3 minute read

You’ve heard of taking a “gap year.” It’s when a young adult takes a year off before entering or after completing college.

It can be a well-deserved break. A time to grow up and find focus. A period of reflection before embarking on the next phase of life.

But always, I’ve associated gap year with an 18 or 22-year-old. That’s about to change.

At the close of this year, I’m entering my gap year. Or two or three.

Why now? After 30 amazing years with Borshoff, and being an owner for nearly 20, I’m at a point where I want to explore more of the world while my knees are eager to hike. And kayak. And clock 20,000 steps a day on my Fitbit when visiting a new city.

Plus, I’ve never been good at disconnecting from work while on vacation. I don’t apologize for that. As a business owner, it’s what I signed up for. It’s how I’m wired. But to travel more widely, and explore new volunteer opportunities, and be able to spend more time with my parents and adult children – all out of state – I’m fortunate to enter this gap. The time is right.

What do I expect? Excitement and enrichment as I visit new places and meet new people.

Am I nervous? A bit. I’m a people person with a pretty strong Extrovert score in Myers-Briggs. Not going to the office every day with 58 smart, interesting people will be different.

Will I stay connected with Borshoff? Definitely. I have a few clients I’ll continue to work with. And, as a consulting principal, I look forward to being helpful to the current agency owners. I’ll also stay on the Indy Chamber and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful boards of directors. My passion for Indianapolis is not waning. In fact, I’ll have more time to contribute. And when my husband and I embark on travels near and far, I hope to connect with professional friends I’ve made over the years through IPREX.

How long will this gap last? The truth is I’m not sure. And I’m okay with that.

So you may be thinking: c’mon Susan. This is just a euphemism for early retirement. Well, you could be right. And if it is, that’s great too.

The Wall Street Journal suggests we find a new name for this chapter in life. They ask: “What should we call this emerging period between our middle years and old age? Observers have suggested the ‘third chapter,’ ‘adulthood II,’ even ‘middlescence.’” I like next-ager.

What’s next? I’ll be hiking on desert mountains next winter. And we’ve booked a trekking and kayaking journey next spring (well, fall in the southern hemisphere) in New Zealand. Write a best-selling novel? That dream was squelched when brilliant author Ann Patchett said non-writers wanting to write a book are like non-surgeons wanting to do brain surgery. Go back to school? Possibly. Harvard and Stanford have started year-long programs for students in the second half of life. Do more gardening and up my culinary skills? Absolutely.

So, want to come by for dinner? I should have some great stories to tell. But please call first. I may not be home.