Baby Boomer Woman at Midlife

by Anne Holmes on November 12, 2009

It’s time to feature another member of the National Association of Baby Boomer Women. Lynn B Goodwin once taught English, and she is now a freelance writer and author. Another Midlife Reinvention? Read on…

Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a teacher, editor, freelance writer, former caregiver, and the author of You Want Me To Do What? – Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing). I am published in several newspapers, magazines, and numerous e-zines. I facilitate journaling workshops for caregivers and publish Writer Advice,

Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.

I married the high school drama program I ran in the 1970s. <g> No hubby, no kids, no grands, no boomerangs. Neither parent ever lived with me, though I spent a great deal of time assisting my mother so she was able to stay in her own place. I’m glad I was able to help. Today I am the proud parent of Mikko McPuppers, a 12-year-old shih tzu I adopted three years ago. He’s my little guy-guy, and he changed my life forever.

What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?

  • My mother colored the sugar at Christmas so that some of it was red and some of it was green sugar.
  • I used to lie in bed on summer nights with the window open listening to the radio play One Man’s Family.
  • Clothes pins were made of wood.
  • Miss Francis brought Ding Dong School into the living room on our brand new black-and-white television set.
  • The best memories are montages.

What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?

I am independent and self-sufficient. People respect my freedom.

What inspires you?

Sometimes it’s music, when the chords surge melodically and the lyrics tell a story. Sometimes it’s a line popping up in a book and connecting to me in an unexpected way. Sometimes it’s the joy of trying something new or rediscovering something I thought was lost.

Do you have any interesting hobbies?

There’s a fine line between vocation and avocation. I get a little skittish around the word “hobbies.” Hope that doesn’t mean I take myself too seriously.

Do you have a favorite book or movie? If so, tell us why it’s your favorite.

Usually my favorite book is the one I’m reading. I just finished Tanya Egan Gibson’s How To Buy a Love of Reading and I am ready to start Hope Edelman’s The Possibility of Everything. Both are candidates for reviews and interviews on Writer Advice,

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that one of my favorite books is You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, which I wrote. Read Dotsie Bregel’s review HERE or visit to learn more.

Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go?

The best I’ve taken have been with the Alumnae/i of Vassar College . If your college offers trips, give them a try.

I get quite restless traveling over the same old roads in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. I’m always looking for the next adventure, especially if I can take Mikko along.

Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate.

Last night I did not take all of my pills, and when I woke up in the middle of the night with pain burning in my right leg, I realized that taking my meds and walking the dog are preventive medicine for me. I don’t think this is what you meant here.

What do you stress about?

I’m not going to give my stressors power by naming them here. <g>

Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?

My youthful looks were pudgy. I hated the way I looked and felt. I was stuffed into panty hose and uncomfortable in many of my teacher clothes. Now that I am 60, I’m thinking about getting my ears pierced, though. It’s time to try something new. Maybe I’ll “retain my youthful looks” in my next lifetime.

Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how?

I used to teach English and drama in high school and college. Now I am a freelance writer and editor with an e-zine and a book out in the world. I reinvented myself one day at a time and one project at a time. I am still on a journey of self-discovery.

Do you plan to retire?

Recently, when I was summoned for jury duty, the judge asked what I did. I told him, “I run an e-zine called Writer Advice and I’m promoting a book I wrote called You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers.

He asked, “Do you make a living at that?” and I told him, “I am partially funded by State Teacher’s Retirement.” I had great fun watching that answer sink in.

Are you doing anything to GO Green?

I turn off unused lights, unplug my cell phone charger, and plan to buy a Prius when I need a new car. I don’t commute. I cut up the plastic that holds my six-packs of Club Soda together, and I hope I am not leaving an indelible carbon footprint.

Do you engage in any faith based practices?

Yes, and I am happier listening to others talk about their faith based practices than discussing my own.

Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them?

I’m curious about the roads not taken, of course, but I like many things about the life I have. I used to imagine alternate lives, but those don’t feel like unfulfilled dreams. I worry about worst case scenarios, but I don’t want those nightmares fulfilled.

How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?

Writer Advice,, has made a difference in the lives of authors who have been interviewed and writers who’ve been published. Our Flash Prose Contest, which starts in January and accepts entries until April 15 has made a difference for people.

Many people who’ve used the sentence starts in You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers tell me that journaling and receiving positive feedback has made a difference. Eileen, a caregiver from Antioch, CA said, “I am grateful and thankful to all of you for sharing so many wonderful stories and thoughts.  My spirit has been lifted more in participating with all of you than anything else I’ve tried.” I’m grateful that I can share such a useful technique.

I know I made a difference in the lives of some Danville-Alamo AAUW members last winter when I cast them in a show we called Women Speak Out, and they discovered the joys of performing for a live audience. We’ll be doing a new version, Voices Speak Out, in April 2010.

If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.

Don’t quit before the miracle happens.

Questions? You can e-mail me at I’d love to hear from you.

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