Rachel Baum

I'm a life coach, college professor, and former president of the Overthinkers Club. I also host the Making Midlife Magic podcast. I love helping middle aged people dream again and create lives they love.

Featured Post

A love note to birthdays, "ice cream," and giving yourself what you really want

Happy birthday to me! Saturday was my 55th birthday -- woohoo! People have different attitudes about their birthday. Here's mine: YES PLEASE THANK YOU. I used to sometimes be disappointed in my birthday. I LOVE my birthday and there have been years when people didn't show up in the ways I wanted them to. So I fixed it. I started showing up for myself. I thought about what I wanted and gave it to myself. When friends ask what I want, I actually tell them (imagine!). I do what I want on my...
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28 days ago • 3 min read

Don't fake it till you make it: A love note to Halloween

Happy Halloween! When my kids were young, I bought a blond wig to wear on Halloween. I wanted to be a fun mom who dressed up for the holiday. The kids hated it. They cried, “Take it off, take it off!”. It was scary that I could be someone else, even for a few minutes. They wanted to look over and see their Mom. Of course they did. By adulthood, most of us aren’t alarmed by a wig, but it can be scary to be someone else – scary for us and scary for others. If you’ve always told your kids,...
about 1 month ago • 3 min read

A love note to microdosing joy

JOY (Inside Out, Pixar) We’re driving my daughter back to college today. She was home for six days, for Fall Break. It wasn’t an ideal visit. She had a lot of work, as did I. We both would have preferred wide open days, a true break. And also, it was a joy to have her home. Realizing this – the joy of it – was powerful magic. It allowed me to stop focusing on how things could be better and to embrace what is. How often do you feel joy? I’m an optimistic person. I regularly have feelings...
about 2 months ago • 4 min read

A love note to Lucinda Williams

My husband and I went to see singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams perform on Thursday. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I was raw and exhausted from the week. But I told myself that a few hours away from my computer would be good for me. They were, but the concert was more than that; it was a gift. You see, Lucinda Williams had a stroke three years ago. Having seen her several times before, the change was apparent. In the past, her onstage persona was defiant. Life had tossed Lucinda around, but...
about 2 months ago • 4 min read

A love note to mushrooms

I found this mushroom on a walk this week, a heart on a dying log. Nature doesn’t make us work hard for metaphors, does it? I don’t like to think about getting nutrients from decay, as mushrooms do - but of course I do. We all do. Our marriage ends and we pursue the political activism our ex had no interest in Our kids move out and with our newly free time we discover that we love tango. We lose our job and admit to ourselves that we haven't liked our job in years. I’ve experienced this...
2 months ago • 3 min read

A love note to disappointment

Happy October! At the end of July, I set a weight loss goal. I’m turning 55 in November and want to use the milestone to focus on my health goals. 15 pounds in 15 weeks – so doable, right? Except I’m now six weeks out and 10 pounds away from my goal. Not where I wanted to be. According to my plan, I should be six pounds away right now. 15 pounds in 15 weeks, evenly distributed – Didn’t my body get the memo? Right away, my brain offered me suggestions. I could give up carbs. I could give up...
2 months ago • 4 min read

A love note to George Bailey

I love everything I do.” A friend asked me how it was going with teaching – coaching - life and this is how I responded. My friend thought it was extraordinary. I love everything I do. After all, he knew that a year ago, my mind had drama. I wasn’t sure how I could do both, equally passionately. What even is a life coach--Holocaust educator? I had never seen one. My brain told me I would probably have to give one up. I studied my university’s retirement page like a page of scripture. It...
3 months ago • 3 min read

A love note to old books

tashlich, 2015 I own a lot of books and I want to pare down. I’m starting with the easy ones – the ones with yellow pages and cracked bindings I know I’ll never read. Even so, it’s not easy. Each one has a story – This book is from high school, that one was my mom’s. My husband and I have duplicate books from college, but each one has our own marginalia. Paring down means letting go of those moments from the past. If you have the room, it’s easy to hold on to things. We often don’t see what...
3 months ago • 3 min read

A love note to September

Happy Fall! We’re not there officially yet, but here in Wisconsin, the air already feels crisper. Fall is my favorite season – I love the cooler weather, warm drinks, the beginning of school, and the New Year. The Jewish New Year begins on Friday, the 15th. For me, it’s wrapped up with the beginning of school. New beginnings. I love them all. The first of the year. An unused notebook. Sometimes even Mondays. New beginnings are great, aren't they? We love shaking the etch-a-sketch and...
3 months ago • 3 min read

A love note to 15,000 emails (1/2 unread)

My classes start on Tuesday, so I’ve spent the last few days doing one of my favorite late-August activities: Cleaning out my email inbox of its 15,000 emails. Here’s my system: I copy them all (in many batches) and drag them to a new folder labeled “Archive 2022 – 2023”.* It’s not a perfect system. 😂 But I do start the semester with an empty inbox, which I love. It’s a gift I give myself. Every year I read articles on how to better manage email. I plan to set aside 15 minutes at the end...
3 months ago • 4 min read
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