Rebecca Milliken enjoyed a 40 year career as a teacher, arts therapist, licensed professional counselor, and clinical researcher and writer in Washington D. C. After much hemming and hawing, Rebecca took a leap and closed her clinical practice without knowing what would come next. Since then she has devoted herself to exploring the opportunities and possibilities that life offers post-retirement. Via conversations with friends and colleagues, interviews with retirees, perusal of the research, and a deep dive into the literature of adult development, she has discovered the many unanticipated, surprising, and enriching opportunities that can come along during this later stage of life now called The Third Age. She has written a memoir about her own transition from a long career to an invigorating, reconfigured life of newfound passions and engagements. Inspired by her research and her own experience, she wants to encourage others to embrace rather than dread this time of life.
The Nautilus is often characterized as a symbol of growth and renewal given the way it creates ever enlarged new chambers in its shell once the smaller ones no longer fit. The spiral itself is known to symbolize fluidity and movement, leading to creativity and finally evolution. Rebecca has found this an apt metaphor for the journey one can take through retirement and beyond. When the life one was leading no longer fits, if we are lucky, we can move on, venture out of our ‘familiar’ and thus find the way to new endeavors, engagements and even, perhaps, enthrallments hitherto unimagined.