01/13/2014 11:53 am ET Updated Mar 12, 2014

Women in Midlife: Choosing Change Over Crisis

We, as women, know that one day, if we are fortunate enough to live that long, we will reach our middle years... the period when, instead of climbing the hill, we reach the pinnacle and now must begin the slow, inevitable fall into insignificance. No longer regarded as ambitious or trendy or current, many women choose to fade into the background of life's stage and slowly watch as their final years dwindle.

Others chose a more risky, adventurous and challenging path... that of reinventing themselves. In other words, as defined by Webster Dictionary, numerous women elect to "change the way that they behave or the things that they do so that people think of them as a different kind of person."
One such example on the national stage is Emmy-Award winning TV anchor and journalist Jane Pauley. Instead of focusing on her past success, Pauley dedicates her effort to public speaking in order to encourage women to redefine themselves after 50 and accept new challenges as leaders in their communities and the business world.

Speaking recently in Denver to the Women's Success Forum, a non-profit organization for leaders at all levels, Pauley says, "Women... are leaning in after 50. They give me hope that as we get older, that my generation may finally redeem our youthful promise and inspire every generation to see themselves and their future in power and positive new ways."

In Chicago, one such example of a successful personal "reinvention" is Candace Jordan. Born in a small town in Illinois in 1957, Candace began her assent to fame and success at the age of 19 when she was hired as a Bunny by the Playboy Club in St. Louis. Shortly after a relocation to Chicago and many photo shoots later, Candace was named "Playboy Bunny of the Year" in 1976. And while she will be the first to acknowledge her appreciation for the perks of being a model, her more recent project, a Chicago society blog called , illustrates how she has re-directed her focus in the entertainment industry.

In addition to blogging, Candace immerses herself in numerous charitable ventures including co-founding and chairing fundraising events for the Joffrey Ballet, Ronald McDonald House, Common Threads, and PAWS Chicago. n a recent interview, she stated, "I have accomplished a lot of things in my life and I've realized it is so important to be open to new things and ideas. Truly, great advice to any woman considering a new path.