by Carol Sanford
I’m sitting here at my computer, looking out the window to the lovely, sunny, Seattle afternoon. What a perfect day to feel terror wrapping its tendrils around the pit of my stomach.
I have only a few months left to begin bringing in enough money to stay put in the 55+ community I have grown to love.
Our community is income restricted, so there are many senior women in the financial weeds along with me. Some have seen their 401K’s decimated; others, like me, have made foolish choices about money.
I have a loving and generous family which helps keep me afloat, but the assistance I receive is coming to an end next March.
So I was thrilled to discover the Older Women’s Legacy Workshop, and the possibility of keeping body and soul together by teaching, something I love doing.
I purchased the OWL materials and have been offering the Workshop here at my residence gratis. I have gained valuable experience while giving my neighbors something priceless . . . a voice to tell bring their personal history to life.
Over the five-week Workshop, as class members got comfortable with one another and the class structure, they began writing from the heart. Some of the stories were very funny; others brought tears of recognition; still others had heads nodding in agreement . . . “Oh, yeah; I’ve been there too.”
With one Workshop under my belt and another one starting in September, I began feeling confident about taking the Workshop public. I created a brochure, business card, and a blog. Lots and lots of work. But I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.
I began making calls in earnest on Monday. It’s Wednesday and I still don’t have a Workshop set up. Self-doubt reared its ugly head earlier today: maybe my brochures are, in reality, pretty crappy; maybe I’m no good at selling myself; maybe the blog is a disaster; maybe no one has any money to spend on the Workshop; maybe no one likes me!
Ironically, I posted this morning about the positive psychological effects of blogging. According to one source, blogging releases dopamine, so I should be feeling calm and relaxed, as if I were listening to beautiful music while gentle waves lap on a sandy beach just outside my door.
Time passes. After my regular Wed. evening bridge game, I compulsively check my email. OMG. There it is: a response from the Creative Retirement Center. I fill out forms, fire up the scanner, send off the requested information.
Now I wait. And write a press release. And look at my Linkedin connections. And decide to advertise in local senior publications.
After retiring from the non-profit arena where I raised money and wrote and designed marketing materials, I’ve begun teaching the Older Women’s Legacy Workshop. I’m also a mixed-media artist and digital designer. You can visit my website: http://www.writefromlife.com