Retirement October 2023



(Disclaimer: I’m aware that Halloween is not a Jewish holiday.

However, since there are occasions when people and decorations

have the same problems, it’s important to share.)


It wasn’t long ago that I had several coaching requests that seemed to be related. To me, the logical answer was Halloween Group Coaching. Normally, all coaching sessions are confidential. But because there are lessons here that can help many, I obtained the necessary permission.


The five attendees were a little restless in their seats. They were:

Wanda, the Witch

Cornelia, the Candy Corn

Casper, the Friendly ghost

Terry, the Tarentula

Peter, the Pumpkin

I began by asking each in turn “What is going on?” Here, in order, are the answers:

Wanda: “It’s becoming more and more common. You’ve seen it, and you’ve probably even laughed at it. Last week it happened to me.” I gave her a questioning look.

We moved on.

Cornelia: (She spoke softly and made eye contact with each member of the group.)

“Look, as early as the 1880s I became popular. My three colorful layers are attractive, and I’m small and easy to eat.” She teared up.

She started to sob.

Casper was next.

Casper: “Yeah, it’s not rocket science. You all know me by my full name, ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost.’” He started to smile a little, and then the smile faded.

Wanda started to snicker and muttered, “Whoever heard of a friendly ghost?”

Then it was Terry’s turn.

Terry: (He looked around daring the others to challenge him)

Wanda started muttering again. “Anything with eight eyes is creepy!” she whispered.

I turned to the last member of the group. “Ok, Peter, it’s your turn.”

Peter: (He seemed a little uncomfortable.)

I let the air settle for a few minutes. Group sessions are not easy. A person (or a pumpkin) can listen and feel their issue is not so bad. Or, the participant can take on everyone’s problems and go away feeling worse. I knew there was only one answer, and it applied to the whole group.

“Well,” I said carefully, “The response I have for all of you is what I always tell my clients when wondering if they should retire:

Decide what you really want.

Think of ways to reidentify yourself.

Find a new path to reach your goal.

Ask yourself important questions. For example:

Wanda – “How much of who you are is your broom?”

Cornelia – “In what other ways can the world use candy corn?”

Casper & Terry – “Yes, it’s probably best you stay out of the spotlight. How could you guys become an on-line presence to help others who are feeling unheard and rejected?”

Peter – “With a legacy like yours, there must be a book in your future! Do you know anyone that can help with the writing?”

Before I left the room, I looked around and smiled. “Of course,” I said, “If you want to talk more in depth about planning for the days and years ahead, give me a call!”

As the door shut, I heard Casper shout – “That was amazing! Ok, everybody, let’s have a Halloween Group Hug!”

Loretta Saff


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