One of the joys of embracing a portfolio career later in life is that it provides an opportunity to integrate different strands of your professional identity. One challenge I didn’t foresee was how to assemble a wardrobe to complement those multiple selves.
Long ago and far away – back when I was still an academic – I once took a long drive home from a conference with a colleague.
There’s a popular children’s song meant to inspire kids to exercise. It’s called Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes. If you’ve ever had children, grandchildren, step-children or just spent time with little kids, you’re undoubtedly familiar with it.
While home visiting my family over the holidays, my sister mentioned a few of the resolutions she’d set for herself this year.
Late one night, after a recent college reunion, I got to talking with a group of close friends. We’d had a few drinks. And having split our sides laughing over the course of two days about our shared pasts, we began to muse about our individual futures.
A year or so before I broke up with my therapist, I arrived at one of our bi-monthly sessions one day, plopped myself down, and announced that we’d be discussing career change. It was a few months after I’d been laid off from my job, and I was beginning to contemplate my next professional move.
I’ve got a confession to make: For the first time in my life, I’m enjoying work.
I realize that’s not exactly a shocking admission for those out there who find their work to be fulfilling.
But I’m well into middle age and have been working for the better part of three decades. And it’s only in the past few months that I wake up and truly look forward to the day ahead.
I broke up with my therapist recently. That sounds a bit dramatic. What I mean is that I ended a formal relationship with a talk therapist I’d been seeing fairly regularly over the past few years. And, like all break-ups – even the ones that you know need to happen – I felt incredibly sad afterwards.
The writer and artist Austin Kleon has a great tip for how to stay creative: “Remind yourself that ‘Every Day is Groundhog Day.’”