• Nancy Mendelson

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Had it not been for the Accelerate Women Leaders in Travel retreat that I attended last week, I might never have discovered that I have been my own worst ageist! Indeed, you don’t know what you don’t know!

nancy mendelson

As both a panelist and participant, I had decided that I would give myself over to the experience, as part of an ongoing effort to put myself out there, despite some concern on my part that I would be the oldest person in the room. And I probably was… although, in short order, it became evident that no one was counting the rings around my trunk, except me.


Actually, once the program kicked into gear, I never gave my age another thought, and that had everything to do with the organizers fulfilling their mission to create “an inspirational in-person retreat experience and safe space for women in travel to connect, build relationships, share experiences and learn new leadership skills together.”


Truth in advertising…so refreshing! Plus, after a couple of years of pandemic isolation, the joy of being in a roomful of kindred spirits was infectious-in a good way- and everyone got into it! I could tell I was being inspired by the sheer number of Maya Angelou quotes that flooded my mind:


"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”


"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."

"If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”


“‎The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."


Honestly, before participating in Accelerate, I hadn’t been aware of how I had been marginalizing myself and that I had backed myself into a corner of limited possibilities. Now, here I was… returning home feeling inspired and excited about the possibilities, yet unable to pinpoint exactly how and when this transformation occurred.


Leave it to Maya Angelou to have just the right words of wisdom:

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”