Designing My Elderhood Facilitated by David Marshak (See Bio) is an online program that invites you to explore your identity and values as you leave your work life behind and enter this new stage of life. The next course runs from September 17 to October 15, and runs on Tuesday nights between 4:00 and 6:00 pm PDT, (7:00 and 9:00 pm EDT). Course Fee: $135, for 6 interactive sessions.
Most of us in the Boomer generation have worked for many years by the time we come to the end of our working-for-pay lives. Our work has become a major source of our identity and for many or most of us, our work has given meaning to our lives.
So, what’s next? “Retirement” in the conventional sense is a withdrawal from our previous lives. Move to Florida or Arizona and play golf or tennis and sit in the sun for 20-30 years?
An alternative is the path of Elderhood. In pre-modern societies, elders drew on the insights and wisdom they had gained from life experience to offer guidance and leadership to their communities—and particularly to the younger members. Although aging just happens, elderhood emerges only with conscious choice and imagination.
Elderhood provides value to others and meaning and value to the Elder. Elderhood is about a new kind of engagement, creativity, and service. It is the opposite of retirement.
Designing My Elderhood invites you to participate in three two-hour conversations, every two weeks, with a small group of 4-6 peers and a facilitator-participant. We ‘meet’ online via videochat (on Zoom or a similar app). The meetings are scheduled for the convenience of all participants.
This program will give you an opportunity to explore who you want to become as an Elder.
Elderhood or retirement? Your choice.
What participants say about this program:
“I loved the way that we could talk with each other openly, with trust and mutual respect. I felt cared for, heard, and appreciated.”
“I really value the opportunity to explore what being an elder means for me—and to hear what perspectives, insights, experiences, and questions other people had about elderhood.”
“I’m at the end of who I was. But I’m at the beginning of who I might become. That’s exciting to me.”
“By the end of the third session, I had articulated several ideas to myself for what I wanted to do next in my community to serve as an elder and really feel into what this means for my heart and soul.”
David Marshak, Facilitator
Co-founder of an alternative high school; public school teacher; developer of religious education curriculum for the Unitarian Universalist denomination; Assistant Superintendent in a small public high school district in Vermont; Professor in the College of Education at Seattle University, Adjunct Instructor at Western Washington University and Fairhaven College; Board Chair of Explorations Academy and founder of Explorations Academy Online; Founding President of the GIFTLearning.org formerly known as SelfDesign Graduate Institute.