Meet Karen Barrett, Host of The New 30 Podcast
ABOUT THE SHOW
I started the New 30 Podcast because I wanted a way to reach women like me who are re-defining what it is to be what used to be considered “over the hill”…women in their late 40s, their 50s, 60s and beyond, who are living life very differently than our mothers did at our age. Middle-aged women today run the gamut from being married to being happily single or they may even be navigating the crazy world of dating for the first time in decades. Many of us are empty nesters or raising teenagers and some of us, like me, even still have young children at home. I wanted to create a show that women, no matter where they fall on this spectrum, can listen to each week when they need inspiration, encouragement, some new ideas for how they can be the best version of themselves, or maybe just for a laugh and a chance to zone out for 30 minutes or so.
I called my show the NEW 30, based on the saying “50 is the new 30”, because it resonates with so many of us in this new phase of life. We’re starting new careers, successful businesses, publishing books, getting PHDs, running marathons, traveling the world…things our mothers never would have dreamed of doing at our age. Many women are rediscovering who they are now that they have more time, more wisdom, and more courage, and they are completely reinventing themselves and creating a life they’ve always dreamed of. I’m going to be talking to these women and my hope is that they will inspire you and help you to discover ways you can be living a life you love! Many will be up and coming or established experts in the fields of wellness, happiness, business, success, and all things relevant to today’s busy woman in her prime.
I’m a single mom of three kids ages 26, 19 and 8. So basically, I’ve had a child in nearly each decade of my adult life! I’ve been married twice, the first time for almost 20 years and then again for just a few years when I was in my mid-40s. I’ve worked most of my adult life as a paralegal, but have always known that I was meant to do something different, something that brings joy and meaning to my life.
I left the small northern California town I grew up in right after high school to attend college in the city. Although, most people would hardly consider Fresno, California to be “the city,” it was to me, with my dreams of getting my music degree and making it big as a singer. But then I met my first husband. And so, like any sensible, level-headed 19 year-old, I decided that college wasn’t for me, and quit after my first year, despite my parents protests and warnings that I was making a huge mistake. Sorry mom and dad. You were right.
Luckily, over the next 20 years, I was able to take classes here and there, and finally in my early 40s, received a BA in Christian Ministries. I was then able to get an adult education teaching credential and right after graduating, left my position as a paralegal to teach classes to older adults and English to Spanish speakers. During this time, I also had the opportunity to work as a volunteer with the local hospice, strengthening my passion for working with people at the end of life, that had begun a few years earlier when my father was dying. Unfortunately, after a few years, state budget cuts resulted in the closure of most adult education classes, so I went back to work as a paralegal.
When my older son left for college at the end of 2016, I decided that it was time make a radical change, so I sold my house, quit my job, and moved with my younger son from California to Oregon, which is where my daughter had recently moved. I wanted my son to be able to experience growing up in a smaller town, like I had, and I wanted to be somewhere where entrepreneurialism was supported and encouraged. This was my chance to pursue a career that brought me joy and utilized my love of working with people, especially women like me, who were tired of sitting at a desk 8 hours a day, barely making ends meet, never having much time to spend with their children. So last spring I enrolled in a fantastic program called Yoga Church, under the instruction of Meadow DeVor, and became a certified life coach and yoga instructor. And although this HUGE transition of picking up and leaving the city where I had lived for more than 30 years, and the state I had lived in my entire life, was exhausting and seemed overwhelming and impossible at times, I am FINALLY living a life that I love, doing what I love…working with women and helping them to navigate this new, often bumpy terrain called mid-life.