CHANGING SEASONS
CHANGING SEASONS

Midlife Transition
Retreat June 21st & 22nd 2019
House of The Open Door Retreat Centre

I recall being told by a business mentor “If you really want a progressive career you have to come to head office before your early forties”. The inference was that my career was to peak in my mid to late forties and I needed to be in the right place to make the most of the opportunities! That comment left me wondering what happened after you got to 50ish? Was everything downhill after that? Well, I’ve passed the 50 marker, I am now a grandfather and heading very quickly towards the 60 marker this year! What I do know is that the last few years have heralded a major transition in my life, one I am still trying to navigate! 

Having married or not and/or brought up children, having had a career or been a stay at home parent, many of us arrive at a stage in life’s journey where the landscape of our life suddenly looks and feels very different to the one we’ve known. We’re not sure what we think about the person that looks back at us in the mirror! Where did those grey hairs and wrinkles come from? Our children have left home and we are now well and firmly in the group sociologists label ‘empty nesters’. This season of lives can be marked by a host of different feelings and emotions. A growing sense of our own mortality, seeing life in terms of what left not what’s ahead. We may be questioning the meaning of what we are doing and possibly even facing dying dreams or unfulfilled ambitions. It’s common at this stage of life we feel disenchanted with conventional wisdom and we find ourselves searching for greater honesty and integrity. Many of us still have a profound feeling that we still want to make a difference. 

This is stage of life is often described as midlife. A transition that can be triggered by a number of different factors some of which I have already mentioned. As midlife issues manifest themselves on our ship of life, we have the choice: we can batten down our hatches in resignation and resentment, we can jump ship by making wild and sudden changes like a change of job, fast sports car, a new relationship or even a life of endless recreation or we can grab a hold of the rudder and begin to steer a new course! The famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung lamented that people seemed ill-prepared to face and deal with midlife. He saw it as a significant life stage, He said ‘The first half of life is characterised by growing and doing, the focus for the second half is the flowering of personality and being.’ Midlife is not just an end but also a beginning! 

Recognising that some of our church family may indeed be in this stage of their lives we are going to provide a space for anyone who feels they want explore some of these issues in the form of a Changing Season – Midlife Transition Retreat in June 2019. The retreat will start will a meal together on Friday the 21st and a day together on Saturday 22nd June. We will be hosted by The House of The Open Door in Childwickham near the Braodway in Worcestershire. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The weekend will cost approximately £60 per person. Don’t allow this cost to be prohibitive should you wish to take part. I am sure some sponsorship may be available. Richard and I will facilitate the weekend. 

 If you’re interested please email adrian@lovedudley.org.uk