If the following story doesn't make your re-examine your life to make sure you are doing exactly what you want, I don't know what will.

Let me tell you about someone I met the other day, a woman who is grateful that she is putting in 60-hour weeks these days, even as she is about to turn 70.

The reason she is happy to be going to bed exhausted each night is that she has been given a second chance.

After having a handful of white-collar jobs following graduation from a large state school in the Midwest, she stumbled into a "not so fulfilling" civil service career starting when she was in her mid-30s.

"I stayed too long and one day I woke up and I was 55 and it was easier to take the early retirement package they were offering than it was to do anything else," she said.

A couple of years ago, a random email exchange with an old college classmate led her to start working for a local college that has a pilot program designed to help smart inner-city kids, who never thought about going to college, enroll. The woman's job is to provide support to them once they are there and her first batch of kids will graduate in June.

"I can't tell how happy I am," she told me. "I also can't tell you what I was doing the 12 years previous, the time between I took early retirement and I started doing this."

I have been thinking a lot about this woman recently.

First, she spent the first 35 years of her working life doing "not much," as she put it. And then the 12 years after that doing less.

I find this chilling.

I understand that some people work as only a means to an end. It gives them enough money to do what they love to do: Travel, garden, volunteer, play in a band.

But this wasn't the case here. The woman, until a couple of years ago, never did much at all.

I am glad that she was given a second chance.

And I just promised myself that I will do everything in my power to make sure I don't need one.