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Embracing Midlife: Broadening Horizons for Your Ideal Lifestyle

Hi, I’m René Syler, and for the past three decades, I have been actively engaged in roles as a news anchor and TV host. However, my current focus and passion lie in the realms of production and direction.

In a recent group Zoom meeting, I, a 61-year-old mother of two adult children, found myself interacting with a diverse group of creative individuals in their twenties and thirties. This unexpected scenario prompted me to reflect on how I became part of such a vibrant and dynamic mix.

My professional journey commenced in local news, where I fulfilled responsibilities as both a reporter and an anchor. Subsequently, I transitioned to CBS, assuming the role of co-host on their morning show. I later delved into talk shows and even participated in a reality show centered around vacations, all while concurrently curating content for my website.

Despite my established career in the media industry, I felt a compelling urge to explore new avenues of creativity. This inner drive led me to contemplate where to initiate this next chapter and whether it was too late to embark on a fresh endeavor.

Many individuals encounter the common societal expectation as they reach middle age, suggesting a diminishing relevance or a gradual fade into obscurity, particularly for women who have dedicated their prime years to their careers. However, I am determined not to conform to this limiting narrative, and I encourage others to defy these expectations as well.

Feeling frustrated by the unpredictable nature of content creation, I made the decision to reenter full-time employment. I embraced the role of brand manager at Traffic Sales and Profit, an Atlanta-based company dedicated to supporting Black entrepreneurs through various initiatives and live events. Assigned to oversee their newly launched streaming network, I enthusiastically embraced this opportunity.

This marked the beginning of what I refer to as my “Middle Age Expansion.” Instead of abruptly pivoting in a new direction, I chose to build upon the skills I have refined over the past thirty years and apply them in innovative ways.

In my current position, I utilize my extensive TV experience to coach others in effective on-camera communication. Drawing from my background in TV news, I excel in clear and concise writing. Moreover, insights gained from collaborating closely with skilled producers enable me to approach projects comprehensively. Observing photographers meticulously has honed my visual thinking skills, allowing me to seamlessly integrate all these abilities into my present role.

Here are three successful strategies that have guided me during my Middle Age Expansion:

1. Defy Societal Expectations: Resist the pressure to conform to age-related timelines or societal norms. Transition when you are ready, not when external expectations dictate.

2. Emphasize Physical Well-being: Regular physical activity not only enhances creativity but also instills a sense of empowerment. Incorporating weight training, in particular, can boost confidence like nothing else.

3. Embrace Mentorship from Younger Individuals: Value the perspectives and wisdom of those younger than you. In my case, my team consists of individuals who are 15-30 years my junior. While I share my expertise with them, I am continuously enriched by their fresh insights and viewpoints.

This year, my ambitious objective is to contribute to a short film either as part of the writing, producing, or directing team. I firmly believe that age should never serve as a barrier to pursuing new dreams and aspirations.

It is time to rekindle our capacity to dream and to ardently pursue those aspirations.

Let us embark on this journey of expansion together!