We interviewed Sharon Mulgrew about three years after she attended an early 2 day workshop.
How did you hear about The 3rd Act? Why were you interested?
I was working with you at JFK University about 4 years ago, as you were thinking about it and developing the concept. You were embodying the workshop in yourself and becoming your own 3rd act. I was beginning to realize that “retirement age” was coming up on me and I was not at all interested in retiring. I had always had an upward ramp of my future that was taking me different places. Around 59-60 the ramp turned downward and I thought it was good to explore. I knew both you and Anna, and I heard your first workshop had gone well. So it was timely to attend the second workshop. I also loved the idea of a women’s workshop as I had embraced the feminist perspective in 60-70’s.
What was most valuable to you about the workshop?
Many small things…it was 2 days and allowed us to sink into material…elegant setting, soft, comfortable, safe, flowing environment…intelligent, curious women…you and Anna had thought a lot about it, activities were paced well and moved along…we each had an opportunity to hear from one another, great ideas from a lot of different visions.
For me personally it was a challenging time. I had unwittingly attended on the anniversary of my mother’s death. It hit me during the workshop…I was still going through a grieving process. But still the workshop theme for me became “generativity”. The workshop helped me come to the realization that I wanted to write –something I hadn’t thought about it before–about all the work I have done over the years.
As I was thinking about this interview I got the connection between grieving for my mother and writing. She had started her 3rd act, writing romance novels and she was not able to publish the romance novel that she had finished. My sisters and I have completed the process – publisher, edits, book cover design. We will have it out by end of Sept. It is so fascinating that in many ways my mother went through the workshop with me.
What were the outcomes for you in attending?
I have become a writer. It took me a couple of years to clear my schedule to do it. I started a book on group development while still doing my last career. It was too piecemeal and hard to do both full out. Now, I love being at home and writing. It is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I found an e-book company interested in my work with internal service agreements. Published in two sections as 2 books, it is a practical guide of all I have learned from consulting projects about internal service agreements. I am now taking a blogging course and have turned my group development course into a blog on member effectiveness in groups. And I have 3 other books in mind.
Anything else you would like to say?
Everyone owes this to themselves…an interesting retirement or entirely new career. When I heard that women might now live to a 100, I realized I can’t just sit around. There is time for at least one other career if not two. As I approached 60, with my career ramp turning downward, I had reluctantly said…OK it is time to prepare for the end of life. The workshop helped me to realize that I didn’t need to do that. As a result I am now walking again on an upward ramp.