My career spans decades and industries and, like yours is punctuated with achievements, accolades, trials, and tribulations. I love sharing those stories and insights with my peers; those are the world’s most gratifying conversations.
I am a mother and a feminist. That matters considerably because the way I lived my life was political, whether I liked it or not. My generation, like many before and after, challenged gender norms and attempted to redefine the place of women in society. These two anecdotes give you a sense of what the intersection of these values and times looked like in my life.
When I first became a mother, I had to hand my three-week-old child over to a babysitter because position as a university professor would have been terminated if I missed the fourth week.
By the time I was a grandmother I was designing, building, and delivering online courses and maternity leave was something their mothers could take for granted and Hillary Clinton was running for president.
The 1st and 2nd Acts of my life revolved around pleasing others and making a contribution and creating value for a myriad of stakeholders. I raised my family, founded non-profits, started businesses, became a psychologist, and earned a Ph.D. in education. Looking back, I realize that my entrepreneurial spirit was the underlying source of innovation, creativity, and optimism in the face of any problem or situation.
As I entered the third act of my life, I began to realize that the world’s new expectation of me was that I should just fade away. Find a hobby. While away my time. With years of wisdom, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a mind as sharp as ever, there was no place for me to make a meaningful contribution.
I see the potential that this time of life presents. Without the constraints of defining myself by the workplace, or societal expectations, the possibilities are endless.
The third act for me means living from a place of vitality, compassion, and relevance in a community of other women ready to invent a new way of experiencing the next phase of their lives.
I am a woman in my third act, and I invite you to join me on this journey.