Welcome to The Second Act

These posts first appeared in The Hobson magazine. It’s about the commitment to reinvention at mid life.

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  • Alexa! Play Mingus! (Please)

    by Sandy Burgham Hurrying my husband along recently as he avoided going to the DIY store, I grabbed my keys and iPhone and shouted out, “Oookayyy, let’s go!”   While he remained stubbornly silent, a clipped British voice responded, somewhat eager to please: “I’m ok if you’re ok”! Turns out, I had inadvertently activated Siri, the iPhone personal assistant.  

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  • When being young was fun

    by Sandy Burgham I was both intrigued and a little saddened to hear that the most popular course, ever, at Yale is a recent addition to their curriculum. “Psychology and the Good Life” is a basic happiness course that teaches young ones how to be happy and flourish. Around a quarter of the student body has enrolled in it. It

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  • A Fusion New Year

    by Sandy Burgham I am half Asian, half Pākehā. But this is a fairly recent thing. I was born to a Japanese mother, and until say, 10 years or so ago, I had always thought of myself as half-Japanese. When kids at school found out Mum was Japanese — a fact of which I was, and am, extremely proud —

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  • The Best Christmas List, Ever

    by Sandy Burgham For this issue I really wanted to write about my favourite subject, feminism after 50. But as it’s the Christmas issue, I felt a moral obligation to join in the festivities, so to speak, with something a little more cheery. And as I’d recently become aware that some are still pondering that age-old pearler of “what do

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  • Rebranding Ageing

    by Sandy Burgham I recently came face to face with my own mortality, and so, my age. With a firm — yet perhaps misguided — belief that mid-life, fit and healthy people like me “don’t get sick,” I ended up travelling to Auckland Hospital by ambulance after a particularly bad chest infection morphed with asthma, leaving me gasping for air.

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  • A Call to Action

    by Sandy Burgham I have always been loathe to call myself a life coach as it sounds lightweight and fluffy and strangely indulgent like having a personal aromatherapist.  But because I work in the area of leadership development, it is important to consider that the leader cannot help bring their whole self, their beliefs and values, hopes and dreams to

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  • Adventures with my Father

    by Sandy Burgham Every year my Dad, now 90 years old, books several tickets to the NZ International Film Festival, the mid-winter Auckland delight that stops some escaping to Fiji in July. This year, my sisters and I press-ganged him into agreeing with our executive decision that he was no longer allowed to attend the movies alone; we insisted a

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  • Grey Matter

    By Sandy Burgham My friend told me recently that she was going grey. The poor thing. It must be terrible for her, ageing and all that. She’s 51 and has decided to stop colouring her hair and hence is going through a rapid ageing process, as if leaving Shangri-La by the back entrance. We’re treating her as a case study

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  • Present Company

    By Sandy Burgham My nearest and dearest have been under strict instructions not to buy me “things” for birthday and Christmas gifts. I have been divesting myself of possessions, and generally de-cluttering, for nearly two years now, and I don’t need replacement products. A recent birthday was an amusing case study on how well they have complied to requests. I

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  • My Daughter, Raised

    By Sandy Burgham So, she’s got to 21, pierced but not deflated, sprinkled with tattoos but ironically anti-brand, penniless but independent, a little bruised yet fully resilient. My daughter has character, with strains of what some might see as my most unappealing traits — mouthy and anti-establishment — but what I love most, is that she is unimpressed by bullshit.

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