Life Transitions: A Time to Redefine Yourself
About 20 years ago Sue Kimmel came to Life-Work Planning Center and she says that it changed her life. At that time she was trying to be good mother to her two little children, in addition to working and studying to get her Master’s degree. Her husband’s behavior had made a radical change and he had become abusive. Her marriage was dissolving and she was trying to keep her children safe and as untouched by the changes in their family life as possible. She sought help and realized that she needed to get a restraining order and live separately.
Sue worked closely with the Brown County Family Services and the New Ulm Police Department and found that both were as helpful and as timely as she could imagine. It was a very trying time and she sought the help of a counselor. One of the questions that the counselor asked was, “Who is Sue, and what does she want?” She realized that she had never thought about that before.
Sue was going through a huge transition in her life and it was time to redefine who she was. Shortly afterward she saw an article in the paper about Life-Work Planning Center and decided to enroll in the Personal Growth and Career Development workshop.
Thinking back she said it was just what she needed. The women in the group had been coming longer than she had and she described them as wonderful strong women who were very supportive. She thought that if she just kept on coming she would become strong also. Every week there was a topic that they discussed and saw how it applied to their life.
Some were trying to decide whether to go back to school, one was having to change careers after an accident at work changed her abilities; they were all figuring out who they were and what they wanted and Sue found herself relating to the topics and also the support of the other women. Sue worked hard to incorporate the information into her life and as she did, she became strong and knew that she could pursue her life knowing who she was and what she wanted.
Sue believes that we all are born with gifts but that sometimes we don’t realize what they are. We don’t give ourselves time to think and discover who we are and how we want to use those gifts. So many things interfere and we become consumed with getting through day by day.
Now Sue begins each day with asking herself how she wants the day to be, what’s important to her and how to go about it. She has remarried and together they have a teenage son. She takes pleasure in seeing her husband and son pursuing their own interests while she is also pursuing hers. She teaches young children with learning disabilities and has recently gotten an autistic credential.
She loves her work and is also being drawn to work with environmental conservation. She chaired the New Ulm citizens group on Clean Energy and is actively working towards other ways that her community can implement environmentally friendly practices. Sue said thay “It’s amazing what you can accomplish.” Sue is enjoying discovering her own path.
– Sarah Torvick, Peer Counselor