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Baby boomer Kay Marshall Strom tells us how to go from ordinary to extra-ordinary

We have a special guest blogger today.  Kay Marshall Strom, author of nonfiction baby boomer book, The Second-Half Adventure: Don’t Just Retire – Use Your Time, Skills & Resources to Change the World (Moody Publishers), is here to tell us how to go from ordinary to extra-ordinary!

Ordinary Second-Half Adventurers

by Kay Marshall Strom

So, what kind of people seek out a Second-Half Adventure?  Who decides simple retirement isn’t for them?  That sleeping late and golf and such is all well and good but they would rather use their lifetime of accumulated skills and resources to change the world?

Well, as it turns out, lots of ordinary people. And some pretty extra-ordinary ones, too.

You would probably consider Charlie extraordinary—unless you also grew up in a mafia family.  Charlie knew two things: power and money.  He learned early how to get what he wanted, often through intimidation. As an adult, he started a financial planning business, and it was hugely profitable. Charlie was a tough guy, he had money, and he had power.  True, at forty-three his third marriage was about to end, but he would see that it ended on his terms.  Then a strange thing happened.  Charlie’s wife went to church. He mocked her and he ridiculed her, but she went anyway. When he saw he wasn’t going to stop her, he grudgingly agreed to attend with her on an Easter Sunday.  And—miracle of miracles—Charlie encountered God.

When Charlie discovered church people have the same money problems as everyone else, he offered to donate his financial services.  He also started teaching classes on financial responsibility.

“Most people are surprised to learn there is more in the Bible about money than any other subject,” Charlie says.

But Charlie did more than just teach; he lived his lessons. Within two years, he and his wife were debt-free.  He sold his business and committed to work full time with Crown Financial Ministries—an interdenominational organization dedicated to teaching biblical financial principles and helping people apply them.

“Christians should model good financial stewardship,” Charlie insists.  “Imagine if we pointed the way in these hard financial times by living without debt!”

Okay, so Charlie isn’t ordinary. But Kathy would certainly describe herself that way.  When her engineer husband, Clint, was tapped to go with a group from their church to Venezuela and make a business presentation to university students, Kathy decided to tag along.  At the last minute, she put together packets of a quilt block she had developed and stuck them in her suitcase.  Fifty of them.

Her husband never got to give his presentation.  But to everyone’s amazement, an entourage met the American group at the airport.  It was there to meet Kathy.  “We heard about the quilt and we’ve got a lot of women who are interested,” they said.  “We hope you have enough supplies for ninety women.”

Kathy didn’t.  So Clint put away his presentation notes, picked up a pair of scissors, and got busy helping Kathy cut out the twenty-five piece sets—each piece representing an element of Jesus’ story of the Woman at the Well.

On second thought, Kathy and Clint aren’t so ordinary either.  Kathy’s self-assurance and Clint’s gentle refusal to insist but-I’m-the-one-with-the-valuable-skills-here! are rare traits indeed.

Now, John, though—he insists no one could be as ordinary as he.

John spent his entire life working as a bread delivery truck driver whose day started at four a.m.  Two years ago, he retired, but a lifetime routine of getting up so early isn’t easy to change.  John is still out of bed at four, but now he sits down immediately at his computer and logs in to his personal site at GMO, an organization that uses cutting-edge technologies to respond to spiritual questions from people around the world.

“I’m never lonely,” John says of his early morning sessions.  “Somewhere in the world, someone with a pressing question is always up at that hour.” And, thanks to the training GMO gave him, John feels comfortable offering answers.  Even to people in Ghana… or Ethiopia… or India…

Come to think of it, second half adventurers are all ordinary people.  They just become extra-ordinary because of the way they choose to define their lives.

Kay Marshall Strom is the author of thirty-six published books, including her most recent, The Second-Half Adventure: Don’t Just Retire-Use Your Time, Skills & Resources to Change the World.  Her writing credits also include magazine articles, short stories, prize-winning screenplays, booklets for writers, and anything else that will help make the house payments.  Kay is an in demand speaker at events throughout the country.  She and her husband Dan Kline love to travel, so Kay encourages writing and speaking assignments in far flung corners of the globe.  To find out more about Kay, or for contact information, check her website at www.kaystrom.com.

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Book Review: AMAZING GRAYS: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MAKING THE NEXT 50 THE BEST 50 by Maggie Rose Crane

amazing-grays5Amazing Grays: A Woman’s Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50
Maggie Rose Crane
Self-Help
FTA Press
281 pages

Maggie Rose Crane has written an informative and engaging book for boomers who are unwilling to become feeble old women with boobs in their laps, dreams on the shelf, and “Memory Lane” their only destination. This book is for maturing women who are staking their claim as part of a dynamic and growing movement of ‘Amazing Grays’, women who want to challenge stereotypes about aging and amazing-grays1create a fresh start for the second half of life – but aren’t quite sure how to pull it off.

When an epiphany in the hair salon convinced Maggie to try life without hair dye, she found herself face to face with the fears and questions that unsettle many maturing women living in a culture obsessed with youth and manufactured beauty…
Who am I now that I’m no longer young and fertile? Will I still be desirable as I age? Will I be invisible? Is this the beginning of the end? Is it too late to make a difference? And how on earth do I stop coloring my hair if I want to?

Balanced somewhere between a memoir and a how-to, Maggie uses her personal journey as a springboard to shatter stereotypes about aging. She shares her most poignant insights and experiences on what it means to be a woman “of a certain age,” and offers suggestions on how to mindfully chart a graceful course through the physical changes, emotional challenges and mental gauntlet of aging. With honesty, humor and plenty of research, Maggie lights the way for women who want to live with vibrancy and joy – regardless of their hair color!

In this provocative and touching book, Maggie explores, with humor and compassion, the many aspects of growing older – from changing social and family roles to changes in body and appearance, even changes in perspective and purpose. She shares how redirecting her focus from her packaging to her essence gave her the perspective to age mindfully and joyfully (after, of course, a bit of kicking and screaming).

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do something so outrageous that it didn’t matter what anything thought, you were going to do it anyway because you knew it was the right thing for you to do?

For years, Maggie Rose Crane colored her hair, until one day she declared her independence and gave up the dye to become the person she really wanted to be. What happened was a transformation took place that even Maggie didn’t know would happen.

In her book, Amazing Grays: A Woman’s Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50, Maggie shares her journey as she transforms from someone she thought she had to be into a woman she know she had to be. It is in her book that she shows other women how to be the women they are meant to be, too, despite time not being on their side.

Written for baby boomer women everywhere, Maggie explains why it doesn’t matter what color your hair is or how many years the clock says you are, women of a certain age can still be “vibrant, healthy, wise, engaged with life, sexually active, spiritually connected, physically fit and alive well past 100”!

Maggie’s book is a guide for baby boomer women that will lead them down the right path to fulfilling their life’s goals, even when they have declared themselves “a certain age.” She shows us how to become body wise and how to navigate through the changes. She explains how we age and the key factors in aging. She explains why we need to keep moving and how to deal with menopause that often slows us down.

Maggie Rose Crane opens our eyes to the simple fact that aging does not have to be something to dread once we understand what is going on with our bodies. She helps us learn what we can do to make this time of our life the best time of our life.

I fully recommend Maggie Rose Crane’s Amazing Grays: A Woman’s Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50 if you are approaching your 50s or already there.

What I love about this woman is that she’s daring. I love her chutzpah!  I have colored my hair for years and still I could not have the courage this woman had to completely give up the bottle.  I so admire women like that!  Maybe one day!

The book was expertly written; no typos or grammar flubs.  This is the kind of book I love having come across my desk.  Such a joy to read!

The fact there is no part II?  Maggie?

Purchase Amazing Grays: A Woman’s Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50 at the author’s website by clicking here!

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