- The second Childless Collective Summit is over, and I hope you had the chance to at least sample some of the amazing (FREE!) presentations offered! It was a pretty hectic & exhausting four days, trying to keep up with everything (and if *I* found it tiring, I can't imagine how Katy, the organizer, feels...!) -- but it was a good kind of hectic & exhausting ;) and well worth it!
- I actually missed most of the presentations on Saturday, because we were busy with haircuts and family birthday celebrations for BIL & SIL -- and I missed a few on Sunday as well -- but I bought a "Pace Yourself Pass" (again this year), which will give me access to all the presentations for a full year (as well as some other perqs). If you missed the summit in full or in part, or want to revisit some of the presentations you enjoyed, the passes will remain on sale for the rest of this week, until Sunday July 24th.
- This year's summit had 2,200 people registered, which -- as I noted last year -- is absolutely MINDBLOWING, when I think about what was out there when I first came to childless/free living 21 years ago (i.e., not a whole lot...!).
- On a note related to the point above -- it was 21 years ago today, that I made my very first post to the Childless Living message board on iVillage (which no longer exists). This was my first tentative step towards accepting a childless life, and so I consider today my "childless anniversary." I've written about it in the past several times, and you can find many of those posts tagged "iVillage Childless Living message board."
- (Appropriately -- today is also Jody Day's birthday! -- happy birthday, Jody! :) )
- Speaking of Jody and Gateway Women -- some major announcements were made at the summit about what Jody, Katy and Gateway Women will be doing next:
- Jody has said she wants to focus more of her efforts over the next few years on her Conscious Childless Elderwomen project and -- once she finishes the novel she's been working on! -- a book on the subject!
- To create more space for this, she's entrusted Katy to take on the leadership/stewardship of the Gateway Women online community. Jody will continue to be part of the community, serving as a mentor to Katy, and leading the NoMo Tribe and Gateway Elderwomen sub-groups.
- Jody will be retaining the Gateway Women name for her own work, including her Reignite Weekends. As a result, the online interactive Gateway Women community she founded had to find a new name. Members were involved in the search, and at the end of the process, the new name is: Lighthouse Women.
- In part, the name was inspired by this passage from the introduction to Jody's classic book, "Living the Life Unexpected":
Hope is a light in the dark. It is my deepest wish that you find your place in this world again through the pages of this book, and that your dream of motherhood can be put to rest with the tenderness and love it deserves. Letting go of hope when you can’t see any other kind of hope ahead is terrifying, like swimming away from the shore in the dark without any idea when you’ll reach land again. Let this book be your lighthouse; let it be your hope in the dark. Those of us who’ve already made this trip are waiting for you on the other side, and many others are in the water alongside you, each feeling that they’re swimming alone.
But you’re not alone. Welcome to your Tribe.
- In addition to her new role with Gateway/Lighthouse Women, Katy plans to continue organizing an annual Childless Collective Summit, and to continue offering some of the support circles and webinars she's been doing over the past several years.
- As a Gateway Women member, I've known about these changes for a couple of weeks now, but they were not "officially" announced outside the group until this past weekend. I am looking forward to benefiting from Jody's continuing work, particularly in the "childless elderwomen" space, and to new ideas and inspiration from Katy, whose work I've also followed and admired for several years now. We are so very lucky to have both of these inspiring women in our community!
- In her presentation at the summit, another inspiring community leader, Karen Malone Wright of The NotMom (which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year), announced a new survey of both childless and childfree women, which will update the information from an earlier survey several years back. "We need to know more about what your lives are like NOW, and how we can serve you better," she writes. "As for potential sponsors, well, we're still here."
- Take the survey here -- it only takes about 6 minutes to complete.
- I loved this Washington Post article outlining "14 ways to get out of a reading slump" -- I've tried some of them myself! :)
- From The Globe & Mail recently: "People undergoing fertility treatments need greater flexibility at work." I would agree with that.
- A few commenters said something to the effect that "People need more flexibility at work, period, not just those going through fertility treatments." Yes, that too!
- After a couple of weeks of normal service, Bloglovin' went on the fritz (again!) Thursday night. I've been getting a few (very few) posts on the Bloglovin' app on my phone, but nothing on the laptop/website. SO. FRUSTRATING.