be to have both an empty nest and the occasional hormonal pre-teen all at the same time? (Hold on, there’s an explanation coming.)

The “P” Word:
Making Peace with Politics

It’s said that there are two things you should never discuss at dinner parties and family gatherings: religion and politics. And, as I talked about religion in the winter issue, it’s only fitting that I give equal attention to politics in the spring. The point, of course, is neither religion nor politics—what matters is the meaning of our beliefs to us as we age. What we can ignore when we’re younger, we’re less likely to live with later on, and it’s interesting how we feel compelled to (finally) act on our beliefs. So, bear with me.

Real People Empty Nesting
Joy Williamson, Nurturer Extraordinaire

When Joy Williamson took a detour from her college studies to marry, she had no idea of the twists and turns her life would take. After her husband left her with four young children (the oldest 13 and the youngest a newborn), Joy thought her life was essentially over. How would she make it? She needed to support her family and always wanted to be a nurse, so despite all odds, she decided to pursue her dream. Always a mother, of course she could write stories about her own children finding their way in life. But, Joy has a story of her own . . .

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Empty Nest: A Magazine for Mature Families

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