Tom Duffy was the lunch time speaker for a workshop sponsored by Third Half Advisors at the Yale Club last week. He was sharing his “third half” story, a journey from full time work to a rewarding, full retirement. During his talk he emphasized the importance of being in convivium. He is described as a master diagnostician, caring healer and supporter of the humanities. I would add, he’s a poet and loves words. He believes that convivium, the gathering of close friends for deep conversation, is vitally important to all chapters of life and particularly in retirement.
Tom sees convivium as a way of connecting deeply with our closest friends. He intentionally sets up time for convivium and feels that by narrowing in with those people closest to our hearts that it broadens our conversations and deepens the connections. Connections, conversations and convivium are some of the pillars of a life after 50.
As Tom spoke, the 20 participants in the workshop listened intently. You could almost hear people thinking….Who do I need to be in convivium with?
His rich insights allowed the group to have conversations about their thinking on retirement including a rich mix of emotions: anticipation, excitement, fear, loss, confusion, energy, depletion and joy. It is a time of confusion for some and Third Half Advisors offers a way for people to come together to discuss this critical transition in life from “career” to third half (which often includes a new career!). Third Half supports people in building a portfolio approach to life where relationships, recreation, work, giving back, and learning become more intentionally balanced.
I smiled as I listened to his recommendation for spending time in convivium. I had just completed my A+ Friend Tour. I took three days to check in with four of my most beloved friends in New England. Each friend is part of a different chapter of my life and our connections run any where from 10-30 years. I walked and talked with each friend: Plum Island, Cranes Beach, and Portsmouth. Each walk filled me up as we talked, reconnected, and shared our lives. I’ve made an annual A+ Friends tour part of my life after I moved to California. I make time for convivium with these incredible women.
Who is someone you want to be in convivium with this month? How can you create some space and time to build that connection and deepen the relationships that sustain and energizes you? What happens to you after being in convivium?