A new resource from AARP and the National Military Family Association (NMFA) aims to help military spouses take a look at what they are doing with their lives – professionally and otherwise – and figure out where they want to go.
The tool, called Life Reimagined, helps users ask themselves what they are good at, passionate about and interested in. From there it can help them work towards a new life direction, said NMFA director Joyce Raezer.
“What we saw is a kind of fun tool that enabled people at their own pace to go through and just do some exploring – just in the military context but in the lift context,” she said. “And it resonated because of what we hear from many of our spouse scholarship applicants – that they are trying to figure out ‘what do I want to do what I grow-up.' Or, in other cases it’s ‘what I thought I wanted to do isn’t compatible with military life, but then how do I get started figuring out who I am and what I want to do with my life?’”
Life Reimagined is free for military spouses to start using – but the tool becomes a pay-for-use product once users bump up against the “Life Map” portion. NMFA is working with AARP to come up with ways to get all users access to Life Map. For now that portion of the program has been given for free to recipients of the NMFA military spouse scholarships, Raezer said.
If you’re like me you probably heard “AARP” and thought “this is designed for people older than I am.” Raezer and officials with AARP said the tool was designed for people going through transition. For some that can mean a transition that comes with age. But military spouses often go through transitions several times in their lives. Becoming a military family, moves, getting out of the military, changing roles during military service, shifting to the Guard or Reserve – all are examples of the kinds of transitions we deal with that might leave us wondering what it is we want to do with our lives. NMFA also worked with AARP to make sure the tool is applicable to the different kinds of transitions spouses might be dealing with.
“Though Life Reimagined is a nonprofit subsidiary of AARP, you don’t have to be a member of AARP or 50-plus to join the Life Reimagined member community,” Emilio Pardo, an AARP executive vice president, told me in an email. “Life Reimagined was created to be a place where people of all ages can go to discover their possibilities and pursue what matters most to them.”