This week marks a huge transition for me at BA50 as it’s my last week working day in and day out with my partner, collaborator and dearest friend.
As Ronna and her husband Mike pull up their anchor next week and sail off for their lifetime dream trip, it is a bittersweet time for me.
On the one hand, I am happy for them, after all they are doing exactly what we love to celebrate at BA50. They are going for it…pushing the envelope and embarking on a new adventure in this special time of life.
But, on the other hand, I will miss her terribly. I have tried hard not to be too sulky when she’s around.
As I write this at 5 am this morning, I am smiling as I reflect on the great laughs we have had together and how we have made work into play. I am thinking how much fun my life in Boston has been because of my partnership with Ronna.
When I founded BA50, I did not know Ronna. I had no idea how I would do this media launch alone. My 6 month prototype was met by her enthusiastic response from the very first day it went live
And ever since we met at the Watertown Diner for our first time, it’s been non-stop laughing, working and playing.
Ronna and I have a unique twist on work. We both wanted the same thing during work time…exercise, food, lots of writing, creating and cocktails and plenty of laugh time.
Here are a few of the Felice & Ronna routines that I will sorely miss.
Meeting at Soul Cycle for an 8:30 am spin, sitting side by side in the back row (Bike # 53 & 54) so no one can see us… followed by a shower at Ronna’s, coffee, then writing together and of course some great soup or salad that Ronna would whip together.
Wintertime meant New Hampshire. In her condo we would arrive and pour the cocktails, get the dinner going, work or binge watch some new Netflix series. When the snow fell, we would take off onto the trails for cross country skiing, then back for lunch, a little work and more cocktails.
We settled into my husband’s office in Harvard Square to write our first book, We Are Better After 50 Because… We had a blast writing it, such a fun project. And of course there were always shoe shopping breaks, lunch breaks and then the essential long walks.
We embraced new technology as it was rolled out over these 6 years. Once we learned about Facebook Live we were all over it. Always a little shy to jump on video, I had to coax Ronna into doing our “skits” but each time, the magic of our connection came through on screen. I laugh every time I look at our “tightlining” Marc Jacobs eye liner video.
Our She Did It Events consumed us as we put together full day conferences for 100’s of women on the ground at Babson (3 of them) and in New York at Manhattanville College. We virtually moved into each other’s homes to pull these off.
And our husbands supported us all the way. Bill and Mike helped us with our stuff and they too became friends.
My dog Jazzy will miss Ronna too. Ronna spoiled my little pup with turkey and cheese and whatever we were eating that day…and Ronna and Jazz were always ever ready for a post work walk together.
Work was never work with Ronna, it was always fun.
Ronna and I have speed dated into a tight friendship over these past 6 years. We have shared intense life events together that cemented our deepest of bonds.
Sitting side by side we have cried and laughed about the tough stuff through life’s curve balls: the losses of both her parents and the cruelty of her cancer.
We have shared our children’s transitions and travels and their new partners and now we are sharing in our own next transition.
I have loved working with Ronna… her humor, excitement, enthusiasm and commitment have been vital for the growth of BA50 from its humble beginnings.
I don’t do loss very well. When Ronna let me know that she was leaving to sail around the world for maybe 2 years, my heart sank and my brain froze. I believe I was in shock. I tried my best at that moment to be happy for her but the pit in my stomach was brutal.
But after talking through the issues of her being at sea, we began to form a strategy so she could continue to be an important part of BA50.
Ronna and I have constructed a working scenario while she is sailing the high seas that keeps her actively involved in writing and fulfilling the mission of BA50.
I am satisfied we have developed a process that will keep her voice shining through for many BA50 readers and fans.
In Ronna’s absence, we have added the talented Mimi Golub, a writer and novelist, to act as Editor and assist our team to expand Betterafter50’s reach through a fresh lens. More to come about Mimi but this blog is for Ronna.
I know Ronna and I will find our way to continue to work together between harbors and storms, we will bring our magic to our readers but I will miss her terribly.