Second Act Wisdom–Part III

In the Second Acts series on my blog, I am featuring the reinvention stories of over thirty women from across Canada, United States, Britain, and Australia. Ranging in age from millennial to septuagenarian, these women have transformed less-than-satisfying careers into more fulfilling second acts. Their rich and compelling stories will inspire anyone asking the question: What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

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Pearls of wisdom from nine amazing women…

This second act of my life is fun, challenging, and just might be a little self indulgent. I write romance novels—contemporary and historical. They range from sweet to sensual. I love spending time with my characters be they naughty or nice. They used to be my guilty, secret pleasure. Now I acknowledge them openly. Some of my contemporaries raise their eyebrows and look a little shocked, but others are a regular cheering section for me. Neva Brown

If you’re looking for your second act in life, here’s a piece of advice: Your dream is closer to you than you probably realize. Had I realized at age 19 the writing path waited for me I might not have taken 21 years to discover journalism and another 23 to become a published author. I could have a lot more books out there had I discovered that second act dream sooner…I once interviewed a woman who got her GED at age 80. So, don’t let others, taking chances, or being afraid discourage you. Follow your dreams whenever they become known to you. It’s never too late. Catherine Castle

The decision to sell everything and move aboard a sailboat was my husband’s. However, we both wanted more from life and were looking for adventure. Moving from an acre of land into 200 square feet of bobbing living space is all about adventure. We originally planned to circumnavigate, but we soon discovered that neither one of us was particularly interested in doing passages – we were curious to see beautiful, wild places and could do that here in British Columbia. Tara Coulter

I wrote and wrote, not really knowing what I was doing. Everything was a thrilling venture. I tried romance, women’s fiction, romantic suspense and a middle grade novel. I finished all of these manuscripts, over a ten year period…Finally I stumbled upon the Young Adult genre. Ah yes! I could utilize all the voices, all the drama, all of the compelling stories of my life with students. Jodie Esch

My advice to anyone is don’t be afraid to try something new. You may have never thought you’d like it, but until you try you will never know. Achieving lifetime dreams is wonderful and fulfilling, but when you stumble upon a venue you never considered before, doors to many different paths are opened and the adventures renew or awaken a jest to start a second act. Karen Lopp

It used to be that people had one lifelong career, retiring with a gold watch, or something similar. I think those days are long gone. Technology has made it possible for people to reinvent themselves over and over if they wish…By taking a chance, I discovered a talent I did not really know I had! I can tell a good story! Sometimes when I re-read my own work I am wonder-struck at where the ideas came from! Anna Markland

If I had to pick a couple of motivational quotes that I’ve held close to my heart over recent years, I’d select the following. I don’t know who said the first one, but it goes something like: “Every ending is a beginning. You just don’t realize it at the time.…” The second quote comes from Winston Churchill, who led England through the bloody and battered years of World War 2: “Never, never, never give up!” I never will. Roz Murphy

Work hard at whatever you choose to do. The following anonymous quote has been with me (and kept me going) since the day I left my childhood home: The race is to the driven, not the swift…As long as I push forward, as long as I keep exploring and changing and dreaming and even on occasion being a little crazy—I have faith that I can accomplish whatever I desire and that the best acts in life are yet to come. Jacqui Nelson

It is through the spirit of openness that I have found solace in stillness, gratitude despite obstacles, and a reinvented me who left a first act to play out a second one…For those wishing to pursue a second act, determination and strength of character will be your guide. Journey on, beyond rocky climbs and steep ascents to find stillness. Breathe, reflect, and step lightly on a new path where desires and expectations intersect reality. Carol Varsalona

About Joanne Guidoccio

In 2008, Joanne retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
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4 Responses to Second Act Wisdom–Part III

  1. Very inspiring and well-written post, Joanne. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Joanne, this is another wonderful entry. I was surprised to see a mention about me. Thank you for showcasing me amongst your group of women.

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