35 min

#101: Mary Lou Heater (Landing her doctorate at age 60) Reinvent Yourself

    • Careers

"To find your fit, it’s not a linear path…but a fluid process,” says Mary Lou Heater, who worked her way up to a Doctor of Nursing Practice at age 60. “It’s not a puzzle piece that fits neatly into one spot.”  Heater left school for early marriage before working for 15 years in sales for a steel company. Around age 40 she asked herself: “Am I giving back? Am I doing the right thing?” After diving into the new age wave of meditation and philosophy, she quit her job to help her husband. When he lost his job (“we had zero income”), she returned to school to study gerontology and get a certificate in aerobics. She later snagged her RN, then followed her interest in psychiatry to her doctorate. At 66, she’s still asking herself “what’s next?”  “Women don’t retire,” she says, “they reinvent themselves."

"To find your fit, it’s not a linear path…but a fluid process,” says Mary Lou Heater, who worked her way up to a Doctor of Nursing Practice at age 60. “It’s not a puzzle piece that fits neatly into one spot.”  Heater left school for early marriage before working for 15 years in sales for a steel company. Around age 40 she asked herself: “Am I giving back? Am I doing the right thing?” After diving into the new age wave of meditation and philosophy, she quit her job to help her husband. When he lost his job (“we had zero income”), she returned to school to study gerontology and get a certificate in aerobics. She later snagged her RN, then followed her interest in psychiatry to her doctorate. At 66, she’s still asking herself “what’s next?”  “Women don’t retire,” she says, “they reinvent themselves."

35 min

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