Getting Your Wings at 60.

December 16, 2021

Getting Your Wings at 60.

May 29, 2023

Suzanne Watkins is a two-time MEA alum who credits her experience in Baja as the catalyst for her next chapter: becoming an international flight attendant at age 60. Here’s her story:

“I realized life is short at age 57! My wake-up call was a near-death health crisis. A week at MEA was the launch pad I needed on my new quest to pay full, daily attention to my heart and gut (the latter ironically being the center of the crisis).

I’ve loved flying all my life, but as a single mom focused on making ends meet, I became a victim to the 9-to-5 office treadmill. I spent days helping other folks plan adventures and nights dreaming of my own. I now knew it must be my turn - or I would die. It was that compelling. Economically, I knew I needed to get paid to fly, so I applied for Flight Attendant openings and finally made the cut! Six weeks later, I’m writing this tonight, a day after my 60th birthday, from Fort Hood, Texas! I’m off to Shannon, Ireland, for my IOE (FAA first qualifying flight)!

Each of us has our own point of realization, and it took me almost dying to find mine. For that, I am ironically grateful. May you find your breaking point, your Wings…the ones that lift you into the fuller elderhood you deserve! Bon Voyage.”

I don’t know about you, but I think we could use more stories like Suzanne’s. Feel free to send me yours. As an aside, The Guardian in the UK writes more stories about modern elders in the workplace than any other mainstream newspaper. In this recent article, they introduce us to mid-lifers who changed course and loved it. Who says our options narrow with each passing year? You’ll read about people who moved from the music distribution business to med school, from a teacher to a songwriter, or from a salesperson to a paramedic.

You’ll also find stories like Lucy Kellaway, a former financial journalist turned teacher, whose book "Re-educated" I reviewed in a recent Wisdom Well as my favorite book of 2021. The Guardian profiled her pain and pleasure of starting a new career this summer.

What do you say? Maybe it’s time for you to "pull a Suzanne Watkins" yourself and follow your passion into a new career path? We wish you good luck on your journey. As always, let us know if we can help.

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