Message from the executive director
We Redefined Women's Roles in the 1960s - Now We're Redefining Life in our 60s!
November 2012Transition Network members have a flair for articulating what’s best about this stage of life. In mid-October I joined 90 women from our dynamic Philadelphia chapter for the launch of their new program: BounceBackAbility - Resilience and Successful Aging. The program represents TTN at our best in many dimensions (see details below) including the warm-up discussion about “successful aging.”
I’m keeping a list of my favorite comments handy for days when I need a fresh perspective. The group said “successful aging means…
- Doing things I always wanted to do
- I don’t have to take a poll to make a decision
- I’m in touch with the finiteness of life – I don’t want to waste time
- I’m curious about what’s possible
- Having a sense of humor and zest for life
- I’m comfortable saying NO
- Having love and friendship, continuing to look forward and not look back
- Being aware of my own resiliency and the way that better comes out of worse
- Providing a role model for continuing to contribute and developing myself
- Freedom to do what I want and not care what others think
- We redefined women’s roles in the 1960s, and now we’re redefining life in our 60s, 70s and beyond.
So, what is BounceBackAbility and what does it have to do with TTN? Basically, it’s resilience, the ability to handle challenges and continue moving forward. That quality helps people take risks and make successful transitions of all kinds, so it’s fundamental to TTN’s mission of supporting women in changing life situations – and redefining this stage of life.
The BounceBackAbility program embodies many TTN themes: our quest for knowledge, deploying our professional expertise in new ways and intentional connections with fellow members exploring the same issues.
The first step was Central Ohio founder Pat Snyder’s decision to continue her education with a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology program at UPenn. As Pat says, “I got a Masters and a Medicare card in the same year.” Positive Psychology, developed over the last decade by Martin Seligman and other psychologists, looks at what’s working in our lives, unpacks it, and asks how we can get more of it.
For her service learning project Pat worked with a team from our Philadelphia chapter (Alison Taylor, Susan Collins and three psychologists who are longstanding colleagues and who brought immense professional skills to the project: Elise Freed-Fagan, Liz Rosenberg and Chrissa Merron). Pat saw that TTN’s focus on positive aging and our members’ can-do spirit were a perfect match for a program that helps participants build resilience-related character strengths. Bounce-Back-Ability is designed to build connections among TTN members as they work together.
The program will be delivered in small groups, each led by a facilitator, starting in January 2013. The program will be evaluated, tweaked if necessary, and then rolled out to TTN chapters throughout the country in the second half of 2013.
Stay tuned for updates as Bounce-Back-Ability gets rolling – we’re excited to develop a signature program for TTN chapters across the country.
Looking ahead…chapters are offering a broad range of topics in November, including self-defense (New York City); an annual meeting featuring the Red Hot Mamas, an award-winning group of dancers from their late 40s to their 80s (Long Island); self-care for wellness and growth (Santa Fe); a dance workshop and “Food of the Gods – all about Chocolate” (Washington DC); a discussion of rewriting the rules around aging and physical transformation (Central Ohio); and a screening of Poster Girl, a film about a female Iraq war veteran and talkback with the director and the film’s subject (Chicago).
In cyber-space, we’re offering a session on nonprofit boards led by nonprofit consultant Ellen McCarty – how to join a board and what you need to know once you get there (November 15th at 2PM ET) and two more Transition Network orientation webinars (November 27th and December 11th, both at 1 PM ET).
And looking ahead even further – TTN’s Cuba program is filling up quickly. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the artists and people of Cuba in the company of fellow TTN members, led by educational travel expert Road Scholar.