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Bev’s Retirement Plan, 2021

Posted in Bev's Blog

My First Blog Post!

OK ok,  so you want to know specifically what I am going to do in my ‘Retirement’ now that I have joined the octogenarians!

Be assured, I have appointed myself as the (CEO) of the whole entire Te Wahi Ora Women’s Retreat! 

Dining room, Te Wahi Ora Women’s Retreat 

My reign begins at sunset until the ‘real’ staff arrive at 10am the next morning and resumes again when the `real` staff leave at 7pm.   Perhaps some would call this being the night caretaker but I often have to switch off Te Wahi Ora’s lights at night which requires technical know-how and has far-reaching financial ramifications!

Dace Kalnina, the real incoming manager in full flight at lunch during our first ‘Women’s Surfing Weekend’ retreat 2021.

Besides being the night-watch, I plan to spend more time with Te Wahi Ora guests, the garden, the beach and bush, blogging and building connections between Te Wahi Ora and the Piha community.   

I’ll continue offering spiritual and counselling support to guests and lead the Senior Women and The Wild Winter weekends until new workshops and leaders emerge.

I’ll stay, for a time, one of the Trustees as Te Wahi Ora enters its 3rd phase of life and I, my second to last! 

After all, I still wake up every day totally committed to what might lead to the transformation and enrichment of women’s lives everywhere!

But, as is the case for all the ‘elderly’, my full-time job will be…… to learn how to age to perfection, as one of my birthday cards last month exhorted me so to do!

The celebration on receiving my OBE (Over Blimmin’ Eighty)

I have received plenty of advice on how to ‘Grow Old Disgracefully’, what supplements and diets I need to swallow, how to keep well-meaning younger people from ignoring me or deciding my choices for me; 

I know that a brisk walk every day will work wonders and that I need to stop wanting TV programmes and others generally, to speak clearly using well-formed lip movements, as in most TV advertisements!   That is never going to happen.   Well, not while hearing is totally the deaf’s responsibility  if we want to enjoy conversations, films or TV! 

And, most importantly, (and I think I’ve just transgressed it already) I must never complain!   WHAT, me become a grumpy old woman!   Never!

What I don’t get an over-abundance of advice about, is the vital need (at any age) of a continuing sense of “purpose, meaning and value”.

For the first time in my life, I have experienced the fear and exhilaration of coming out into a totally new landscape via Piha’s terrifying Blow Hole! A highly significant and scary process for me!

If, as the 19th century poet Robert Browning, wrote in his poem “Grow old with Me”, that “the first half of life is preparation for the second half ” … what if … (I keep asking myself this when thoughts of dying keep intruding into my new relaxing lifestyle), what if …. the second half of life is preparation for the next ‘life’, my next existence!   Gulp! 

Well, then the juices start to rise again!

And the mystery and transformation of Life and Death inspires me to stay with my eyes wide open, my mind – when I find it – expandingly conscious, and my body, creaking as it does, vibrates with anticipation! 

I’m rearing to get into it; to hear how other octogenarians are discovering and implementing their last spiritual paths; to be an active participant, physically perhaps but definitely Spiritually and emotionally, in the next phase of women’s development into a much greater understanding of the power of our femininity; and to discover and learn the new inner and outer skills I’ll need, to keep up with all of this.  

I hope I’m ready for the shocks of aging! I know I’m ready for the blissful moments – like afternoon sleeps! But right now, this is the life I want to live (for as long as possible) at Te Wahi Ora, and the unfolding path of women’s spirituality that I want to explore with women in my Blog …and over the meal tables!

So there it is!            

With Dace at the helm; Vanessa handling the finances and bookings; Anita and helpers working in the Te Wahi Ora’s garden; a great team of Hostesses and cooks running the house; a new Board of Trustees; Sarah managing our Website and Facebook for years, and wonderful teams of donors, supporters and guests.

Bev Holt
Co-founder/ Trustee
Te Wahi Ora Women’s Retreat, Piha