We met six years ago as would-be spiritual directors on the first night of our training program, which began with a week-end retreat. We finished up two years later at another retreat, and with four other members of our class formed a peer supervision group ~ which means that we meet every month or so for conversation around our experiences as spiritual directors. Some time ago, three of us realized that we would all be turning sixty this year, and this week-end we managed to pull off a mini-retreat as a way of being intentional about the "final third" of our lives.
The three of us: Two Catholics and one Protestant, two employed in church positions and one doing major volunteer work related to spiritual direction, two married and one single, six children, work experience including missionary in El Salvador, teacher, lawyer, pastor, psychiatric nurse, and diocesan staff for pastoral ministry ~ and spiritual direction, of course.
We spent a very small amount of time each of us on her own; mostly we talked. And talked and talked and talked. A few hours Friday night and nonstop from breakfast through lunch today. (We never left the dining room ~ midmorning, one of the staff members at the retreat house stopped in to ask if we knew that lunch wouldn't be served until 12:15!)
We used Paula Huston's book A Season of Mystery: Twelve Spiritual Practices for Embracing a Happier Second Half of Life, which provided a great springboard for conversation. I think we all agreed that it was particularly relevant to the third third of life; we found the topics pertinent and helpful and challenging. I would highly recommend the book to any group of people seeking to look reflectively and unflinchingly at these final decades and to approach them as a time in which to live prayerfully and authentically.
We didn't think to take a picture! But here's where we went.