This pandemic is forcing people to rethink what comes next.  My next chapter started years ago after my husband died and I needed to find a way to earn a living.  Maybe you’re simply tired of your job.  Regardless of the circumstances, considering the options for your next chapter can be pretty scary.  What if I make the wrong choice?  What if I fail?  What if my family thinks I’m making a huge mistake?  

Not all of our next chapters become successful.  I was a Pilates instructor for a nanosecond, and it just didn’t feel like the right fit for me.  I lasted about six months and then one day I sat down at my computer and googled “how do families resolve conflict?”  The one word that stood out and grabbed me by my shoulders?  Mediation.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

I received an unexpected perk through the discovery process, and that was the realization that I was extremely fortunate to be able to find  my next chapter and get on the road to fulfilling it.  Granted, it wasn’t easy.  It was expensive, time-consuming, and thrilling, all at the same time.  I had inadvertently (and belatedly) found my passion.  And while I hated that widowhood was my driving force, I loved having a destination.  

If you’re thinking about your next chapter, I’d like to suggest you include “The Four P-Words.”

Passion:  If you are passionate about something, consider forging ahead with it in your next chapter.  Take a cooking class, or volunteer for a cause that makes your heart feel good.  With an open mind, you might very well find that your passion will take you directly to your next chapter.

Plan:  Next step, make a plan.  It can be grandiose or it can be broken down into baby steps.  Get it on paper, and then tweak it as appropriate.  If you’ve always wanted to be an author, start with an idea, then an outline, then a writing schedule.  Share your plan with someone smart and ask for input.

Persistence:  Keep at it!  Next chapters take time, and they take commitment.  According to Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, “Without persistence, you will be defeated, even before you start.  With persistence you will win.”  Read everything you can get your hands on, and seek the advice of a mentor or two to keep you on track.  If you need a resource, go to  It’s a good starting place.  

Positivity:  This might be the most important P-Word of all, because without it, you’ll be second-guessing yourself forever.  Instead of asking yourself “what if  . . . ”  flip the switch and tell yourself “why not?”  Positivity is contagious, it’s healthy, and it’s free.  

I hope I’ve given you a bit of inspiration on the topic of reinventing yourself.  Whether you’re contemplating this due to desire or due to necessity, please view it as a privilege.  And feel free to share your story with me.