Gail Sheehy Quotes

Adapting to our Second Adulthood is not all about the money. It requires thinking about how to find a new locus of identity or how to ad... - Gail Sheehy

Adapting to our Second Adulthood is not all about the money. It requires thinking about how to find a new locus of identity or how to adjust to a spouse who stops working and who may loll, enjoying coffee and reading the paper online while you're still commuting.
— Gail Sheehy

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Ah, mastery... what a profoundly satisfying feeling when one finally gets on top of a new set of skills... and then sees the light under the new door those skills can open, even as another door is closing.

Gail Sheehy

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another!

Gail Sheehy

Back in 1968, when I was 30, my entire life blew up. I had a life plan, and it collapsed for no rational reason.

Gail Sheehy

Be willing to shed parts of your previous life. For example, in our 20s, we wear a mask; we pretend we know more than we do. We must be willing, as we get older, to shed cocktail party phoniness and admit, 'I am who I am.'

Gail Sheehy

Being a pathfinder is to be willing to risk failure and still go on.

Gail Sheehy

Career-driven millennials are strategic about working obsessively while they are single and earning enough money to afford advanced education. Most are patient enough to wait until 30 or later to develop their dream.

Gail Sheehy

Changes are not only possible and predictable, but to deny them is to be an accomplice to one's own unnecessary vegetation.

Gail Sheehy

Character is what was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

Gail Sheehy

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.

Gail Sheehy

Eventually, all mentor-disciple relationships are meant to pull apart, usually sometime in the mid-30s. Those who hang on, eventually the mentor drops the disciple, and that's no fun.

Gail Sheehy

Family caregiving has become a predictable crisis. Americans are living longer and longer but dying slower and slower.

Gail Sheehy

Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.

Gail Sheehy

I actually interviewed other people about myself, and that alerted me to the fact that I had to really investigate my memories.

Gail Sheehy

I actually like getting out of my comfort zone. It shakes me up.

Gail Sheehy

I dare to do things - that's how I survive.

Gail Sheehy

I did not give my daughter the kind of childhood anybody would want. The vision of the divided loyalty between a mother and father who don't live together and don't share in decisions is a great depravation for children.

Gail Sheehy

I do think taking the 20s to take the most chances you can is important, because you're not going to hurt anyone else during that time. And if you do have a partner, you need a couple years to rehearse that relationship.

Gail Sheehy

I do think women can have it all - but not all women. If you take daring steps and are smart about it, you can probably have it all. But you might have to wait a while.

Gail Sheehy

I found that female pathfinders generally integrate characteristics commonly associated with being women - like the capacity to be intimate - with 'male' ones like ambition and courage.

Gail Sheehy

I found the happiest woman in America is between 50 and 55, is happily married, has made significant progress in her career, and lives in a community where she can easily exercise outside. But the most important single thing was she had her last child before she was 35.

Gail Sheehy

I keep returning to the central question facing over-50 women as we move into our Second Adulthood. What are our goals for this stage in our lives?

Gail Sheehy

I know I'm never going to probably see the Taj Mahal or, you know, climb Mt. Everest, but I can still maybe influence peoples' way of thinking by a story that I do, by something I learn about the world.

Gail Sheehy

I was devastated when I got the review for my first book. The book came out a couple years before the women's movement broke through, and people were putting it down, asking, 'Why does the woman in this book need to get a divorce? Why can't she just shut up and be happy?'

Gail Sheehy

I'd visually have that idea. I'm diving off the end of the diving board. I'm not going to be worried about if I'm going to dive into a jellyfish or the water's going to be too cold or the boys are going to beat me. I'm just doing it. And if I do it, it's a good chance I'll make it.

Gail Sheehy

I'm a liberal, but I think there's so much that the private sector can do and does do.

Gail Sheehy

I've had the experience of having a book praised but then it doesn't sell. Or not praised but then it sells.

Gail Sheehy

If every day is an awakening, you will never grow old. You will just keep growing.

Gail Sheehy

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.

Gail Sheehy

If you begin to think you are solely responsible for keeping your loved one alive and safe, you will eventually find yourself playing God. This phase can develop into an unhealthy, codependent relationship.

Gail Sheehy

If you're the person living closest to the parent who's going to need help, and you take on the whole role of primary caregiver, you can be pretty sure your sibling who lives farthest away is going to call you and say, 'You don't know what you're doing.' Because they're not on the spot, and they probably feel guilty.

Gail Sheehy

In 2009, I served as AARP's Ambassador of Caregiving. With a producer and cameraman, I traveled the country for months, interviewing hundreds of caregivers.

Gail Sheehy

In my memoir, I admit that I've been as fearful of success as of failure. In fact, when 'Passages' was published, I so dreaded bad reviews that I ran away to Italy with a girlfriend and our children to hide out.

Gail Sheehy

In rough times, pathfinders rely on work, friends, humor and prayer. They develop a support network.

Gail Sheehy

In the case of my husband, we found that facing a life-threatening illness prodded us to make a dramatic change in our lives.

Gail Sheehy

In the first phase of shock over, say, your mortgage being called in or your job washed out, it's essential to engage with others and share the fear, release the feelings, do fun things to take your mind off it.

Gail Sheehy

It is a paradox that as we reach out prime, we also see there is a place where it finishes.

Gail Sheehy

It seems like, to me, somewhere between 30 and 35 is a really, really good time to turn your eggs into babies.

Gail Sheehy

It was my very good fortune to find a mentor, Clay Felker, who started my career at the 'New York Magazine' as a freelance writer when I had to quit my job at the 'Herald Tribune' to stay home with my young daughter.

Gail Sheehy

It was so naive to think that there was nothing interesting that happened after 55. Come on, there's a whole second adulthood!

Gail Sheehy

Jill Clayburgh's life so closely paralleled mine, I feel as though a part of me lived a little through her and died a little with her.

Gail Sheehy

Like everyone else in the first weeks after the tragedy of 9/11, I was looking frantically for some way to help.

Gail Sheehy

Married at 23, a mother at 24, and blindsided by divorce at 28, I found myself struggling, like many young women I meet today, to strike a balance between my personal life and my career.

Gail Sheehy

Most women have learned a great deal about how to set goals for our First Adulthood and how to roll with the punches when we hit a rough passage. But we're less prepared for our Second Adulthood as we approach life after retirement, where there are no fixed entrances or exits, and lots of sand into which it is easy to bury our heads.

Gail Sheehy

My husband, Clay Felker, died 17 years after his first cancer due to secondary conditions that developed from treatment.

Gail Sheehy

No one can control the aging process or the trajectory of illness.

Gail Sheehy

No sooner do we think we have assembled a comfortable life than we find a piece of ourselves that has no place to fit in.

Gail Sheehy

One of the ways we women often handicap ourselves is thinking that once we've made a decision or a commitment, we can't change.

Gail Sheehy

Over the next few years the boardrooms of America are going to light up with hot flashes.

Gail Sheehy

People in grief need someone to walk with them without judging them.

Gail Sheehy

Adapting to our Second Adulthood is not all about the money. It requires thinking about how to find a new locus of identity or how to adjust to a spouse who stops working and who may loll, enjoying coffee and reading the paper online while you're still commuting.

Gail Sheehy