The Gap Year Podcast

Debbie Weil

We are living through a time of change and transition: a collective gap year that is both bewildering and, in some ways, liberating! Debbie Weil's podcast is for those in midlife and beyond who want to reinvent, to find purpose, and to figure out what comes next. Guests in upcoming SEASON 3 will be a mix of inspiring individuals (ordinary people

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Production team:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Far Out Media  SponsorsNext For MeEncore.orgModern Elder Academy Contact us:By email: thegapyearpodcast(at)gmail.comOn Twitter Music credit:Lakeside Path by Duck Lake 

Sep 19

4 min

Debbie brings her husband Sam back on the show to reflect on this remarkable year of 2020 and to wrap up Season 2 of the podcast. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has published almost twice as many episodes as the usual every other week schedule. Debbie shares with Sam how creating and producing the podcast has kept her sane.She finds comfort in knowing that this podcast was a way to maintain her sanity while also sharing the stories of others: about getting comfortable with death,  about changing your mindset, about the future of travel, about stepping into a leadership role, about the science of happiness, among many other topics.In this final episode of Season 2, she and Sam reflect on the past few months of this new normal. Sam shares how routine has been the key to getting through this time for him - in fact to enjoying this time. They share a few silver linings of social distancing. And they talk about should-ing and putting pressure on themselves to accomplish things. Debbie admits that she has relaxed a little about that as the weeks have gone by.Finally, they look ahead at Season 3. The season will explore the gap year we’ve all been forced to take, collective reinvention, change and transition - along with how to figure out what’s next in midlife and beyond. And even though that is a broader topic than gap years, per se, they both decide that Gap Year should remain the title for this podcast. See you in the fall for Season 3 of The Gap Year Podcast! What Debbie and Sam talked about:What has kept Debbie sane: meeting podcast deadlines and finding and interviewing thought-provoking guestsSam’s sanity: his daily routine of cooking, shopping, exercise (writing on pause)Their different relationships to should’ing on themselvesSilver linings of 2020 so far: socializing with two friends at a time (instead of in big groups)The uncertainty of the future and the November electionsPolarization in Maine as it relates to the pandemic2020: a sort of gap year for everyoneHow to use this slowing down time intentionally Previous episodes featuring Debbie and Sam:S2-EP18: Debbie & Sam on the New Normal, Quarantines, Immunity Passports, and Masks & GlovesS2-EP12: Debbie & Sam on the Coronavirus, Magical Thinking, and AgingS1-EP10: On Our Bucket List: Living in FranceS1-EP2: Deciding to Take a Gap Year at Age 62 Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty  

Aug 14

24 min

Debbie brings Chip back on the show to discuss the future of travel, what travel means for many of us, and what the substitutions might be.Chip is a New York Times bestselling author, a thought leader at the intersection of psychology and business, and an influential hospitality entrepreneur. Recently he has become a rockstar of the mid-life transition movement, as the founder of Modern Elder Academy in Baja, Mexico. Chip was a guest on Season 1 of this podcast over a year ago, right after Debbie attended one of MEA’s week-long programs, a transformative experience.We’ve all been wondering what travel will look like in the future, whether it’s for a gap year or timeout, or for bucket list destinations.  Debbie felt Chip was just the right person to talk to about this.They discuss how digital nomads might become mainstream now that remote working is becoming the norm. Chip shares his prognostications about the future of travel: what kind of travel will come back first? What parts of the industry will NOT come back?They also talk about how to reinvent yourself without travel (connect with nature, connect with yourself via mindfulness, yoga, journaling) and how to satisfy your cultural curiosity without getting on a plane.Chip shares one of his “Chip-isms” (as Debbie calls his wordplays) on the current situation and they talk about some of the silver linings of their respective lockdown experiences.Mentioned in this episode or usefulS1 - EP6: Chip Conley on Growing Wise at Modern Elder AcademyAbout Chip ConleyChip Conley's Wisdom Well blogThe Digital Nomad Goes Mainstream by Chip Conley (June 9, 2020)Senior Nomads Debbie and Michael CampbellAuthor Pico Iyer:  "Travel is not really about leaving our homes, but leaving our habits.”Your Gap Year: What's Stopping You by Debbie Weil (Dec. 19, 2019) PHOTO CREDIT: Lisa Keating Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Jul 31

24 min

Blanche Colson got in touch with Debbie after listening to a previous episode with entrepreneur Peter Corbett on the topic of mortality, death and becoming a hospice volunteer. Blanche knew Peter through the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and wanted to tell her own story about her evolving relationship with death. Blanche retired after a career in school administration in Eugene, OR. She’s an empty nester, having raised two children as a single parent, and was wondering what’s next when a near fatal car accident jolted her into realizing it was time to make a change.  She wanted to get more comfortable with the mystery of death and our reluctance to talk about it so she moved from Eugene to New York to study at the Zen Center, where she met Peter. This is where Debbie challenges her on being ordinary, as not everyone would get on a plane and move to New York to study death and dying.Through the Zen Center’s program, she learnt the basics of contemplative care: sitting at the bedside of the sick and dying, truly listening and resisting the impulse to save or rescue them. As part of the training, she volunteered at a geriatric center where the residents were wheelchair or bed bound and utterly dependent on the staff for their needs. You’ll hear her mention Chodo. Robert Chodo Campbell is a well-known Sensei or Buddhist teacher and the co-founder of NY’s Zen Center. He was Blanche’s mentor. There’s one more thing Blanche mentions: an intentional community.  It means a planned residential community designed around social cohesion and teamwork. Not a hippie commune exactly but definitely a place for the alternative-minded. She lived in an intentional community near Eugene for 20 years. And she chose Ganas, an intentional community on Staten Island, as her home in New York. Again not something that an ordinary person might do.Finally, Blanche’s time at the Zen Center was only the first step in her journey to change the perception of death as dark, fearful and something we can’t talk about. Since this conversation she has officially started her training to become a death celebrant or death doula. Blanche pitched herself as an ordinary person, someone whose perspective is too often lacking on podcasts. But she’s really not ordinary at all. She’s brave and adventurous, just the kind of guest who should be on a Gap Year podcast. What they talked aboutWhy death as a topic is tabooWhat it means to be an ordinary personHow her experience as an African American woman has affected her spiritualityThe unfairness of life for an African American womanHow old people are tucked awayLearning to really listen instead of wanting to fix other people’s sufferingLearning how not to judgeThe advantage of spontaneity in making life changing decisionsHer advice for ordinary people seeking to make a change: take the next step and forget about the big picture Mentioned in the episode or useful linksLet's Talk About Death (Over Dinner)New York Zen Center for Contemplative CareSensei Robert Chodo Campbell (Blanche’s mentor)Ganas community on Staten IslandDefinition of an intentional communityThe New York Center for Nonviolent CommunicationDeath midwife or doulaBlanche interviewed on the Far Out podcast on "reclaiming death and grief  Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Jul 17

29 min

Debbie Weil interviews the one and only Seth Godin.Seth writes one of the most popular blogs in the world, read by more than a million people. He’s been blogging abut marketing for almost 20 years but his topic is really life: how to live well and fully. He blogs every day, seven days a week. Suffice it to say that when Seth talks, or writes, people listen. It's hard to put your finger on exactly what makes Seth so appealing. He is generous as a person. He's full of ideas, often counterintuitive, that he gently urges you to consider. And he always makes you think. For Debbie and for thousands of others, he’s an unofficial mentor, sitting on your shoulder like Jiminy Cricket, and challenging you to think bigger, or deeper - and always, more truthfully. Debbie got to know Seth about 15 years ago. He was holding funky workshops in a walk-up space in Chinatown in lower Manhattan. They were very Seth. There were no handouts, you were not allowed to take notes, he encouraged questions by handing out prizes and he served weird (at the time) vegetarian snacks. Always, there was his insistence on authenticity and consistency. In other words, be clear about who you are and what you do and why it matters. Debbie was working on her book about blogging (The Corporate Blogging Book) and he suggested that she call herself “the Mona Lisa of Blogging.” She did, for a time!Seth has published 19 bestselling books (The Dip and Linchpin are two of Debbie's favorites). Although he may be best known as an author and blogger, in the past five years Seth has increasingly defined  himself as a teacher. He’s gotten deeply into online learning through Akimbo, the organization he founded  that, with a small team, is the hub of his online projects. It’s also the name of his podcast. But take the emphasis off online learning because it’s really the future of learning that he’s interested in. A future that leverages the wisdom of your cohort, the people you are enrolled with, and that requires engagement, generosity and kindness.One of his online projects is a podcasting workshop. It’s where this podcast was born and where Debbie met producer Julie-Roxane.Debbie invited him on the show after he blogged recently about taking a gap year. She figured it was a perfect chance to hear more of his thoughts about gap years, for adults or students, and how or why such an experience might be relevant right now. And to find out what else was on his mind during this unprecedented time. They talk about:Whether or not he has paused over the past several monthsHow his life is an art project and what that meansWhat you might consider doing with your time during the pandemicWhy in-person learning is not necessarily betterThe future of business travelThe importance of mindset (and how changing that might be enough right now)His thoughts about aging (he works very hard and realizes that can't last forever)And building the habit of initiative Mentioned in the episode or useful linksAbout Seth (author, entrepreneur, and teacher)Akimbo  (home of altMBA and other programs including The Podcasting Workshop)Seth's podcastSeth's 19 booksConsider a gap year (Seth's June 1, 2020 blog post)Seth's 30 years of projectsLewis Hyde's The Gift (a book Seth recommends)Inside Seth's Chinatown workshop (Debbie's 2005 blog post)David Brooks' legacy vs. resume virtues Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Jul 3

30 min

Debbie Weil talks with Genevieve McDonald, the Maine State Representative for the remote coastal district Debbie now calls home. In addition to completing her first term in the Maine State House, Genevieve is the mother of two-year-old twin girls. She is also Capt. McDonald, lobster fishing out of Stonington, ME. Last year, at the age of 37, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maine.Debbie knew there was something special about Genevieve and invited her to come on the podcast to talk about stepping up during the pandemic. Genevieve has been dispensing lifeline information to the hundreds in her district out of work, steadily answering a myriad of questions about unemployment and healthcare. She also weighs in, calmly, on difficult issues like the tension between people from away and those who live in this remote corner of Maine and how the coronavirus might get here.This podcast is about reinvention as much as gap years and it is clear that Genevieve has stepped into an unexpected role during the pandemic, reinventing herself as a fearless female leader, in her words. They talk about how Genevieve answers 100 emails, calls, and text messages a day.  How she does this while taking care of toddler twins with her husband Cory. She holds office hours between 1 and 3 PM, when the twins are hopefully napping. They talk about the blurring of the line between personal and professional on social media. And the devastating impact of the pandemic on the local economy in rural Maine both the fishing industry and tourism.Mentioned in the episodeGenevieve's official bioLobster boat captain and legislator graduates with highest distinctionMaine State District #134, covering Cranberry Isles, Frenchboro, Swan's Island, Tremont, Southwest Harbor, Isle au Haut, Deer Isle, Stonington, North Haven and VinalhavenSupport this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or SpotifyCredits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel SenfftConnect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Jun 19

22 min

Debbie has a conversation about writing with friend and college classmate Anne Fadiman. Anne is an illustrious - and revered - essayist and author, perhaps best known for her first book, the prize-winning The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, an account of the unbridgeable cultural conflicts between a family of Hmong refugees and their American doctors. She’s spent her whole career as a reporter and editor and for the past 15 years as an award-winning teacher of nonfiction writing at Yale University. She’s a writer’s writer and Debbie couldn’t be more excited to have her on the show.They talk about writing in the context of the pandemic we are living through. Should we all be writing about our daily lives right now as witnesses to history? Her answer is "Yes, keep a journal," just as Anne Frank did during World War II when she hid from the Nazis with her family in Amsterdam.They talk about the intimacy of Anne's work as a writing teacher at Yale, how she and her students nonetheless jumped into Zoom classes, and how proud she is of her students, a number of whom have gone on to become well-known writers. They discuss the therapeutic benefits of writing, what it really means to take risks and to become a better writer, and the importance of reading.She also reminisces about being confined to bed, at home, for eight months during a difficult pregnancy and how that was more difficult than sheltering in place during the pandemic. That's when she started writing essays. Mentioned in the episode:Memories of a Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy. Anne assigns her students "C’est le Premier Pas Qui Coûte," about how, as a girl in a new school, McCarthy reinvented her identity by pretending to lose her faith - and then found that the pretense had become real.The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan DidionThe Great Believers by Rebecca MakkaiJohn McPhee, a pioneer of creative nonfiction and a professor of journalism at Princeton UniversityTwo of Anne Fadiman's books:The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two CulturesThe Wine Lover's Daughter (a memoir about her relationship with her father, the renowned literary critic Clifton Fadiman)Pandemic-related reporting by two of her students:"New York Is Wounded. I Miss It More Than Ever," by Vivian Yee"Trump’s 'Chinese Virus' and What’s at Stake in the Coronavirus’s Name," by Eren Orbey Photo of Anne Fadiman by Gabriel Amadeus Cooney Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty  

Jun 5

41 min

Debbie Weil brings her husband, Dr. Sam Harrington, back on the show for an update on their evolving state of mind about the continuing pandemic. Like everyone else, they are settling into social distancing for the long haul. This is their new normal, at least for now.After two months of self-isolating in their little apartment in New Haven, CT they drove back to Stonington, ME, the remote coastal village where they live. Debbie knew they would feel much safer in Maine where the infection rate is exceptionally low. Sam is not so sure. The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Maine is less than 2,000 and the number of deaths, statewide, is fewer than 100, with only one death in their county. Those numbers are as of mid-May 2020. But are they really that much safer? Is there really a safe place anywhere? What they talked about:How Sam is feeling: less fearful but still uncertain.Feeling emotionally safe does not mean we are safe from the virus.The 14-day quarantine for people coming to Maine from out-of-state (known as People From Away or PFAs) and its impact on tourism and the local economy.The tension between locals and PFAs.Will the new normal include immunity licenses or passports? The pros and cons and practicalities.What the proper use of masks and gloves is (and Sam's recent blog post on the topic)BONUS: Sam’s new protest beard... and why it is important  Mentioned in the episode or relevant links:Maine Gov. Janet Mills and COVID-19Dr. Ezekiel EmmanuelDr. Emanuel's JAMA paper on the ethics of COVID-19 licenses or immunity passportsArticle about the ethics of immunity passports (Washington Post)The benefit of a Maine lobster vs. the cost of a Maine life (about the debate over the 14-day quarantine)Sam's blog post: How Safe Will You Be? The Proper Use of Gloves and Masks Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty  

May 22

24 min

In this episode Debbie talks to a real adventurer, a 63-year-old woman who spent 2019 on a self-organized global gap year. Kim Klaft quit a well-paid position as a nonprofit executive to travel and volunteer in 25 countries. Over the course of one calendar year she worked in soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters, orphanages and in hurricane relief efforts (see her list below) as she moved around the globe. She did this on her own, as a single woman, with the goal of embedding herself into cultures and communities. And because it was something she had always wanted to do. When she told her financial planner about her proposed year, she expected him to put the kibosh on it because she had not finished saving for retirement. Instead he said, "Go! Otherwise you will always regret not having done it." They talk about how she chose one humanitarian project after another using Google and word-of-mouth. As Kim explains it, "I researched volunteer opportunities in three ways:  1. Google searches and reading reviews; 2.  speaking with people in-country when I was fortunate enough to have a connection and/or to be introduced via e-mail; and 3. meeting people along the way who were volunteering for a particular agency. I asked questions about how volunteers were treated, whether the group was true to its cause, whether it was run in a financially responsible way, etc." They also talk about writing and why Kim decided not to write about her year while she was living it, so as to stay in the moment.  Kim is now back in Detroit and feeling lucky to have found work as a consultant for several nonprofits. She describes herself on her LinkedIn profile (convincingly) as having a heart for the under-served, a head for business and the spirit of an entrepreneur. In today’s conversation, they dig into how she engineered the logistics of her gap year and how it unfolded organically.  Despite - or perhaps because of - the disparate nature of her experiences in so many different places, the trip made her life feel “in sync,” as if the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle were falling into place.  As to how Debbie found Kim, Kim sent her an email out of the blue halfway through her year saying she had just stumbled onto this podcast. She was in Budapest at the time searching for her next thing. They stayed in touch and Debbie followed up in early 2020 to ask if she would come on the podcast to talk about her experience. At first Kim declined. She wrote in an email: "I haven't yet had the ideal opportunity to wrap my head around:  1) What was my purpose? 2) How did that compare to the reality? 3) I knew going into it that there would be a ripple effect but the ripples were bigger and more far reaching than I would have been able to imagine proactively 4) What unexpected humanitarian efforts arose and how can we recognize those in everyday life? 5) How have I changed (or, perhaps, what about my passions were confirmed by this experience)? 6) What's next?"  Of course, Kim's email touched on all the key questions, revealing that she had indeed thought a lot about her gap year.  They recorded this conversation several months ago, before the pandemic and social distancing. So at the end Debbie checks in with Kim again to find out how she’s doing now. Living without regret (her reason for taking her gap year) has an even bigger resonance today as she looks back at an extraordinary year of travel and service.  Mentioned in the episode Kim's list of her favorite volunteer humanitarian efforts: Burgers by the Dozen: Self-directed distribution of warm hamburgers to the homeless in Budapest, Hungary; Sidney, Australia; Toronto, CanadaEarthship Hurricane Relief Effort (Puerto Rico)Sisters of Mercy Orphanage and Malnutrition Clinic (Port Au Prince, Haiti)The Intrepid Foundation (Greece, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia)The Lingap Center (Cebu Island, Philippines)Serve the City Polska (Krakow, Poland)The King’s Table Soup Kitchen (Brisbane, Australia)WanderWorld Foundation (Papua New Guinea)Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen (Singapore)Kechara Soup Kitchen (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)Food Bank: Hands On LondonAll Hands and Hearts Hurricane Relief Effort (Houston, Texas)Ben’s Bells (Teaching the intentional practice of kindness, Tucson, Arizona)Baldwin Center (Pontiac, Michigan)  List of countries she visited:  Puerto RicoHaitiJapanChinaGreeceBulgariaAlbaniaKosovoMacedoniaSpainNetherlandsGermanyFranceSwitzerlandPolandSlovakiaHungaryUnited Arab EmiratesAustraliaPapua New GuineaSingaporeMalaysiaEnglandCanadaUSA Kim notes: "I do realize that Puerto Rico is part of the USA but I count it separately because it was a different world!"  Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify  Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft  Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty  

May 8

39 min

Debbie talks with Peter Corbett, a retired CEO who moved to Brooklyn from DC, sold his tech company to J. Walter Thompson (part of WPP), and completely changed his life. Peter was a young guy in his 20s when Debbie knew him back in DC's tech heyday. He was well known in DC’s tech community as the founder and CEO of iStrategy Labs as well as the convener of popular tech meetups. iStrategy Labs was one of the first digital marketing agencies, known for its creativity in bridging online and offline. The company won lots of awards and grew to have dozens of Fortune 500 clients. But after almost ten years of running the company Peter moved to New York to open an office there. Shortly after, he realized he’d had enough of the CEO life - it wasn’t who he really was. He sold the company for tens of millions of dollars and began living a completely different life. Now, at age 39, he is a Zen hospice practitioner volunteering at a hospital in Brooklyn as well as continuing his training. He also mentors entrepreneurs. Together they talk about how he found this new path, how meditation plays a crucial role for him and why he thinks it’s so important to contemplate mortality. This is not a Coronavirus episode, per se. But the virus - and the pain it’s causing for so many people - is hovering in the background. They talk about a bunch of things, including white privilege and what that means to him.It was a pleasure for Debbie to reconnect with an old friend.  What was talked about:What Peter does now: serving the sick and dying as a Zen hospice volunteer plus advising entrepreneursMoving to NYC to find anonymityRealizing he wanted to change his life as he deepened his Zen practiceHis profound realizations around being white and the privilege that gave himWhat a spiritual caregiver does and why he chose that pathIs the older generation more disposable?Coming to terms with your own mortalityWhy you should meditate Mentioned in episode:About Peter iStrategy LabsA Founder Moves On (Peter on why he sold his company)Peter's newsletter on Zen, Work and LifeNew York Zen Center for Contemplative Care where Peter is studyingHeadspaceCalmWeCroak (an app to find happiness by contemplating your death five times a day) Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Apr 24

29 min

Debbie Weil talks to Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, PhD, the science director of UC-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. This was a conversation the two arranged many weeks before the pandemic. It turned out to be perfectly timed.The center studies the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills to foster a resilient and compassionate society. Kind of what we need right now as millions of Americans grapple with the realities of life defined by social distancing and with the economic repercussions. Emiliana is co-instructor, with Dacher Keltner, of the center's The Science of Happiness course which has been taken by over half a million students. It’s an eight-week online program which explores the roots of a happy, meaningful life by studying positive psychology and by learning how to create stronger social ties and contribute to  something bigger than yourself. In other words, the greater good. Debbie and Emiliana discuss happiness - what it means and what it is not. Hint: it is not pleasure or enjoyment. They talk about how happiness is different from gratitude and how we can cultivate a calm mind during a time of extreme uncertainty like the one we’re living in. Emiliana shares with us what she does to stay grounded (mindfulness during her daily shower is key). And offers practical tips for more compassionate communication either while Zooming for work or connecting remotely with family and friends. What they talked about:Simplifying your daily To Do list by reframing it into three categories (set a reachable goal, find joy, call a friend)Tips on how to work, teach and learn remotely (the importance of eye contact and taking time to ensure that emails are not ambiguous)Slowing down as a way to be more intentionalTo gain a feeling of control: focus on small things that are certain and for which you have agency Mentioned in the episode or usefulThe Greater Good Science CenterGreater Good Magazine (sign up for free e-newsletter)Greater Good's Guide to Well-Being During CoronavirusArticles by Emiliana for The Greater Good MagazineThe Science of Happiness (online course; register free)Expanding the Science and Practice of GratitudeThe Science of Happiness podcast hosted by Dacher Keltner, co-director of GGSCSome Tips on How to Stay Sane in a World That Isn't (NYTimes, March 22, 2020, quoting GGSC psychologist and senior fellow Rick Hanson on reframing) Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Apr 17

34 min

This week on the show, Debbie brings back Julie-Roxane Krikorian and Alasdair Plambeck. Last time they were on, this young couple was living in a tiny caravan in southwest France. A few months ago, they decided to ditch that life and move to Guatemala. J-R, as Debbie calls her, is the producer for this podcast. Both she and her husband are entrepreneurs doing location-independent work as podcasters, life coaches, and retreat leaders. Their podcast is named, aptly, Far Out: Adventures in Unconventional Living.The couple now live in a rental house perched above Lake Atitlan, said to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. They would seem to be Living The Dream, if that means running away to a warm beautiful place, away from city traffic and desk jobs, where life is simpler and quieter and more problem-free. It's certainly one of Debbie's dreams. So she felt compelled to bring them back on the show to ask, "Are you really living the dream?"Together the three of them discuss how J-R and Alasdair chose Guatemala, how they modeled a financial scenario that would work for them (they live frugally), and what their daily lives are like. Debbie and Alasdair joke about Debbie's misattributing "Wherever You Go, There You Are" to Winnie the Pooh. It was said by meditation and mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn - the point being that your problems tend to follow you wherever you go.She picks their brains about the difference between reinventing yourself at 30 or at 60. Which is more difficult? Which is braver? J-R ultimately admits that they are "creating a life forward" and dreaming up their lives as they go. "Winging it," she admits.This show was recorded before the Coronavirus had spread to Guatemala so the pandemic is only mentioned in passing. What they talk about:How J-R and Alasdair somewhat randomly made the decision to move from France to GuatemalaAn Airbnb tip they used to find Lake AtitlanHow they prepared financially (they live on about US $1,000 a month)How reinvention is different in your early thirties compared with later in lifeCreating a life looking forward instead of looking backwardsThe unpredictability and uncertainty of being digital nomadsJ-R and Alasdair’s favorite moments of the day on the lakeTips for living your dream: remove things, go minimal, and figure out what your values are Useful linksWhy Money Is Not the Biggest Obstacle to a Gap Year (their previous episode on Season 1)Three episodes of the Far Out podcast that J-R recommends:Moving to Guatemala: Travel 2.0Living in Californian Suburbia vs. Living in Rural FranceThe Uncertainty of a Self-Directed LifeAlasdair's websiteJ-R's websiteThe Far Out Couple on Instagram Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Apr 10

34 min

In this episode host Debbie Weil has a wide-ranging conversation with online legend Derek Sivers. Debbie has been following Derek’s work for close to a decade and was thrilled when he agreed to come on the show.  They focus on one of his current obsessions - slow thinking and slow living - but they also talk about much more. According to his About page, Derek has been a musician, a producer, a circus performer, an entrepreneur, a TED speaker and a book publisher.  You might know him for, as he puts it, “accidentally” creating CD Baby, an online CD store that grew to represent 150,000 independent musicians. (It started as a personal project to sell his own music.) He sold CD Baby in 2008 for $22 million, with the money going into a charitable trust he set up for music education. After that, he moved to New York, to Singapore and then to New Zealand where he became a mostly-full-time Dad and took a sabbatical for about four years. A year ago he moved to England.Since 2008 Derek has, in his words, optimized his life for learning and creating. He focuses on writing (he has written a number of books, including Anything You Want) and on programming, and, most important, he tackles one thing at a time. Tim Ferriss calls him a philosopher-king programmer and a master teacher. He has developed a philosophy of life - and a way of living - that is based on minimalism. He is very deliberate with how he uses his time, typing for hours a day on a seven-year-old clunky laptop. He spends a lot of time alone. But he also spends long stretches with his now 8-year-old son and connects via email and phone with friends and acquaintances around the globe. He invites anyone listening to this episode to please get in touch. He loves hearing from people. Go to sivers.org/contact to send him a message introducing yourself.His website, sivers.org is minimalist (there's not one extra line of code) but it’s a treasure trove of content: hundreds if not thousands of blog posts, his reviews of over 250 books, FAQs (he gets lots of questions about his lifestyle), his podcast (the audio version of his blog), and more.In the past few weeks, as the Coronavirus pandemic has swept the world, we’ve all been forced to change, to adapt, and to reinvent. In this episode Derek shares with us how to cultivate slow thinking in a fast-paced and uncertain world, what slow thinking means and why it's important, and how he handles the daily and hourly onslaught of news. He and Debbie talk about the task he set himself of answering 6,800 emails. (A project he has completed since their conversation.) He got those in response to a very short email he sent out recently to the 50,000 people on his email list. The subject line was so simple but it was relevant. It said, “Debbie - are you okay?” In the body of the message he wrote: “I care and I’m really asking.” (Debbie wrote back and invited him to come on the show.) Derek is a breath of fresh air right now. He’s no bullshit. He’s wise. He’s eloquent. Debbie loves his very clear diction and wishes they had continued their conversation for another half hour. As soon as she stopped the recording, Derek said, "Oh! I thought we were going to talk for another 30 minutes." Well, that was Debbie's mistake. Check out all the links below to learn more.Mentioned in this episode or useful resources:sivers.orgsivers.org/aboutsivers.com/contactDerek's TED talksAnything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers (Portfolio, 2015)Derek interviewed by Tim Ferriss (2015)Tony Robbins coachingA selection of blog posts that Derek recommends:sivers.org/soso (excerpt from his book Hell Yeah or No)sivers.org/emlsivers.com/polutsivers.com/gofearsivers.com/daydreamsivers.org/automsivers.org/metacsivers.org/hfsivers.org/dqsivers.org/dwSupport this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or SpotifyCredits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel SenfftConnect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Apr 3

39 min

Debbie Weil interrupts regular programming to address the Coronavirus pandemic and how this evolving situation is impacting older Americans. She is joined by her husband Sam Harrington, a retired physician, and a recurring guest on the show. They talk about how they are navigating uncertainty and unknowns differently (Sam as a physician, Debbie as a non-physician but with a new hunger for charts and numbers); magical thinking about what lies ahead; and what it really means to be older (they are both 68) and to face the possibility of illness and death.This episode was recorded on March 15, 2020 so the number of positive Coronavirus cases Debbie cites is already sadly out of date. The pandemic in the U.S. continues to worsen: one of their greatest concerns, shared by many others, is that the U.S. hospital system will not have enough ICU beds for those who need them. Older Americans are worrying that medical triage of the critically ill will begin, with the elderly being passed over in favor of younger and potentially stronger patients.The conversation is not about specific guidelines or statistics related to COVID-19, available elsewhere. See Resources below. It is about the psychological aspect of the pandemic. Debbie and Sam talk about how aging and ageism are interwoven; the way social distancing might impact different age groups; and the lingering question of how best to navigate these uncertain and confusing times. What they talk about:The "herd" of elephants in the room: anxiety over who will die, the importance of flattening the curve and the reality of social distancing over a long period of timeHow members of Debbie and Sam’s immediate family have been responding differently to the pandemic (the physicians vs. the non-physicians)How doctors deny their own mortality when they go to work in a public health crisisBeing old - or at least older - during the Coronavirus pandemic and how that feelsMagical Thinking: nonsensical, perhaps, but a way to manage uncertainty and unknownsWhat Debbie and Sam’s biggest fears areWhy the U.S. is not set up for "slow motion" uncertainty At a time of crisis, it felt important to share a conversation between an older - yet young at heart and mind - couple. As Debbie says, there’s a lot of meaning in the words: we are all in this together. She sees a ray of hope in that phrase. Whatever we can do to comfort, to inform or even to entertain each other is useful. Podcasts are having a moment - to do just that. Which is why Debbie decided to go ahead with this episode even though it is not definitive, nor does it address everything. Mentioned in this episode or useful resources:An evolving chart of the Coronavirus trajectory: number of positive cases and number of deaths. Prepared by data visualization journalist John Burn-Murdoch at the Financial Times and based on data pulled from Johns Hopkins, WHO and the CDC.Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now by Tomas Pueyo in Medium. (An article with over 40 million views as of March 19, 2020.)CDC's Coronavirus and COVID-19 resource pageWHO on Coronavirus / COVID-19Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource CenterSTATnews coverage of the CoronavirusHow Epidemiologists Understand the Novel Coronavirus (The New Yorker, March 15, 2020)Johns Hopkins COVID-19 newsletter  Subscribe free. Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty

Mar 19

36 min

Debbie speaks with Sean Bailey, founding editor-in-chief of Horsesmouth, a New York-based company that creates educational programs on retirement planning, Social Security, Medicare, college planning, cybersecurity, and more for industry professionals.The focus of their conversation is financial planning around a gap year. Sean shares some basic practicalities: you have to create a budget, you have to assess your own situation (what money have you saved, can you dip into it now, etc.) and you have to consider the real cost of a gap year. That usually means stepping out of your current life for a period while still covering the costs of that life. Use a spreadsheet, use a whiteboard, use the back of a napkin, but force yourself to do the calculations.He talks about a concept he calls “retire at 60, or earlier... work til 70!” By that he means start thinking creatively now about your financial situation. Take advantage of opportunities to explore different kinds of work, different ways of making money and different ways to build flexibility into your life. In other words, start living your dream even before you retire or think about taking an official gap year.Sean also talks about his experience of taking a gap two years, almost thirty years ago, to join the Peace Corps. Sean and Debbie share similar values around the idea that we should pursue our dreams now, not later. But with a reasonable amount of planning.  What they talk about:MUG: Mortgage, Utilities, Groceries and the importance of considering these things, plus healthcare, when planning a gap year.The two different types of money: qualified and unqualified.The real cost of a gap year: leaving your default life temporarily while still maintaining it while you’re gone.The uncertainty of a gap year even when the finances are all planned out.His mantra: "retire at 60, work til you're 70." Look for opportunities to take mini "gap" breaks. Going to Arizona for work? Turn it into a seven-day trip to visit the Grand Canyon and hike in Sedona.Skilling up: learn new skills in areas you love to supplement your retirement and/or to keep active in a field you’re passionate about.The advisability of consulting a financial professional before claiming your social security and/or pulling the trigger on your retirement/gap year. Mentioned in this episode:Sean Bailey bioHorsesmouth16 Lifestyle Questions to Ask If You Are Retiring (PDF)5 Questions to Ask 5 Years Before You Retire (PDF)FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty Thanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Mar 6

34 min

Debbie brings her husband, Dr. Sam Harrington, back on the show to talk about end-of-life and how that relates to the topic of reinvention.They talk about the inevitability of being forced to reinvent yourself in the last stage of your life when you gradually become disabled by disease and old age. It's a reinvention of mindset, if not of action. It’s also a glass half full vs. glass half empty kind of conversation with Debbie saying, "But Sam, I’m one of those who really doesn’t want to think about the end of life." And Sam responding, "Well, you have to." The good news is that you can think about "the hard stop," as Debbie calls it, in a positive way. If you’ve been following Debbie and Sam's conversations on the podcast you know that Sam is very practical but also pretty wise.If this all sounds like doom and gloom, it’s really not. This episode is an affirmation of the time that we have left and how we can use mindfulness around our own mortality to live better lives.What they talk about:How getting closer to the end-of-life connects to the desire for reinvention that many of us craveDr. Doom vs. Dr. Look Ahead: becoming more aware of the healthy time we have left is helpfulActive reinvention vs. reinvention imposed on us as we become more limited and we adjust to thatSam's XYZ options as he looks ahead: both mental & physical challengesDebunking the idea that we're all living longer and that life expectancy is increasing. Not so, Sam says, if you define "living" as being vibrant and healthyThe fear of dependency as you get very old (past 90 or 100)Looking at our parents’ health to get an idea of how we might ageThe difference between Medical Aid in Dying (MAD) and euthanasiaOn the topic of legacy: a traditional Jewish saying when someone dies is "May his or her memory be a blessing" (see links to 75th commemoration of Auschwitz liberation) Mentioned in this episode:S1-EP5: Dr. Sam Harrington on Writing His First Book After Taking a Gap YearAT PEACE: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life by Samuel Harrington, MD (Hachette, Feb. 2018)Sam's website: samharrington.comSam's bio Dying Healthy ("Virtually all humans will die before age 90 years.") by George Annas (Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct. 2018)Commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz 75 years later (ABC News, Jan. 27, 2020)Auschwitz survivors return after 75 years for memorial ceremony (The Guardian, Jan. 27, 2020) Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty Thanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Feb 21

29 min

Debbie talks to Kathy Davies who teaches design thinking at Stanford and is the co-creator, with Susan Burnett of the Designing Your Life for Women workshops. The workshops grew out of the bestselling book, Designing Your Life, by Stanford professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.They talk about how design thinking crossed over from product design to designing your life, how the workshops for women got started, and why it is so important to take that first small step - even if you are dreaming big.Debbie's experience attending a DYLFW workshop in 2018 led to a three-minute audio recording that was the prototype for this podcast. So you can thank Kathy if you’re enjoying the podcast.What they talked about:Dave Evans's mantra for the book: “Get curious, try things, talk to people and then tell your story”The difficult writing process behind the book, Designing Your LifeWhy networking is more challenging for womenStart Tiny: the importance of the first stepWhy women need a safe space to explore and shareThe importance of embracing uncertaintyKathy’s surprising advice to her younger and older selfThis is a great conversation with some solid tips on how to use the process of life design to reinvent yourself - no matter what your age and applicable to both women and men. Mentioned in this episode:Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave EvansDesigning Your Life For Women (workshops co-created by Kathy Davies and Susan Burnett)Tiny Habits: the Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ FoggThe tagline for Debbie and Sam's blog: "Hungering for Change and Embracing Uncertainty"Interview with Dave Evans in which he mentions: “Get curious, try things, talk to people and then tell your story”3-minute audio prototype for this podcast on SoundCloudBurnett and Evans's new book, Designing Your Life For Work Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty Thanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Feb 7

33 min

Debbie chats with a friend, Sonja O’Donnell, about the sabbatical gap year she took traveling around the world with her husband and their then 13-year-old son in tow. Both teachers, they had stepped out of highly-structured lives as long-time faculty at a prestigious secondary boarding school in Massachusetts. Their approach to a gap year was highly organized and purposeful; they were determined to make the most of an extraordinary opportunity.Several years later, they realized that the gap year had opened up new ways of thinking and they were ready for a major life shift. Sonja, now 53, talks frankly about how they continue to adjust to uncertainties as well as new possibilities. She also asks Debbie some important questions, such as “Do you find it easy to ask for help, to ask questions, to find mentors?” Debbie doesn't answer fully on the podcast. But the answer is "No," it's not easy asking for help.What they talked about:The logistics of planning a traveling sabbatical with a 13-year-old in towDeliberately "unschooling" their sonHow life was different after returning from the sabbaticalPlanning an encore career in her early 50sThe challenge of creating a self-directed lifeHighs and lows and her biggest lessons learnedMentioned in this episode:Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave EvansDesigning Your Life For Women (workshops)Khan AcademyBook a BachAir TreksBluenove: the French AI (Artificial Intelligence) company Sonja and Mike are working withPHOTO: Sonja in the western provinces of China in 2013 - 2014, during her family sabbaticalSupport this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or SpotifyCredits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel SenfftConnect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilThanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Jan 24

31 min

We kick off 2020 with a conversation with Silicon Valley legend and all-around wise guy, Guy Kawasaki. Not surprisingly, he is funny, and opinionated in addition to being wise. Guy worked with Steve Jobs at Apple as the original evangelist for the Macintosh computer. Then he went on to a career as an author, speaker and investor. He has written 15 books, a number of them New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers (the most recent is a quasi memoir, Wise Guy). He gives over 50 keynotes a year on the topics of innovation, evangelism and entrepreneurship for brand name companies like Nike, Google and Microsoft. Most recently, he became chief evangelist for Canva, an online design tool.So how does Debbie know Guy? She met him 20 years ago when she heard him speak at a small business conference. She was so taken with his presentation that she went up afterwards to say thank you and introduce herself. He responded by scribbling a note on a scrap of paper and handing it to her: "Think digital, act analog - Guy Kawasaki. May 25, 1999." Bingo. Even back then, in the early days of the Web, that hit home. She treasures the note and has thought of Guy as one of her unofficial mentors since then. (Check the episode web page to see the framed note.)Guy is a social media celebrity with 1.4 million Twitter followers. But he's also a genuinely nice guy, respectful and responsive. When Debbie got an email from him recently announcing his new podcast, Remarkable People, she replied to congratulate him and asked if he’d come on the Gap Year podcast. He responded, “I’d be happy to!”She was a little nervous about interviewing him so she prepared a list of specific questions. Generally she likes to let the conversation wander a bit more, but this worked out pretty well.She and Guy talk about:his Rule of Tenlessons learned from working with Steve Jobsthe practice of gratitudewhat changed when he turned 60 (he's now 65)the importance of having a growth mindset and continuing to learnwhy you should seek moments of joy (and not eternal happiness)his thoughts on the writing process (an obsession Debbie shares with him)why he mixes politics and social mediahis positive outlook on lifehow asking simple questions can yield big answershis advice for those seeking to reinvent themselves (hint: don't spend all your time on social media and answering email)Be sure to listen to Remarkable People. Debbie's favorite of the episodes so far are his interviews with Jane Goodall and Margaret Atwood. Both are legends but he manages to walk the line between admiring… and fawning. Debbie hopes she's done the same in this conversation with Guy. Mentioned in this episodeRemarkable People, Guy's new podcastAbout Guy Kawasaki: an amusing and frank bioGuy's books, including The Art of the Start 2.0 and Wise GuyHis favorite book on writing: Brenda Ueland - If you want to writeSteve JobsCanva Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweil Thanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Jan 10

25 min

As a special episode to celebrate the conclusion of the first year of this podcast, host Debbie Weil shares her own story.At her recent college reunion, she performed a five-minute story on the theme of picking up the pieces. That means finding happiness after a setback or a challenge or, in the case of some of her other classmates who told stories, a personal tragedy.Debbie's story starts when she is a young mother and takes us up to the present day. Don't worry; it goes fast. Her story unfolds in five minutes with some unexpected twists and turns. We knew this story had to air on the podcast because it's a version of one we hear over and over from so many: what happens when things don't go as planned?Tune in to hear a story of how life can lead you down a path you never could have imagined. Debbie's is a story of dreams fulfilled after the age of 60. It's a story that proves it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.Mentioned in this episodeIsland Women Speak (Debbie's storytelling event in Maine)VIDEO: Debbie's 5-minute story, revised (Jan. 2020 Island Women Speak)Gap Year After Sixty (the blog Debbie writes with her husband Sam)Taking a Gap Year After Sixty (interview with Debbie)Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or SpotifyCredits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel SenfftConnect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilThanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Dec 2019

9 min

Debbie talks with Susan De Cuba, an accomplished nonprofit executive who spent the last 13 years of her career as CEO of a hospice group in Florida.When Debbie met Susan, she was at the end of her gap year. After 40+ years of non-stop work, she had decided to take a year off - but in a purposeful way. Susan is practical and she is strategic. And she had a goal - to figure out her next step.Listen in as Debbie picks her brain about:The steps in her decision-making that led her to leave a high-profile careerHow as a leader you see junctures, or forks in the road, where you can continue on the same path - or step off and do something differentHow she divided her gap year into fiscal year quarters, like any successful executive making an annual plan, and what she chose to doWhat it was like to jump into the unknownAnd finally, how she ended up creating a new consulting career, by combining her existing skills and experienceShe felt a desire to serve others and she also knew she wanted freedom and flexibility. Most important, we talk about how she remained open to possibilities, especially around money and resources, and how that led her through a rejuvenating and, ultimately, successful gap year.PHOTO: Susan dancing in Mexico at the beginning of her gap year sabbatical.Mentioned in this episodeSusan De Cuba's bioBarbara WaxmanDebbie's podcast interview with BarbaraModern Elder AcademySupport this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or SpotifyCredits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel SenfftConnect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilRead Debbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After SixtyThanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Dec 2019

31 min

Recently this podcast was invited to co-host a Next For Me event in NYC called “Myths & Misconceptions: The Truth About 50+ Consumers." (Full disclosure: NFM is one of our sponsors.) The other co-hosts were Stria News and Silvernest. Stria News is a media platform for the longevity market that inspires cross-sector solutions for our aging society. Silvernest is an online service that pairs boomers, retirees and empty nesters with compatible housemates for long-term home sharing.The event took place at Trove Social, a social club for people in their prime, in lower Manhattan. About 50 people attended, all of whom are active in one way or another with the midlife reinvention movement. That included members of the media, marketers, entrepreneurs and consumers.The goal was to discuss, honestly and openly, the myths and misconceptions surrounding the age 50+ demographic and how this translates into a lost market opportunity. And to bust those myths. You’re probably familiar with a lot of them: Older people are grumpy.Older people hate technology and don’t use it.Older people don’t spend money.Older people don’t have sex... and they don’t want to.Older people have less to contribute. The underlying question: what if more people recognized that those 50 and up are a vast, diverse and untapped source of potential dollar revenue as well as being overlooked contributors to society?Some of us might still be having sex while others don’t. Some of us love technology and the latest iPhone while others tolerate it or ignore it. The point is that the millions of members of this age 50-plus demographic are all different. And yet we all seem to be confronted with the same ageist attitudes and the same misconceptions about who we are as individuals.In this episode Debbie chats with Jeff Tidwell, co-founder of Next For Me. This is a follow-up to Debbie's conversation with Jeff in EP8 of Season 1. She also talks to Susan Donley, founder, publisher and CEO of Stria News, and to Wendi Burkhardt, co-founder and CEO of Silvernest.PHOTO: Debbie, left, and Wendi Burkhardt of Silvernest.  Mentioned in the episodeNext For Me's Oct. 7, 2019 event in NYC"An Unabashedly Honest Conversation on the Realities of Aging" (article in Stria News by Carolyn Jacobs on Oct. 21, 2019) Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilRead Debbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty Thanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.  

Nov 2019

28 min

Matthew Kepnes is best known as Nomadic Matt, the name of his eponymous website dedicated to traveling smarter, cheaper and longer. He tells us in the first few pages of his new memoir that he has spent more than 3,000 nights in a thousand different cities in 90 countries so Debbie figured he would be the perfect guest to talk about travel as a way to reinvent yourself.Now 38, Matt recently settled down in Austin, Texas after over 10 years of longterm traveling in Asia and other parts of the world. We talk about the emotional aspects of travel, the courage it takes to detach yourself from societal expectations (keep a steady job, stay in one place), the difference between travel and a vacation and the importance of journaling or writing while you are on the journey. Only by recording what you are thinking and feeling while in the midst of it can you look back later to truly understand the experience.Matt also shares his encounters with older travelers and the common fears that he hears in people 50 and older who want to travel on the cheap.Mentioned in the episodeNomadicmatt.com is full of resources for traveling at any ageTen Years a Nomad by Matthew Kepnes (part memoir and part philosophical exploration of why we travel)Vagabonding by Rolf Potts (the original book about the art of longterm world travel)Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or SpotifyCredits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel SenfftConnect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilRead Debbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After SixtyThanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Nov 2019

23 min

Barbara Waxman, a gerontologist, author and coach, has coined the term middlescence to describe a new stage in midlife and beyond.She describes it as a transitional period often accompanied by physical changes, as well as social and economic changes. Sound familiar? Physical and hormonal changes are what we think of when we talk about adolescence. More important, Middlescence is like adolescence but with wisdom thrown in. Barbara defines it as the period from age 45 to 75ish. In her words, it is “a turning point from which adults continue to develop and grow. (It is) a life stage created by increased longevity patterns in the 21st century.”Our conversation ranges widely, from exploring the concept of Middlescence, to redefining success in this stage of life.What we talked about:Why midlife is such a popular topic right nowMiddlescence vs. adolescenceHow to counter ageismHow to change the narrative of how we feel when we look in the mirror and see our aging selvesBarbara’s gap year in Italy – she calls it repotting (like a plant)The importance of lifelong learningWhat contributes to thriving or not thrivingThe 5 essentials mindset and why it is so importantMentioned in this episode:Barbara’s definition of MiddlescenceThe Middlescence Manifesto by Barbara WaxmanAlso available as a download from her siteModern Elder Academy in Baja, Mexico where Barbara is teaching in April 2020Download Barbara's Thriving Quiz to see how well you scoreSupport this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilRead Debbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After SixtyThanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Oct 2019

27 min

Debbie and Katie Tremper talk about the challenges of slowing down to take care of yourself. More recently, Katie, 56, has also been coping with a chronic illness, MS. Ironically, her diagnosis has helped her reconnect with herself.In this conversation Katie is remarkably open about why she is starting a Year of Wellness. After 33 years as a nonprofit executive in education, she is making a radical life change. But her story is about more than deciding to taking a grown-up gap year. Katie was diagnosed with MS - multiple sclerosis - several years ago. She talks about what it means to live with a chronic illness, all the ups and downs and frustrations.Her goal for her Year of Wellness is to reduce and slow her symptoms. She and her husband have downsized from high pressure San Francisco to the smaller quieter city of Davis, CA and she plans to take better care of herself in a multitude of ways: from cooking and eating more healthy foods to exercising to finding moments of joy in her daily life. We talk about the complexity of slowing down after a lifetime of working so hard. We also talk about dying and whether the horizon has shifted for her.After we spoke, Katie offered this revealing update via email about her Year of Wellness:"We have completed our move to Davis, where we are now the proud owners of a lovely little house in a quiet neighborhood, surrounded by lots of trees and great neighbors. A big part of my vision for my "Year of Wellness" is finding a place of peace, and I think I have found it! Although I have not been working at a job for almost 3 months, I have been very busy with the move.One big learning for me is to ASK for help when I need it. I didn't do that going into the move, and we ended up bringing a lot of boxes that I wish I'd been able to go through, sort and purge beforehand.My "bucket list," or program that I have envisioned and developed has not changed. It includes: establishing healthy daily habits to improve my mind, body and spirit; managing our finances (to include learning to live on 1/2 the income we had last year); exploring and expressing my creative side, and having fun, laughing, and experiencing joy.I've not been able to implement everything as quickly as I would have liked, but I remind myself that the changes we are going through (jobs, major move, chronic illness) are big, stressful, and exhausting at times.I also haven't begun a creative endeavor yet... I want to start writing regularly. I also haven't done much cooking or developing a better diet and nutrition plan for myself. But I'm being compassionate with myself on not being as "successful" as quickly as I imagined, and I truly believe that I will get to all of my goals, in some form or another, by the end of this calendar year.My career has been dedicated to helping other people realize their goals and dreams through education, but I have become burned out, exhausted, and spent after three decades. I've always had a hard time with self-care (God forbid I try to take care of myself first) and I realized that was part of my problem.One thing that has surprised me is that I am not having the chronic pain I was having the past couple of years in San Francisco, when I was so stressed it was making me sick. MS causes inflammation throughout the body, and I regularly had headaches, backaches, and tendonitis.I know have the time to be more present in the moment, and to really spend quality time with people and doing things I love." - Katie TremperPHOTO: Katie posing with Debbie's husband Sam, in Baja, Mexico.Mentioned in this episodeKatie Tremper's LinkedIn profileModern Elder Academy (MEA) in Baja, MexicoCity of Davis, CA to which Katie and her husband have movedSupport this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or SpotifyCredits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel SenfftConnect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilRead Debbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After SixtyThanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Oct 2019

34 min

The term gap year symbolizes so much more than taking a time out. It is a frame for examining such topics as reinvention, a new purpose, aging with wisdom, trying new things, bucket list travel, a new approach to health and well-being, and more. All the topics that relate to living well in this stage of life.My guests in Season 2 will be a mix of inspiring individuals who are taking or have taken grown-up gap years along with well-known authors and experts on all the topics I’ve mentioned.Join us on this new season of Gap Year for Grown-Ups, and let’s dive deep... into what’s next.And as always, if you’ve got ideas for future shows or guests, email us at thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comWe will publish a new episode every other Friday, starting Oct. 18, 2019. (With a week off here or there over the holidays.)Debbie Weil, your hostGap Year podcast websiteOur Media PartnersEncore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.Credits:Show creator and host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianDebbie and Sam's Gap Year After Sixty blog

Oct 2019

3 min

In the last episode of Season 1 of Gap Year For Grown-Ups, Debbie reflects on how the podcast has evolved. Initially she aimed to appeal to adults of any age seeking a timeout. But she realized that her focus was really on mid-life reinvention (50+), whether it's a gap year or a gap week, as a way to reflect, redirect, find new meaning and purpose - and find happiness. And of course that is the topic closest to her own heart. Fittingly, for this episode she invited Marc Freedman - best-selling author, renowned social entrepreneur and leading expert on the longevity revolution - to be her guest. The subject was Marc's bestselling new book, How to Live Forever, but their conversation ranges widely. They talk about aging and ageism, age segregation, the meaning of legacy, how Silicon Valley's quest for immortality is misguided, how older and younger generations are built for each other (the old want to be needed and the young want to be nurtured), how Marc is becoming an elder himself, his challenges writing his new book, and more. Marc is the founder of Encore.org, a 20-year-old ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Encore Fellows, the Encore Prize, Gen2Gen and other programs are among Encore's practical approaches to solving the problem of the generational divide and the exploding number of those age 60+. Full disclosure: Encore.org is this podcast's newest Media Partner. Mentioned in this episode About Marc How to Live Forever by Marc Freedman (Public Affairs, 2018) Encore.org (founded by Marc in 1998 as Civic Ventures) Harvard’s 75-year Study of Adult Development, begun by George Vaillant and now run by Robert Waldman What makes a good life? Lessons From the longest study on happiness? (TED talk by Robert Waldinger with almost 28 million views) Stanford’s Center on Longevity Urie Bronfenbrenner (prominent child psychologist) Nuns and Nones: a project that moved religion-free Millennials into a convent. Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much! Subscribe and share this episode with friends Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer and editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Read Debbie and Sam's Gap Year After Sixty blog Thanks to our Media Partners! Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old. Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Jul 2019

35 min

Debbie sits down with Dr. Joy Dryer, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has been in private practice for 40 years. Dr. Joy (as her patients call her) works with individuals, families and couples making transitions. So the big existential questions have special interest for her: Who am I right now? Who do I want to be? And where? And with whom? These are essential gap year questions, especially for those in mid-life thinking about their marriage or other partner relationships and how they want to spend the time they have left. She has a special interest in couples and how they try to answer the big questions together. When Debbie and Sam left D.C. to take their gap year, they transitioned from essentially individual pursuits to a shared life. They found themselves spending a lot more time together and decided they needed someone to help them navigate this new shared stage in their relationship. They went to Dr. Joy looking for tools to communicate better as a mid-life couple; she was terrifically helpful. But this episode is not a therapy session. Debbie met up with Dr. Joy in her Brooklyn office to discuss mid-life and transitions, how marriages and relationships stay strong or sink, and how thinking about death can be a good thing. Mentioned in this episode Her website: Dr. Joy Dryer, PhD Dr. Joy's Acronyms: MC{squared}: Money X Children X Career (plus Sex) BLT (the existential questions, not the sandwich): Body, Love and Time Definition of Existential Psychotherapy (PDF) International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy at whose International Conference Dr. Joy recently presented a paper. Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes Subscribe and share this episode with friends! Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer and editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Thanks to our Media Partners! Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old. Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution.

Jun 2019

26 min

In this episode Debbie talks with Sam, her husband and gap year co-conspirator, about a longstanding bucket list item: to live in France for an extended period in order to practice and improve their French. Coincidentally, both have childhood ties to France. Debbie speaks semi fluently and Sam almost as well. After two weeks in Avignon, they’re back in the U.S. where they sit down to make sense of the experience. Their first week they studied in an immersion program with an excellent young teacher, Julie Gaudin. Listen to the sounds of Avignon during their second week as they wander the pedestrian-only streets of this marvelous small city, sit in cafés, and shop at the famous covered market. They also took several excursions outside the city, which meant renting a car and figuring out where to park it. They both agree you can't become a true ex-pat in only two weeks but it's enough time to adopt a daily routine and to make a friend or two at the local boulangerie and at a favorite bar serving artisanal beer. Despite their many trips to Paris and other parts of France, they continue to find French culture slightly mysterious. The solution? Go back and live in France for a year. That may or may not happen... PHOTO: Debbie and Sam in the poppy fields near Uzès. Mentioned in this episode Séjour linguistique means staying with a teacher (or prof) in their home for language immersion. Pithiviers is a town south of France where Sam lived on a farm when he was 18. It was also the site of the infamous Pithiviers internment camp during the Second World War. Collège Cévenol in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is where Debbie Went to school for a year when she was 14. French immersion programs via FrenchToday.com Note: in this episode Debbie mistakenly refers to the site as FranceToday. Julie's immersion program in Avignon Alliance Française in Paris Les Tables de la Fontaine in Avignon where Debbie interviewed the owner Cheer Me Up, one of the cafés we frequented with Julie for our morning French lessons. Serving coffee and tiramisu, which means cheer me up in Italian. Les Halles, the famed covered market in Avignon filled with magnificent displays of fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, cheese, olives, bread, lavendar honey, wine and more. Sam discovered les bulots: whelks or large snails best eaten alongside raw oysters and with a glass of white wine. Quirky Cinéma Utopia in Avignon where we saw two French films on two rainy afternoons. Debbie insisted she got the gist of both films. At the end of the second one, Sam said, "Well, I know I understood the last sentence." Our AirBnB in the center of old Avignon Parking des Italiens just outside the ancient walls of Avignon (1,150 free parking spaces... AND the free navette shuttle bus we talk about.) Our favorite excursion outside the city: Les Gorges de la Nesque (near Sault) Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence (small Cézanne collection with a focus on his obsession, the nearby Mont Sainte-Victoire) Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes Subscribe and share this episode with friends! Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer and editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Thanks to our partners! Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old Next For Me Rewriting +50 Life

Jun 2019

33 min

In this episode Debbie talks about the most surprising result of her gap year: she created, produces and directs Island Women Speak, a popular multi-generational women's storytelling event in Stonington, Maine, the small coastal town she now calls home. She calls it a gap year accomplishment because it's a new and unexpected thing she never imagined herself doing. She has coached and edited nonfiction writers for years but this was her first foray into coaching storytellers and producing a live stage event. To her surprise and delight, the recurring event has been a resounding success. The audience in this remote coastal community yearns for truth and authenticity, especially from performers everyone knows. Island Women Speak, inspired by The Moth, premiered at the Stonington Opera House in January 2018. Since then, twenty-two women, ages 20 to 95, have each performed five-minute stories that they've written and rehearsed. The stories were on themes ranging from falling in love and leaving home to coming out as gay and dealing with depression and anxiety. The most recent Island Women Speak, in January 2019, focused on the topic of standing up and speaking out. The theme was not meant to be overtly political but it was fitting following a year of #METOO revelations and coming on the heels of the record number of women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In the opening of the podcast, you will hear Lorraine Knowlton, 85, a lifelong resident of Deer Isle, performing her story about overcoming extreme shyness as a child. Debbie also interviews storyteller Amanda Larrabee about the impact of the event and why it has been so powerful for both performers and the audience. Mentioned in episode Island Women Speak Videos of IWS performances Stonington Opera House Generation Women (produced by Georgia Clark in NYC) The Moth (the art and craft of storytelling) Media coverage Island women to speak out about their lives (Ellsworth American, Jan. 2019) Island Women Speak shares life stories of eight local women (Island AdVantages, Jan. 2018) Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes Subscribe and share this episode with friends! Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer and editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Thanks to our sponsors! Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old Next For Me Rewriting +50 Life

May 2019

20 min

In today's episode, Debbie interviews Jeff Tidwell, a 35-year digital veteran who has worked with big brands like eTrade and WebMD, as well as with numerous startups, on product, community, marketing and user experience strategies. He’s lived and worked in New York, San Francisco and LA. About two years ago, as he approached 60, he began to feel conscious of his age in a youth-oriented industry. That’s when he got the idea for Next For Me, an online community for those 50+ with a particular interest in meaningful work. Next For Me also sponsors real life events across the country. There are numerous other online resources that address everything else for this demographic: dating, sex, travel, planning for retirement, etc. Next For Me specifically focuses on post-50 work and purpose. Mentioned in episode Jeff's columns for Forbes.com Jeff on the launch of Next For Me Startout Growth Lab for LGBTQ entrepreneurs The Advantages Older Adults Bring to First-Time Entrepreneurship by Derek Lidow Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes Subscribe and share this episode with friends! Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer and editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Thanks to our sponsors! Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old Next For Me Rewriting +50 Life Full disclosure: Next For Me is a sponsor of this podcast.

May 2019

37 min

Today’s episode is Part 2 of our broadcast from Chip Conley’s Modern Elder Academy, the world's first wisdom school, located at the southernmost tip of Baja California, Mexico. Debbie spent a week at this magical place recently, along with a group of 17 other compadres. Her cohort ranged in age from 42 to 78. All were there to learn how to become a modern elder - someone who reframes a lifetime of experience in order to repurpose it for something new. A new direction, a new purpose, a reinvention. In this episode, Debbie interviews four of her compadres, representing four mid-life decades from 40s to 70s. Jose Beltran, 42, is an entrepreneur who has just embarked on a gap year after selling his restaurant in Mexico City. Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo, 52, is a performance artist based in the Bronx who wants a change including a move to another (warmer) part of the country. Paul Gilbert, 64, is a veteran executive producer, creative director and writer in San Francisco with a list of big name clients. He says it's time for a change. Frances Valesco, 78, is a well-known artist, printmaker and teacher, also based in San Francisco. Recently widowed and with a short runway (her words) ahead of her, she is ready for new adventures. Mentioned: Modern Elder Academy Debbie's interview with Chip Conley (Episode 6 of the podcast) Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss Performance artist Linda Mary Montano More about this episode's guests Jose Beltran (LinkedIn) Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo (About Nicolás) Paul Gilbert (LinkedIn) Frances Valesco (Frances Valesco Arts) Photos: Paul Gilbert, at left; Frances Valesco, at right. Jose Beltran Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo (peeking around tree) Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes Subscribe and share this episode with friends! Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer and editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Thanks to our sponsors! Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old Next For Me Rewriting +50 Life

May 2019

45 min

Debbie interviews Chip Conley, New York Times best-selling author, rebel hospitality entrepreneur and now a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. After selling Joie de Vivre Hospitality, the second largest boutique hotel brand in the U.S., Chip was invited at age 52 to work for AirBnB as an advisor to the young founders. He soon found himself to be both mentor and intern; the result was his newest book, "Wisdom @ Work, The Making of a Modern Elder." In January 2018, Chip founded Modern Elder Academy, the world's first mid-life wisdom school, in Baja California, Mexico. Together they talk about MEA's mission, which is to help mid-lifers mine their mastery, repurpose it and reset their mindset for the second half or third third of their life. They also talk about the experience of attending MEA where Debbie spent a week as a student and where she interviews Chip with waves pounding in the background. Mentioned in Episode Chip Conley Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder Chip's mid-life transition articles on LinkedIn Debbie and Michael Campbell: the Senior Nomads At this Baja school, post-50-year-olds learn to grow whole, not old (LA Times) A New Luxury Retreat Caters to Elderly Workers in Tech (30 and Up) (NYTimes) Note: the NYT article didn't get the story quite right. MEA is for more than tech workers and it's not just a luxury retreat; it's for those 35 to 75 seeking a next step. Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes Subscribe and share this episode with friends! Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer/editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Thanks to our sponsors! Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old Next For Me Rewriting +50 Life Full disclosure: Modern Elder Academy is a sponsor of this podcast.

Apr 2019

25 min

Debbie chats with her husband, Sam Harrington, about the experience of writing a book and about being a first-time author. Yes, writing a book was on Sam's bucket list but he never seriously considered it until their gap year when he had the time and mental space to focus on it. A practicing physician in D.C. for 31 years, he realized he had deep knowledge and a strong point of view about how the elderly should make decisions at the end of life. The result is AT PEACE: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life (Hachette 2018). Debbie is a nonfiction writing coach and editor and she asks Sam the tough questions about writing his book. This episode will be of interest to anyone who has A BOOK on their bucket list - lots of practical tips and truth-telling. Mentioned in the episode: Gap Year After Sixty: Debbie and Sam's gap year blog (where the book began) AT PEACE: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life by Samuel Harrington (Hachette 2018) Read the Introduction to Sam's book Interview: The inside story: from stomach doctor to first-time author by Debbie Weil Sam's twitter: @gapyearsam Other end-of-life books Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande Knocking on Heaven's Door by Katy Butler How We Die by Sherwin B. Nuland Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes Subscribe and share this episode with friends! Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer/editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Thanks to our sponsors! Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old Next For Me Rewriting +50 Life

Apr 2019

34 min

In today's episode, Debbie interviews Karen Wickre, an old friend and former editorial director at both Google and Twitter. Karen left Twitter in 2016 at age almost 65 - not to retire but to reinvent herself as a writer and consultant. She is the author of the new book Taking the Work Out of Networking. Karen shares tips and strategies on how to manage the transition from corporate life to what comes next (stay open!) and how that applies to using a gap year to find your next thing. She and Debbie also explore ageism in our modern culture and talk about the importance of having a network at any stage in life. Mentioned in the episode Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert's Guide to Making Connections That Count by Karen Wickre (Simon and Schuster, 2018) Surviving as an Old in the Tech World by Karen Wickre (Wired.com, Aug. 2017) Twitter: @kvox Support this podcast: Leave a review on iTunes Subscribe and share this episode with friends! Credits: Show creator and host: Debbie Weil Producer/editor: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Podcast website Music by Manuel Senfft Connect with us: Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.com Twitter: @debbieweil Insta: @debbieweil Thanks to our sponsors! Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old Next For Me Rewriting +50 Life

Mar 2019

29 min

Debbie interviews Julie-Roxane Krikorian and Alasdair Plambeck, a young couple living in a tiny house in southwest France whose gap year turned into real life. They unpack the money question: do you really need a lot of money to take a gap year? Debbie addresses the privilege question: is a gap year just a First World concept for those who have the luxury of dropping out of their current life? Full disclosure: J-R is producer and editor of Debbie's podcast. Mentioned in this episode: Alasdair and JR's podcast Alasdair's blog Host: Debbie Weil Producer: JR Krikorian Sponsor: Next For Me Music: Manuel Senfft Subscribe on iTunes

Mar 2019

30 min

Debbie talks to Sam about the origins of their gap year. Sam was a successful physician in private practice in Washington DC. He explains the logistics, the timing and the deeper questions about making the life-changing decision to leave his medical practice after 31 years. Together, Debbie and Sam talk about why their gap year was not the same thing as a sabbatical or retirement. Mentioned in this episode: [Gap Year After Sixty] 1 blog Debbie’s husband and gap year co-conspirator: Sam Harrington Sam's book AT PEACE: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life Host: Debbie Weil Producer: Julie-Roxane Krikorian Music: Manuel Senfft Subscribe on iTunes

Feb 2019

23 min

In Episode 1 Debbie explores the difference between student and grown-up gap years. She reminisces with her 88-year-old father about her first "gap year" when, as a 14-year-old, she was sent to school in France for one year. No, she was not allowed to go to Paris for a holiday break in the company of several 16-year-old boys. Then she interviews her three adult children who each took a gap year before starting university. It turns out that gap years are NOT wasted on the young.Mentioned in episodeLe Chambon-sur -Lignon in the Massif CentralCollège Cévenol: the school Debbie attended in France is now closed, but that's a story for another day.Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or SpotifyCredits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel SenfftConnect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilRead Debbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After SixtyThanks to our Media Partners!Encore.org, an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good.Modern Elder Academy Navigating mid-life transitions: Grow Whole, Not Old.Next For Me Rewriting +50 life through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution. 

Feb 2019

28 min

A podcast hosted by Debbie Weil for grown-ups who believe you can step out of your default life for a gap or timeout, to find meaning and purpose, and especially when you are 50+ and figuring out what comes next. Host: Debbie Weil Special Guest: Sam Harrington Gap Year blog: Gap Year After Sixty Producer: Julie-Roxane Sponsored by Next For Me Subscribe on iTunes

Jan 2019

2 min

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