“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” - Ecclesiastes 3:1 and revisited in The Byrd’s 1965 hit song “Turn! Turn! Turn!
2023 is a new season for me. I quietly retired in December and now, I look to the future with excited anticipation for new adventures. The big question is what to do when you stop working and suddenly have time, space, and a blank calendar.
Work was my identity. It defined me, what I did, and how I behaved. For decades, family, work, and financial demands dominated my life. Incredibly, those responsibilities, for which I am exceedingly grateful, have lightened up, and it is time for the next chapter.
This week, my calendar has no meetings, or conference calls. My life is unscheduled, except for lunch or outings with friends or family. It is liberating and for the first time in my life there is freedom to do what I want to do.
I am formulating new goals, with an intentional strategy, and a new vision. There is time to do that which I love. During my daily walk, my mind is peaceful, quiet and there is a new relaxation of just being. It is as though I am clearing out the cobwebs. I surrender and let go.
Many of my dearest friends are those I met throughout my professional career. How fortunate to have worked in philanthropy, a field that involves the most remarkable nonprofit, foundation, government, and corporate leaders with vision and the power to implement and impact real change. They inspired me daily with their enthusiasm. I am proud of my work and grateful for the colleagues and (hopefully) my personal impact on organizations, people, and programs along the way.
After more than four decades of employment, I am grateful to be healthy and have the resources to survive this next stage with vigor and courage and to rediscover my next path on this sweet journey.
I am grateful for the opportunity over the last five years to work with my colleagues at Armstrong McGuire who deliver exceptional experience and integrity to their clients. I appreciate my clients who energized me with their commitment to their mission and purpose. It has been an honor and privilege. Although I do not plan to cut my ties, I look forward to peace and surrender to the beauty of life and nature. I welcome the opportunity to slow down, be mindful in motion and find greater balance. There is time for family, long hikes, swimming, yoga, kayaking, cooking, dancing, painting, reading, traveling, singing and finding happiness and joy in a simpler life.
Raleigh continues to be my home and I look forward to finding paths for service in my community. I am guided by the words of the incomparable Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”
The Armstrong McGuire team wishes Beth the greatest of joys in retirement and we look forward to tapping into her wisdom and expertise on the occasional project.