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Marlo Thomas’ It Ain’t Over: 5 Inspiring stories of reinvention

Marlo Thomas is a well-known do-gooder. Now, she has collected stories that give women of all ages the strength to dream big.

It Ain’t Over … Till It’s Ove

She is best known for her TV stint on That Girl as well as her Free to Be… You and Me series. At 76, Marlo Thomas looks about 35. She’s high-spirited and passionate. She sure is doing something right.

Her new book, It Ain’t Over … Till It’s Over, was inspired by her column with the Huffington Post of the same name. Since 2013, she has told the stories of what she calls the “Reinvention Generation.” She says age is no definer of dreams; it’s never too late to dream anew.

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Thomas chose 60 stories to include in her beautiful, passionate collection of dreams broken and dreams repaired. Here, I’ve noted some of my favorites. Here is a taste, but if you want a real meal of pick-me-ups, buy the book and remind yourself that it’s never too late to do something spectacular.

1. Natasha Coleman, weight-loss miracle

“It’s hard for Natasha to describe how it feels to have gone from a size 32 to a size 10. ‘It’s surreal to not break the heels off a pair of shoes after wearing them for only two weeks, to walk into a store and buy a dress right off the rack, to have so much energy I can’t fall asleep at night because I’m so excited about my new life.’ Natasha is a new woman — someone she doesn’t always even recognize. ‘The other day, I was walking past a building when I saw a normal-sized woman wearing the same orange-colored shirt that I had on. Then I realized it was my reflection!'”

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2. Trish B., healing from a broken marriage

“‘My “outing” as a victim helped me to acknowledge that I really didn’t want to be one,’ says Trish. ‘I knew I was stronger than that. Each public step I took away from the marriage made it clearer to me that I was better outside of it than I was in it. It took a lot for me to admit that my marriage was over,’ she says. ‘But I wasn’t sour on marriage. I had made a bad decision and would make a better one someday. I craved intimacy. I wanted a partner, but I knew that I had to become a whole person first before I could be a partner.'”

3. Heidi Ganahl, from loss to love

“‘It’s been a long, tough road for me,’ Heidi reflects, ‘but life wasn’t meant to be stagnant or easy. When you go through difficult times, you really learn who you are, who your friends are and how to find your passion in life. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, but I’d rather have had the highest of highs and lowest of lows than a boring, uneventful life. The getting-through part — that’s what has created my resilience and my belief in myself.'”

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4. Tina Reine, surgery to dancing silk

“‘On silks, I feel like I’m doing something so unique, so transfixing, that people are just blown away. And when I tell them I didn’t start learning until I was in my forties, they’re blown away even more. I feel like I’m an inspiration to people my own age.’ The most rewarding part, Tina says, is teaching kids. ‘It’s touching to watch a student master a move, and then see her feel so proud. I think about everything I went through as a kid and I know that there’s incredible value in teaching young girls to be strong emotionally, and in helping them believe in themselves. I want them to learn to persevere, in the studio and in life, just as I have.'”

5. Karen Schaler, leaving behind “the career”

“‘I’m different now,’ she says. ‘I make sure that I have more balance in my life. The truth is, to be good at my job, I had to become numb to the horrors I was covering. But the problem with going numb is that you can’t decide when to turn it on and off. I found that I had become numb in my personal life, too. I want to feel joy, to experience beauty, to be in touch with my spirit. You know you’re doing the right thing in the right place if it gives you the courage to go forward. I can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner.'”

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