FOR THE LOVE OF RELATIONSHIPS – Embracing change, a primer for life transitions

I am living in a world of transitional change. My mother passing in February changed the rhythm of my days as I called her every morning on the way to the office just to check in. The house I moved into after a brutal divorce, which was a place of healing and peace for 27 years, just sold. The succession plan the Center for Relationship Team and I have been planning and preparing for the last 3 years is here. Starting October 1, 2023, I will no longer be the president of this amazing organization I founded over two decades ago. Some days I feel am doing well and excited to retire and other days I feel like I am being held together emotionally by duct tape. 

Seeking wise counsel for this stage of my life, I learned that workers who continued to work past retirement experienced better health and well-being. Research suggests that work provides a sense of purpose and social connection which are essential for human flourishing.

I am healthy, curious, joyful, smart and have something yet to do to make the world a better place.  I know I will enjoy not working 12 hours a day but playing golf or traveling will get old and will not satisfy my need to expand my horizons and use the gifts, talents, and time I have left to make a difference. It is in my DNA!

As God so often does, a new opportunity surfaced. I was recently offered the position of being the President of NARME, (The National Alliance for Relationship and Marriage Education).  The mission of NARME is to improve the well-being of children, adults, and families by elevating skills-based relationship and marriage education (RME) as a social norm.​ Strengthening marriage and families are important to the health of our nation as the root cause of many social challenges emanate from the breakdown of the family. Relationship Education, as opposed to therapy, has the potential for creating positive social change which is essential at this time when America can not longer afford reparative endeavors in the area of violence and crime prevention, homelessness, substance abuse, depression, suicide, school failure, and the crisis of loneliness and isolation (outlined in a new report released by the Us Surgeon General). 

The NARME Board of Directors is allowing me to work half-time and remotely so I can travel and continue to build alliances across the country as well as opportunities to increase the funding for marriage/fatherhood grants and other initiatives that strengthen families. The research concerning this issue is abundant and robust. It is my new job to inform foundations and congressional appropriators about this root cause data. 

I am working diligently to let go of the rhythm of my life being focused on building the brand of the Center for Relationship Education and embracing the transition to NARME and the opportunity to effect sustainable change by making marriage, fatherhood, and family formation cool! Opening myself to new opportunities and embracing change is a primer for life transitions. joneen@myrelationshipcenter.org