To: M'Cues Readers

Published: May 15, 2022

Midlife Cues masthead

Bonjour, my reader friend. Welcome to the 111th issue of Midlife Cues, your weekly dose of nudges and inspiration for living your best midlife. I appreciate you being here. Was this email forwarded to you? Thank the awesome person then sign-up for your copy here


THE MAIN THING …

Paula Adler prioritized nurturing her network before she retired from her corporate career.

Mary Beth Simon did something similar, focusing on building new connections locally and online.

In both cases, their actions helped Paula and Mary Beth transition smoothly from their long corporate careers into their post-retirement work-life.

(By the way, you can listen to their stories on the podcast here and here. These episodes are part of the #unretirement series that I’m running on the podcast this Spring.)

I wasn’t as smart.

As I listened to their stories, I thought to myself, “Ahhh, these women are smart! I wished I had done that.”

Paying attention to my network — nurturing connections I already had and building new ones — wasn’t something I prioritized when I left my corporate career.

Honestly, part of this is due to my introversion and private nature. And part of it was because I didn’t realize (until much later) how intentional I needed to be to maintain a healthy network.

Disappearing social bubbles

When I worked in corporate America, my network grew organically. The very nature of my work and my roles facilitated the building and the warming up of connections.

But life outside of that corporate structure — especially if you tend to be introverted — can drastically change the landscape of social interactions.

And running a solo business, where you work from home and you’re not naturally in contact with people on a daily basis, can exacerbate the problem.

It is very easy to go into your (man or woman) cave and plow ahead, working on your projects, all by your lonesome self.

Obviously, this isn’t good for your business (if you’re in fact building one).

But it’s also not good for our mental health as we get older.

“Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive. But as people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone. Studies show that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher rates of depression.” Source

BOTTOM LINE

It’s increasingly important to be deliberate about building and nurturing social connections as we get older. You don’t have to call it ‘networking’ if the word doesn’t give you the warm-fuzzy. It’s good for our careers or for our businesses. More importantly, it’s necessary for our sanity and mental health.


SPONSOR

WANT TO CUT DOWN YOUR BOOK EXPENSES?

A good chunk of my budget goes to books. Reading is an indispensable part of my job. But even if it weren’t so, I’d still be spending loads on books.

Scribd helps me out huge by shaving off some of this expense. It’s like Netflix for books. I get to borrow as many books as I want. The great thing about Scribd is I also get to borrow audiobooks (which means I don’t have to pay for a separate Audible account). And I can check out many of my favorite magazines too!

Give it a spin with this 60-day trial period. Easy peasy.


DIG IN…
  • We all know that making new friends once we’re outside the social bubbles of school, corporate life, etc., becomes increasingly challenging. It requires intentional action, yo. And Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist who studies friendship at the University of Oxford, suggests that activities requiring us to move in sync with others help us feel in sync with them too — thus, producing feelings of social bonding and a sense of belonging. This quirky activity is the best way to make friends, according to science.
  • If you, my reader friend, hail from the Introverts Unite camp and all this talk about being social and making friends feel overwhelming, I hear you and feel you! Of course, staying social doesn’t have to be “noisy” or over-stimulating. We can find our way toward meaningful connections even in the quiet ways of going about our life. For Those Who (Privately) Aspire to Become More Reclusive

MULL IT OVER

“We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others” — The Dalai Lama


REMEMBER THE TIME…

“The miggity miggity miggity miggity Mac (Bo, bo)
I make you wanna…” 🎶

Jump by Kriss Kross was the CD you were most likely playing non-stop around this time thirty years ago. (My roommate and I listened to it non-stop!)

“Jump”, a hip-hop song released in February 1992, was an international success hitting top charts in North America, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith were only 12 and 13 years old when they recorded the song.

Me thinks this is proof old school rap is sooo much better!


WHAT’S PLAYING

Basic Legal Stuff For Your New Post-Retirement Career

Award-winning intellectual property lawyer, Autumn Witt-Boyd joined me for a lively conversation about basic legal “stuff” that first-time business owners need to consider.

This was a fast-paced, Q&A style convo where I just peppered Autumn with basic questions like “Do I really need a contract for that?” or “I’m just trying this idea out with a friend, what do I need to do? ” or “Do I really need to incorporate?” or “What do I need to tell my current boss about this new side hustle thing?”

If you’re thinking of starting a business — as a freelancer or contractor or coffee shop owner(!) — give this episode a listen and save yourself a few thousand bucks.

Oh, and this is still part of the #unretirement series I’m hosting this Spring!


LAST WORD

For those keeping track 😉, I made it back to the U.S of A. The bi-continental living/working experiment is in full swing.

After being in Asia for 9 months, I am seriously craving some good old American burgers and New York bagels.

Anyhow, we had a slight disruption here last week due to the travel and heavy jet lag and I failed to show up in your inbox. Should be back to regular programming henceforth!

What have you been up to?

Cool beans,
Lou Blaser

P.S. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, you can:

1) buy me a coffee 🤗
2) Simply forward this newsletter to a friend with an invitation to subscribe right here.

About LOU BLASER

A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Midlife Cues and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on exploring how to navigate, thrive, and turn midlife into the best phase in our life.

Subscribe for more midlife goodness in your inbox every Sunday.