Reinvention Rebels

Reinvention (Again!) at 70: How Curiosity, Community, and a Sense of Play Keep Opening New Doors with Randye Kaye

March 30, 2023 Wendy Battles/Randye Kaye Season 5 Episode 7
Reinvention Rebels
Reinvention (Again!) at 70: How Curiosity, Community, and a Sense of Play Keep Opening New Doors with Randye Kaye
Show Notes Transcript

70-year young Randye Kaye knows a lot about reinventing herself.

This actress, author, speaker and voice talent has reinvented herself many times in many creative ways.

She's honed her ability to pivot and uncover new possibilities, often out of necessity.

How has she done it?

She's used her curiosity to help steer her, leaning into those things that spark joy. Plus Randye is willing to ask questions and find people that can be reinvention catalysts - helping her along her path.

She's done it scared and done it anyway, each reinvention helping her grow in new, often unexpected ways.

Randye is inspiring, adventurous, dynamic and full of wisdom! I love what she shares about:

✅ Why it's so important to know yourself in order to reinvent
✅ Why the spaghetti-against-the-wall reinvention method works for her
✅ How she overcame the obstacles of fear and doubt
✅ Why you should experiment with different ideas and pivot as needed
✅ How being curious, playful and willing to ask led to new opportunities (people often say yes!)

Our conversation is fun and empowering, and a reminder that it's never too late to pursue your dreams no matter your age.

Randye should know - at 70 she's got her sights set on the next 30 years and the reinvention possibilities she has yet to uncover!

Pop in your earbuds, relax and enjoy this uplifting episode.

Connect with Randye:

Instagram: @randyekaye
LinkedIn: Randye Kaye

Mentioned in this episode:

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Kick your midlife fears and uncertainty to the curb and start your Reinvention Rebels journey today. Learn about my audio program, Midlife Reinvention From The Inside Out: 8 Essentials to Greenlight Your Life.

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Wendy: Hey, Rebels, what if I told you there was a way you could improve your sleep, your cognitive performance, concentration and mood, and it didn't involve taking any drugs or supplements. Would you be all in? I want to share something that I love and I do every day, and I think you might like it too. It's called the Ambient Sounds Meditation for Women podcast. Imagine you put this on every day as you're working or going throughout your day or falling asleep, and it helps soothe you. That's what this meditation is all about, helping us be our best, and I love it. The Ambient Sounds Meditation for Women is part of the Women's Meditation Network.

I love this particular meditation because it helps me feel my best and I easily get distracted. So, putting this on as I'm working helps keep me calm and helps with my concentration. I think you might like it too. I encourage you to follow the Ambient Sounds Meditation for Women wherever you listen to podcasts and start listening for free today. Just search Ambient Sounds Meditation for Women on your favorite podcast app and follow or visit Don't you deserve more calm and focus in your life? 

Randye: I'm only 70. I could have another 30 productive years. What am I going to do next? Maybe I'll write another book. Maybe I'll start another podcast. Maybe I'll apply for this full-time job. I don't know if they think I'm too old that's their problem. They don't have to hire me. But I can apply. I just keep trying stuff.

Wendy: Welcome to Reinvention Rebels, stories of brave and unapologetic women 50 to 90 years young who will boldly reimagine life on their own terms to find new purpose and possibilities. I'm your host, Wendy Battles. Ready for a dose of inspiration. Let's get to it. 

Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the Reinvention Rebels podcast. I'm your host, Wendy. I am so happy you're here. This is the place to come for information and a lot of inspiration about what is possible in midlife and beyond when we decide we want to reinvent ourselves. I know many of us have reinvented ourselves many times over, myself included, over the years. But it's never too late, we're never too old, and we can continue to reinvent ourselves as many times as we like. If you are a new listener, I'm so happy you're here. You're going to love the inspiration of the remarkable women that I interview including my guest today, Randye Kaye, who is amazing, as you'll find out in a couple of moments. 

But before we get started, I do want to ask you if you had a chance to listen to last week's episode. Last week it was all about the power of asking for help on our reinvention path. It's so much better when we're not going it alone, which I'm not going to lie, I've done that many times before, thinking I can kind of figure it out on my own. Sometimes I'm reluctant to ask for help, but that help can make such a huge difference. I'm thinking about that now as I am reinventing myself as a caregiver taking care of my 90-year-old mother. 

And that's the time when you need to ask for help. You can't do all of that yourself. And there is help of course, other people are helping as well. But I'm listening to my own advice and saying, “Wendy, you need to ask for help more often.” So, if you didn't have a chance to listen to that episode, I encourage you to give it a listen. Of course, the details are in the show notes. So, today you are in for a treat with the very creative, fascinating, and inspiring Randye Kaye. Let me introduce you to her. 

[Reinvention Rebels theme music]

My guest today, 70-year-young Randye Kaye, is nothing short of amazing from abandoned wife to powerful single mother. From settling for crumbs in love to the self-esteem for healthy love relationships. From the heartbreak of mental illness in her son to becoming a mental health advocate. From partial paralysis to walking again. From family shock to redefining family strength, Randye Kaye's work as actor, broadcaster, speaker and author is designed to share these lessons of resilience, humor, and the power of words to live happier and generate the energy to reach their goals. This 70-year-young rebel knows a thing or two about reinvention, personal growth, and making one's dream a reality despite obstacles along the way. You are in for such a treat today in our conversation. Please welcome Randye Kaye to the reinvention rebels guest chair. 

Randye: Like the hot seat. Thank you. Thank you, Wendy. I was so excited to be here. I can't wait to talk to you. 

Wendy: I know I have been looking forward to this, Randye, for weeks, since we set it up, and I am so excited. You are such a dynamic reinvention rebel, having reinvented yourself so many times in so many different ways. So, there's so much for us to dig into. And I thought I'd begin my line of questioning by asking you a little bit about your reinvention background because I know many of us have reinvented ourselves many times in all kinds of different ways. If you had to zero into what has been your most impactful reinvention, what would it be and why?

Randye: Wow, I've done it so many times. I would have to say the biggest one. I'm going to have to give you two answers. Okay. One was when, within two weeks, my life turned around from being a Los Angeles actress to moving to the East Coast, getting married and finding out I was pregnant and knowing I couldn't do any stage work for a while and becoming a voiceover talent instead. That was one big turnaround from West Coast to East Coast, from stage actor to microphone actor. That was a big one and then that morphed into continuing with voiceover, but a career also as a radio personality locally in my state of Connecticut. 

The other really big one was after 17 years with one radio station, when my contract wasn't renewed, I found myself minus an identity, minus a full-time job, and with wide open spaces for figuring out what to do next. And although I did try to resurrect some of my past professions to varied result, I did that. But I also said, you know what, “If I'm ever going to write that book that everybody tells me I should write, I'm going to do it now.” So, I then devoted the big part of my time to becoming an author and a speaker in addition to my job as an actor and broadcaster. 

Wendy: I think it's fascinating how when one door closes often many others open. I like how you seized this opportunity. You said, “Okay, well, that's not working out how I expected,” because [Randye laughs] sometimes these things seem to come out of left field or we're not ready for them. When we're sometimes thrust into a new situation and we're forced to reinvent ourselves. How did you psychologically make that shift and say, “I can do this. I can create something new.” 

Randye: My path when I reinvent is kind of spaghetti against the wall. Well, let me try this, let me try that. That was a huge shock, that radio job, I'd been there for 17 years. The audience had heard my kids grow up as I talked about my life, and my last eight years were spent on the morning show. So, our lives were an open book. I was very well known in the area, and suddenly to not be there anymore, there were things that I had wanted to do and I couldn't do. Everything we do prevents us from doing something else. So, I love acting. I went back to that a little bit. I went back to singing. But everyone had always said, “You're such a good writer, how come you never write anything?” So, I thought, you know what, “I don't know if I can do this, but I can take a class,” and this is how I do things. 

I know all the books say, [Wendy laughs] “Make a goal, plan out your steps.” I feel very good having listened to another podcast, Alan Alda's podcast and he had Melissa McCarthy and her husband on, and he talked about how they make plans, and her husband then said, “McCarthy never has a plan,” and yet look what she's done. I kind of feel like when I reinvented myself, I stuck my toe in a bunch of different waters to see which water felt right. And then I kept going in the one that felt right and things that didn't feel right, I went, “Whoop, not this.” And I went back. So, the process to becoming a published author began with me saying, “Okay, Randye, what do about yourself?” Well, what I know about myself is I'm not a great self-starter. At least I don't think I am unless necessity makes me one.

And so, I said, “Well, what I'm going to do, I'm going to take a class in creative writing.” And then they are going to make me bring in a chapter a week. And if I have to, I will do it because I know I meet my obligations. That much I know about myself. And I started writing a chapter a week and by the time that class was over, I had eight chapters and I was still enthusiastic about the project. But I also know I'm a collaboration junkie and I had signed up for a second class and then I signed up with a consultant because I know myself.

Once I was two thirds of the way through, there was no way I wasn't going to finish the book. But I also know that I do better in the right collaboration. So, I just kept going with it and then I kept going until it got published and out of that started to come many opportunities. So, sometimes you take a few steps and you swim out in the water and then the water is so deep you got to keep going to the other side where you got to turn back. So, that's how some of that began. 

Wendy: I love how organic that process is for you that it's not so, it only has to be this way. I like the image of spaghetti on the wall and that you're open. You're open to trying different things. You understand that some things may work and some things may not. You don't see that as an end all, be all like, “Oh my gosh, I messed this up.” But instead an opportunity, which I think are all important qualities of reinventing ourselves and thinking about that. The other thing I heard you say that I think is so important is that, you know yourself well. You know that you have this process of sort of seeing what happens. Like pickup sticks, remember you pick up sticks and you throw them down and you kind of see how it kind of all falls. 

But that within that process, there's also structure. You also know yourself, you know what you need. And I like how you said, “Well, I know I needed to go there every week and submit a chapter to move forward.” I think those are really important clues. I know that the clues are different for everybody when we're reinventing ourselves, but so much of that to me speaks to what I think is so important about reinvention, which is curiosity, being curious, being open. And you are just a classic example of, "I'm not sure where this is going, but I'm open and excited to try."

Randye: Yeah, you have to find out that's how-- Where I am in life, I've raised two kids, and my daughter has three children that I'm very involved with, and their age is almost four and a half, five and a half and seven. She had them very close. I'm watching them blossom into human beings and thinking, “What sage advice can granny give these children so that they can,” best I can do is lead by example and just be enthusiastic about life and try stuff and sure, you want to have a goal. All my life, I've heard, pick a lane, pick a lane, and I haven't never really done that. I learned there's a word for it. It's called multipotentialite. You can look up the TEDx Talk. Yes, it's multipotentialite. Those of us who couldn't pick a major in college-

Wendy: Me too.

Randye: -we tried five-- you see, you're a multipotentialite. I did not make that up, but I love the term. If you name it feels more important. I know what I like to do, I know what I'd like to try to do, and I know that I'm not afraid to make mistakes. Well, no, I am. I am afraid to make mistakes, but I'll survive, and I'll learn from any, I don't even like the word mistakes, from anything that I do that I think I can do better next time, that's okay. I just published a book last year. I learned from that experience as well. Everything is learning. And so, I've always looked at things I'd like to try some of them away in left field, and some of them are very close to what I've done. And sometimes you just know whoop, nope, this isn't it. 

Like, when I was in LA, they cast me to be in a girl trio, a singing trio, like Wilson Phillips or something, and I was so excited and two rehearsals, and I'm like, “This is not it. This is not my strength. This is not my people.” This is not and we all felt it and we parted company. Fine and I just went, “Okay, well, I'm crossing that dream off,” because you take two steps toward a dream to get a closer look, and if it's not your fantasy, then you have to look at what it really is and say, “Okay, do I still want this?” Every job I've ever gotten that other people have said, “Oh, my God, that's so glamorous. I can't believe you do that.” 

It's never what they think it is. It's never what we think it is. I've been a college professor, I've been an improv actor, I've been a voiceover talent, I've done cartoons, I've been on the radio, and it's all been great work, but it's not been what the fantasy was of it. There's always reality in the pay you get or don't get. I remember when I was starting out in theater, getting my Equity theater union card and being so excited that I could be in these shows. Then you get cast in a show, and maybe you don't like the show so much, maybe you don't like the people, and yet you need to make your medical insurance. And so, you stay with the show. So, when you take a few steps closer, then you have the facts. It's research. You figure out if you want to go further, and you look at the cost and benefits based on your experience, and you keep going. 

Wendy: That's so key Randye because I think that sometimes we get very stuck on the dream, what we think it is, that expectation we have. And then when you pull back the curtain as you're talking about, and the reality is revealed that, yes, you're a voice talent, and you're amazing at it, but you also spend hours doing all this editing that is really tedious work. There's the fun of using your voice in this really creative, dynamic, compelling way, and then there's the work of what you have to do to make it sound that way, too. 

Randye: Exactly. It's like every job has, I always thought I'd be a great college professor, and I got an opportunity to do it. I was thrilled. I was so excited. It was all set with my briefcase. Well, I didn't, but in my mental briefcase, to walk in and have the students love me and it's a lot of work, it's a lot of work. The preparation and the lesson plan, teachers oh, my gosh, I bow to you. If the camera were on, I mean, the grading and the rewards are amazing. Then I had to really say, is this what I want to keep doing. And at that point in my life, it wasn't, I certainly finished out the semester. I loved my students. Hopefully, I touched a few lives, but it wasn't at that point, I knew it wasn't something I wanted to continue. 

It's hard to leave something when you've started. It's hard to leave a marriage that you've started. It's hard to leave a job that you've started. It's hard to leave anything that is the devil you know. But there's always good things about, I don't regret anything I ever tried because I learned whether I wanted to do it or not. And some of them panned out beautifully. Like anybody, it's not really different from anybody. I've just tried a bunch of stuff and managed to buy a house and raise my kids as a single parent while I was doing all of that. So, I'm really proud of that.

Wendy: Yes, you should be.

Randye: I'm really proud of the whole of my life, not just what I do for a living. 

Wendy: Yeah, and I think there's so much texture to it. I love how you've evolved and you've leaned in to become the person that you are. And I think that is such an important characteristic of what I call reinvention rebels, people that are willing to get out there, because part of what I hear you saying is you've been willing to take risks, but not always knowing where they're leading. Sometimes, as you said, it's two steps forward, one step back. Sometimes it ends up being a detour. But I also think that those detours, when we're open to trusting our gut, going with that feeling, like you said, well, “I knew when it wasn't right,” but it also sounds like you knew it when it was right, when it did feel good, when you were in that rhythm that was working for you. And I think that if more people who are thinking about reinventing themselves can have this kind of open perspective, that I'm just going to have some fun with this. It doesn't have to be so serious. I'm going to reinvent myself in the next six months. Not like that, but that we can play with this idea of reinvention. 

Randye: It is really being open. It's kind of a, “Sure, why not, I'll give that a try.” The problem comes if you're not getting any invitations to try stuff. So, it's not entirely like I'm an improv actress. I did it for a while. I've taught it. I teach improv for the terrified because everybody thinks you have to be like on Saturday Night Live to do improv. You can do improv in life. You could say yes and to opportunities as well as to another actor on stage. And I'm very happy saying, “Sure, why not,” with knowing when sometimes you go, “Ooh no, that's not for me,” like if pickleball, [Wendy laughs] “No, that's not for me.” I'm not even interested in trying it. But sometimes it backfires. Not everything falls into your lap and not every opportunity comes your way. And so, there are many times, especially as an actor, any profession really, that isn't steady full-time work where you reach out and say, “Hey, can I try this?” Instead of “Sure, why not?” 

My job at Star 99.9 came because I showed up for an interview. I called and asked for an interview. I work now at an NPR affiliate called WSHU. I fill in for everybody which kind of suits multipotentialite me quite well. But they call it on Broadway, they call it a swing girl. Like, all the parts and you just fill in for anybody that needs you. But that started because I called up and said, “Can I tour your station?” And when you put your foot in the door, then people know you're there. If you don't put your foot in the door, they don't know you're there. Many of us suffer from what I call the Lana Turner syndrome. I can't even say I'm dating myself because this is before my time. Back in the golden days of Hollywood, she was a famous starlet who, Studio PR would have it, was discovered sipping a soda at Schwab's Drugstore. Now, that's not really the truth, but that was the fable that they spun.

And so, many of us have the Lana Turner syndrome, "If you build it, they will come." That doesn't always happen. You can write a book and no one's going to knock on your door to publish it. You've got to go out and find that publisher and make a few calls and write a few emails and go to a webinar and knock on a door. I contacted you after I heard you speak and said, “Oh, God, I listened to your podcast,” and said, “I love that podcast. I would love to be on it.” So that's how I got to you. And you could have said no. So, you need to reach out to draw the opportunities to you, even if it's not part of some master plan and then see what happens. Spaghetti against the wall, you got to throw, it doesn't get there by itself. 


Wendy: Hey, rebels, it's Wendy. I know how much you love the Reinvention Rebels podcast, and I want to tell you about another show I think you'll love too. The show is called Pursue Your Spark, and my friend Heike Yates hosts it. This is an incredible podcast if you've never heard of it before. Heike talks with her guests and shares how to move forward in your second half with joy and vibrancy. You see how it's a perfect complement to the Reinvention Rebels podcast. I love that phrase, Pursue Your Spark. If you ever felt stuck in your life not knowing how to move beyond your roadblocks and limiting beliefs, then this podcast is especially helpful. When I got to know Heike and she told me about her show, it instantly resonated with me. We're only given this one precious life and we can reclaim and redefine our second half as empty nesters, moms over 50 or 60 and beyond. I love listening. 

The other day, it felt like I was listening to one of my best friends. She was talking about reclaiming your health and fitness, check. Reigniting your passion after the kids are gone. Okay, well, I don't have kids, but check if I did and redefining what life looks like as we age, check, check. She is a great interviewer and I believe you're going to get a new perspective on life when you listen. Plus, you'll laugh a lot and you'll be motivated. You'll learn from somebody who's out there actually doing the work of creating a vibrant second half very similar to me. You will love this. So, go subscribe to Heike's podcast, Pursue Your Spark. You can subscribe anywhere you're listening including right now on this platform. I've got a link in the show notes. Subscribe and listen to Pursue Your Spark.

That is such great advice to people that are listening, especially people that are unsure who are thinking, I'm maybe in my 50s or my 60s, I have this inkling that there's something more, but I don't know what it is. I don't even know where to get started. I like this idea of the outreach, which could be in really simple ways for someone who's just getting started. It could be making a list of what are the things I love to do or the things that I used to do that I didn't have time for because I was raising kids or working. And now I have more time making a list of those things and then beginning to do that outreach that you're talking about. Who can I talk to? Who could I call? What friend do I have that knows something about this? Who could I ask? How can I go write an informational interview? Just the things that you talked about. What a difference that makes.

Randye: If it's research, it's not a risk. I will tell you that it's scary to call up and say, “Do you have any openings?” That's terrifying. The reason I found the courage to reach out to a radio station, which was a career I'd always wondered about and was in the back of my mind, and two things just helped me to jump over those obstacles of fear and doubt. One was that I had two kids to raise and I needed to make money, so I didn't have time to be afraid, so necessity really can help you.

The other thing was that, a small step I did when my husband abandoned us and I was left with the two kids, and I knew that voiceovers alone weren't going to cut it, is I looked for adult education courses, and I found one at Fairfield University in Connecticut, and it was career direction. What should I do next? This was run by a qualified, I mean, I'm going to give a lot of great advice, but she knew about the personality tests and the strength finders and all that stuff, but two things she did still is with me to this day because I was pregnant with my son at the time. It was a long time ago. No, sorry, he was already six. That was another class I took. But anyway, a class on broadcasting, which paid off six years later.

Anyway, she gave us these cards with values on them. Money, creativity, community, all the stuff we look for in our professions and in our life. She had us order them, like, which are the things that are most important to you. I did not have money in the top three. She said to me, “Randye, you're a single mother with no child support. You have to have money in your top three so the other two can be.” And I said, “Oh, my God.” I wasn't even being realistic. I was like, “I want to be on Broadway,” and you have to think of the whole picture of whatever you do. Once I got my priorities in order, then the assignment she gave us was, now that we've done all this assessment, think of three things you've always wondered if you could do, and your assignment is to find out about it. Call someone up. That does it. Just exactly what you said. 

So, I had three; one was working in marketing and advertising because I had a madman fantasy that it would be sitting around creating slogans and going home. The other one was to be a psychologist and the third one was to work in radio. The courage I got to call the first station I ever worked at was as a college student. I called up and said, "I'm a college student and can I interview your general manager about what it's like to work at a radio station? It's an assignment.” That was not hard to do, that was easy to do. It was an assignment. It was research. If I had called up and said, “Do you have any openings?” I would have been terrified to do that. But because it was a research assignment, it was easier. 

Any advice I would give to someone is, research it, find out, talk to someone who works there, see what their life is really like. A lot of that people do that to me in voiceover. Can I take you out for coffee and pick your brain? “No. I charge $100 an hour for coaching.” So, you can do it too much. But there are ways that you can do the research, by the ways that you say and that's again, you're putting one foot in the water and see if you like it. You may get closer and go, “Oh, no, this isn't for me.” I remember I had an opportunity to do radio in New York a few years after I started in Connecticut and I went all the way down there for the interview going. I would be two hours away from my children. They couldn't pay me enough to be two hours away from my children and I only knew that because I tried. It was research.

Wendy: Yeah, exactly.

Randye: It was research. I didn't not get the job. I didn't consider the job because I knew it wouldn't fit with my family priorities. 

Wendy: I like this idea of the openness to the approach that there are many different ways that we can approach something that's new and different. We can do it in a way that works for us, as you discovered, with the approach of, "I'm a college student and I'd like to find out more about this," which is great because why not take some of that fear out of it, why not build our courage muscle in a way that feels comfortable for us as we get more out there and figure this out. I really like how you approached that. It also made me think when you're talking about this course you took at Fairfield and how this person asked you to kind of order your values. It reminds me that reinvention is what I like to think of as a team sport. It's not just a solo act, but I feel like it's more impactful, it's more empowering when we have other people in our corner that are cheerleaders, like this particular person teaching this class instead of your guide on the side. Who have been some of the people in your life as you've gone through different reinventions that have been part of what I call your reinvention dream team. 

Randye: That's a really good question. Okay, so I would say that that teacher, because I don't even remember his or her name. That's how long ago it was. But the lessons have stayed with me. The woman, her name is Jessica Bram that I took the writing course with because when I thought I couldn't afford to take part two, she said, “I wonder if you've considered the cost of not writing your book. It's too good to not finish.” So, her words, she's in my acknowledgments for that book because you never know when you say something off the cuff that someone else isn't going to carry it with them forever. We're all each other's teachers, so we're all each other's dream team in a way. 

I would say I'm a speaker now, and I'm a member of the National Speakers Association, and some years are more heavily paid to do speeches than others, but I always get networking and ideas and just talking to a like-minded person like, well, I'm trying to do that too kind of thing. So, also on my dream team, wow anyone that's ever encouraged me, my literary agent, the publishers that took my book, people who pre-read my second book and sent back such lovely comments. I mean, there're so many people on my dream team that and I got to thank my children for making me work harder to make money because [laughs] I had to support them. Again, I'm a big believer in the beauty of boundaries when you have them. 

I'll give you an example I've never spoken about before because it just happened this week. I usually use improv. Like, you can't say, “Get up and be funny.” That's not improv. Improv is working within the lines. You have a broken ankle and you only speak French and your opponent is Russian and you're playing tennis. You give the boundaries and there's room to be funny because you have to have boundaries. 

I was doing art with my grandchildren the other day. Not my strongest suit, but I have fun and I play with it. I find that with the kids and with me, if you take watercolors, you kind of don't know what to do with it. We always end up drawing sunsets or rainbows because you don't know what-- they're too like light and airy. So, I said, this much I know from YouTube that Sharpies are permanent. So, if you draw an outline with a Sharpie, and then you fill it in with watercolors, it doesn't bleed. And they turned out and me too turned out the most incredible artwork because of combining those media, Sharpies and watercolors. 

And then I have a book called Drawing Prompts, which gives you a few lines, and you copy them and you draw from there. So, I think we need boundaries. We need each other. We need to be responsible to each other. I have a team of voiceover talents and we meet every Monday morning at 09:00 and talk about how we're doing in our business. So, that's part of my dream team. Anyone you choose to collaborate with. I have a podcast called Schizophrenia: Three moms in the Trenches. I had another one called The Life Talk Show, and I had two co-hosts because I like collaboration. And so, they're in my dream team too. I don't know if that really answers your question. There wasn't one particular mentor that I can think of. It was just a bunch of wonderful collaborations that have come and gone and come back. 

Wendy: I think it's really interesting because I bet that many of us, if we started to write down a list of people who are our allies, encouragers, people that make us feel good and remind us we can do this even sometimes when we think we can't. I have a hunch that most of us would have a list larger than our initial thought.

Randye: All you have to do is listen to an Oscar thank you speech and you know--

Wendy: Right, exactly. We have people. We have people, more people than we think. I think it's interesting because I had interviewed someone who lived in the US. She decided she and her family to move to Spain, to permanently move to Spain. You probably can imagine people are like, “Are you crazy? Why would you give up your tenure job? This doesn't make any sense. Not everyone has this opportunity, etc.” She said she and her husband decided, they were only going to listen to people that were encouraging and supporting them. They were going to not listen to anything naysayers had to say because they were so sure this was for them, that they only listened to positive things. They listened to affirmations, they listened to podcasts about making your dreams a reality. They listened to things about becoming an expat, etc. 

I love Lori's story so much because it just points to this idea of intention. We can take intention for whatever that thing is we want to do, and we can combine that with supporters and encouragement to help us along that reinvention path. So, we don't have to feel so alone because we don't always know the answers. But other people often do or can help us, can coach us, can do many different things to help us along that path. I think that makes a huge difference as we're reinventing. 

Randye: So true. No one is an island. If COVID taught us anything, it taught us that. The thing is that our dependence upon each other is so invisible, we're kind of getting off the reinvention track. But I'll just finish my point when I do presentations on No One Is an island and the Reengaging, the Treasure of Human Engagement, I say pick anything in your purse. Take it out this Flair pen. I love Flair pens. Anything, a cup of tea. You didn't get that yourself. Take an apple. Somebody grew the apple. Someone who knows a lot more about farming than you do. Somebody picked the apple. Somebody transported the apple to Stop & Shop. Somebody unpacked it and put those impossible to get off stickers on it. Somebody created the stuff. We are all dependent upon each other and things magically appear in the supermarket until they don't, like, toilet paper during COVID.

And we don't realize how much we need each other and we should appreciate each other. I always taught my children, there is dignity in every single job. There is dignity and worth in every job. And if you don't know the name of the person who cleans your school or your office, then unless you never see them, they're people. If we just see value in our work, it would help us all to get along better. We're kind of getting off the topic. But anyway, that's a guiding thing in my life, just to value everybody's work and value my own. You're never just a cab driver or just janitor or get that word out of your mind, “Oh, I just do the afternoon show. I don't do the morning show.” Just like self-judgment is probably one of the biggest obstacles for reinvention to bring it back. 

The doubt can be realistic. Some ships have sailed. I just hit 70. I'm probably not going to be a ballet dancer. There are certain things and let's be realistic, and especially because after four hip surgeries, with some mistakes made along the way, I can't run, so there're things I can't do, but there's always things you can do. The possibilities, as they say, they're not endless, but doors keep opening, as you say. And when a door closes behind you, if you let it close, then you might see the crack of light through the many many doors that also lead into that room. But if you've got the door open behind you and the light from your past is flooding the room, then you can't really see the other doorways. So, one of the hardest things to do is to let go of who you were, and you're always you, but let go of roles you used to play, so you can be open to roles you can now play. And so, for me, letting go of being Radio Randye was hard, but I gave away all the T-shirts and I grieved the change. Then I was excited to look forward. That is then and this is now.

I'm only 70. I could have another 30 productive years. What am I going to do next? Hmm, maybe I'll write another book. Maybe I'll start another podcast. Maybe I'll apply for this full-time job. I don't know. If they think I'm too old, that's their problem. They don't have to hire me, nut I can apply. I just keep trying stuff except for pickleball-,

Wendy: [laughs] I love it.

Randye: -except for skydiving.

Wendy: Right, yeah.

Randye: Like, there're certain things I'm not interested in trying. I'm not crazy. If you want to skydive at 70, God bless you, good for you. It's not my thing, but it could be your thing. I would take my risks on stage. I'd rather sing in front of 10,000 people than jump out of an airplane myself. If I wanted to do it, I would take lessons and do it if it was safe.

Wendy: I love it. I love that we can find things that work for us within our parameters and our comfort level and lean into that.

Randye: Within and a little beyond. 

Wendy: Yeah, and a little beyond. 

Randye: Within and a little beyond. 

Wendy: I like that. Within and a little beyond. I think the little beyond is really important too because sometimes we want to challenge ourselves to not be stuck, to not play it safe all the time because it's when we're willing to take that leap, even if it's a small leap, that possibility is dwelling on the other side often. We're willing to do that. And so much of what you're saying is all about our mindset creating this expansive, open mindset as we're reinventing again and I just think that, that to me is everything. 

Randye, as we are wrapping up, I want to ask you this last question. If you had to give your reinvention, which of course is many, many reinventions over many years.

Randye: And many more to come.

Wendy: if you had to give that a theme or a headline what would you boil it down to? 

Randye: Life is a mosaic. It's a bunch of little pieces and many colors that you put together and sometimes you don't see the whole thing till it's finished, but enjoy the colors. That's a long theme. Life is a mosaic, that's my theme. 

Wendy: It's a beautiful theme. Life is a mosaic and your life truly exemplifies life is a mosaic. And all these different interesting parts coming together overlapping and creating this amazing canvas. I love it.

Randye: Thank you, thank you. Still working on it. I don't have the whole picture yet, but it's funny, like when you read my bio at the beginning, I'm like, “Wow, I've done all that. I've done all that, ah.” It sounds so good coming out of somebody else's mouth. 

Wendy: Yeah, right. 

Randye: Isn't that funny? 

Wendy: It is interesting too because I think sometimes other people do help us with perspective. We are so sometimes stuck in our narrow view of ourself, which can sometimes be a little self-limiting. And getting that person from the outside looking in is really helpful to remind us that we are so much more than sometimes we give our own selves credit for. Not in a terrible egotistical way, just in a 'we should value ourselves more' way. 

Randye: I think you're right. 

Wendy: I know that there are going to be so many people listening who first of all are like, “Who is that woman with that beautiful smooth voice? I really going to want to know, how can I find Randye Kaye? How can I connect with Randye Kaye? I want to learn more about her, her books, what she's doing?” Where can people find you? 

Randye: I have a website, it's and my name is spelled both parts with a Y-E so it's R-A-N-D-Y-E-K-A-Y-E dotcom. And there you'll find information on my job as a theater actor, improv actor, my work as an author. I've written two books. One called Ben Behind His Voices. It's a memoir with information and sidebars about schizophrenia when it happens to someone in your family. And the other book is Happier Made Simple because I know we just touched on some of the things that has happened in my life. We all have very colorful lives and some of them were not easy. 

People said, “How do you stay so positive?” So, I said, “Well, I will tell you, it's in the book.” I tried to write a book about being happier because in order to have the energy to see reinvention as fun, it helps if we can stay in a more energized, happier frame of mind. Not to be happy all the time, that's not the goal, but just to look at ourself talk and breathe. I have seven catchphrases that can help get you through tougher times so that you can return to the energy to reinvent yourself. So, that's on my website, information on my speaking programs and keynotes and it's all there The books can be found on Amazon. If you like audiobooks, I've narrated nearly 200 of them on Audible. So, just Google Randye Kaye and you'll find all of it. 

Wendy: I love it. We will put links to all of this in the show notes. People can easily find you. I have to say, I'm very excited, Randye, because you were so generous to send me your book and I cannot wait to read it. I'm going on vacation and it's already packed and I will be on the beach soaking up your infinite wisdom. 

Randye: Send me a picture of you on the beach with my book. That's perfect.

Wendy: I will.

Randye: Put it on Instagram.

Wendy: If that is not a happy thing, I don't know what is, right. I love it.

Randye: This is true, this is true.

Wendy: I cannot thank you enough for gracing me with your presence, your wisdom, your joy, the possibility that exists when we reinvent, and all your amazing ideas you shared so much about your journey and how you've done that and how you've ebbed and flowed and been open and figured things out and grown and created this amazing mosaic. So, thank you. 

Randye: And more to come.

Wendy: And more to come. 

Randye: Figuring out the next step. Thank you so much. I so enjoyed talking to you. 

Wendy: Pleasure. Thank you. 


That conversation with Randye was amazing. She is such an inspiration. I love what she's up to at 70. I love how curious she is. I love how she's not letting her age stop her one bit. Did you hear her talking about all the things that she could do in the next 30 years? So cool. And it reminds me that when we hear these stories from all kinds of interesting and varied women, they help us see possibilities for our own life. So, I'm not going to be a stage actor or do some of the things that Randye is doing, but she's inspiring me to see what else I might get up to in my life. And I think that's really cool. So, let's keep doing what we're doing. Let's keep down this reinvention path. Let's keep getting inspired by other women that are in midlife and beyond and creating all kinds of new juicy fun and exciting possibilities. 

And by the way, if this sparked something in you, if you said, yeah, no, it is so cool what she's doing, and I want a little of that in my own way. I encourage you to download my free audio, 5 Questions to Spark Your Curiosity and inspire your reinvention rebel journey because it's in all of us. It's possible for any of us to shine our light and see these new possibilities as Randye has done. You'll find the link to this in the show notes. I can't wait to see you back here next week for another episode of the Reinvention Rebels podcast. Thank you so much for listening. If you love this episode, please share it with a friend. And if you really loved it, please stop by and leave me a quick review at Apple Podcasts. It makes the podcast more findable for other people. Until next time, keep shining your light. The world needs you and all that you have to offer. 

Hey, rebel. If this episode inspired you to think about what's possible in your life, I'll share a little secret. Any of us can reinvent ourselves no matter where we are in our lives, any age, any stage. We just have to decide to get started. Here's a super simple way for you to get going with your reinvention dreams. Download my audio, 5 Questions to Spark Your Curiosity and inspire your reinvention journey. I share five key questions that will spur your thinking, help you uncover your dreams, and motivate you to take action Because if not now, when? Details in the show notes. Let's get inspired together.

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