I called it my “crazy trip.”
In January 2009, about a month after being laid off from my job as the online director of a local newspaper, I packed my Hyundai Tucson and took a drive from my home near Pittsburgh to New Mexico and back. Along the way, I stopped in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., spent a night near Oklahoma City, explored the rock art known as petroglyphs near Albuquerque, N.M., and visited a cousin and the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. It was a wonderful trip, and I traveled through and to places I’d never seen.
One late afternoon as I headed west, probably in Arkansas or Oklahoma, it occurred to me that the sunset seemed to last a little longer than usual. It was probably my imagination, but I let it run, and I began thinking because I was driving into the sunset I was prolonging the day – even if it was just a tad. To get a little extra daylight, a little extra time, I was chasing the sunset.
I began thinking about how “sunset-chasing” applied to my job situation. There I was, 52 years old, facing a career situation I’d never experienced. I was jobless and not quite sure what I would do next, or even what I wanted to do. My working life is by no means over, but it’s somewhere around the start of the seventh inning. What could I do to alter my career, and even prolong it? How could I chase the sunset?
I wasn’t, and am not, the only person to face questions about what to do next after a long career in one field. Maybe I could draw some inspiration from others who’d faced the same challenge and transformed themselves. Better yet, maybe others could draw inspiration from those stories, too.
Thus, the idea for this website and blog was first conceived. It simmered and even cooled for a while, but I’ve drawn some inspiration from an Internet marketing course I took through the University of San Francisco. Blogging about new careers for the over-50 set is a new path for me. I hope to simply tell the stories of people who’ve faced their fears, taken some unusual turns and ended up in surprising places that are productive and fulfilling.
I know a few sunset-chasers who have some great stories to tell. If you’ve got one, or if you know somebody who would make a great profile, let me know. Thanks for reading!