Sometimes it takes a physical move to force one to transform after 50. That’s what happened to Pamela Lamp when her husband took a job in a new city.
“My husband had commuted from Houston to Nashville for a few years. Planes every Monday morning and Friday night. Quite honestly, it took a toll on our marriage, and we both knew we had to make a change. So we made the tough decision to relocate. It was hard at first, but I truly love my new city now and we both have a wonderful group of friends,” said Pamela.
“And I’m lucky – I still see my Houston friends from time to time. It’s amazing how many people come to Nashville to visit (or used to before our world stopped turning). As you know, the hardest things we go through often turn out to have silver linings. My move forced me to reinvent myself,” added Pamela.
Getting to know Pamela Lamp
One of the things I enjoy about being a boomer blogger is getting to know talented post 50 female bloggers. Our tribe, as we call the bloggers in our profession, is a friendly and supportive group. I met Pamela last year when she interviewed me for her blog, “Who I Met Today.” We became virtual friends on social media and in our midlife bloggers group on Facebook. Beyond the blogosphere, Pamela is a mom to two grown sons, one who lives in Nashville and another who lives in Colorado. And recently, she became a grandmother.
Pamela started her career in Human Resources and she says the skills she learned back in her early working days have proved helpful during her life after 50. “I always loved interviewing and talking to people about what they do,” notes Pamela. “Today, I love writing my blog and sharing what I learn with my readers.”
What is the”Who I Met Today” blog all about?
Here’s Pamela to tell you her own story. I hope you’ll be inspired by how Pamela used her curiosity and drive (and a little coaxing from her hubby) to discover what she was truly passionate about in her prime. Maybe it will encourage you to think about what brings you the most joy and let it brighten your life after 50 as well.
A guest post by Pamela Lamp from “Who I Met Today”
“Let’s talk,” said my husband, as he poured me a generous glass of red wine.
“What now?” I grumbled. I took a seat and braced myself. A few months ago, we’d uprooted and moved to Nashville, leaving our friends and lives behind in Houston. I wasn’t in the mood to discuss any more change.
“Think about what you really want to do,” he said. “I have a question for you. And I don’t want you to think about income or resources or feasibility. Just tell me what you’d do if you could do anything at all?”
The words slipped out of my mouth before I had a chance to think about my response.
“I’d interview people who do things I find interesting. Listen to their stories, and hear how they got to where they are. And then I’d write articles about them.”
“Then do it,” he said.
“What?” I stammered. And then came the flood of excuses. All the little voices began to chatter. How? I’m not a writer. Who’d read the stories? What would people think I’m trying to do, to be? Who’d agree to meet with me? I’m too old to start something like this.
Looking for a passion, a purpose
For quite some time, my husband had a ringside seat to my frantic search for a passion and a purpose. I’d been a stay-at-home mom for more than two decades. Now the kids were on their own, and I craved a project all my own. I longed to prove to myself—after all these years of helping others succeed—I, too, could build something that mattered.
But I worried it was a race against the clock to do whatever it was I wanted to do. I feared I was running out of time.
When we moved to Nashville, in my mid-fifties, I had to start over. It was HARD to make friends and build a community. A checklist kind of gal, I devised a project for myself—My New Thing For Today.
Each day, I’d stroll through a new neighborhood, chat up a fellow yogi at the Y, set up my laptop at a coffee shop, drive a different route, explore a local bookshop.
With novelty, I took tiny steps forward
After a few weeks, I realized these novel activities were helpful. Instead of complaining and bemoaning our move, I began to meet people, learn my way around Nashville, and take tiny steps forward in my new life.
My husband came home to a happier, more engaged and interested wife.
And so he encouraged me.
“Who cares if no one reads what you write. Do what makes you happy. See where it leads you. Take the first step.”
Who cares what people think—do what makes YOU happy
“Go do it,” he said, and so I embarked on a big new thing—my blog.
Bit by bit, I researched, googled, asked others for help, and did the next right thing. Or, in my case, the next new thing.
When trying to persuade prospective interviewees to meet with a random stranger who was harmless and well-meaning but had no website or following, I got lots and lots of “no’s.” And then I got a “yes.”
When I finally found the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company, tucked into a rain-soaked San Francisco alley (thank you Southwest Companion Pass), I was afraid Kevin wouldn’t remember he’d agreed to meet. But he welcomed me with a smile. He was proud to show me around the apartment-sized business his family started when they came to the US—and still runs.
He sent me home with bags of fortune cookies and loads of encouragement.
Take the next right step
In teeny-tiny steps, the blog came together. Others agreed to meet with me. I recorded, transcribed, photographed, and wrote the stories—and second- and triple-guessed myself all along the way.
Whether I interviewed a concert sound engineer, a movie mask maker, or a 90-year-old gentleman with his likeness on a grain silo, I came away a richer woman. For almost three years now, as I’ve listened to tales of hard work and blessings and mistakes, the stories have improved and enriched my life—and I hope those of my readers.
Sandi, and her adorable photographs of dogs and kids, introduced me to the tender world of foster care. And encouraged me to dream big. Barbara, with her car seat gadget, reminded me it’s never too late and age doesn’t matter. Max, a young Google engineer with a fancy app, advised a life filled with novelty. Alex revived my love for cooking. And, after talking with Jennifer, I will never again walk by a homeless person without a nod and a smile.
Many folks I talked with inspired new experiences—kombucha, enneagrams (personality-typing system), fly fishing, lifelong learning classes, workouts, even fabric bags and more diligent recycling. And I’m grateful. After all, isn’t this how we learn? From each other?
We can all learn from each other
Everyone has a story. Some are deep inside, not always for public scrutiny, while others are front and center. But each can help us unearth new things about ourselves.
So, I continue to look for new things to do and interesting stories to tell. I no longer worry about rejection and imperfection and what people may think. I’ve found the passion project I’d been seeking for so long. And built something I love.
Thanks Pamela for sharing your story.
Stay well. Stay safe.