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Women Facing Retirement:  A Time for Self-Reflection

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By Bonnie S. Bostrom

Price $ 16.95 - ISBN 0-944031-28-5

Women Facing Retirement guides the reader through a metaphoric hall of mirrors resplendent with the images of women in the potentially shattering transition from work to retirement. In an intimate and authentic voice, the author gently describes the "empty desk syndrome" and what it can mean to walk unwittingly into unexamined post-career territory. The voices of other women add to the mix, their stories artfully linked, their experiences an indispensable map. Some do well while others flounder, but every candid narrative conveys invaluable lessons.

A section of self-help exercises helps ease the transition to retirement by asking women to:

  • Reflect on important education, family, health and spiritual issues
  • Plan for a sudden abundance of available hours
  • Engage in creative life mapping
  • Gain a new perspective on work-life balance
  • Develop a clearer sense of self
  • Reclaim neglected dreams and release illusory ones
  • Begin a new life

"In these stories of retirement recovery, we hear an inward call to a new calibration of power that neither waxes nor wanes ... a sense of power that abides within each woman. This call is potent. It is a call to create, to risk a deeper order of love and to clarify that which is essentialóto know oneself. The results of this self-knowing are as varied as the contributors, but the constant thread of self-reflection is the path." -Willow Pearson, Lionessroars Therapeutic Arts and Integral Psychotherapy Center, Integral Institute, Boulder, Colorado

"Whatever your gender, age, or walk of life, this book will take you on a journey filled with delightful stories and valuable insights. The exercises at the end are an added bonus and bestow practical value beyond the thought provoking message of the text itself." -Gail Glinton, M.D., Psychiatrist, Petaluma, California

"Reading Women Facing Retirement is like having a conversation with a friend. Truthfully, when I finished reading it I wanted more. I didnít want it to be over because it is so beautiful to read. Iím so happy to have a feminine viewpoint to this stage of live because prior to this book I had viewed retirement through the lives of men and the whole notion seemed foreboding not something to embrace. Now I will give this book to my mother, and to my girlfriends to give to their mothers. This is a subject never talked about and rarely considered until it arrives. Personally, I hadnít given much thought to retirement and my assumption was that somehow everything would magically take care of itself. Iíve been focused on a new career as a marriage and family therapist that my energy stays in the present without thought of the future. I believe that many women my age never consider that life has such a drastic change in store.

I'm thankful that I read Bonnie Bostrom's encouraging, delicately instructive, guide to retirement. Her commitment "to helping women make retirement a great time in their lives" resonates throughout every chapter. I took to heart each story, each voice and felt comforted by the truthful and inspirational journey of every woman. Iím now beginning to picture myself in a different future, to see retirement as an opportunity to connect and reconnect with the parts of myself lost "in the mundane business of living". By incorporating the concepts of living a balanced life now and continuing to develop creatively I will be to avoid the retirement blues. I will begin my eventual retirement journey into healing and wholeness "with grace and agility", Bonnie Bostrom style."
-Elizabeth Shoemaker, M.S., Marriage and Family Therapist

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Darkened Mirror Women can become so accustomed to the reflection they perceive of themselves at work that when they retire it is difficult to find the person they truly are.

Chapter 2. Rose Tinted Glasses Young women and those who have not given retirement much thought may have naÔve ideas about what is in store for them.

Chapter 3. Images of Power Women get caught up in the snares and illusions of positional power and run the risk of feeling great powerlessness at leaving the workplace.

Chapter 4. When the Mirror Breaks When women are forced into retirement by circumstances beyond their control the adjustment is often tumultuous and painful; occasionally joyful.

Chapter 5. Disrobing Before the Mirror Unfortunately, retirement usually occurs when we are already dealing with frightening and unpleasant issues around aging in a society dedicated to youth.

Chapter 6. Dragons in the Mirror Some women are caught totally unprepared for the depression that hits as a result of seratonin deprivation, the radical transition into unstructured time and the lack of the usual networking available in the workplace.

Chapter 7. Seeking a New Reflection These stories tell about women who retired well and inspire us as models of how it can be done.

Chapter 8. Dusting off the Mirror of Dreams At retirement we have the chance to live out dreams of our youth and we have to become even greater risk takers than we have ever been before.

Chapter 9. A Closer Look Now, right now is the time for self-reflection whether you have retired or are just thinking about it; time to take a good look at the present and plan your future life.

Chapter 10. Uncovering the Mirror: The Spirit Within The journey from the darkened mirror to the spirit within is a journey of the self and retirement offers an opportunity to know that self in a new and meaningful way.

Exercises: These exercises are provided for you to use individually and in groups/seminars in preparation for retirement or to facilitate a deeper appreciation for where you are in your journey.

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