We played a Life Course board games with 5 teams. Each team was a baby that was labeled “advantaged”, “disadvantaged”, or “neutral” based on their race; parents’ level of education, marriage status, and employment status; and gestation period. The game was sort of like the more well-known game Life. From the game, we realized that a series of bad things can happen to a person and it is very difficult to get over the hurdle. Also, it does not matter what race or level of advantage a person was, the situations in the game could affect anybody.
Patricia Benesh, the author of 7 Memories: Partnering To Write a Memoir also came to the retreat. Her presentation and the stories that she shared were really helpful. She guided us through the process of how to write our memoirs and practiced a little between ourselves. The examples she showed us gave me a clearer image on what to do. At the time, I was thinking what type of memoir my dad, who is my EP, would enjoy the most. There are many ways to approach this project and how to ask our EP questions. There are even techniques on how to get reluctant EP’s to share their lives and stories.
We also went on a little walk around the Martin Johnson House, the scenery was very beautiful. Just from a short walk, we noticed that it is not very age-friendly even with such a nice view. The floor was uneven and slanted, it was not very well lit, and the buildings were not very accessible.
At the end of the retreat, we drew an interpretation of our life and what we think our life would be at 80 years-old. It got me thinking of this future even though it seems so far away. It’s actually a good idea to start thinking about retirement now, so that our future would be stable during such an uncertain life stage.