• A few other "Your Life Calling" veterans continue to influence their communities. Support from the Walmart Foundation has allowed Lawrence McRae (better known as "The Prostate Man") to implement a patient navigation program that will help the McRae Prostate Cancer Awareness Foundation further its efforts in promoting prostate health among black men in rural Alabama. Social worker Sylvia Abrego-Araiza is lending a hand to even more kids in need, having recently taken on an additional part-time job working with Texas teens at a local halfway house. Abrego-Araiza continues to stay active in the Women's Ministries group at her church.
• Catherine Zimmerman's landscape design business is blooming, and she's also busy with plenty of other projects. She recently shot a video on sustainable landscape practices with the U.S. Botanic Garden, and she is gearing up for the second printing of her successful book, Urban & Suburban Meadows: Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces. Zimmerman's so much in demand that she notes, "The biggest problem I have these days is finding a moment to work in my own garden!"
• Former art teacher Joe Liles is still on the move. He's gone back to hike parts of the Appalachian Trail, including a recent trip to the Grayson Highlands section in Virginia. He also says he's inspired some of his 50-plus friends to attempt a thru-hike next year. Like Zimmerman, Liles is also dabbling in publishing: He's illustrating a children's book about the Seven Prophecies of the Ojibwe people, combining his passion for Native American art with his past career as a teacher. "In my life these days, I find that the lessons I learned on the trail are still with me," he says. "I continue to be a more optimistic person and am much more appreciative for everything that is in my life."
• Like Liles, all of the people profiled on "Your Life Calling" say they've found more fulfillment and some much-needed serenity in the aftermath of their reinventions. Alpaca rancher Connie Betts says, "We love the peacefulness of living in the country, the low stress of the business, and making and selling a product that we can be proud of." She and her husband, Thomas, are still raising alpacas on their picturesque Oregon ranch, where the only news to report is that Thomas has taken up knitting alpaca rugs. "Our life doesn't sound exciting and glamorous," Connie says, "but that's the way we want it."
These people put a new and inspiring spin on work and aging, proving that our so-called retirement years can be a time of thrilling change, daring risks and endless possibilities.
So, boomers, what's next? Anything you can imagine.