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Well, I’ve debated about whether to make this public, but I’m letting the cat out of the bag. I’ve got a big birthday coming up. And I’ve noticed that I’ve had both a sense of pride over the pretty sweet place I’m at in my life… and I’ve also noticed a bit of worry and embarrassment and shame about turning this age [think: black arm-bands!].

For those of you who might be coaching around ageism, you’ll get this. I’ll be honest — will people think I’m over-the hill?! And I wonder, where did that narrative start in the first place, and how are we as a society perpetuating it?!

And so I shared my cognitive dissonance with my team. There was some great discussion around it. And everyone agreed that this story was definitely for public consumption.

Especially because… and this is the “funny thing,” I also just got accepted for a graduate degree program.

A few months ago, I learned about a program that absolutely made my whole being light up! It’s the Executive Master in Change program offered through INSEAD. I spent a full month getting my application together — speaking to another graduate of the program (thank you Katy Montgomery!), digging deep to answer very thought-provoking essay questions, excavating my college transcripts and diploma, asking for letters of recommendation, and passing a number of interviews.

And, last week — the same week I received my new Medicare insurance card [now you really know how old I am!] — I was thrilled to learn that I’d been accepted.

The extra cool part of all of this is that the program is conducted in France, so I’ll have the pleasure of flying to Paris nine times over the course of the 18-month program that begins in March 2023.

So, a very happy 65th to me… I gave myself the gift of yet more learning, which I trust will help keep me curious, growing, and able to live out the ICF coaching competency of “Embodies a Coaching Mindset.”

I’m hoping each of you is living in that space as well!

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