Grateful for Second Act Wisdom

Since July 2013, I have interviewed over seventy women from three different continents and shared their reinvention stories in the Second Acts series on my blog. Originally, I had intended to focus primarily on boomer women and their older sisters, but I quickly discovered that reinvention cannot be contained or limited to a particular age group. And so I widened my search and included women of all ages—millenial to septuagenarian.

I am grateful for all the wonderful insights and advice these women have generously shared with me and my readers.

Pearls of wisdom from my Soul Mate sisters…

My Second Act is a little more frantic since I remain a wife, mother of three teenagers, and a preschool teacher. Add to that: learning social media, writing a sequel, and promoting the release of my novel. My advice to anyone with a seven year itch? It’s never too late to do something new. Anne B. Cole

The poet, Robert Browning said it well: “The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.”Eris Field

Go ahead! Life is for living, pursuing your dreams, and growing. Why just exist? Make your life worth every breath you take. Katie Hamstead

And yes, I am a lawyer. But just because I have practiced successfully does not mean I want to continue practicing indefinitely. It’s time to start thinking about when I’m going to completely close the curtain on my first act. For my second act, what I want is to fully embrace my creative self. To have writing at the center of my life. Stacy Hoff

Don’t EVER accept the label OLD. It’s demeaning. Think of yourself as chronologically gifted. You have lots more to give. Susan B. James

As we go through the various acts of our lives, I firmly believe we can never give into fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. We must simply go out there and give it our best try. These words from J. K. Rowling to the 2008 Harvard graduating class always inspire me: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” Monica Knightley

I do know there is a deep urge in me to continue, some call it the muse, and some call it a creative talent. I call it having fun and living a satisfying life, which runs with hills and valleys but always interesting. Janis Lane

Life is all about choices. If the time for change comes knocking on the door, you have a decision to make. Do you stay where you are or embrace what you could become? It can be scary I know. Once you start on the second act there is no going back. You will discover fantastic things about yourself you didn’t even know. Maggie Mundy

When I was struggling terribly to recover from illness and get my second act off the ground, I saw an inspiring bookmark that said: Sometimes you have to take a leap and build your wings on the way down. Scary job! But I wasn’t doing it alone. Faith and Hope were working along with me, insuring success. And my friends were cheering me on. With that change of perspective, the hard work became less of a nightmare and more of a thrill. Katie O’Boyle

This is my favourite quote: Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to. Elizabeth Preston

The Second Act. In a play it’s when we finally know all the characters, understand the plot, and complications ensue, i.e. “the fun part.” In life, it’s when you take a large detour, but detours can also be fun. Karin Shah

Second acts in life are scary and I think persistence and courage are major factors when we want to change our lives. It’s important to avoid people who send out negative vibes and seek out supportive groups who encourage us in our endeavors. Brenda Stinnett

I have learned that to change, we must want something else more than what we have now and that now is not forever. I have learned God always give His best to those who leave the choices with Him and I have learned life is lived forward and understood backward. Ryan Jo Summers

Be flexible and never stop learning. Looking back I can see where life was sending me, but during those years, I had no idea why things were happening as they did. Tina Susedik

It’s difficult to find time to write when you have a full-time job. But just a little, a few sentences, a paragraph, will turn into a page, a chapter. Every moment I can slip away into fantasy, I go for it. My dream paid off. I will retire soon and look forward to hours of writing. Samanthya Wyatt

Work to be as good as you can at what you do, and believe that your time to shine will come. Gay Yellen


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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14 Responses to Grateful for Second Act Wisdom

  1. NevaBrown says:

    Thanks for some wonderful stories in Second Act Wisdom. There was one octogenarian. She just didn’t ‘fess up.

  2. Such wisdom!! Thank you! Happy 2015!

  3. I’ve enjoyed your Second Act Series and considered it an honor to be part of it. Keep up the good work.

  4. I love your Second Act Series: Pure inspiration. I am honored to be there and inspired to create even more in 2015. Thank you, Joanne, for your generous spirit and love of women and their fabulous journeys.

  5. Gay Yellen says:

    It was an honor and a pleasure to be among your Second Act subjects. Wishing you all the best in 2015.

  6. I like both the Second Act name and the concept of transitioning from what you’ve been into something new that you want to be. But for people who are open to possibility and who never settle for what they have, life is a constant state of redefining and reinventing yourself. It probably happened around 20 when you reexamined your beliefs and accepted a new set of your own. Many people have a Second Act after a divorce. I had an English professor who sent back to school at 60. A minister who went to clown school. So hopefully a career as a writer isn’t necessarily a “Second Act” but rather “Another Act.”

    Bottom line is: don’t ever settle for what you are today.

  7. Thanks for sharing your insights and wonderful advice. Happy holiday! 🙂

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