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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  • Well, I Never

    By Sandy Burgham     I am mopping up my degree this year with two papers taken for sheer enjoyment, one of them being the history of NZ popular music. By now, I am well used to being the oldest one in the class, but this particular paper has me considering my age. Aside from the fact that my classmate

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  • How to Reinvent

    By Sandy Burgham     The conversation goes like this. Young person: “I don’t really know what I want to do with my life.” Parent: “Do what you love.”   This is both helpful and unhelpful, but what usually kills any potential in this conversation is the chaser, thinly veiled as good “practical advice”, which is a lecture on financial

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  • May I speak to the Manager?

    by Sandy Burgham   I noted with some interest a new research report out of the UK, and picked up by media in NZ, that women start to feel invisible as they age. Really? My friend in her mid-50s has indeed complained for some time that she increasingly notices people not noticing her, particularly in cafes and retail outlets, where

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  • Time’s Up

    by Sandy Burgham     I may have been the only one scribbling notes while listening to — namedrop alert — President Obama at that fancy schmancy dinner recently. While his observations on leadership were insightful, the one that has stuck with me is about when to give up power, when to stand aside to let younger, more relevant voices

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  • The Chrysanthemum & the Silver Fern

    by Sandy Burgham 1928/29 Hiroshima. My mother Michiko Burgham (nee Sado) with my uncles – Chikao and Nobuo – on either side of the Buddhist Priest, and a family friend to the left. Not pictured is my Uncle Muneo who just recently passed, he would have just been born at this point.   When I am in Hiroshima, my heart

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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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