Talking with Deena Ganger, one can’t help but admire the success of her midlife transition. At 55, the mother of four and former schoolteacher has reinvented herself, launching a new business and hoping to inspire others along the way.
Like many, she spent her 20s, 30s and 40s wearing her mom hat and supporting her family. “During those years your personal success gets lost in the shuffle,” said Ganger, who likes to call that stage of life “Part 1.”
“It took months for me to stop checking my watch for fear of missing the school bus,” a habit Ganger admits stayed around long after her children left the nest. After turning 50, her responsibilities undeniably changed, and she realized she had newfound time and resources that would allow her to focus on something different. She was eager to reinvent herself and concentrate on what she calls “Part 2.”
With that goal, Ganger recently launched Services With a Smile, a reliable and affordable business that offers a variety of services including respite care; home visits to the elderly; home organization; shopping; basic errands; house watching and home delivery. Describing herself as friendly and accommodating, Ganger aims to help people in whatever way possible. “I do everything from major projects like garage overhaul to simpler tasks like picking up groceries or driving someone to a doctor’s appointment.”
Ganger’s personal motto, “If you love what you do, you excel at it,” personifies what she is all about. She often meets people, especially women, who have dedicated years of their lives to others, and when they reach middle age begin to think about what they can do for themselves that will be emotionally satisfying. Part 2, she says, speaks to that curiosity.
Ganger said that before launching her business she spent considerable time trying her hand at the services she offers to make sure she could provide the level of service her customers deserve. “When I accept a job, I dedicate my whole self to the task,” she said, “even if it’s something simple like accompanying someone to the mall.” She genuinely enjoys helping others, and her customers insist that no matter the job, she does it with a smile.
There are plenty of people who need help, Ganger believes, and she feels fortunate to be able to provide assistance. “Deena uses her business as an excuse to do chesed,” said Amy Wasserman, a friend and client who says Ganger will always go the extra mile to make sure people are comfortable and satisfied. While there is a nominal fee associated with her services, Ganger offers a sliding scale for those who have financial constraints.
Ganger is up for mostly anything customers request, but she particularly likes to dedicate time to respite care. “People who are taking care of someone often need a break to reset themselves,” she said. For Ganger it’s more of a privilege than a job, and she is grateful for the opportunity to provide a meaningful service.
Ganger is also expert in organizational projects. “My garage was so cluttered with stuff that I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of work it needed,” said Beth Taubes. “Deena came by and assessed what needed to be done. In a short period of time, she organized what needed to be organized, threw out what needed to be thrown out and recycled what needed to be recycled. She is truly amazing.”
Ganger is excited about this new venture and hopes she can motivate other people who are looking to reimagine themselves after 50.
To reach Services With a Smile, please call 551-275-8113 or email [email protected].
By Andrea Nissel