Taking another new step forward

Well, here I am branching out.  Since I started writing this blog 13 months ago I’ve been thinking that at some point I’d like to synthesize some of the things I’ve learned about retirement and start doing workshops to help other women make this transition a little more gracefully – and with less angst – than I have.  It has taken me a long time to figure out what I would actually do in such a workshop and finally I’m ready to take the leap.  crones_logo_lt_smOn October 21 – 25, 2009 (the last week of my first year of retirement) Crones Counsel is holding it’s annual conference – this time in Atlanta, Georgia.  It’s their 7th fall meeting and the theme is Transformation: Spiraling Through Life Within and Without. It’s an opportunity for women of all ages to gather and share stories and enrich connections to ourselves, to each other, and to the world.  The conference is committed to processes that promote equality, encourage diversity, support personal empowerment, and honour the value to society of older women’s wisdom and accomplishments.   Am I excited about this?  For sure.  Am I nervous?  Absolutely!!

I’ve never been to a gathering like this before.  I’ve spoken at numerous conferences but they’ve either been academic ones (with University faculty as the audience) or educational ones (with elementary and secondary teachers and parents as the audience).  Instead of being set in a university or school, this time I’ll be staying on 227 wooded acres on the Chattahoochee River – at the Simpsonwood Retreat Center, with crisp morning air and trees ablaze with vivid red, bronze and gold.  Instead of publisher’s displays there will be a labyrinth to walk through and trails that ramble through the woods.  All of that, and the company of women who have moved past mid-life and who embrace their age, learn from the examined experience of their lives, and appreciate the wrinkles on their faces.  Seems like most of all these are women who are willing to tell the truth about their lives.

crones image 1Will I fit in?  Will I have anything to offer?  I think that I’ve learned to walk in my own truth and that I’m committed to moving forward in life with all of the gusto I can muster.  But … will I belong here?

This is a gift to myself on my final week of my first year of retirement.  I can hardly wait to go.  Want to join me there?


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6 responses to “Taking another new step forward

  1. Sylvia, I would like to reprint this article in Goldivas September issue. Do I have your premission? Of course, I’ll link back to your site…

    • Sylvia Bereskin

      That would be just fine Rita. In fact, anyone who’d like to pass along to others that I’d like to do workshops (and hopefully finally write a book about women and retirement too) … go right ahead. Hopefully I’ll see some of you at Crones Counsel. If you come, make sure to come and meet me.

  2. I retired after 33 years as a nurse (RN) last May in 2008. I loved my work but not the system and management most times. So, it has now been 1 year and 4 months. I just recently stumbled upon your blog site and was overjoyed to find it! Finally, after looking all over the place for relevant information on the internet and at the library and book stores for the past year I have finally found what I was looking for at your blog. Seems most information just deals with the finances and there is so much more to it. I had told my grown son a few months after retiring that I thought maybe I should write a journal of my retirement experiences and then a book since I could not find the kind of information I was searching for. I do journal write on paper but never did start the other. And here you have done just that! I can’t begin to tell you how helpful and enjoyable reading your blog has been. I find I have experienced and am experiencing all the same questions and struggles etc. as you. I am so glad you are giving talks now on this issue and you simply must write that book! I can tell you from experience it is very much needed and will buy it! I have gone back and read I think all the blogs on your site and comments and it seems to me we all are going through the same certain stages and changes although maybe at different times and at different paces in this process. Since you are in the teaching and speaking field I think a big need for retirement information and preparation lies in the workplace and our schools way before we get there and would make this transition and journey much easier. It would be nice if this was a given/required course in the last 5 years say of our employment and retirement was maybe phased in more slowly.
    Anyway am so glad found you! I love MBT shoes too! I am struggling some with the time management thing and figuring out what’s best for me but even with all the changes and questions and struggles I love being retired.
    Keep up the journey and the blog!

    • Wow! Getting this kind of validation is soooo important; indeed I’m going to be posting something about just this next Monday. Thanks for your encouragement. I’m just about to start putting together a proposal for turning the blog into a book and of course struggling with all of the insecurity that’s connected to “putting myself out there” this way. Would it be alright with you if I used some of your words to support my proposal?

  3. What is your website? I know you had it listed somewhere in one of the blogs. I think you should list it on front page of your blog-just a suggestion. I would like to check it out.
    Some good places to check out for speaking (+ good rest/retreat and learning centers are Omega Institute in NY and Hollyhock Learning Center in BC. Also website 2young2retire-I think they do conference calls, workshops with speakers, writing etc. Tina.

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