Finding balance in the second half of life


Anthropologists use the Latin word communitas to talk about the intense fellowship experienced by people moving together through a rite of passage, a transition from one life stage to another.

The small group of women whose stories appear here had a taste of communitas as writers for Jugglezine, an online magazine that explored the relatively new terrain of dual-earner families pursuing demanding careers while raising children and/or maintaining personal interests and relationships.

Now we find ourselves moving into a new life stage, with careers that have undergone tough transitions and abrupt shifts, children who are dating or applying to college or starting their own juggling acts, parents who need more of our time, and romantic partners and friends and causes and interests we long to engage more fully in the second half of our lives.

In New Communitas we hope to offer thoughtful writing and fresh perspectives on Survival (work, health, food, shelter, and other basic needs). Romance (love, sex, and partnership), Family (parents, siblings, children, friends), Community (regions and causes), and Fulfillment (creative and spiritual pursuits).

We hope to create a place where we, our readers, and our guest contributors can meet and talk and experience communitas as we move together through this unsettling, exciting, liminal time in our lives.


New Communitasistas

Lois Maassen knits, strategizes, sews, writes, organizes, and pulls the odd rabbit out of the hat. She lives on 10 wooded acres with her husband, Chris (who’s also her partner in Hedgehog Arts & Letters), and wishes her children, Dmitri, Paxton, and Avril, had been kept in that anti-aging Tupperware she saw on a TV show.

Christine MacLean has written about everything from celebrities and travel to institutional investing and the changing nature of work. Mother of two, she’s also written children’s books, grocery lists, and, a few years ago, a five-page love letter to her husband.

Julie Ridl writes, draws, paints, reads her way to wellness after a nasty illness. She’s exploring life after saying goodbye to her parents, after a long writing career in the design and marketing world. It’s a new day, calling for a new direction, and ink seems to be the divining element.

Debra Wierenga writes poems, essays, and marketing collateral — not necessarily in that order. Mother of Dylan, Emerson, and Eliot; Dick’s partner in D2words (and life in general); sometime teacher of creative writing: she has an MFA from Bennington College.

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