One of the most prominent features of Enniskillen, an island city in County Fermanagh, Ireland, is its towering castle. Built in the mid-13th century (exact date unknown) by the Maguire Chieftains, by the early 1600’s the castle had been taken over by the English, when the clans were dispersed. It was subsequently occupied by a succession of landowners until the 18th century when it was turned into a military barracks, playing a role up to and past World War II. Eventually it was given over to the city, and is now a beautiful museum, with its grounds regularly hosting local fairs and cultural events.

The castle continues to stand as a beacon of historical change through the ages because people maintained its relevance by modifying it enough to meet the shifting needs of both the city and society in each era. Throughout Ireland there are derelict castles and monasteries in pastures, falling to ruin because they were unable to make the transition from one period of society to the next. While it is interesting to explore and wonder what life might have been like in their prime, they have long since been forgotten and decay has set in.

The key is to not just exist, but to keep evolving. #growchangethrive Click To Tweet

As women in midlife we can think of ourselves either as Enniskillen Castle or one of those derelict castles in a cow pasture. We can succumb to the mindset that our lives are over, with nothing to contribute or live for, especially when laid off from long-time jobs. While it’s incredibly sad to read stories of women who’ve been laid off after thirty years in one job, it’s also unrealistic to believe that this was not a possibility. They may not have had a choice about being laid off, but they certainly had a choice as to how they might have stayed relevant, even choosing to leave as opposed to attempting to hold on. The alternative is to be like Enniskillen Castle — adapting to the different transitions in our lives. When one door closes, we should explore and embrace other available opportunities. The key is to not just exist, but to keep evolving and seeking new ways of contributing to the world at large.

Some simple ways to begin this process:

  • Continually assess and hone the skills, talents, and knowledge that make you unique and special
  • Read and stay current on the changes, new technologies and ways of thinking that are emerging in society
  • Develop new skills in areas you are interested in, even if they do not seem especially relevant at the time
  • Be looking ahead for at least a two to three year life horizon, asking yourself “What interests me now?” and “What might interest me in the future?”
  • Challenge yourself by changing your language; instead of “I’m holding on to . . ..” reframe it to “I’m re-positioning myself for . . .”

ACTION: You only have one life to live. What steps are you taking to ensure you remain relevant and vital throughout your whole lifetime?

Kathy Hart, Ed.D. has a driving passion for human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to reclaim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at The choice is yours!

Services that Kathy offers:

  • 1:1 coaching to support the journey into your next life transition, whether work or personal
  • Trusted advisor for women navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
  • Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
  • Small group work and team development to boost the group’s performance