“When I went to the Wisdom Years Weekend, I had just lost my mother. I was doing some soul searching - starting to wonder ‘what next?’ and asking questions about my physical fitness, my intellectual growth, my emotional health, and my spiritual connections. I worked on those four areas during the weekend and came out with just a great personal strategic plan to improve in all of them.

“I realized that my occupation, which I’d planned to do into retirement, was very sedentary and I needed to take care of my body, so I started to train again. I lost about 30 pounds, my cholesterol is down over 40 points, and I’ve run three marathons. I also went back to painting in watercolors. I hadn’t studied since I was about 12 and my dad prohibited me from doing any more artwork. After the Wisdom Years, I went for training with a teacher from the Art Institute and I’ve been painting ever since – in fact, a year and a half ago I actually had a Best In Show painting.

“Emotionally, after fifty-something years of losses, I did my work on grief. And the answer I got was that I had the opportunity to intensify the relationships with the people that remain in my life and to not let that love and affection and closeness go to waste in longing for the ones who have passed away.

“The Wisdom Years helped me have a different model in mind for what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I came back thinking that rather than being a time when things wind down and the leaves fall off the trees, it was going to be an epic adventure. Since then it has been an epic adventure, and I love it!”

Victories of the Heart, NFP is an Illinois not for profit corporation. Donations are exempt from income, gift, and estate taxes under Section 101 of the Internal Revenue Code. Victories does not offer professional services that would subject it to regulation or registration by any state or professional licensing body.

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