In 2014, every baby boomer will have reached the milestone age of 50. For most, it’s not an end but the beginning of something new, as most boomers no longer plan for retirement but for “reinvention.”
These days it seems like everyone is talking about reinvention, from The President of the United States using the word nine times in his State of the Union address to the Harvard Business Review’s recent spotlight issue on the topic. But even though many people entering midlife enthusiastically look to take advantage of their second wind, many don’t know where to start.
Beloved broadcast journalist Jane Pauley is here to help. In Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life (Simon & Schuster; Hardcover; on sale Jan. 7), Pauley offers a fresh look at the idea that has been simmering since boomers first started considering their future in a different way than any generation before — that there was more to come, and perhaps the best of all.
A familiar face on morning, daytime and primetime television for more than 30 years, Jane Pauley has become one of broadcasting’s most respected journalists — most recently, for the award-winning “Your Life Calling” [now titled “Life Reimagined Today”] segment on the Today show. In four seasons on NBC, Pauley has profiled 25 remarkable, yet relatable people over 50 whose personal reinvention informs and inspires. Now she brings these stories to the page in Your Life Calling, looking to inspire others to imagine their own future in powerful and positive ways.
These “instructive, humorous, and utterly useful” (Tom Brokaw) accounts range from Betsy McCarthy, a 57-year-old healthcare executive who left corporate life to make her cherished pastime —knitting — her full-time occupation, to Gid Pool, who found his calling at 61 on the comedy stage, performing in clubs, churches, and on cruises.
Antoinette Little, at 55 loved her highpressure job managing a big law firm, but was told by a doctor that if she didn’t quit she’d die from stress. She took his advice, enrolled in a culinary school to improve her kitchen skills, and ended up becoming a master chocolatier with a successful business.
Kirk Rademaker, who built a sandcastle on a whim while walking the beach feeling depressed by a divorce and stressful job, now is sand carving full-time for clients like Google, Yahoo, Apple and Toyota.
With familiar insight and wit, Pauley tells her own story as well, including her attempts at reinvention after Deborah Norville took over Pauley’s anchor chair on Today.
Using these examples, Pauley compiles a primer on reinvention that’s full of practical and inspirational wisdom. First, she challenges some misconceptions about reinvention: • That you have to get it right the first time;
• That there is some most authentic “you” waiting to be revealed;
• That reinvention is a total makeover, and
• That everyone has a passion to follow. She also endorses a few counterintuitive ideas: • Trial and error are keys to growth and self-knowledge;
• Reinvention may require being reintroduced to yourself, and
• Self-discovery may not be the predicate to reinvention, but the payoff.
Pauley’s warm and often funny perspective makes this book a deeply personal, rewarding, and very timely read, especially as 78 million Baby Boomers look for ways to enjoy the gift of longer lives. Your Life Calling is an indispensable guide filled with compelling ideas and encouragement for anyone who knows the yearning for “something different” or “something more.”
Jane Pauley served as co-host of Today from 1976 to 1989, anchored Dateline NBC for 11 years, and in 2004 became the host of her own daytime program, The Jane Pauley Show. Her memoir, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, was a New York Times bestseller. She lives with her husband, Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, in New York City.
Pauley will be in Miami giving the keynote speech at the Women’s Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 23, 11 a.m., at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.