Mar 1 • 28M

Barbara Waxman: Leaning Into Middlescence

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Avivah Wittenberg-Cox
You are likely to live longer than you think. Are you ready? Science has gifted us ever longer, 100-year lives. This impacts… everything! From couples and careers - to companies and countries. We’ll interview the experts who are exploring the consequences – and the individuals applying it to their own lives and choices. Generational and gender expert Avivah Wittenberg-Cox talks with people designing new ways of living, working and loving at all ages – across life’s 4 quarters.
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The guest this week in 4-Quarter Lives is Barbara Waxman, whose work Avivah Wittenberg-Cox came across early on in her exploration of the topic of how to manage our ever longer lives. Barbara is a gerontologist and coach and has combined both these areas in a career focused on helping people become both more effective professionally and at the same time truer to who they themselves are as individuals. With a background in gerontology, she found at the start of her own empty-nester years a chance to reconsider her own trajectory, and realised just how much more opportunity the years ahead had to offer. Recognising the similarity between this turbulent time and that of adolescence, she coined the term ‘Middlescence’ and authored a book aptly called The Middlescence Manifesto: Igniting the Passion of Midlife. She serves as an Advisory Council Member for the Stanford Center on Longevity and is a faculty member of the Modern Elder Academy. In this conversation Barbara and Avivah talk about the ‘3Rs’ of the subject – Reality, Response and Roadmap and about the different challenges of this time for men and women.  And Barbara introduces yet another wonderful reframing – that instead of thinking about ‘retirement’ we should move to ‘preferment’.

Links relevant to this episode:

Barbara Waxman’s Website:

Barbara Waxman’s Middlescence Website:

To buy The Middlescence Manifesto click here (

The Stanford Center on Longevity:

The Modern Elder Academy: