phase out my professional commitments to teaching and writing textbooks. I've addressed this issue more completely in a chapter in a book called Wise Women: Reflections of Women at Mid-life(Matlin, 2000). I envision perhaps teaching an occasional course, and still continuing to write one or two books. I do look forward to having more leisure tune and more opportunities to travel. Still, I cannot imagine abruptly ending my professional activities, and I anticipate continuing to be interested in our discipline of psychology throughout my lifetime.
So, what important words of advice can I provide for readers and for the individuals whom they mentor? First, remember that you may not know at this point exactly where your professional life will lead you many years from now. Second, notice what you enjoy and where your very specific talents may lie, even if it's not clear at this point how you will use those talents. Third, don't be too hasty to reject a professional activity. Instead, figure out how to do the job more skillfully. Fourth, try to learn from experience, even from your unpleasant experiences. Fifth, give your self-confidence time to grow. Sixth, when possible, use your professional talents and financial resources to support the kinds of social-justice issues that matter to you. Seventh, and finally, take some modest chances. Specifically, pursue some risks that are interesting, ones that may lead you to explore some new professional pathways that will turn out to be both enjoyable and fulfilling.
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