Harvest the Bounty of Your Career is a thoughtful book made beautiful with art by Michele Renee Ledoux. Deborah Windrum uses the metaphor of a tree to take one through the journey of discovering her encore career or adventure. She guides you to harvesting what you have sown by asking you to examine your roots, branches, fruits, and seeds. The book is intended for women in the autumn of their lives who are ready to evaluate their past and plan for their future. The seed for the book was planted by Deborah and her friend Susan Anthes when they began piloting workshops on retirement.
Windrum says, "The bounty is a complex of results and outcomes, both more inner or personally felt and more outer or socially recognized by others." She considers a woman's career to be more often a spiral or circular than linear. You will find, at the end of each chapter, a multitude of exercises and considerations which will deepen your experience and she suggests you chose those which appeal to you to follow through with.
What kind of relationships have you had in your career? How have you benefited from experienced colleagues? Have you mentored others? How will you celebrate your accomplishments? Might you consider a parting ritual? "...consider how much change is occurring around us in every moment, but so slowly that it defies our sense, until we arrive at a marker of time that renders it discernable." Windrum draws us to decisions by asking us to consider the sum of our actions.
One of the last few chapters is about the seasons of womanhood in general. Instead of using maiden, mother and crone, she has chosen to use maiden, maker, maven and muse which will make sense to any modern woman. Another chapter suggests ways for us to present this work to a group. I found her question sets by chapter and theme to be both provocative and useful. Lastly, Windrum leaves us with a comprehensive list of books, including some about the physiology of trees.
Deborah F. Windrum has been an academic librarian for over 3 decades and is now at the University of Colorado. She is also a writer, presenter and workshop developer and facilitator dedicated to the transformational possibilities of learning. Visit her website.
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