My name is Elaine Yap and this is my story. A friend told me about the Daughters of the West course and I jumped at the opportunity to do it last year. I had just retired and thought I needed help to structure this stage of life.
What attracted me to the course? It seemed to be about being in a group about opening doors to new experiences, about talking to others more experienced in retiring.
Friendly volunteers welcomed me into the class. They took my name and gave me a welcome pack. They helped to make me feel comfortable in a new group. Each week brought familiarity and ease until the separate classmates became a community of trusted people as we opened and shared bits of our stories. We have found some easing in our togetherness. That is magic, unlike so many other courses that failed to do this, so the process is quite remarkable in 12 weeks.
The content of the course is common – health promotion to enhance wellbeing with opportunities to try all offerings of exercises that open so many doors to ourselves, our likes and choices.
So the course had a powerful impact on me. It helped me bridge the gap to where I am now: it helped me identify what I can do in retirement and how to do it. It showed me a way to move forward into the community. I followed this up with a leadership course. This too is a journey quite unlike the other leadership courses I had done in my career years. The process too has been a comfortable easing into volunteering for a chosen organisation that fits my philosophy of life.
So here I am, alive well and things held temporarily in abeyance because Covid19 came. But,…I am ready to sail gently into the community whenever…