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  • Gwendolyn Joy

What is a "gap summer" and why I took one.

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

You may have heard the term "gap year" used in the context of young adults that aren't quite ready for college and want to take some time to travel and explore. More and more older adults are finding the need and seeing the value in taking some gap time after years of working and grinding. It's the ultimate life reset if you can just find a way to plan for it - you can make it happen.


A lot of us have been conditioned by the societal norm to work super hard at school and work so one day you can relax. But more people are watching their lives whiz by, consumed by day to day stress and starting to see the tremendous value in the inner peace they're lacking versus climbing the corporate ladder. In an effort to reopen and explore dormant parts of their mind they are taking gap time.


The reason for my "gap summer" is similar, but with a twist. My incredibly stressful divorce. All divorces are generally not great as life events go. I was warned of this by others who went before me, but I knew I had to do it and thought "how bad could it be?". Well, worse than I ever imagined. I had the added challenge of rebuilding my career (whatever that was) after being out of corporate America for over a decade. So as I did this, I took care of my children almost full time while going through the most mentally exhausting, expensive and down right insane several years of my life.


There were points I thought it couldn't get worse, and then it would. I credit my meditation foundation and the mental tools I learned through life not only for helping me survive it, but to end up positive and thriving. I uncovered my passion to create a program of these mental tools for children, left my job and realized that I needed a "gap summer". It was like finally coming up for air after treading water for several years living day to day, or even moment to moment.


So that's my twist. I was lucky enough to travel to Portugal and Ecuador. I started Next in Mind during this gap summer, but at a leisurely pace so I could really reconnect with my inner self, let her meditate and have some prosecco. I learned so much about myself, my children, the man I was lucky enough to fall in love with, the foreign countries we visited and what life is really all about. AND how I envision the next chapter playing out.

Stopping to smell the roses in the Dourro Valley in Portugal

My summer is over and I am recharged and full of creativity and passion for what's next. Moral of the story is - if some gap time in life sounds like what you need, try and make it happen. Even it's just a short time. You will benefit and grow in ways you can't imagine. Your soul will thank you.


I am hard at work on Next in Mind and hope you stay tuned for what's coming. Starting your life over at 43 can be done people! There's no road map here but I do know it's never too late. P.s. - every "like" or "share" helps incredibly. Thank you for believing in me and what I'm doing.

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