The Transition Network – Celebrating Our
‘Pride of Age’ Birthdays – Four Stories!
By Karin Lippert, 67
Are we the most engaged and empowered generation of women over 50 in recorded history? Most days it certainly feels like it. Not only are we 37 million strong, but our generation is the first to truly embrace second adulthood and celebrate our ‘Pride of Age” birthdays.
Among the national organizations creating a road map for our generation and a voice for women who continue to change the rules is The Transition Network (TTN). Founded ten years ago, TTN has become a national community of women – 50 and forward – who support each other as they continue a life of learning, engagement and leadership in the world.
TTN is a community of vibrant women with chapters in thirteen locations around the country – from New York to California (http://www.thetransitionanetwork.org).
Last week, I had the wonderful experience of being with TTN New York City members at their 10th Annual Dinner – a joyous celebration of their continued growth as a national organization, commitment to the Caring Collaborative and Milestone Birthdays.
Four Special Stories from the Evening’s ‘Pride of Age’ Celebrants:
Madeleine Payamps, 60
Thursday, May 26 – was my 60th birthday. I celebrated by leaving a corporate job that was no longer fulfilling. Although I could have just settled in for another five years or so, I knew I would never be able to quiet that deafening voice inside my head that kept asking me, “Is this it?” So, instead of being frozen in fear of the unknown, I chose to take a huge leap of faith to pursue my passion — coaching women in transition — just like me. Without even realizing it, I’d been preparing for this moment for many years. Our finances are solid, I’m healthy and fit, and I’m ready for the next big thing! Life without a cubicle? Bring it on!
Rae-Carole Fischer, 65
The best part of turning 65 is now I have a ½ price Metro card, I use it to take the bus down to the Lincoln Plaza Cinema. When I arrive I can buy my discounted movie tickets without fear. I am told they “card you” to make sure you are really as old as you say you are! In the past I would be afraid of being “carded” and denied a discount ticket because I was under 65. Oh, the embarrassment of being denied that ticket…
The saddest part of turning 65 is that young people offer me their seats on public transportation. Besides that I am a happy camper!
About TTN: I first heard about TTN while I was reading the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal in 2008. My husband was extremely ill and I knew that our time together was finite. I suddenly realized that I would be alone for the first time in a long time and the article mentioned the Caring Collaborative …a way to connect with women who could be there to help me and where I could offer my experience to others who were caregivers for someone they loved…
It took a minute to get on the website and five minutes more to join the organization. A very wise decision on my part.
Sherry Dworsky, 70
I was an Executive Search Consultant, headhunter, for 25 years and specialized in corporate human resources for 10 years. I worked with top corporations, traveled around the country and met diverse and wonderful people. For me, the question one day became – Do I want to be sitting behind this desk, satisfying as it is, when I am 70? What comes next in life?
And now I am 70, no desk, new friends, new work, time to play. It took a couple of years to find this next new path… part time work, job search consulting, volunteering and TTN. Through TTN I have found a community of women who share a passion for new goals, intellectual curiosity and a virtual place to find the voice of our generation, along with a desire to make this next part of life the best.
Ravelle Brickman, 75
It’s hard to believe, but I will be celebrating my 75th this summer. What a strange thing to happen to someone who is still — in her own mind at least — somewhere around the age of 19.
Because I have always thought of myself as much younger than I am, I did not actually acknowledge — let alone embrace — my true age until five years ago, when I decided to “come out” at TTN’s ‘Pride of Age’ ceremony in 2006.
Admitting — to myself as well as others — that I was 70 was a great shock, from which I am still recovering. However, the shock has been ameliorated by the fact that other women in TTN, who also look young, are roughly the same age. Moreover, they are also, like me, still working in one way or another and still leading incredibly active lives.
Now that I’ve admitted to being a septuagenarian — even the word sounds grim — I have one more thing to laugh at. The truth is that nothing has changed. If anything, I feel happier than I did at 55 or 60. I am certainly better off, and more optimistic about everything that life can offer.
Of course, I’m lucky. I’m in good health, full of energy, with four fabulous granddaughters, interesting work — some of which actually pays the rent — and a busy life that allows me to keep learning new things.
I owe much to TTN, both for its credo of celebrating age and for its cadre of like-minded women, all embarked on the same adventure and all with the same positive outlook on life.
At the end of the evening, it was clear to me that TTN membership is the best gift we can give ourselves. Being part of a vibrant community of women has never been easier. Find out more about The Transition Network, locate a chapter in your city or start one, and celebrate your next ‘Pride of Age’ Birthday at a TTN event.
Visit TTN and learn more:
“It took a minute to get on the website and five minutes more to join the
organization. A very wise decision on my part.” — Rae-Carole Fischer