"What’s Next"

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Rena Pederson writes for the heart and mind. She engages readers with her vivid stories and inspires them to make meaningful change in their own lives and the world around them.


What's Next?
Women Redefining Their Dreams in the Prime of Life

By Rena Pederson with Dr. Lee Smith

"What people are saying about "What's Next?"

"What's Next?" will encourage women to listen to their instincts and go for it. Rena Pederson captures the dilemma that many women face in midlife. Through stories of women who have made bold mid-course changes, she inspires others to confront their concerns and take action."
- Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

"This wonderfully inspirational and compelling book is a must-read and a special gift for women in the prime of life and career."
- Elizabeth Dole

"What's Next?" proves that dreams do come true...a book full of wonderful experiences."
- Ann Richards, former governor of Texas

"This is a wonderful, inspiring book. Give it to your friends. It truly helps us understand that you can have it all, just not all at the same time. Some of the best moments for women may come later in life and "What's Next" can help you realize your dreams."
- Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan B. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research and Komen Race for the Cure

"What's Next?" is essential reading for any woman over 40. It's an inspirational guide on how to compose a more meaningful second half. Written by award-winning journalist Rena Pederson, with self-help questions by Dr. Lee Smith, an executive coach, "What's Next?" provides a step-by-step guide to help you get your second wind.

Each chapter includes "case history" profiles of women - famous and not-so-famous - who have redefined themselves in midlife. There are shared insights from Elizabeth Dole, Anna Quindlen, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Julia Child, Beverly Sills, Susan Molinari, Linda Ellerbee and many other women from around the United States.

With the wise advice in this practical, inspiring book, you'll learn how to trust your intuition to say no and to recognize when it's time to move on and to become stronger and most importantly, to decide what's next --and what's best-- for you.

If you've reached the post-40 age, you're in good company. Some 38 million women are in the age bracket of 40 to 65. Hillary Clinton and

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Farrah Fawcett are in their fifties. Meryl Streep and Lindsay Wagner, the "Bionic Woman," have turned 50. Tipper Gore is a grandmother. And Gloria Steinem is in her mid-sixties.

One out of three Americans is now approaching that mid-life zone. And according to "The Wall Street Journal," every eight seconds, someone in the United States will be turning 50 as the baby boom hits middle age.

But Mae West was right: "You're never too old to become younger." There is plenty of time for a second chance. Actuarial tables indicate that Boomers will probably live another 30 years. So it's not too late to begin a second career or start a parallel career or find a cause that makes you feel energized .

The first step is to start asking the right questions:

  • How do you learn to listen to that little voice inside of you that is saying its time to do something different with yourself?
  • How do you filter out the voices of well-meaning people who say "don't"?
  • How can you get away from the busy-ness and much-ness of life to find peace of mind?
  • How can you become sure of what you need to do?
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • What are you waiting for?

Rena Pederson
                 Laura Bush
                               Dr. Lee Smith

Oprah Winfrey Show
April 12, 2001