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Redefining Retirement – Carol Conway – Staying Busy in Retirement

Redefining Retirement
Carol Conway

Some people ease into retirement, but Carol Conway took a different approach. Carol retired in 2005 after 34 years of teaching at CPS. After just 3-hours of being retired, she took her first class towards her Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies at Loyola University, calling herself a “life-long learner.”  

After earning her degree, Carol worked as a Pastoral Associate for 10 years. During this time, she created a garden for the food deprived, held a support group for the unemployed, raised awareness for Fair Trade issues, and wrote a weekly column in the bulletin on social justice issues.  

Carol is passionate about volunteering. “I was raised to volunteer, so it's natural to me. However, as we age, spend more time alone or more time thinking about our aches and pains, it's essential to get out of the house to help others, which also helps us,” she said.  

Carol says her current position is “one of the most rewarding activities.” She is a facilitator of “The Literature You Weren’t Ready for in High School” through the Renaissance Academy at St. Xavier University in Chicago’s South-West side. The non-credit classes are for those 55+. After taking a class herself, Carol decided to be a facilitator, facilitating classes on short stories and poetry. Carol considers this her most rewarding position because of how invested and interested her students are. 

Carol offers advice for other retirees, “I suggest they first take a bit of time to honor what they have accomplished in the past, to relax, and discern how they want to spend their next years. Then go do that! Don't fall into the trap of ‘I'll get to that tomorrow.’ Stay busy.” 

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