Writing your memoir is a profound gift to yourself and to those with whom you’ve shared a walk down difficult paths.
A recent sidewalk malfunction left me face down on the pavement.
Though little time elapsed between slip and splat, I saw my life – past and future – flash before me. The past looked, well, like the past. No surprises there.
One enchanted evening, 37 years ago, I met Ann at an industry dinner party. Sitting next to one another at a large round table in a noisy restaurant, conversation soon revealed we’d both grown up in Brooklyn, attended – at different times – the same high school and college, and later lived one block from each another on the same street in Manhattan.
There’s no advance warning system to predict one’s response to retirement.
You can chat yourself up before the actual day arrives. You can bathe in some fuzzy ‘before-glow’ about the leisurely life you’re about to experience. However, nothing can prepare you for the moment your world shifts from deadlines and demands to dead time and sweat pants.
Stung by a Millennial colleague who’d branded her an old lady, Connie did not drown her sorrows in a glass of Chardonnay. She took stock of the sobering situation with characteristic determination.
Connie remembered the discomfort of her first business meeting.
A cocky college grad with a newly minted business degree, she entered the conference room tucked inside a bubble of scholastic self-confidence only to leave an hour later with a stunned sense of reality.
Similar to the positive, indelible first impression one wants to make on the first day of work, a signature transition to retirement can be just as meaningful.
Can you drive fast enough to catch up with 60 years? Marcia Orland, 76 years old and 12 years into a second career as personal historian, decided to find out.
I confess. I’m in love with the blank page.
It’s a metaphor for how one comes in to the world. The moment you announce yourself with a whimper or scream your blank page begins to fill with memories. Throughout childhood – when you are most vulnerable – memories are often written for you. Not all of them happy.