[Originally sent to Integrator readers via email September 20, 2020] Hello Friends & Colleagues: On Monday, September 14, I entered my 70th year. I’ve spent 37 of them deeply enmeshed, full-time plus – as many of you also have been – in advancing whole person, integrative health. It’s been a wild, fascinating, ever-changing – and never changing enough! – ride. The best part has always been the people I have been honored to discover in my writing and other work, to have as colleagues and to befriend, and the mission we work together to advance. In short – you!
I am writing today with the news that I have decided to end publication of the Integrator in December 2020. I’ve separately shared with the editorial board at JACM-Paradigm, Practice and Policy Advancing Integrative Health (The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine), my other principal professional work at this time, that I am stepping down there as well. [Note that in November 2020 I accepted an offer to stay on in a limited role as a “Contributing Editor, Special Projects and Partnerships.”] I am about to share more than some of you might care to read. I am writing to the many of you who are friends, and might like to know what’s behind this.
Biological clock ticking
My decision is part of a broader one at this point in my life. We are all familiar with women in their mid-to-late 30s talking about their biological clocks ticking regarding childbirth. There is another sort of ticking that starts to happen at a certain age.
I have decided to stop what I am doing professionally to create space. I will take some deep breaths, and begin to explore what the rest of life has to offer: precious time (that has often not been taken) with my spouse, family, friends, biographies, histories, you-tube “rabbit holes”, local volunteerism, gardening, cooking, biking, stand-up paddling, some other writing ideas, and exploring the Pacific Northwest. Whatever else might pop up! I look forward to full-on dabbling into whatever, for however long I want. My health is decently good. Now is the time.
People have said: “Oh, you are retiring.” And I say: “If by this you mean ‘re-tire’ – as in finding new wheels for the next phase of life – then it works, sure, I’m re-tiring.”
I want to see what rises from within, or comes in from without, that will give shape to what time I have left on the planet. Maybe some will be related to health and medicine. I might write something that I think might interest you and send it out. Maybe not! Chances are my spouse and I will decide at some point it will be nice to have a little more money coming in and I’ll be trying to wrangle this or that. We shall see!
This is exciting – and it is saddening to think of ending a publication that is built on relationships with you, and a goal of which has always been to help build new ones for you. While my work is in support of a movement, it’s not an abstraction. I’ve been blessed through this work with a dozen concentric and overlapping circles of friendships.
I write this now to not drop the news precipitously in December. I anticipate that in the coming 7 issues that I’ll share some reflection on my now 25 years of chronicling the field. I’ll have a chance to share some of my gratitude. The Integrator has from the beginning been produced through the investment – for multiple years from some – of a terrific group of philanthropic partners. (Thank you! Thank you!)
The way my grandmother put it
As I have mused on what to say to you, a wonderful phrase of my paternal grandmother keeps coming to mind. She was a welfare worker in downtown Seattle in the early 1960s. At the end of family holiday dinners in our West Seattle home, grandmother – we always used the formal term with her – would push her chair back from the big round table and announce: “I’ve had a good time, but I’ve had it long enough.”
Well, actually, during the next 3+ months I’ll keep enjoying the good fortune of having been able to make a portion of my living in this service, with all of you. More soon. Next Integrator issue next week!
John Weeks, Publisher-Editor
The Integrator Blog News & Reports
Addendum: As of late December, a set of leaders in the field were exploring a collective strategy to develop and “Integrator 2.0” or some such. Talks are still underway. I have offered them ideas but am not and nor do I plan to be directly involved should something emerge.