Baby Boomers—A Better Endings Tale of Work and Love (You Can Change It Up!)


We are multidimensional Beings: multi-faceted, multi-faced. This is the essence of our composite archetypal identities based on the various roles we occupy in our lives. Our Life Themes—recurring KINDS of situations that form threads weaving a colorful tapestry through the Life Chapters of our Life Stories—lead us to develop an assembly or ‘ensemble cast’ of archetypal sub-identities based on our positive role models or from avoiding behaviors of our nemeses.

Work is a Life Theme that often brings routine or habits as well as financial security and productivity into our lives. At its best, our Work supports our vocations; then we love what we do for a living! But sometimes Work can become onerous, over-routinizing or bringing out our ‘worst’ rather than our best qualities, to the degree it may lead us to feel somewhat numb in our social life or personal relations.


As a 1950’s child myself, I can appreciate the ‘better endings’ tale of the 1987 movie Baby Boomers with Diane Keaton. J.C. Wiatt (Keaton) is a woman executive for a marketing agency in the City. When a distant cousin dies, she is asked to raise her cousin’s six-month-old baby. After accepting this new role as a parent, J.C. at first tries to maintain her high-paced, cutthroat sort of career, but eventually she comes to realize how this career is sapping her full identity.


After losing her husband because of her choice to raise the child and being offered a lower position to accommodate her changing persona at work, J. C. chooses to quit and moves with her foster daughter to a farmhouse in Vermont. Here she gradually allows her heart to re-open, to her daughter, new friends in the small rural community, and eventually to a handyman (played by Sam Shepard).  Meanwhile she develops a homemade baby applesauce recipe that eventually promises to be a million dollar business. When she is offered the opportunity to sell that to a major food chain and move back to the City to manage the business, she opts out, preferring to stay in Vermont with her child and new partner.


images are from

Life moves us forward, so long as we let it! Two days ago on my way to my own ‘retirement lunch’ (yep!), I read a bumper sticker I have been contemplating ever since:

Life Is Life!

Life is rich in opportunities for new experience, for learning to develop your talents and interests, for making choices at every turn as you compose your unique Life Story!

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story!


Your Life as Your Works



Every Tuesday at Better Endings we assemble a set of topical Prompts that you might wish to write/journal about, contemplate/ meditate, talk about, or somehow ACT upon in your daily life. This week’s Better Endings topic is Work & Career. So how might you apply the  principle of Better Endings to issues surrounding your work and/or your career, or perhaps how HAVE you achieved Better Endings in past situations regarding your work or career?


Here are some prompts that come to mind for your possible consideration:

  • Job searches
  • Job interviews
  • Your life mission (To what extent is your work/ career compatible with your life mission?)
  • Creativity (How do you express your creativity wt work or through your career; can this be further enhanced?)
  • Growth potentials
  • Change/ improvements
  • Workplace social relations
  • Location
  • Retirement plans
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Job loss
  • Retooling
  • Identity (Do you identify yourself in relation to your job/ career or otherwise?)
  • Integration/ synthesis (How can you integrate your deepest aspirations with your work/ career goals?)
  • Are you doing what you love & loving what you do?
  • Future envisioning and plan for Action


I invite your Comments and Insights and Stories on these or other work/career related topics. Feel free to suggest additional prompts that come to mind.

Best Possible Endings to You!

Work & Career Better Endings



My Italian housemate tells me that in Italy, where his father lives, people do not “live to work”, but rather, they “work to live”.  How about you; do you live to work or work to live? This week we will explore what Better Endings might mean in relation to work and career topics. Is Better Endings about better pay? Or is it about greater personal fulfillment from the job or career itself?  How can you maximize Better Endings in relation to your work or career?

Paradise island

The Maori of New Zealand were at one point considered by psychologists and by psychological anthropologists to have the lowest incidence of mental disorder of any cultural group in the world. When psychologists studied what they were doing to promote such a state of wellness, they found a number of factors relevant to how people experienced their daily lives in relation to stress factors. First, the Maoris tended to tell their dreams to their family members, and if a parent recognized a stress factor being expressed in the dream content, the parent might suggest a way to relieve that stress or conflict. An example I have read about is that a boy said he dreamed a neighbor boy had stolen a toy. The parent asked the dreamer then to go give that toy to the other boy as a gift.

A second factor of Maori wellness was attributed to a practice referred to in the literature as “Time Out”.  If an adult were feeling overburdened by stress in relation to their family or daily work load, they could announce at a community meeting that they needed Time Out. They would be allowed to stay in a hut slightly away from the village for as long as needed, while others took care of their children and responsibilities. Then when the person felt ‘mellowed out,’ as we might say, they could simply rejoin the community and resume their lives. Others might tend to treat them with less demands after this because of the need for Time Out which they had publicly displayed.


How different our Western, daily workaday lives tend to be! How much can we “crunch out” in a day’s travail seems to be the measure, if not of our happiness, then at least of others’ esteem for our industriousness. Vacation time will not release us from those stressors that may build up even higher while we have our “precious” time away. Indeed, with today’s smart phones and laptop technology, it is becoming harder to truly separate from one’s work even while on vacation.

So, this week, let’s contemplate the value of “work” in relation to career and also in relation to personal fulfillment and vocations (hobbies, arts or other stress-relieving pastimes), not just jobs. Perhaps in the process of reviewing and reflecting upon how we/you DO  work and career related activities, you can gain some insights about ways you might wish to make adjustments for the future based on your core values, your life priorities and sense of purpose.

As always, I welcome and invite all of your insights you might wish to share via Comments and stories.