How I Made a Mid-Life Career Switch and Lived Happily Ever After

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Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

Given a choice between spending time with a kid or a grownup, I’ll take the child every time. Children are more interesting than adults. They’ll tell you exactly what they’re thinking. The world still fascinates them; it’s still full of magic. And children are full of surprises. You never know what a 3-year-old will say next.

When my own son was born, 32 years ago, I left the practice of law to stay home with him. Although trading legal briefs for bath toys wouldn’t work for every 34-year-old professional, I was exactly where I wanted to be.

On the floor, singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to my kid. …

I Know I Did

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Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

Thewriteyard just wrote an essay about all the names she’s been called in her life. When she was a teenager, she tells us, she disliked her name. So she decided to do something about it:

As a teenager, I hated my name. Why on earth did they call me Carol when I wasn’t born anytime near Christmas? I have no idea why my parents chose that name. I don’t know of any other Carols in the family. So I started spelling it Karrell.

She describes this as a rare “teenage act of insurrection.” Otherwise, she says, “I was generally very well behaved.” …

This One Wasn’t

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Photo by Linda Mynhardt on Unsplash

In my two years on Medium, what I’ve learned is that the posts that get the most readers and earn the most money are the ones that are curated.

Except for this one:

This essay has earned a whopping $567 since it went up last month. (My average take per post is usually closer to $12.)

How did this happen? How can I make it happen again? More important, how can you make it happen for you?

Here’s my best guess about the factors behind the success of He Said He Was Single, in decreasing order of importance:

(l) Although it wasn’t curated, it appeared in P S I Love You, a publication with 266,000 followers. Not every one of those 266,000 readers saw my essay. But thousands more did than if I’d published it on my own. …

Read Joyce Wadler’s “Cured.”

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When reporter Joyce Wadler was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 1995, friends recommended that she read comedian Gilda Radner’s book about her experience with the disease. It would be “inspirational,” they enthused.

The problem? Radner had died of ovarian cancer.


Maybe not so much.

Wadler’s cancer, in contrast, was cured. She’s been cancer free for 25 years. In 1997, she wrote a cover story about her “ovarian adventure” for New York Magazine, which, in 2013, she expanded into a book, Cured: My Ovarian Cancer Story, with updates that include Wadler’s advice for anyone who receives a similar diagnosis, plus links to organizations where a new patient can find information and support. …

The World is Getting Better

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Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

I was born in the 1950s, when gender roles were rigidly enforced. If you were a girl, you wore a dress and played with dolls. Your color was pink. If you were a boy, you wore pants and played with trucks. Your color was blue.

If you resisted these ground rules, you were in for plenty of trouble.

Six decades later, I baby sit for a two-year-old boy who loves the color pink. Too young to know about its role as a gender marker, he’s just drawn to the color. He likes to wear pink clothing and to color with the pink crayon. …

And Does That Matter?

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

At 66, I am in a high risk category for getting COVID.

Still, when I learned that the CDC had determined that a bunch of folks deserved to get vaccinated before I did, I agreed with their decision.

Doctors. Nurses. Teachers. People in nursing homes. People in prisons. Anyone who works with the public.

I lost my library job because I refused to work with the public during the pandemic. Instead? I’ve stayed safe and stayed home. I only leave my house for a daily (outdoor, socially distanced) visit with my sister, and dental emergencies.

My rule of thumb for surviving the pandemic? I don’t go into buildings. Stores. Supermarkets. The bank. My favorite local restaurants. …

Can We Please Not Talk About Bridgerton?

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At a recent (socially-distanced outdoor) gathering, I was seated near a woman in her 70s, who, my hostess had told me, ran a successful business, was involved in both her church and in local politics, and had enjoyed a long and happy marriage.

I was looking forward to hearing about her life, perhaps even receiving some accumulated wisdom. I’m in my 60s, and I figured I need all the help I can get to navigate the next decade. Plus, as a writer, I’m fascinated by life stories.

But all she wanted to talk about was “Bridgerton.”

“Bridgerton” in case you’ve been living under a rock, is a Netflix TV series about a wealthy family in a fantasy version of Regency London. The focus of the first season is on the courtship between Daphne Bridgerton and the (very hot, very sexy) Duke of Hastings. …

I’ve Had it With Het Guys. What I Really Need is a Gay Best Friend.

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Photo by Yogas Design on Unsplash

Aunt Meg always had a loving man in her life. When my Uncle Benny died, she was soon re-married. When that husband eventually passed on, another man turned up to enjoy her company. It was easy to see why. She was engaging, wise and sympathetic, and always great fun to talk with.

And she was always upbeat. In her 80s and (temporarily) single, she had to move into an assisted living facility, but her take on it was anything but glum.

“I love this place!” she told me. “I’ve made lots of new friends. There‘s a dining room so I don‘t have to cook. …

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Photo by manish panghal on Unsplash

Tom Handy recently published an article on Medium about five stocks investors should consider buying in January 2021.

One was Canopy Growth (CGC), a Canadian company which “engages in the production and sale of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes.”

In other words? Weed! Pot! Reefer! Grass! Giggle Smoke! Ganja!

The forbidden stuff that we used to buy on the sly in the seventies, then smoke behind the backs of our parents, teachers, cops and other authority figures.

How cool is it that we’re now living in a world where the analysis of a company’s stock could include the line “a boom in the weed industry is expected in the upcoming years?” …

Let Me Share My Mind Control Secrets With You!

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Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Ha ha. Sucker. You clicked the link.

I made you click that link with my awesome powers of mind control!

You had no idea that I was capable of doing that.

But now you’re here.


You’re not leaving.

I am totally going to get you to read to the end of this piece — because I am controlling your mind!

Don’t worry — it’s just a two minute read.

I may have awesome mind control powers, but I’m not a sadist. …


Roz Warren

Writing Coach/Medium Sherpa Roz Warren( ( writes for everyone from the New York Times to the Funny Times.

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