Once upon a time in a youth far ago, I enjoyed a reputation as a fabulous party host. Like many grown women, however, the parties I held after my 20s mostly entailed juice boxes and preschoolers peeing their pants while waiting in line for the piñata. My plans to throw a terrific party at the age of 52 presented new challenges: the biggest one being I wouldn't know a single guest.
Halfway through my year of new mid-life adventures, I embarked on my most challenging experience yet. I pushed past the anticipated horror and viewed it pragmatically. When visiting a nude beach, I figured I should bring along three things: sunscreen, an extra-large towel, and of course, my 75-year-old mother.
Career reinventions in and past mid-life are successful when they reflect authentic passions, commitments, concerns and issues. At this point in our lives and careers, we need to acknowledge who we are, what we're good at, and what kind of legacy we want to leave. But this does not mean that we have to necessarily turn our backs on our current careers.
Let's assume that we're all going to hit a wall in our careers sooner or later. If we're 50 or over, and it hasn't already happened, be on the lookout. This installment is a personal story about a longstanding friend of mine, a New York lawyer named Janet Scully who worked for 22 years as an attorney for Travelers Insurance.
At mid-life, dreams are hard to come by. We invest in the practical: a healthy 401(k), college educations for our children, a paid-off mortgage by the time we retire. We may indulge in a hobby or take up a pastime, but we tell ourselves it's too late for a life-changing dream. By the time we reached the stage of realizing it, we'd be too old to enjoy the results. Unless, of course, our dreams are already there, waiting to sprout.