What a stupid word retirement is. In Spanish, the word for retirement is jubilation.
If you were lucky, you went to camp as a child. If you didn’t go, you probably heard about it from friends or read about it in books.
Camp is for kids. Always in summer, it’s a carefree time, filled with fun, sun, friendships. There’s usually a lake (canoeing, swimming, waterskiing) and campfires (story telling, singing and s’mores). You made new friends, learned new things, hiked, learned to love rest hour and even rainy days, and had a soulful, deep connection to nature and to yourself. In other words, bliss.
I welcome you to Camp Liza: a “virtual” camp for women who find themselves at a precious moment in life. Our bodies have aged, but our minds and souls are ageless. Our hearts are big and sprite. We’ve had big lives — families, careers, homes, all of life’s triumphs, disappointments, deaths among friends and family, and find ourselves at this moment wondering, “what does being an older woman mean”” and “what do I mean, now?”
No one teaches us how to “be old.” No one teaches us how to “retire.” And what a stupid word retirement is. Retirement means stepping back, drawing away. And we are not stepping back. We are stepping forward, drawing closer to our hearts and our most authentic lives ever. In Spanish, the word for retirement is jubilation. That sounds a lot better, doesn’t it? I’m not retired, I’m jubilating.
We are finished with all the shoulds. We’ve had the trials and triumphs of careers and raising a family. One minute, we’re at the top, and the next, we’re off the pedestal. What do we mean in a society that is youth focused, sex crazed and materialistic? Where is our place, what is our role as older women? How can we not be so invisible or rendered useless by society that is focused on money, status and consuming.
Older women are devalued by society. Until recently, we were invisible. Role models such as — Miuccia Prada, Hilary Clinton, Meryl Streep, Tina Brown, Christine Lagarde, Diane von Furstenberg, Ariana Huffington — are changing the concept of “old woman.” Banish the word, crone. We are priceless, precious diamonds. Powerful queens, empresses, goddesses. We are brilliant and accomplished. We are compassionate and loving. We have time and money. Yes, ma’am.
My lovelies, come take your seat at this table!