Reinvention, and why it works for everyone

Reinvention, and why it works for everyone

by Sharon Santoni
Reinvention, and why it works for everyone

I have often told my tale of reinvention, in the hope of inspiring others who are searching for their own new direction.

At the age of 50, having spent 20 years raising my four children, I was feeling redundant. The kids were growing too fast, and my role as a very hands-on mom was no longer needed. That year, on New Year’s Eve, as midnight struck, I raised my glass of champagne and declared that the new year would see me reinvent myself. Nobody was listening, but it didn’t matter, I had said it out loud. I had made a promise to myself.

In February 2010, a couple of months later, I launched my blog. I had a steam-driven computer that required an hour to wake up each morning, but that was OK. I knew nothing about the internet, hardly anything about blogging and I was happy to take it slow.

To my great surprise, I found an audience of amazing readers who were incredibly encouraging. With their support and enthusiasm, I continued to publish every day for a couple of years. The audience grew, and since my readers were very vocal and left a lot of comments, I quickly understood the subjects that they wanted to hear about.

Today, 13 years later (what?!!) that little blog has become a small business, with a fantastic team and together we are proud to publish our magazine, create our boxes and host our tours.

Reinvention, and why it works for everyone

The only reason I tell this story is to encourage other people who are trying to figure out their next step. Nobody can give out a magic formula for reinvention, but we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

And if there is one thing that I have understood, is that for me and for many other people, being creative each day is absolutely essential, and it can play a large part in any reinvention tale.

Next summer, I am excited to be offering a creative Reinvention Retreat in Provence. I’ll be hosting the trip in the company of the talented and artistic Lucy Hunter, who has her own reinvention tale to tell.

Reinvention, and why it works for everyone

We’ll be staying in the very beautiful Bastide de Mourre, in the heart of Provence, surrounded by lavender fields, vineyards and olive trees. The property will be privatized for us. We’ll make the most of this beautiful part of Provence with its perched villages, wonderful markets, divine food, and wonderful places to shop, but there’ll be more! Each day there will be a choice of activities, designed to entertain and stimulate each of us creatively. This could be exploring photography with a small still life exercise; it could be painting or flower arranging, and it could be sitting quietly in the grounds of le Mourre, and taking time to listen to your inner voice.

If you would like more information on this fantastic trip next June, just click here, or email me for details (contact@myfrenchcountryhome.com).


If you are interested in hearing more about my reinvention and how it feels to be a ‘senior entrepreneur’, take a look at the video below. I was fortunate to be interviewed by Sharri Harmel recently in her series about women and their reinvention stories. She founded the Extraordinary Women Magazine in 2020, a platform designed to help women transform their lives into something truly extraordinary. 

Having spent over two decades as an executive coach, Sharri’s own life journey took an enlightening turn following her divorce. This transformative period prompted her to embrace part-time living in the enchanting city of Paris. It was amidst the charm and joie de vivre of Parisian culture that she discovered the importance of sharing her signature process with other women over 50. That process takes women through the steps to design, create and embrace joy-filled next chapters, allowing them to savor the richness of life’s experiences.    

Through her visionary approach and signature process, she invites women to redefine what it means to embrace life after 50 and unlock the extraordinary within themselves. 

24 comments

Kellie August 4, 2023 - 2:58 am

How timely! This was what I (and my husband) needed to hear. We listened to your interview while on a long drive. After being a stay at home mom to three children, I’m finally pursuing my passion— landscape painting! After putting this on hold for many years, it’s time—finally! I love that you mentioned doing something before you’re ready, as most people are never ready. We always feel there are more boxes to check off, before taking the plunge and pursuing a new idea. That really resonated with me. Thank you!

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Sharon Santoni August 5, 2023 - 11:02 pm

Hi Kellie, thank you for your comment. Landscape painting sounds like a wonderful project to work on, good for you! I hope you enjoy this new direction 🙂
Sharon

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Deborah August 4, 2023 - 3:18 am

Your interview with Sharri Hamel caught my attention as I ponder the ‘what now’ stage of my life. I worked part time through motherhood as my husband’s work meant he could be anywhere in the world at any time. Eventually we moved overseas as Perth is a long way from the places he was doing business. The usual occupations followed when we returned. We returned before he did because the schooling available to us was dire.

Then suddenly we were both retired due to unexpected circumstances and were able to travel many times a year. All that ended with Covid. Australia closed down! So i got the garden sorted, decluttered the house and thought about the future. Most of our plans have been put on hold due to my 92 year old mother needing a lot of support.

We have just returned from an overseas trip and I find myself thinking about what I’d like the next ten years to look like, but apart from one goal, I’m stumped! Other women have lists about their weight, fitness (I’m
probably the fitness I’ve been since my 20s) and other plans that just don’t resonate with me.

Do you have any advice on the steps to take to lead to really discover what matters, what will engage me after years of looking after every one else? I’m floundering but determined!

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Sharon Santoni August 5, 2023 - 11:06 pm

Hi Deborah, I agree that working out what shape the new direction should take is maybe the hardest part! How about sitting down on your own with a coffee or a glass of wine, and a sheet of paper in front of you, with the questions:

What do I want?
How do I want to spend my time?
What do I like?

They are surprisingly hard questions to answer, but maybe if you scribble down ideas and then take an objective look at your notes, you will have an idea that emerges.

Good luck with this new venture!
Sharon

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Claire August 6, 2023 - 8:40 pm

Deborah, thank you for writing your comment as it very much resonates with me. I retired just as Covid started and that list I had written out of possible retirement activities had to be put on hold. Like you, all the home things are caught up too. And some of those items on the list aren’t as much of interest now. Similarly to you, I am in a searching mode and finding it tough! I appreciate Sharon’s encouragement to focus on something creative and she is a great role model for having done that with her business so I will continue to try that angle. Good luck with your search!

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Peggy Van Veen August 15, 2023 - 6:48 pm

I too am in need/desire of a transformation. I turned 60 in July and suddenly my business career no longer appeals to me. Im feeling bored, and restless and in need of a new venture! I would love to find a group of like minded women who are in the same state of mind.

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Kathryn Gauci August 4, 2023 - 9:31 am

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. It’s like a new lease of life. Find something you love and go for it. I gave up a long career as a textile designer to write historical novels. Still creative and I’ve never looked back. In fact, reinvention can pull on your past experiences in ways you never expected. I am so glad you were successful and continue to inspire us.

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Sharon Santoni August 5, 2023 - 11:11 pm

How wonderful Kathryn! Do you write your novels under this name or a different name? We’d love to find them! 🙂

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Vicky from Athens August 4, 2023 - 1:11 pm

Sharon, I’ve always loved hearing and reading about your reinvention. And, what a story it is! You offer so much encouragement to anyone hesitant to take that first step. Of course it helps to have a supportive husband (or wife!), family and friends but it can be done. Thank you for repeating your story. We all need to know that if we want it, we can achieve it

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Sharon Santoni August 5, 2023 - 11:12 pm

Thank you Vicky for your kind words, and thank you for being such a long term reader of the blog! I nope you’re keeping well
Sharon
x

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Carol Guess August 4, 2023 - 5:24 pm

Thank you for sharing your personal and intimate story about your own reinvention. I am sure you will continue to inspire other women to follow your path!
Be so proud of what you have accomplished !!
I am looking forward to meeting you and spending time with you on the Normandy Gardens Tour this October !!!

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Sharon Santoni August 5, 2023 - 11:13 pm

Thank you Carol, I think we all have something to share, and we can all learn from each other’s experience. I’m also looking forward to meeting you in October!

Sharon

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Linda August 4, 2023 - 7:42 pm

This was such a great video – you are an amazing lady and deserve your success, your honesty, serenity and generosity is inspirational. Wishing you continued success, fun and enjoyment going forward all of which has nothing to do with age.

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Sharon Santoni August 5, 2023 - 11:13 pm

Thank you so much Linda, age is just a number!

Sharon

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Jennifer -Top Secret Flea Market August 4, 2023 - 10:57 pm

You know you are speaking to my heart. I’m fortunate to have been following you from early on & to have attended one of your wonderful tours (loved it!). Very thankful for your influence re my own reinvention & business launch 7+ years ago. Cheers to mfch & to you!!

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Denise Tyrrell August 5, 2023 - 12:52 pm

Well done Sharon- i have followed your blog from early days and spent some years writing my own blog – still enjoy reading about your adventures! In the process of reinventing myself so a very timely and thiught provoking article- good luck with the event, wished i lived closer.

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Stacy Brandau August 6, 2023 - 6:22 am

And fate sends us that magic moment just when we need it most. Seems there are many of us facing the idea of reinvention and the “what-ifs” of meaningful change. Corporate lives can be so consuming and learning to live creatively without strict structure and direction is such a foreign day-day; I often feel alien in my own world. Who am I without the title and big salary? What value do I bring? Who needs me now?
Well, I do, that’s who, and I’m worthy of my own commitment and time. What a foreign concept… at least for me. But, I’m learning. Your story, and those of so many of your readers/followers, fuels my fire for what’s next. First steps begin with me. Many thanks for your beautifully sincere inspiration. I am quite grateful and want you to know. Thank you.
XO

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Mitchells August 19, 2023 - 12:44 pm

Thank you Vicky for your kind words, and thank you for being such a long term reader of the blog! I nope you’re keeping wel

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Campbell Addison August 31, 2023 - 3:59 pm

I agree that working out what shape the new direction should take is maybe the hardest part, You know you are speaking to my heart!!

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geometry dash October 3, 2023 - 9:55 am

Vicky, thank you for your kind words and for following the blog for such a long time! I assume you’re doing okay.

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Chrome heart October 13, 2023 - 12:34 pm

Thank you Vicky for your kind words, and thank you for being such a long term reader of the blog! I nope you’re keeping well.

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I agree that working out what shape the new direction should take is maybe the hardest part, You know you are speaking to my heart!!

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