Life Reimagined? Call mine Life Reenhanced


I'm firmly entrenched in life's second act — or is this the third? — and all about me are folks in the same phase of life making the most of the opportunity to rework their lives in order to make it all they imagine it can be.

It's impossible to miss the wave of boomers ramping up for an overhaul. There's continual chatter on Life Reimagined. Life after 50+. Life in an empty nest. Midlife makeovers. Second acts, third acts and checking off gargantuan achievements from bucket lists to beat all bucket lists.

I have many friends and acquaintances who have revamped and reorganized in incredible ways. I know longtime career women who left the office when their kids left the house, and they now travel the world to support charitable causes. Or just because they can.

I count among those in my circle of friends stay-at-home moms who launched businesses, published books, became full-fledged artists with nary a glance back.

Then there are those who have turned hobbies into careers, others who morphed second-careers into something far more enjoyable than even the happiest of hobbies.

And there are many friends and acquaintances who finally — finally — have taken the time to earn the education they've long desired. Some for career advancement; many more for personal edification.

I applaud and admire them all. Each and every one of them. Their efforts, their successes, their chutzpah, their bravado in reimagining, recreating their lives.

But I'm not one of them.

For me, with my kids grown and gone, I'm not experiencing life reimagined. The way I approach this phase would be more fittingly called life reenhanced.

Afterall, my life after the empty nest is all I long imagined — and hoped — it would be. Just to a lesser degree.

I have what I've always wanted, do what I always wanted, strive for what I always wanted. Though I want more, more and more.

I travel — though I'd love to go farther and more often.

I cherish my wife, mother and grandmother roles — though I'd prefer having the grankiddos closer (or having the money to bring us together more often).

I continue to follow my writerly aspirations — though I'd like to publish books not just blog posts.

I love and adore my friends — but want more time with them.

I meet interesting people, continually create new connections, make a smidgen of difference — though I'd like to meet more, connect more, do more.

More of the same is the key... for me.

Which is why I choose to reenhance not reimagine this second (third?) act of my life. I'm not looking to overhaul the road or where I'm heading. I simply hope to amplify and augment what I started out hoping to attain and achieve long, long ago.

It's slow going, I admit. If there were a graph of stats showing the trajectory to achieving life-long goals — something akin to the stats we bloggers stare at far too often — the timelines for my contemporaries in the process of reimagining their worlds might more closely follow the red line in the graph below. I and those who, like me, reenhance rather than reimagine would surely more steadfastly stick to the blue.

life reimagined vs life reenhanced graph 

No hare-like hops to success and achievement for me. I'm surely more of a tortoise in this race to an ethereal, enlightened end.

Though I'm not comparing. Really. For as Teddy Roosevelt once said, "comparison is the thief of joy." And there's plenty of joy-sucking out in the world without my adding to the drainage. Besides, I'll get there. We all will get there... in precisely the manner in which we individually choose to travel.

So I will continue to genuinely salute my friends and celebrate their successes in the take-charge choices they've made and the incredible changes they've facilitated in their reimagined lives. 

And I will continue to plod on enhancing mine, delighted to have by my side the one I originally chose to accompany me on the ride.

Some of us are hares.

Some of us are tortoises.

And some of us are simply overjoyed we have the opportunity to further enhance the life we originally — and oh so imperfectly — imagined.

Today's question:

Do you see yourself as doing more reimagining your life or reenhancing your life?