“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.” – Robert Browning
How does your relationship with yourself change as you age? Relationships can be like puzzle pieces affecting all aspects of our lives as each of us face significant transitions in our lives. Relationships with Ourselves as We Age will be the focus of the Inn Along the Way’s Third 2022 summer “Challenging Conversation Circle” taking place at the Chapman Farm, 741 Main St. in Damariscotta on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m.
Having a good relationship with yourself as you age is the foundation for important insights and decisions about your life At the IAW’s Sept. 25 “Relationships with Ourselves as We Age” interactive discussion facilitated by Stephen Ward, panelists will be invited to share the stories about what it means to simply consider oneself, everyday. That consideration might include self-care, self-respect, goodwill and self-love.
Join Margaret “Maggie” Atwood, who will reflect upon the power of curiosity to change one’s life; Ben Cooke, who will describe the creation of stories through going places, the communal recalling of stories, and the necessity for the telling of our own stories; and Bernard “Bernie” De Llisle, who will discuss reframing oneself by turning ideas into action.
They will demonstrate through stories, words and actions that if you believe in and have confidence in yourself, you are setting up a positive environment for change within yourself no matter what your age may be. The panelists’ reflections on self will show how their puzzle’s picture has been and continues to be created as each diverse and unique piece falls into place by focusing on the present while at the same time planning for the relationship with one’s future self.
Atwood is a retired family therapist social worker who maintained a private practice in the area for over twenty years. Before settling into that professional specialty she had jobs ranging from being a detective trained to steal jewels from fancy jewelry stores in Boston in order to check on employees’ honesty, working in Boston for one of the three innovators of the birth control pill, working as a horticulturist at greenhouses in Massachusetts, Damariscotta and Camden, being the first victim-witness advocate for Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties, assisting at homicide trials in the Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Office, and being the family therapist on the locked Inpatient Psych Ward at the Augusta General Hospital. She attributes the wide diversity found on her resume to her insatiable curiosity about everything in life and her genuine gratitude for her undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. The mother of five, stepmother of three, grandmother of 10, her life in retirement is now devoted to her family, her love of nature, reading, friends, volunteer work at the hospital, exploring silence, Buddhism, and currently, her political activism generated by her constantly increasing concerns regarding the future of her children, grandchildren and beyond.
Cooke is originally from Birmingham, England. He migrated to Maine 10 years ago via the Scottish Isle of Iona, where he ran Bishop’s House, the Scottish Episcopal Church’s retreat house on the isle. Ben is married to a Mainer with whom he has two daughters and live happily in the Midcoast. Cooke is a postulant to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church and has just completed a summer chaplaincy internship at Maine Medical Center (MMC) in Portland. He has experience working in community and school-based behavioral health programs, and homeless shelters, and was for seven years director of christian formation at St Andrew’s in Newcastle.
De Llisle moved from the Adirondacks of New York to Nobleboro with his family in the early ’90s. Through the years he has started several retail and dining businesses in Damariscotta. Most recently Bernie and his daughter Olivia opened the Peace Gallery on Main Street in Damariscotta. The Peace Gallery is a collaborative focused on showcasing art and craft by veterans and providing a community space to support health, well-being, and understanding. The storefront has special meaning for the DeLisle family, as it was home to their hat-and-accessory shop Darling and DeLisle about a decade ago. Bernie served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1968-1972, and was in Vietnam from 1969-1970. Four of his five children have returned to live and raise families in the area.
Ward has been living in Midcoast Maine since 1972 and in Lincoln County since 1980. Following graduation from law school in Washington, D.C., Ward joined Maine government as the lawyer overseeing the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance and Weatherization Programs. He went on to join the advocacy staff at Maine’s Office of Public Advocate where he was confirmed as the Public Advocate serving under four successive governors from 1986 to 2007. In retirement since 2007, Ward has been an active volunteer working on homelessness, energy efficiency workshops and educational forums on the Climate Crisis. He loves to sing and at one time was an excellent Frisbee player.
Current state of Maine CDC guidelines and protocols will be followed. For the safety of all, unvaccinated participants will be asked to wear a mask.