After a 30 years career in organisational, team and personal development Ann ‘retired’ from Police Scotland in 2015 from her role as a Leadership Development Consultant.
As she prepared to leave, she realised there was more she wanted to achieve, and so the following September she undertook a Masters in Applied Social Research. She enjoyed the experience, particularly being with young people who helped her find her way in 21st Century academia.
At that time, Ann and her husband had three frail parents in their 90’s, adult children in their 20’s/30’s as well as a growing number of grandchildren. It was challenging time for Ann as she experienced the stretch that many of the baby boomer generation have in supporting different generation at the same time as well as her studies.
Ann’s research led her to the work of Mary Catherine Bateson who proposed a new stage in Erik Erikson’s adult psychosocial development model that she called “Active Wisdom”. This new stage sits between the Erikson’s original mid-life time of Generativity and that of Old Age. This new stage arises due to the healthy longevity that many of Ann’s generation now enjoy.
Mary Catherine describes the “virtue” of Active Wisdom as being about sharing insight gained from rich life experience, combined with new levels of experimenting, travel, study, and a refreshed interest in giving back to others. The “vulnerability” of this stage can be an attendant loss of identity that leads us to withdraw rather than whole-heartedly engage with new possibilities.
Finding this research was pivotal in helping Ann to understand this stage in her life and led to her passion to explore this concept in a new on-line programme called Active Wisdom: An Inquiry into Elderhood. Information on this new program can be found at http://bit.ly/AW4HOME