Retired, divorced and empty-nested

My resume writing business frequently has me interviewing clients who are experiencing a life transition. They may be looking for a job because they’ve been downsized, gotten divorced, are relocating, have found that retirement isn’t really as fulfilling as they’d expected, or are empty-nesters going back to work.

These words – divorced, retired, empty-nester – all have me wondering why we don’t describe ourselves as something we ARE, versus something we ARE NOT – not married, not working, not parenting?

Imagine five strangers stuck between floors on an elevator.

“Hmmm, uh, looks like we’re gonna be here awhile…uh, my name’s John. I’m 62 and no longer working.”

“My name’s Marry; I’m not married anymore.”

“My name’s Bjorn; I used to live in Chicago, but no more.”

“My name’s Harriet; my kids don’t live at home any longer.”

“My name’s Don; I’m not dead.”

“Hmmm, uh, I wonder how long we WON’T BE FREE on this NOT-SOLID FLOOR?”

Of course this all begs the question: Who, then, ARE we; and what ARE we doing?

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