When venturing into the unknown to find a better life, Ann Fry found purpose and fulfillment.
Are you thinking about reinventing yourself and wondering how on earth one can actually achieve such a thing – such an enviable state of grace? If your answer is yes, well then, you’ll want to come along with me as I describe my recent visit with a woman who is most definitely “The Reinvention Hotshot.”
Ann Fry has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years, a corporate trainer and a professional speaker specializing in reinvention in life as well for over the last 15 years, and has published numerous, sought after books, such as one of my own personal favorites “Sixty, Sexy, Sassy and Free.” This ball of fire received her post-graduate certification in teaching from the University of Portsmouth, where she also completed educational management training. She is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants USA, the Institute of Directors and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in London. She has developed her company into a well established consulting agency and is in the process of establishing her many next “iterations.” Given that resume, when I ask how she felt about the “hotshot” label, I was interested to see if someone who has worked so hard, and gone through so much to become so accomplished, could still have a sense of humor. She reminded me that she is an original co-founder of Humor University which brings fun solutions to serious problems – and that she authored Laughing Matters: The Value of Humor in the Workplace.
Her journey began in 2006, on her sixtieth birthday, when she found herself divorced and wanting to try something different. That’s when she decided to follow a long time dream of moving from Austin, Texas to New York City. She gave herself a period of only ten days to learn whether or not it was the right thing to do. Her first goal was to immediately meet new people, pursue speaking and consulting jobs and join groups that offered personal development. As a result she was able to step into many new and familiar communities and managed to create an invaluable support group around her. The move was successful. Her new life was unfolding perfectly.
“That’s when I got cancer,” she says. “This unexpected new development actually became a wonderful intervention in my life. I quickly determined that I would not move home to a big house, family and old friendships. I never lost sight of what was to be next – where my saga would take me next. I choice to develop what has been called a new normal.” Ann began writing a blog that focused on her new experience with cancer and what she was learning from it. The process of regular blogging and journaling provided pearls of wisdom that the public soon noticed. “At moments like this you get to appreciate yourself – to recognize yourself – to live in the present moment.”
I learned from Ann that whether our reinvention is by desire or by circumstance, our greatest passion can be revealed – and how to best serve our community can be revealed. These insights can take any hardship and turn it around. Ann is in the business of modeling this for us.