Youthful Imaginings

As a kid, I watched the Thanksgiving Day parade (Gimbel’s, Philadelphia) on the color television at my aunt and uncle’s house.

The year I was about seven, I couldn’t wait to watch “Heidi” on TV after dinner, so naturally I was frustrated when the beginning of the movie was pre-empted by the end of a football game.

I remember thinking, “I wish there were some way to save the movie so you could watch it from the beginning after the stupid football game’s finally over.”


Way back in the late ‘60s, before my parents had color TV, I dreamed up the concept of the VCR.  Little did I know that Sony had beaten me to market by a couple of years.

Fast-forward . . . a Few Decades

I’m still coming up with ideas that, while they seem radically innovative to me, have already been implemented by others.

My new brainstorm goes something like this:

“I wish there were a way to retire, but not the way most people think of retirement.  Definitely not like my aunt and uncle’s retirement.  Or my parents’.  More like transitioning from one career to another.  With a bit of a pension from the current one.  To a new one that’s more interesting and more fun and more meaningful, both to me and to the world.”


Before I’d ever heard of Marc Freedman, I dreamed up the concept of the encore career.  I’m glad he beat me to market on this one.

Encore, Encore

I came across Freedman’s new book The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife the other day.  I’m not exactly thrilled by the “beyond” midlife part, but when I found this book, I swear I heard an angel chorus singing in the far reaches of the book store.  You know, that sound you hear when you realize that someone gets you and your partially-formed idea, and that it not only has a name, it’s become a movement.  Ahhhhh.

Marc Freedman definitely gets it that lots of my fellow 78 million boomers join me in looking for a new way of working – and a new way of living – into their 50s, 60s, and beyond.   He’s done more than write books about us, he started Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank on boomers, work and social purpose.

And he’s helped me to clarify my purpose.  Well, one of them, anyway.

Part of my encore career is to help boomers create theirs.

What’s yours?

Not sure?  I can help.


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