I wrote to one of my oldest friends from Women At Woodstock, Janet Riccobono. I said I missed her, as she had to skip Women At Woodstock last year, so it’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen each other. I still remember Janet spending a day with me here in Redondo Beach a few years back when she was in LA for a family visit. I was so touched that she took time out from her trip to see me. I remember sitting on the sand, our backs against the wall on the Strand in Hermosa Beach, talking about life. I was a perfect day, and it felt like being with an old friend, even though honestly I’d known Janet for only a couple years and I’d spent a grand total of, what, maybe 12 days with her at different Women At Woodstock retreats prior to that day? No matter. This woman and I knew each other. That’s what Women At Woodstock does.
So in my email I asked Janet, how’s life? Turns out a lot has changed for her; most huge being that she’s moved from the northeast to the southeast, which involved leaving the house in which she and Rob had been living and raising two kids for 18 years. That’s a big turning point. I did it 16 years ago and I still haven’t gotten over it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for my decision, I’m happy where I am, I’m grateful to be here… but still, there’s a deep, torn loss that just goes on and on and doesn’t heal. It’s just what it is. It’s so very hard to walk away from such a place in your life and leave it behind you.
So other than filling me in on the latest in her life, Janet also said something beautiful about all her years of attending Women At Woodstock. I asked if I could share what she wrote here on my blog, and she gladly said yes. So read on and look back through Janet’s eyes:
The retreats have changed my life. Truth. And I have met some of the most outstanding (women) human beings that I would not have met otherwise. What/where would I be if I hadn’t met Linnea and had one of the deepest conversations I’ve ever had that was also the most spontaneous. Her warmth and sincerity still sit in my heart. I would never have been a BOOM products customer without having met Cindy. Her unwavering certainty that aging and dying are two separate things and that new opportunities spring up every day, not just in our twenties or thirties helped me promote and move on with coaching even when I thought I had nothing to offer. I wouldn’t have met Kathy, in my own backyard had I not been a WAW’er! You might never have met Angela Kaufman either. 🙂
Who are these incredible, generous, smart women that Janet met at Women At Woodstock?
What interesting, compassionate, passionate, accomplished, celebratory, brave women, all. And that’s just a small handful of the Women At Woodstock alums who’ve shared themselves with one another and built friendships in our very few days together year after year; supportive relationships that have lasted months, years, a lifetime, even sometimes beyond. How many of us have developed such meaningful and deep friendships so late in our lives?
I’m grateful to Janet. I’m grateful to every woman who comes to Women At Woodstock. What Janet has described here is just a tiny taste of the enrichment that has come into my life, thanks to all of the women I’ve met, and gotten to know, at our retreats. How lucky am I.