Finding the Wow

How Dreams Take Flight at Midlife

When I lost my day planner it awakened a journey that had long been suppressed. I realized that I had the opportunity to recreate my life. Fast forward: I'm now a commercial pilot, a project leader for an experiment aboard the International Space Station, and an educator. I am not unique. You too can create the life of your dreams!

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Finding the Wow: How Dreams Take Flight at Midlife is the uplifting story of MJ Marggraff, a mom who realizes that she’s not happy, just busy. When MJ and her friends —the Chicks in Charge— fight to redefine their lives, they discover their strength as they face a failing marriage, long-forgotten dreams, and illness. On these pages, you will find tales of humor, tragedy, excitement, disappointment, compassion, friendship, courage, obstacles faced and overcome, and success. Be inspired to move in the direction of your dreams. As MJ often says, “Whatever your airplane is, fly it!”

 

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What are people saying?

  • avatar Maxine Clark Founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop at age 48

    "This is the perfect book, if you’re willing to ask yourself, ‘Shall I take a chance and follow my dream?’ and you want the answer to be ‘Yes!"

  • avatar Jay Lifson Executive Director at Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

    "MJ shared the 'possibilities' we all have on this tiny blue dot we call Earth. Her humor, story telling and insights entertained us and gave us all reason to ponder the path each of us takes."

  • avatar Randy Peyser Author of The Power of Miracle Thinking

    "If you’ve ever stuffed your dreams in a closet, read Finding the Wow: How Dreams Take Flight at Midlife. You will be inspired by this amazing story of how a determined mom soars to new heights and makes her dreams come true."

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About the Author

MJ Marggraff is a commercial pilot, author, and a project leader who has created a unique and new space experiment which is currently on the International Space Station. Twelve years ago she would not have listed these things about herself; but that was before making a major course correction and adding something new to her calendar —Flight School— that changed her life completely. Her latest book, Finding the Wow – How Dreams Take Flight at Midlife (Big Table Publishing, Boston: ISBN: 978-0-9886191-9-7), tells how, at age 45 and while an at-home mom of two young children, she decided to follow her childhood dreams, overcome her fears, and learn to fly.

Making a change following a passion, and learning how to fend off fear and doubt began when MJ lost her planning book, decided to refill it with her dream and then make a remarkable experience come true for others. And there were plenty of fears: starting something new, being the only mom-female-older member in a flight class of young men, worrying her family, and wondering how she could pull over if something went wrong flying solo.

Over the years, and after receiving several pilots’ licenses, more doors opened to even higher dreams. MJ became a mission support assistant and trained for sub-orbital spaceflight, published articles on her flying stories, received an award for best humor in aviation, and keynote speaker at several events. Her stories inspire others to not let fear rule our life and to realize that we can reinvent ourselves at any age. Most importantly, she hopes that readers of Finding the Wow will be motivated to do what they love. Her experiment to space is underway as a pilot project that has already inspired students to touch the stars; NASA’s education center is interested in offering it to thousands of students nationwide.

Her background includes FAA Flight Instructor, M.Sc. in Education, and leadership and management positions at Hewlett-Packard and Genetics Institute where she worked to create better teams. She is currently researching issues on long-duration space flights and the ways to help on-board crews succeed on their difficult missions. MJ has been accepted to a doctoral program where she will continue her research, during which time she will find herself in strange and distant places.

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