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Your Life Calling with Jane Pauley

A Natural Work in Progress Live Chat Transcript

If you missed the online chat with Jane and her guests, Catherine Zimmerman and Betsy Werley, you can catch the conversation here.

Comment from Linda: Two notes: One to Catherine Zimmerman. Thanks so much for your books and your belief about healthy meadows. I have been fighting with my city about my lack of a short grass lawn for years and wanted it to have wildflowers. Their attitude is that they’re "weeds.” Also, I can't use pesticides and a couple of years ago I had the vector control people come out to figure out why I had so many honeybees. They discovered a hive with beautiful golden honey in a tucked away corner of my yard. I was sorry I asked them to remove it when I saw how beautiful it was. I was the only one in the whole neighborhood who has "problems" like this because I would rather accommodate wildlife than kill it.

Zimmerman: Linda -- this is the good fight. Changing attitudes doesn’t come easy. But here's a resource, a Pennsylvania Wildlife 10 article on Neighborly Natural Landscaping: http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/uh142.pdf.

Comment from Lauren: Sometimes I feel I don't have the energy to work a full-time job and go to school too. Catherine, how do you keep your energy level - and your motivation up?

Zimmerman: Lauren, eat a good diet, and learn how to compartmentalize so you can focus on one thing at a time and enjoy it!

Pauley: Lauren, let me jump in with an observation about Catherine's schooling. She was able to go at her own pace. It took her three years to complete the program juggling her freelance filmmaking and kids. She does have more stamina than any ten people that I know. So, 'at your own pace' might be slower than hers happened to be. Sign up for a class and see what happens.

Comment from Lori: Lauren, surround yourself with like minded people as well. Find people who have your energy and enthusiasm or more.

Comment from Karen: I watched the segment this morning with tears because I too changed my life recently. I am now 50. At 46, I went back to school to finish the degree I'd never finished. I didn't see divorce coming, so now, with twins in college, I have to support myself for the first time in my life. I found myself unemployed in February. I couldn't sit around waiting for a job that didn't exist in my area of fashion design. I can't move right now as I have elderly parents and my 2 kids in school. I used the money I got in the divorce to open my own clothing boutique. I'm now in a catch-22: I need to advertise to get people in the store, but I need people in the store to afford the advertising. I still have a little money I can use, but I'm approaching the desperation point. When & how do I know if it's time to throw in the towel? Are there any other things I can do?

Werley: Karen, you definitely need a supportive group - to cheerlead for you, give you fresh ideas and just be there to talk to. If you're near a Transition Network chapter, welcome (check out our website link above.) If not, check for local entrepreneurs or women's support groups. Another great resource on the business side is SCORE - a group of business professionals who provide free advice for businesspeople www.score.org.

Comment from Linda: Is there a way we can keep these links without writing each of them down?

Pauley: Linda, we archive everything. So go to the Your Life Calling website at aarp.org/jane and on the left side of the page click on Archive!

Comment from Heather: Ms. Zimmerman, I noticed that you were walking through the Andre Bluemel Meadow at the AHS River Farm. Is that a particular point of inspiration?

Zimmerman: Heather -- beautiful that you caught that! The AHS meadow was absolutely my inspiration to focus on meadow habitats. I filmed the meadow over a two year period while it was being installed and have done a video about it.

Comment from Linda: The Transition Network (TTN) started in NYC and we have a large and growing TTN membership here in the DC metro area. Betsy, how fast is TTN growing for people outside of major metropolitan areas?

Werley: Thanks for asking, Linda. TTN is adding four new chapters this year, so we're definitely growing - in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston and Boulder.

Those are big cities, but TTN grows wherever there's a group of women who want to explore what's next. If there's not a chapter in your area, we can help you start one.

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