Second Calling – When does 1/2 = 1/3?

Second Calling by Dale Hanson Bourke is a book for the woman who has come to the second half of her life, “softer, gentler, wiser and more calm” than she has ever been… but still wondering what she will do when “she grows up”.

Dale Hanson Bourke is a woman who is learning along with us… and enjoying every minute of it. She is also the author of a series called “The Skeptic’s Guide” with subjects like Immigration, Poverty, HIV/AIDS and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Bourke is also a Christian. I mention this because for some, it’s a game-ender. For me, I have always embraced spirituality and also believe in Christ, so am not turned off by it. I didn’t feel weighed down by Bible verses or a pious narrative. On the contrary, I sensed a sweetness in her writing. But she’s also an intelligent, talented and educated  powerhouse.

Somewhere along the line, I figured out that Self-Help may be found in any section of the bookstore. I usually start at Self-Help but then I go to Biographies, New Age, Spiritual, Journals or even, sometimes, Fiction (which is why I have my “Fiction as self-help” section of this blog).

Gold can be found anywhere, actually, at the most unexpected times. I remember reading Harry Potter (for no reason other than it was enjoyable)… and stumbling across this line: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” said by Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. 

I read the line. Set the book in my lap. Read the line again. Looked around me… as if to say… Hey, did anyone else see this? Turned the corner of the page – I know it’s wrong but I didn’t want to lose it!

Of course, others had seen it and it is now oft-quoted. It’s one line way at the end of the book, if I remember correctly. Crazy. Important. Profound.

Second Calling was one in a series I bought during a time in my life that found me “between trapezes” … trying to decide what to do next. I frantically highlighted things like, “being proactive is the opposite of being reactive,” and “I needed to decide what I wouldn’t do more than what I would do.”

Wise words, right?

So, have I figured out what I’m doing for my second half? I thought I’d figured it all out. Not quite. Life had other plans. Or maybe it’s just that my plans weren’t built on solid enough ground.

(And to really confuse math-a-phobes like me: when does 1//2 equal 1/3? When some people call this time of life the second half and others call it the third act. Confused yet? Me, too!)

If you’ve figured it all out… math included… let me know. In the meantime, this book is a mostly light read that makes you feel good. Besides, the cover is a woman in a field of lavender flowers. In a gauze dress and hat, for crying out loud. Just looking at it lowers my blood pressure.


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