Challenges and Dreams – Rites of Passage into the next stage of our lives
Each of the crones in the Crone Club set themselves a dream and a challenge and vow to complete them. The point being that these are ‘Rites of Passage’ to help them grow and to lead them into the next stage of their lives.
This idea grew out of my own experiences. I first recognised the importance of challenges and dreams as “Rites of Passage” after the break-up of my disasterous first marriage to an alcoholic in my 30s. Like many women at the tail-end of a bad marriage, I found that my identity and self-confidence had been considerably eroded. My response to divorce was to complete three personal challenges within the space of three months: I undertook a 30 mile sponsored walk, a parachute jump and took myself to Crete to live and work. The sponsored walk was a pure challenge. The parachute jump was both, because it was something I had always wanted to do after having been recommended it years ago by my uncle who was a parachutist in the war. He told me that it was the most wonderful feeling in the world and he was right. The move to Crete was the fulfillment of another old dream. I had always wanted to live and work abroad and Greece had been a dream destination after reading Geral Durrrell’s ‘My Family and Other Animals” at school. But indeed, it was also in itself quite a dramatic challenge. I had never been to a Mediterranean country, so I had no idea what to expect. I gave up my job and my flat and as ‘The Magic Bus’ (as it was called by the young backpackers) pulled out of Victoria Station for the first leg of its 72 hour journey through Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia and Greece to Athens, I freely admit that I had some qualms.
But the dream is as important as the challenge and you have to conceive of what you want out of life before you can reach for it. I had the most wonderful year in Crete. I fell permanently in love with Greece, made friends who are still dear to me and most importantly of all, I met Vince, my husband. He was part of my dreams. As my first marriage broke down, I had longed more than anything else for a husband, who was a friend and companion and in Vince I married my best friend. Last July we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
As I now enter my sixties I feel the need to set myself new challenges and dreams. In fact, for me there is just one big one. It is both a challenge and a dream. I intend to retire from teaching in a year or two and I want to become a full-time writer. I want the Crone Club to become a series of books. The other six are already planned in out-line draft. The next book “Crone Club Mayhem” should be ready in late Spring.