Last weekend I journeyed to Washington, D.C. for an experience that was every bit as inspiring as it was fun. The small women’s college I attended numerous moons ago, closed in1973, leaving many of us feeling as if we no longer had an alma mater to celebrate or from which to draw inspiration Last weekend, however, I learned how wrong I was.
The women with whom I graduated are remarkably inspiring, and I learned from spending more time with them, that we don’t need the halls we roamed then to affirm the value of our education. It’s what we took from the education that speaks of the strength of the institution we enjoyed so much.
As young women, graduating on the cusp of women’s rights and feminism, we sometimes felt torn between two worlds…the world of our mothers who generally married young and became primary caregivers for husband and children and the world of our younger sisters who graduated with utter confidence that they would make it anywhere–including the world of finance, law, business or any other profession they chose.
The world in which we graduated hadn’t heard much about women’s equality, but my classmates and our associates opened the world to an awareness that equal job opportunities must be available to all. Not only did we marry and raise children, but we also entered the job force in large numbers and proved to employers that women are reliable, smart and effective employees. Among our graduates we count judges, lawyers, at least one Attorney General, teachers, writers, superintendents, high level government employees, radio hosts, non-profit or for profit board members and scores of philanthropists and community activists.
I was struck by the significance of my experiences this weekend while reading an article by JoAnn Jenkins, CEO of AARP. In this piece she commented on the value of being comfortable with the wisdom our years have brought to the aging process and how that makes each of us a more purposeful person.
While speaking with my schoolmates, I witnessed their purpose, joy and sense of fulfillment as well as the elegance with which we have all “aged”. We bring the wisdom of our failures and successes and continue to be strong in our commitments and goals. Yes, we are far different from those years of youth and eagerness my alma mater’s song describes, but the eagerness and youthful joy remain evident in our conversations and our plans as we enter or think about retirement. That joyful, positive approach enables us to create plans that will benefit the world in which we still have a stake and influence.
A true advantage of retirement is that we generally have the time to reflect on the wisdom our experience has given us and many opportunities to share it. How will you share your wisdom today?
I hope you can join me for some exciting events this weekend where you could do All Your Christmas Shopping
Saturday, November 8, 2014
West Warwick, RI
Nora Hall will be one of the featured authors at the 2nd Annual Rhode Island Authors Expo, Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 10:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m. at theWest Warwick Civic Center. Meet dozens of local authors, buy autographed books and more at this exciting event.
SouthernNew England Women’s Expo Sunday, November 9, 2014 11 AM – 4 PM
Holiday Inn, Taunton, MA
Hundreds of authors and vendors will be exhibiting their wares at the most attended Women’s Expo of the year. Come, chat with Nora and do ALL your Christmas shopping.
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