Three years ago I had an “aha moment” while flying home from a visit with my grown daughters in California. It was a flash of insight that my life was about to change and a new adventure was about to begin.

My 18-year-old 6’4” baby boy was a high school senior, and my empty nest was quickly approaching. I took an honest look at my life and realized with some sadness, This is definitely not what I had in mind.

Right then and there, I decided to leave the job I had held for eight years to join a mass movement of people who were reinventing their lives. I read every book, article, and blog I could get my hands on and was pleasantly surprised to find a large group of vibrant, healthy, active, energetic, fulfilled, and happy reinventors—many of them baby boomers like me.

Instead of spinning into a midlife crisis, these trail blazers had identified their passion and purpose, swapped careers, launched new businesses, repurposed their hobbies, run marathons, and travelled around the world. They took the plunge to create a beautiful new life for themselves in their “Second Act.”

As a wellness nurse and life coach, I had helped hundreds of people lose weight, gain energy, and transform their lives. But when I decided to reinvent my own life, there was more to the transition than I anticipated. I zigged and zagged through emotional highs and lows as I wrote and rewrote my new job description and life plan.

My biggest challenge was deciding what to do with my nurse’s cap and long-time career. I almost threw it all away—the baby with the bath water, so to speak. But then I realized that nursing could be a great launching pad to many amazing and fulfilling new possibilities.

So I carved out time to take an inventory of my life. As I processing my many experiences and reviewed my previous career path, I realized that I had already repurposed my nurse’s cap many times. I went from being a pediatric nurse…to phone triage nurse…to corporate health nurse…to fitness nurse…to nutri-nurse…to my current landing pad as a Life Reinvention Coach.

Along the way, I created my own entourage, including counselors, coaches, mastermind groups, networking groups, friends and family. I also discovered amazingly helpful tools, assessments, and exercises to further my personal journey to reinvention.

I also found that I had gained numerous skills beyond my roles as a nurse—skills from decades of life and my roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, neighbor, and musician. Nothing was wasted.

This self-discovery process required hard work, diligence focus, and some time. But I was able to uncover valuable, neglected treasures that had been locked away in the hidden chambers of my life.

Along with the wave of other reinventors who have paved the way before me, I see a new horizon in my life. Together, we are reshaping not just our future lives but the very definition of midlife.

What about you? Are you ready to re-invent your life?  Let me help you break free from the past, find happiness in the present, and get excited about the future! I would love to hear how you plan to make the rest of your life the best of your life!

Mary Buchan RN has over 30 years of health and wellness experience. After helping a wide range of people over the years, she recently repurposed her Nurse's Cap as a Life Reinvention Coach, Speaker, and Author of the new book Over It – How to Live Above Your Circumstances and Beyond Yourself.  As a mid-lifer with an empty nest, she blogs about self-discovery, relationships, reinvention, and healthy living.   Visit www.MaryBuchan.com.