MEET MINDIE BARNETT…
FAMILY: Parents Rick and Sandy Barnett; sister Carolyn Kellerman; children Arielle, 9, and Julian, 6
SYNAGOGUE: Temple Beth Sholom
HOBBIES: Running, singing and dancing
INSPIRATION BOOKS ON HER SHELF: “Einstein and the Rabbi” by Naomi Levy and “The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod
As Mindie Barnett describes it, “intermissions” are breaks in life between “acts.”
A recent divorcee and career switcher who became a bat mitzvah last year, Barnett has gone through several intermissions over her adult life. These were challenging times naturally, but Barnett emerged from these breaks with a clear picture and the fortitude to pursue the dreams and goals that would define each upcoming act.
Convinced that the lessons she learned along the way could help others who find themselves in their own intermissions, she is penning a motivational book based on these experiences.
“I had an intermission going from my news to PR career,” explained Barnett, who spent 10 years working as a television news reporter and anchor primarily within the Philadelphia and New York regions before starting Marlton-based MB and Associates in 2003. “It wasn’t like I woke up one day and decided to go into PR. I identified as a news anchor and loved what I did. But there was also a lot I didn’t like so I started weighing the pros and cons and ups and downs of starting my own business. I also recently had another intermission when I decided to end my 10-year marriage—and to do so with grace and friendship with my now ex-husband while also making a smooth transition for my children.”
She continued: “These were huge feats to take on. The book is basically a how-to on making transitions, whether its career related, such as stay-at-home moms who want to get back into the work world or the reversal of wanting to stay home with family and giving up a career, ending a marriage like I did or an unhealthy relationship. How do you find the power to go from Act 1 to Act 2 without losing yourself, which is easy to do? How do you maintain a sense of self-confidence?”
Not surprisingly, the book is called “Intermission.” Although she is still in the writing stage, Barnett has secured a publisher and is already scheduled to speak at Cong. Beth El at a future undetermined date later this year. “Intermission” will be available on Amazon in the fall, timed with the Jewish New Year. The print version debuts a few months later in time as a secular New Year resolution-maker.
Several chapters focus on the power of spirituality, she said, noting that while she only recently has embarked on structured Jewish studies, she has always been a believer in the positive power of prayer and reaching out to God.
For Barnett, who grew up in a secular household in Medford, Judaism gained more relevance in her life when she was a student at Hofstra University. There she joined a Jewish sorority and started meeting more Jewish friends. Her connection strengthened with an opportunity to study in Israel and intern with CBS journalist Bob Simon as the Jewish state was readying to give up the Gaza Strip. But it was while going through the process of divorce and obtaining a “Get,” a Jewish divorce, that Barnett started thinking seriously about learning more about her religion. Fortunately, a bat mitzvah class for adults at TBS was seeking students at that time. She said learning about her religious roots as an adult was an amazing experience that helped her greatly through that intermission.
“These days God is often taken for granted,” she said. “People don’t even look to God sometimes (to draw strength) and He’s there for all of us.”