It’s Monday, which means it’s time to feature another amazing woman! Today, Cindy Ladage is on the blog sharing about the defining moments that she’s experienced in life. That’s right – she has more than one moment to share with you today! This is beyond perfect since we are all shaped by multiple moments in our lives.
We all come to these forks in the road, a place where we will take one path or another. Since I am a mature woman of 58, there have been several defining moments in my life that have shaped the way my life went. While I think most of what happens to us is up to God and His plan for our lives, I think He appreciates it when we take the opportunities offered us and try to see when one path is not working and we need to change tracks.
My first big fork came after finding my soul mate Keith at 21 and marrying and having two children. I was a working woman with a great career with the State of Illinois working in the environmental field and traveling all over. When I learned I was pregnant with a third child for me it was a sign to slow down and spend more time with my family. I am ambitious and I was moving ahead career wise, but falling behind family wise. It is still amazing now when I look back on it that I was able to move to part time and into a position that still allowed me to feel professional, but not so frenzied.
I will say that stay at home mom’s sometimes felt sorry for me that I worked and some full time working moms thought I just couldn’t get on full time so while some people thought “Oh how amazing for you”, others thought I was not serious enough about either the family or the job, but that is part of following your own road, it is important to do what is right for you, not right for someone else.
Working part time was one of the best things I ever did. No, I didn’t make as much, or move up like I would have if I had chosen to go full time again and my pension is not as much as it could’ve been, but I always felt like I was able to give my best to both my family and to my job. This isn’t for everyone, but realizing that the saying “women can do it all” just wasn’t true, at least for me, made my life a joy during my child rearing years.
The second fork was a little later. My husband is a farmer and often had to work weekends. Early in our marriage I found myself planning things for me and the kids to do. When Keith had more freedom and developed a deep interest in antique tractors, a hobby I just couldn’t see the value in at the time, we just both went our own ways. One day, it hit me that we were growing apart and that if we didn’t spend more time together, it could damage our marriage. I didn’t want to be sitting across from him when the kids left with nothing to talk about and nothing in common.
I found a way to encompass his love for old iron, by adding in something I’d always wanted to do. I started writing about it. A friend gave me a chance to write a story for his magazine and before I knew it I was hitting the shows with Keith and enjoying them as much as he did. Writing opened up a new world and a new career as well.
I loved learning about how collectors found their equipment and the emotional attachments to memories over the years. Since then, my writing has expanded and I write for several publications. While working, I was able to establish enough writing credits that I could expand my writing career when I retired, that is when the 3rd fork came.
I had written about travels for years for a senior publication I write for and would include agricultural stops for a column I write for a farm magazine. A couple years before I retired I decided I wanted to be a part time travel writer so I started a blog Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl.
The adventures have been amazing. While I am no Conde Nast, I have a great time and have the chance to go on some press trips and write about things I love. Travel is and always has been a passion with me and sharing my adventures with others is a joy.
So my take on defining moments in life is that each moment offers you a chance to grab opportunity with both hands and hang on. Sometimes when life happens, you don’t see a way around the hand you are dealt, and I realize with sickness, divorce, loss of income and other tragic circumstances that making lemons out of lemonade is just a cute phrase when you are just trying to survive. But even in the darkest of days, there is usually a light down the road. God does provide and I was able to pave a path that has brought me great joy most of the time and I hope that the same is true for you.
Cindy Ladage is farmer’s wife and an award winning columnist for Farm World, she recently won the American Women in Communications Clarion award for her column “Wrenching Tales”. Cindy writes for antique tractor and toy magazines along with other publications like and her travel blog is http://travelingadventuresofafarmgirl.com.