April 2020
Upcoming Events...
Online WELCOME Orientation for
New Members
May 15 11:00 AM-12:00 PM Central Time

This webinar happens every month and is a great opportunity to “get to know TTN”. This webinar is led by Susan Collins, TTN Executive Director.

Location: Online Webinar
Contact: Jennifer Monahan at  info@thetransitionnetwork.org
Save the Date!
Join us at 11 am on Saturday, June 27th for WOMEN WEAVING WORDS!

This garden party, hosted by Terri Evans at her home in St. Michael, will feature several surprise guests and focus on the idea of WOMEN and STORY! Our guests will share their own stories with us. Attendees will receive a journal and be encouraged to do some writing and sharing of their own stories. Brunch and beverages will be served. This event is for members only with a limited number of spots available. Mark your calendars - more information to come!
As Gloria Steinem says in My Life on the Road, “For millennia, we have passed down knowledge through story and song…I discovered the magic of people telling their own stories to groups of strangers. It’s as if attentive people create a magnetic force field for stories the tellers themselves didn’t know they had within them.”
Fall Quarterly Program
Active Aging: Discover What’s Next for You 
with Keynote Speaker, Joy Loverde

Rescheduled from Thursday, April 30, 2020
to Thursday, October 29, 2020
6:00 PM in Edina 

Join us on October 29 to hear from best-selling author and national aging advocate Joy Loverde as she shares smart strategies for living your best life now and in the future. Participants will learn about the significance of the longevity revolution and aging well, along with key issues to consider, how to plan ahead, and more! Highlights of the discussion will include:

  • Obstacles to Aging in Place
  • Preparing for Solo Aging 
  • Essential Questions to Ask
  • Power of Self-Talk

Joy will reveal clear, practical, and relevant suggestions for you to build your own unique life plan for aging well.

If you have questions, please email Jill at:   j ill.goski@gmail.com

Register now to save your seat!  

Due to coronavirus, our March 14 Get Connected and our March 21 Discover Paris with the Travel SIG were both cancelled.

Do you have something you want to share with TTN MSP members? If so, please forward to Jill and Cyndy for inclusion in future newsletter at  jill.goski@gmail.com  and  clnelson03@gmail.com .

Transition Peer Groups (TPGs) are one of the programs that sets TTN apart from other organizations because they provide opportunities for women to connect on a deeper, more authentic level regarding life’s transitions. We recognize during these challenging times there may be more need to connect. Here are some options:
Join a current TPG:
Currently, there are daytime peer groups in the east and west metro area and an evening east metro group. New members to existing peer groups are always welcome. Meetings are currently conducted via ZOOM teleconference in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recommend a new TPG:
We continue to explore opportunities to expand peer groups either geographically or by topic. Examples of topics could be work/life balance; accountability groups to get meaningful things we identify done, or health and well-being. 
Suggest, organize or attend a one-time or multiple session group discussion :
Contact Barbara O’Sullivan at Barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com to set up a time to talk to ask questions or share your ideas.
Transition Peer Groups
Submitted by Sylvia Mohn

On Thursday March 12, given the rapidly emerging news related to coronavirus and social distancing at the time of the meeting, only four women attended to discuss resilience. 
Julie brought a New York Times article she’d clipped and saved (kudos for finding this!) called “How to Build Resilience in Mid-Life”, by Tara Parker-Pope. This is based on the book “ Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges ” by Dennis S. Charney and Steven M. Southwick. The article highlighted seven points:   

  1. Practice optimism (“if you were born into a family of Eeyore’s you can still find your inner Tigger”)
  2. Rewrite your story (reframe your personal narrative)
  3. Don’t personalize it   Don’t blame yourself for life’s setbacks, in the moment the difficult situation feels as if it will never end, a number of factors likely contributed to the problem. The situation is not personal, pervasive, or permanent. 
  4. Remember your past comebacks. Remind yourself of challenges you personally overcame.
  5. Support others. Strive for strong support networks. Higher levels of gratitude, altruism, and sense of purpose predict resilience. Reaching out to help other people is a way of moving outside yourself. Part of resilience is taking responsibility for your life to create a life you consider meaningful and purposeful; it doesn’t have to be a big mission. 
  6. Take stress breaks. Recognize you will never eliminate stress from your life, instead create regular opportunities for your body to recover from stress. Ex: take a walk break, spend five minutes to meditate, or have lunch with a good friend. Stress is stimulus for growth and recovery is when the growth occurs. 
  7. Go out of your comfort zone. Build resilience by putting yourself in challenging situations. Take an adventure vacation, write poetry.

Please contact Eleni Skevas at   eskevs@yahoo.com  if you are interested in joining this group. 

Submitted by Barbara O’Sullivan

Our Living with Purpose Transition Peer Group is still meeting and supporting each other in this challenging time. We are physically distancing, but continue to connect virtually. We will use Zoom meetings or conference calls until we can gather in-person again. We realize the support, comfort, information and knowledge as well as some humor we can share with each other is vital at times like this. Our lives are disrupted, but we are strong together to get through this crisis and can use this time to see what we learn about ourselves and others.

New members are always welcome. Our April meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 23 from 6:30-8:00 PM. We do have space reserved at Centennial Library which is part of the Anoka County Library system. We will meet virtually as our back up plan. Stay well in all aspects of body, mind and spirit.

For more information or questions,
Please contact Barbara at  Barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com .

Submitted by Jean Forrey

While there were only 3 of us (due to a variety of reasons), we had a great time at our March meeting. The topic was “The Playlist of Your Life” based loosely on a book by MN musician, Mark Mallman, called  The Happiness Playlist . We each had fun exploring and choosing what songs to share and even more fun listening to the excerpts and stories associated with the songs each of us chose. We easily filled the 2 hours!  Our selections ranged from Bach to 21 Pilots, Handel to Ernie, and Vaughan Williams to Greg Brown with lots of music in between. We know that everyone has a story to tell and I found it personally interesting what was conjured up while choosing my various pieces of music to “hear and tell”.

I would recommend that other groups try this activity- even if you aren’t music lovers! You might be surprised what you discover about yourself and others.
Contact Jean at  jean.4e@gmail.com  if you have questions.

“Oh the times they are a-changing”

With the closure of the libraries and the need to social distance ourselves we will be changing the format of our peer group for the foreseeable future. The date and time will remain the same, 1 st  Monday of the month from 1:00-3:00 PM. We will be using Zoom as the social platform which allows video and audio. You will receive an e-mail- or check our Facebook page ( MSP TTN West Metro Peer Group or  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1381898441968778/?ref=bookmarks . )
for further instructions.

Our topic for our  Monday, April 6 , meeting, 1:00-3:00 PM, will be about current events and how they are impacting us. Please join us via Zoom so we can share this unprecedented experience together.

For more information or questions,
contact Barbara O’Sullivan at  Barbara.osullivan@hotmail.com
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Proposed new SIG looking for
interested participants

Submitted by Jean Forrey

Do you like to putt around? Have you wanted to just hit some balls?  Do you enjoy being athletic without working up a sweat?

Join us as we explore a new Special Interest Group- PLAYING MINI GOLF!

Our first organizational meeting will be  Thursday, April 9 , from 6:30-8:00 PM. We will be meeting virtually thru ZOOM. (link will follow)

We are lucky to have local experts, Tom (Mr. Tee) and Robin (The Pink Putter), meet with us from 7:00-7:30 PM. They will advise us on courses in the Metro Area that are don’t miss- or don’t bother. The rest of the time we will be introducing ourselves and the concept and making tentative plans. The future is uncertain when this group can start; but, it’s always good to have something fun to anticipate.

Please join us! If interested, contact Jean Forrey ( jean.4e@gmail.com ) or Jan Weller ( janisweller@gmail.com ) to be added to an e-mail list.

For more info on our guest speakers and to explore lots of possibilities in the mini golf world check out  acoupleofputts.com .
Submitted by JeNell Jacobson

If you are interested in discovering more about the local art scene, join the ART APPRECIATION SIG Together we will experience many types of creative expressions i.e.: paintings, pottery, sculpture, glass, textiles. We usually meet on weekday afternoons, occasionally on evenings and weekends.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruption in our personal lives and with TTN activities. Going forward we will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as needed. No event will be held in April.

Wednesday, May 13,  join us for the Minnesota Watercolor Society Spring Exhibition at Minnetonka Center for the Arts. Some of the Midwest’s finest watercolor artists exhibit their work in this event, with awards selected by Jeannie McGuire of Pittsburg, PA. Meet at 1:00 PM at 2240 North Shore Drive, Wayzata.  https://www.minnetonkaarts.org/minnesota-watercolor-society-spring-exhibition/

If you are interested in participating or want to be on our contact list, contact Tracey Baker at   tracey.baker@gmail.com  or JeNell Jacobson at   jenell@jacobson.org .
Submitted by Robin Getman
The CCCC ( Cards, Coins, Conversation, and Canapes)  SIG is suspended until further notice; we will shuffle and re-deal when COVID-19 loses its turn. In the meantime, stay home, stay well, and seek creative ways to “play in place”. 

For more information, contact Robin at  RGetman220@aol.com
Submitted by Eleni Skevas

Six of us gathered on March 5 to discuss  Born A Crime  by Trevor Noah. Many of us had read the book a while ago and some had recently watched Trevor on Netflix. We agreed that he had a very interesting upbringing in South Africa and, as a result, he is very resilient!!!

Our April meeting will be on  Friday, April 3 , 10:15 AM-12:00 PM via Zoom. Cyndy will lead the discussion of the book  Who Will Take Care of Me When I'm Old   by Joy Loverde. This selection is in conjunction with our fall educational event on Thursday, October 29, with Joy.

Upcoming books:
May 7 -  Washington Black  by Esi Edugyan.
June 4  The Dutch House  by Ann Patchett

We meet on the first Thursday of the month from 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM.

Question?  Contact Eleni Skevas at eskevs@yahoo.com
Submitted by Beth Stockinger and Lisa Nabbefeld

On March 10, five women met at Lisa’s and had a thoughtful discussion about the book  Maybe you Should Talk to Someone  by Lori Gottlieb. Some of our regulars were unable to attend. It was interesting to hear the author’s thought process as a therapist while at the same time pursuing therapy herself to help adjust to a personal set back. As a practicing therapist, a member of our group had interesting insights and perspectives. We recommend this book to any introspective therapy savvy TTN members.

On  Tuesday, April 14 , our book selection will be  How Democracies Die  by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. It can be found in paperback. We will be meeting at 6:30 PM via Zoom. 

We are interested in having additional TTN members join our group. We meet the second Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:30 PM.

To learn more about the group contact Beth Stockinger at  alberstock@aol.com  or Grace Bartholet at  gbartholet@gmail.com .
Submitted by Kathleen Peterson

On Friday, March 6, four members of the Food SIG spent their mid-day (11:00 AM-1:30 PM) volunteering in the kitchen at Open Arms MN in South Minneapolis. What a great experience!!

We all departed that day on a real high. Why was that?

  • The carefully prepared and presented orientation upon arrival. We learned the history of the organization, the kitchen rules and what to expect that day,
  • The extremely friendly staff to guide us (the group coordinator, the chef), the great music that we requested, the steady pace and excellent use of our time, the coffee and treats before starting,
  • We felt productive. We were assigned desserts (which looked delicious). We bagged and labeled 320 slices of frosted spice cake and scooped 195 Snickerdoodle cookies for freezing,
  • The knowledge that nutritious meals were being delivered all over the metro area to people who are experiencing serious health challenges.
  • We all agreed that we would like to do this on occasion and would welcome any members of TTN to join us.

Along with most other SIGS, we are not planning future meetings at this time. We will all be doing our part to stay healthy, follow the “social distancing” rules, and preparing some delicious foods. We look forward to the time when we can gather again.

If you have any questions about this SIG, please contact Kathleen Peterson at  kathleenpeterson614@gmail.com
Submitted by Cyndy Nelson

On Tuesday, March 17, ten women met via Zoom. We had a few technical challenges, but most were able to participate fully. 

We did a touch base on our personal situations and what was challenging us in this coronavirus world we find ourselves in. There are many things to figure out including contact and support of those we love and how to get toilet paper and other groceries. We then discussed the current market situation and how it had an all time high on February 19 (since we last met) and has recently been nearly 30% off that mark. Future is uncertain, although many anticipate it will go lower.

Given the April 15 tax deadline is approaching, our main topic was taxes. We went through some examples of how taxes are calculated and discussed various important terms to understand. Although many in the group have tax preparers, it is important to have a basic understanding since taxes impact how much money we keep.

Our April meeting is on  Tuesday, April 21 , 6:30-8:00 PM via zoom. Topic will be “cutting the cord”.

Our May meeting is  Tuesday, May 19 , 6:30-8:00 PM via zoom. Topic TBD. 

The purpose of this group is to increase our personal financial literacy. The knowledge of members about financial topics varies from beginner to more experienced. Our topics will be selected based on what individual members are interested in. We meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM. New members are welcome. Come and give it a try.

Please email Cyndy at  clnelson03@gmail.com if you are interested in joining us, have ideas for topics, or have questions.
Submitted by Robin Getman

Several Theater SIG participants attended, and gathered together after, two shows in March: 

March 1,  Superman Becomes Lois Lane  at
the History Theatre in St. Paul

March 8,  Significant Other  presented by the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company at Highland Park Community Center in St. Paul

On March 12, 2020, we learned that NYC’s Broadway theaters had gone dark due to rising concerns about the global coronavirus pandemic. Within 24 hours, MN’s theaters were canceling or postponing shows through March and much of April. Rest assured, when the lights go up again, we’ll be there, and we’re eager for you to join us.

Until we meet again, here’s a little inspiration for you, ala Broadway:

  • No one deserves to be forgotten. No one deserves to fade away. –– Dear Evan Hansen
  • Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. –– Les Miserables
  • When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high. –– Carousel
  • All that matters now is where I go from here. –– Finding Neverland

For more information about TTN Theater SIG events, please join us on our private Facebook group: 

  1. Search “TTN Theater MSP” on Facebook, or insert this link to access the private group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ttntheatermsp/
  2. Not a member of the private FB group yet? Simply request to join the group. The group administrator will receive notification of your request, accept your request, and, you’re in!
  3.  When you receive notification that your request has been accepted, join the conversation:
  • Read and post about what’s hot and happening
  • Spearhead an outing in 2020
  • Meet up at events and post-performance discussions

We look forward to your participation!

Got questions? Need help? Contact Robin Getman at  RGetman220@aol.com

Submitted by Marilynne Roberts
TTN posted the poem "Pandemic" by Lynn Ungar on the Chapter Facebook page. We cannot know when we will be able to travel the world again. As travelers, let's promise that world our love, as the author suggests.

Please email Marilynne at  mkrobertsmn@gmail.com , Debra Dorgan at  debra.dorgan@gmail.com  or Julie Efta at  teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com  if you are interested in joining us, have ideas for events, or have questions.
Submitted by Cyndy Nelson

Due to coronavirus, spring startup of this SIG will be delayed. Make sure to get out and enjoy spring on your own as exercise, fresh air, and sunlight will help us all to cope with this challenging situation.

This seasonal SIG gives us the opportunity to explore and/or introduce others to new locations in the metro area. Our hikes last about 60-90 minutes and we walk at a moderately brisk and steady pace. All are welcome to join us as we walk and talk. We sometimes end our hikes with a stop at a local establishment for a coffee/drink/ice cream. Weather permitting, we anticipate starting our outdoor 2020 season in April.

Questions? Please contact Cyndy at  clnelson03@gmail.com

Submitted by Julie Efta

What happens when a historian, a helper, a headhunter, and a healer with a dog named Hanky Panky meet a hugging, histrionic, humorist, horticulturalist host to form a TTN writing group?

The rest is Herstory

It has been a wonderful two years and we will continue meeting by Facebook or ZOOM on April 10 and 24. This group is closed to new members.

We encourage and will assist others to create more writing groups in 2020!

Questions? Please contact Julie Efta at teacherjulie.efta@gmail.com .