It takes what it takes for Baby Boomers to finally come into our own about what we want and how to get it. We can think of that as The Startup of our little lives. And what pivots we took and are taking. It could save our lives.
Old lawyers, despite success, often seem as unhinged as younger lawyers who can't get a hold of how to practice law without coming undone. I encounter them in recovery groups, mindfulness discussion meetups, and through this blog.
The good news is that it's possible for Baby Boomer lawyers to pivot to save their lives.
For me, a non-lawyer, it all began in 20o3. That was the year of the catastrophe of losing my business, nest egg and mind. The way back hasn't been linear. There were horrific setbacks. But finally, at age 71, I have been able to create my own version of Genova Inc.
How does it feel to be in charge, finally? Unusual. I am still getting used to it.
This weekend I paid off the last debt associated with my communications boutique. You may be facing still paying off your children's educational loans.
For me, the payout was easy. That was because the business caught fire. Demand is such that I can carefully select client accounts. Several weeks ago rather than verbally arm-wrestle with the client I mistakenly let in, I returned his down payment. That didn't feel good or bad. It just felt the way things go currently.
The ghosts from the past have been exorcised. Those range from Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, classmates Kathleen Huebner and Irene Nunn to public relations player Bob Dilenchneider and his administrative assistant Joan Avagliano.
Ghosts are typically the last to go. Those spirits tend to hover over our lives, intruding on the inner peace. But somehow I was able to figure out that uprooting from the New York Metro rat race would make them hard to track me. I was on the money, literally. It took that for professional success to be thrust upon me.
Another pivot has been to care less. About everything. That's the zen of self-love. No, we don't have to jump to return the call or email, get every piece of business available, or network with the A-group. Most importantly, we don't have to chase perfection. Last Christmas was far from perfect. But it was good-enough. This one will be a little better, I hope.
Thanks to the pivots, I would like to continue to work indefinitely. My sister Camille Klinga died at age 60 of breast cancer. My 3-D X-ray came out negative. Genetically I might take after the paternal side of the family which lives beyond 100, with all their marbles. Even my teeth are holding up. At the Mexican dental practice (I am big fan of dental tourism) I received a clean bill of oral health. Come back in six months for a cleaning.
On Friday evening, I want out to dinner with a member of Generation X. "The worst is over in my life," I declared. She sensed the victory I have had. Then she explained her continuing current struggle. Maybe it takes aging, with a big heaping of catastrophe as a side dish, to put together a startup that creates such unexpected outcomes.
Lawyers can experience the same results when they are ready to do a reset.