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It is never too late to find your passion and contribute to society. Your greatest chapter in life is always waiting to be written through your heart, soul, voice, and body.

by Pete Ferguson

"Eden" is in her 80s. After taking care of her husband for many years as his health failed, the income from only one Social Security check was not enough to sustain her when he passed away.

For several years, she continued to care for others to bring a supplemental income. But when the rigors of physical demands of the work were too much, she went to LDS Employment Services near Tucson, Arizona, where she met my parents who volunteer there several hours a week as employment counselors.

For someone in their 80s, most traditional jobs are out of reach. But as my father described it to me, older people do not sleep well - and also do not have anywhere really important to be in the morning, so flexible hours are a real asset on their side.

Eden is also a grandmother with a nurturing heart. My mom came up with the idea that Eden had the right stuff to be a mentor for struggling families. They found her a job as a crisis hotline operator.

 

Eden now works from her home on the late-night shift talking to young families over the phone, struggling alcoholics and others who need the wisdom and advice of someone who has "been there, done that" and has a huge heart with the desire to listen, understand, and provide tried and true wisdom.

If my family was in crisis, would I want to talk to a 25-year-old who just got their Masters Degree in Social Work, or Eden, who has a PhD in compassion, life experience, and care?

Eden's greatest chapters in life are now written every evening as she restores hope to the hopeless, faith to the faithless, and love where hearts are left in a void.


Life only gives up on those who have given up on themselves. For those who want to stay and fight, there are still boundless opportunities which only get better with age.

What great adventures and opportunities lie in your future?

Learn:There are many soft skills each of us have which are often overlooked. If you struggle with what your soft skills are, talk to family and friends - for them your true potential is likely a lot more visible than it is to you.

Act:Research how others are making an enjoyable living using the same soft skills you have. Don't be pinned in by traditional corporate work, expand your search to more creative options!

Share: If you've found that diamond in a rough job that the rest of us are having a hard time finding, share your story through a blog, or leaving a comment here or on other forums where others can learn and discover alternative ways to making each day in life count!

"Beauty comes from a life well lived. If you’ve lived well, your smile lines are in the right places." ~ Jennifer Garner

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Tags: citizen, ferguson, learnactshare, passion, pete, reemployed, senior

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Comment by Jen McDonough "The Iron Jen" on October 9, 2012 at 1:39am

This is why I love reading stories with full of hope and love and inspiration. What a win:win:win situation for everyone! It never fails to put a smile on my face and it makes me strive more in what I do best. Thank you for this blog Peter!

Live Beyond Awesome.

Jen

Twitter: @TheIronJen

Comment by Peter A Ferguson on October 4, 2012 at 9:05am

Thank you all for the feedback. It is funny how life works out, I became involved with 48 Days principles several years back as well as Dave Ramsey's plan (three years until the house is paid off, already plowed through $200k in student loans and other debt). Now my parents are "retired" and volunteering their time counseling on both subjects.

My 5-10 year plan involves the same process, but while earning an income and never "retiring," just spending a lot less time in an office and a lot more time living. 

Comment by Ann Musico on October 4, 2012 at 6:37am

What an incredibly inspiring role model she is!  And how wonderful of your parents to see all she had to offer and to connect her to this opportunity.  It's definitely a win-win - she will benefit from the income but you are absolutely right - I would rather speak to her and benefit from her life experience any day.

Comment by Seth Haigh on October 3, 2012 at 10:12pm

Good post! Thank you Peter. I like the Learn, Act & Share sections too. Eden is an inspirational person. Wish I could have tea with her and listen to what she has to say.

Comment by Jim Carver on October 3, 2012 at 8:10pm

Peter- Very inspirational and thought-provoking story! Too often we view older workers as  slow, unable to change or be flexible. When someone actually takes the time to look into their strengths, we often find the insight, experience and passion is deeper than ever imagined. Thanks, Jim Carver

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