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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  • 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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  • Working Towards the 100-Year Life

    By Sandy Burgham   When I was heading toward 50 I decided to live by a beautiful mantra penned by poet and essayist Diane Ackerman. “I don’t want to live the length of my life but the breadth of my life as well”. It has served me well over the past handful of years as I have skied more off-piste

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  • Another Name for it

    By Sandy Burgham Recently, my nephew tried to explain Airbnb to my 90-year-old dad; how we laughed. But after initially assuming it was Dad’s lack of digital prowess that lead to his bewilderment, it transpired that it was merely because it was nothing new – it was simply called “renting out a room” in his day.   Increasingly I find

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  • Useless Life Lessons, Repeated

    By Sandy Burgham   We spend our life until we’re twenty deciding what parts of ourself to put into the bag, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to get them out again.” — Robert Bly.   Our daughter is 20 and for the large part, I have been trying to shove “key messages” into her bag to

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  • A Cook’s Tour

    By Sandy Burgham (Occasionally, I interview someone for my column who is an embodiment of change in their “Second Act” asking them questions like ‘how does one earn money from what they love?’ And ‘what happens if what they love changes?’).   Stonefields resident Sarah Tuck is a freelance food and travel writer, food stylist and photographer. As well as

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  • Salon Appointments

    By Sandy Burgham As I turned 50 and made the commitment to live more purposefully, rather than reactively and washed down with wine, I became increasingly interested in expanding my mind. I was also keen to regenerate some of the brain cells that had been decimated by youthful endeavours and buffed away by workplace stress and ambition.   First stop,

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  • Flat Out at Fifty

    By Sandy Burgham I read once that we only grasp the point of a decade when it’s over. Hence so many women at midlife realise that they spent their 20s subconsciously, or even openly, looking for a mate, when their time might have been better spent enjoying freedom and adventure before partnering and having kids.   So what is the

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