Growing A New Life / by Anne Kreamer

  Eileen Hugelier

Eileen Hugelier

Lack of institutional loyalty, by both employers and employees, means that most of us constantly churn through different notions for professional reinvention. As a hobbyist gardener, and as the growing season looms, I found the The Wall Street Journal profile of Eileen Hugelier, who "now spends her days designing, planting, pruning and tending gardens around her leafy hometown of Farmington Hills, Michigan, particularly inspiring.  "At 60, she's the owner of Roots & Shoots Gardening, which she founded in 2002."  If the notion of creating a new model for working life that includes a built-in, annual sabbatical is compelling, read on.

"In all likelihood, Ms. Hugelier would still be working in an office if she hadn't been laid off in 2001. She spent 32 years working in a variety of office-management roles for a manufacturing company in Detroit that ended up filing for bankruptcy. 'I was one of the last to be laid off, but it was still a shock," Ms. Hugelier says. 'It felt like a death in the family to see the company go under.'  Shock soon gave way to practicality—a need to pay the mortgage and medical insurance. An avid gardener and (to keep reading)