My New Life Begins Here

Meet MORE’s new editor-in-chief, Lesley Jane Seymour.

By Lesley Jane Seymour
MORE Editor-in-Chief Lesley Jane Seymour (Photo: Greg Delves)

I didn’t think anything on earth could lure me back into the magazine world. Over a 29-year career, I’d achieved all my professional dreams and more, climbing the fashion publishing ladder to become a writer for Vogue, beauty director at Glamour, and finally editor-in-chief of YM, Redbook, and Marie Claire. Along the way I wrote a couple of books, married a wonderful man named Jeff and had two amazing kids, J.J., now 17, and Lake, 12. How much more success could a woman want?When my last job came to a crushing end two years ago (and yes, in another letter I’ll share details), I retired from publishing. It was my dear friend Peggy Northrop, then editor-in-chief of MORE, who convinced me that this was not the end of a career but the beginning of a new path. She insisted I describe my dramatic change of life in a piece about retiring my Chanel blouse for more suburban duds ("Dressing for My Next Life"). It was the beginning of my own midlife reinvention.In the first weeks after leaving my job, I found myself still rising at 6:30 a.m., scrambling into high heels and makeup and rushing…nowhere. I felt as though I’d been thrown off an airport conveyor belt and landed on the floor, knees skinned. But gradually, with the help of friends and family, that summer I learned to relax and to hit the beach midweek when the rest of the chairs were vacant. I hunted down a new wardrobe of casual-but-not-too-casual pieces. And I became such a master of shopping the sales that I now believe the only thing that stands between each of us and that perfect pair of wedges is time, not money.Most important, I was able to reconnect with my kids, who’d known nothing but nannies and au pairs since the day they were born. After they got over the shock of what a taskmaster their real mom was (I never give in to a pile of clothes on the bedroom floor!), they began to enjoy having me around.I had no clue what my next act would be professionally, so I explored some of the avenues I’d never had time for. I took advanced cooking classes and learned to bake the perfect cake. I joined the League of Women Voters and got to see firsthand how many smart, dedicated people are working behind the scenes in small-town America. I spent a week in Rwanda writing an article about women who survived the genocide and were pulling their country together again by selling baskets (see the article here). And then I got the chance to become editor-in-chief of MORE, and I realized it was the only magazine job that could possibly tempt me — because MORE is about the adventure of midlife, about getting to reinvent ourselves with the benefit of all the experience, confidence, and style we’ve acquired over the years. And because MORE has 1.3 million of the most amazing readers on the planet. Your stories and your voices have made this magazine a success, and I know I’ll continue to be inspired by you in the months to come. I’ve learned that this time of life is not so much about destinations as about the journey — and I look forward to enjoying every minute of it with you. Write to me at lesley@more.com.Originally published in MORE magazine, June 2008.

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