Join Lesley Jane Seymour, former Editor-in-Chief of More magazine to talk about reinventing yourself
Welcome to the Online Community! This month, we're pleased to have join us AARP Age Disruptor and special guest, Lesley Jane Seymour (@LesleySeymour). Lesley is here to take your questions on reinvention, the empty nest, and switching gears when life throws you a curveball. To participate, simply ask a question by reply post!
Ms. Seymour is a media entrepreneur, having served as editor in chief of More Magazine from 2008 to 2016. After the magazine shuttered in February 2016, Seymour had to figure out what to do next. She reinvented herself by launching a new digital magazine and salon, CoveyClub. As a result, she’s become an expert on second careers and finding a new path after a layoff.
Lesley Jane Seymour, CoveyClubSeymour also has experienced a change in her role as a mother now that her two children are grown. As she writes for the Disrupt Aging newsletter, it’s not always easy to perceive your kids as adults and to interact less like a parent and more like a friend. But then there comes a day, at a wedding or a business event, when you step into a room of strangers and watch them treat your children as unrelated to you. You watch from the side of your eye as your adult kids handle themselves with poise and confidence. Then all at once you realize you are truly and finally done. You no longer can parent. You can only nudge and suggest.
Can you give some advice about reinventing yourself. I am about 5 years away from retirement and really love working. My last daughter will be off to college in the fall. In 4 years I would love to work only part time. I am in the corporate accounting field and would love to hear your thoughts on changing careers after retirement.
Hi @patriciai764572: I'm all about reinvention. You can check out my "Reinvent Yourself" podcast in which I interview dozens of women who have done it from all directions. It has helped a lot of women get inspired to take the plunge. Mostly it's a state of mind. You have to know there is more for you. You can also find tons of Second act stories on CoveyClub.com. I know you'll find steps and inspiration there too.
Loved your story today. 28 years ago, after 44 hours of labor and a C-section my darling of a daughter arrived at 9 lbs and 4 ounces. I too wondered about what I was going to do and said that I'd play it by ear. With my mom gone I had my coworkers and my mother-in law to lean on. I asked them questions but then held on to the best advice, 'you really can't plan your life around a baby before it happens. You have to see him or her and take it from there.' My daughter and I were one, very little phased us and we always went with the flow. No fuss,no rush, just us. We are still that way.
Hi Lesley-Loved your article. It hugely resonated as our second and final graduates HS this year, so on to the empty-nest! Yikes. Yay. How do you swing yearly (or so) fam vacations/get-togethers with adult kids without making them feel pressured? You want them to WANT to join you and their sibling wherever it may be, not feel like it's a requirement! We enjoy a great relationship with our kids, so they'll probably be eager to maneuver schedules to join, but since my hubby and I both come from homes where we got the guilt treatment if we couldn't attend "reunions", it's on my mind. Thanks!
Hi @KathrynS845944: I don't have all the answers. But since the kids now both work, we simply ask well ahead of time if they will be joining us for various holidays. They can plan ahead that way --and one incentive for the financially strapped new workers is that we do pay their way if they travel with us. We will get a big air b & b and invite the friends or mates along. That is always an incentive. I've also found making their favorite foods is a draw (hey--ya gotta use what you can, right?). My daughter and I talk many times a day but my son can sometimes let it go for two weeks. So I call him and leave funny messages and text silly GIFs till I get a response. Sometimes we ask: hey, if you're not dead, please send a text.
So very true. I "think" I'm done parenting and then WHAM, I realize we are never truly done. But we do get some really great breaks, and then grandkids- which I feel are the great do-overs of parenting.
Many thanks to everyone for your participation in this event, and to Lesley (@LesleySeymour) for being our featured guest! Terrific questions, answers and insights shared here. This concludes our session with Lesley. Look for more upcoming opportunities to chat with AARP Age Disruptors in the Online Community this year!
(This event is closed but still available for viewing. Thank you.)
@4boysmother I agree: you are never ever done. Parenting is a life long job. It just changes and morphs. I still worry as much as ever but I have to "suggest" and "offer" instead of instruct like I used to. I want them to come back and be open with me and tell me everything. So I had to change my approach and so far it's working. Except for the times my daughter tells me I'm so "annoying."
Hi! What’s the best way to make sure your kids stay in touch with you when they fly the coop? Right now I’m policing young teens — they probs can’t wait to get away from us! What can we do/say now lay the groundwork for a healthy adult relationship?
@DdM142808, as your kids get into their twenties, you have to change the conversation. I make sure to answer every question with "In my opinion..." I don't want to be the autocratic parent anymore because we now need to move into the role of coach or wise friend. I also like to travel with the kids separately. Lake and I spent a week in Florida together and it really put us on new footing: it was there that she told me I was her best friend. I wasn't trying for that status, but was delighted to find it. The roles really need to grow and change so that you have a good relationship. It is really hard to look at them and not see the pudgy toddler who you want to protect from everything. But that is not the role for us any longer. Think "coach" and "friend".