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THE WOMEN OF TTN

Our members are the heart and soul of The Transition Network.  Our chapters are born, nurtured and grown through the vision and energy of these exceptional women. And they come to TTN with wonderful life stories of successful careers, diverse families, and plentiful life experiences to share.  

Browse through our Member Profiles to learn more about what brought our members to this point in their lives, what they are hoping to accomplish next and how they view their impact on the world.

Luanne Mullin

I caught up with Luanne one Saturday morning as she was enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee, reading books, and contemplating new chapters in her life. It is a Saturday morning treat, she says, as most days she is rushing out the door at 7AM to get to her job. Saturday mornings are a time to focus on things that are important in her life that aren’t connected to her work life but are more directed toward “what’s next”.

Luanne, where are you in your life and what do you see ahead that excites you?

I’m beginning to shift gears again. It’s something I often do in my life. I love my job at the university but I find myself looking for my next adventure, my next “career”. What haven’t I done yet that I’ve always wanted to do? When you work 40 hours a week, it is hard to fit in all the other things that you want to explore. I have the curiosity to want to give something else a shot.
 
Recently, I had lunch with some women friends I really like. We discussed what it was that brought us together and why we clicked. We agreed that all of us have this eagerness to constantly try new things, to experiment with different careers, to take chances without knowing the outcome. And all of us are over 60! I think that is what I really enjoy about TTN. It is full of women who have broken the mold and are doing things that are not necessarily expected from women our age and loving every minute of it. We share in each other’s accomplishments while getting excited about our own potential. Even though I plan to live to at least 100, I realize time is moving very fast and I need to move along in order to get it all in. I think the idea that life still has lots of possibilities at any age is energizing and exciting.

Where do you think this need to change comes from?

Besides being the daughter of a military man, where change was a constant, I’ve had something of a frenetic career, if you can even call it a career. I’ve been in the arts, as an actor, worked for a ballet company and was in public relations for a major hotel. I even ran a recording studio in San Francisco for several years. After receiving a Masters in Administration, Social Policy and Planning from Harvard, I joined with others to start a regional theatre company. Not the typical career path for someone with this degree. Ha Ha. A few years later, still feeling the academic urge, I received a Master’s in Clinical Psychology, thinking I wanted to be a therapist. But rather than following through with licensure, I opted to take this job as a project manager at the University of California where I have been for the past fifteen years. And I’ll have to say that my experiences in psychology have certainly helped in this job where I manage and facilitate large teams of contractors, architects, scientists and professors in order to create state of the art laboratories. It is very rewarding actually to see a completed project for others but some day I hope to assemble a team to create my own vision or dream.

Do you have any sense of what this dream might be?

I have a few ideas. A few years ago, I started writing a book about a women, like me, who are over 50 and never had children either by choice or circumstance. Do we have any regrets? Any feelings of loss? Or rather, as I was finding, was life fuller than we could ever imagine, even now? After a year of researching, interviewing and writing a proposal, I came to realize that not only was there not enough time to devote to this book while I was working full time but I wasn’t a skilled writer and the process was becoming too demanding. So, for now, the book is on the back burner but I keep thinking I’ll find a “project team” to continue with this book when the time is right.
 
The idea that is taking center stage with me now is starting an Institute where great minds come together to stimulate, enliven, inspire and educate individuals about finding purpose, passion and self-fulfillment in mid-life and beyond. It will be a place to explore ideas, cultivate opportunities, discover talents and contribute to debates on human and global issues. I find this idea terribly exciting and I’m gathering folks in my area now to brainstorm how to make this happen. We all age and have to face that fact at some point. How we do it is up to us. Why not explore all options?