Submitted by: Charlene Caron

Q:  What was your primary career and what did you love about it?

A:  My primary career was working in administration, working many years in governmental contracts i.e  working with military night vision equipment to eradication of the pink bollworm moth by pheromone application for mating disruption; and sterile pink bollworm moth releases in and around California and Mexico. I watched 3 of my work place friends die of cancer and knew I did not want to end up like that, I felt there was too much for me to do still, so I ended my work/job life early… and began living.

Q:  When you retired, did you feel ‘finished’ or, for you, was there still something left to do?

A:  I don’t feel I retired, I felt I regrouped, I walked away from the time constraints, meetings and a hectic 9 to 5,  I always said my job was getting in the way of my passion. While working in my jobs in those earlier years, I taught myself grant writing and research on Battered Women’s Syndrome, Homelessness, Abandoned Animals and what foundations and organizations supported these things so close to my heart, because raising money for these organizations was something I felt I could do. ….But there is always going to be something left to do and someone or something to help …and I hope I always have that passion.  

Q:  What inspires you and why?

A:  I have volunteered for 25 years in one aspect or another, and always felt good about giving back and felt more alive, because I could reinvent myself through volunteering. That is just what  I did over the next couple of decades I dreamed higher (for people without a home) fought more battles (with abandoned animals) and brought awareness to sustainability (and the green movement ) into the community at large.

Q:  How does your unique set of experiences make a difference for the community in your work now?

A:  My unique set of experience is one word. It’s called “compassion” for the world and things around me, you don’t need an MBA and I believe that without compassion we have lost ourselves as individuals, and I feel our main purpose is to give back ..there is no better feeling. 

Q:  What’s your advice for boomers who are about to launch their own “second act”?

A:  Launch the second half of your life with intensity, follow what dreams you could not follow 20 years ago with your eyes wide open, and passion in your heart …and go for it!