Tuesday, August 3, 2010


It's about this time in life when some people's (I'm not naming any names) thoughts start drifting towards re-inventions, what-if's. "What if we left the city and moved to the country?" "What if I quit the law firm and became a teacher?" "How about if I go to cooking school and open a restaurant?"

We're fueled by success stories -- Ina Garten quitting her energy policy job at the White House to open a specialty food store in the Hamptons, followed by books and TV fame. Martha Stewart leaving a trading firm to become the goddess of domesticity. Even in the movie I went to see with the girls last night, Ramona & Beezus, when Mr. Quimby (John Corbett) loses his job, he realizes he'd sold his soul to his corporate job years ago, and jumps at the chance to reinvent himself as an elementary school art teacher.

And sometimes re-invention is about your body and soul. Changing the eating habits, getting off the couch and onto the treadmill, gaining control over a chaotic household, saying no to obligations that distract you from what matters, finding time for yourself by getting up earlier, changing your hairstyle, getting your teeth whitened, recovering the sofa, quitting the BlackBerry after-hours, repairing a relationship.

(That's what happened at the end of City Slickers, by the way -- Billy Crystal says he's not quitting his job, he's just going to do it better, he's going to do everything better.)

The idea of re-invention seems to be emerging as a new rite of passage -- it's not as drastic as a mid-life crisis, which could involve expensive convertibles and reckless behavior. Re-invention is the opposite -- seeing mid-life not as a crisis, but an opportunity.

From the Reinvention Institute to the More Reinvention Convention, an entire industry is forming around people's desire to live the second halves of their lives passionately, maybe even more passionately than ever before.

I'm all for Re-invention. What about you?

images from http://unemployedandfabulous.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/reinvent-yourself/

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