The main reason for my holiday last week was to attend the Annual Gathering of Growing Old Disgracefully, where I go to meet with the crones and cronies who are members of this organisation for women. I don’t think it is amiss to give it an annual plug here on my blog. Who knows, I might attract a new member or two - we do have them in many different parts of the world.
But first I should say something about the word "crone". I used to accept the common dictionary definition of "an ugly, frightening, witchlike old woman". But l have since become aware of a quite different meaning and culture attaching to the word, which I find much more acceptable. This can perhaps briefly be expressed as a crone being a woman in her third age who is to be honoured for her long life, her strength and her wisdom. And in our case, as I once wrote about our members, "women who are colourful, interesting, vibrant and full of panache"!
Our annual get-together, organised each year in a different venue by one of our local groups, has grown over the years from a one-night to a three-night event. The programme comprises one full day of workshops, with a choice of three or four offered by members, in each of three sessions. Subjects include such things as writing, drawing and painting, music, singing and dance, various kinds of massage and other therapies, and more serious subjects such as How to Be Happy, Roaring Through the Glass Ceiling, The Generation Gap, Living Well With Less, and Ideas and Inventions.
On the second full day we have our Business Meeting in the morning, and the option in the afternoon of a coach trip to see the local sights, or free time to spend as we will. On all three evenings we are offered some form of entertainment, frequently participative, and we fill in all the gaps with meeting and talking to old friends, making new ones, and laughing a great deal. It is always very hard to say goodbye on the last morning and tear ourselves away, exhausted, but stimulated and refreshed.
You are never too young to start growing old disgracefully ….. in fact, I would say you need to start young, just as you need to develop good eating habits early on, in order to live a healthy, happy life in old age. You can find out more about our aims and ethos, and also how to join, on our website here.