When my mother-in-law turned 100, she threw herself a big brunch at the local country club, dressed up in a snazzy new outfit, and worked the room, remembering everyone's name and being the perfect hostess. I'm sure you bow to her, as I do, as a role model for how spirited women might age.
And yet Margaret is not the only image I have stored in my brain under the file, "Aging." I also have mental pictures of being ill or incapable of high functioning, of the possibility of being a burden to my children, and many other "stories" I tell myself about what getting older might entail.
When you think of aging, what comes up for you? Friend and colleague, Barbara Eisele, and I are working on an offering, so we are listening. We keep hearing about issues like:
- women longing to be creative and productive into their later years
- having to keep on working past "retirement age"
- juggling needs of children, and at the same time aging parents
- searching for meaning, satisfaction and joy in the midst of complex personal and professional lives
Both of us are excited about the uncharted territory we face in an age where chronological age is less significant than it was for our mothers and grandmothers. We may have many years left to live full lives, and we have the chance to be change-makers for a world in crisis. And, navigating these later years without role models is bound to be...an adventure!
Some of the questions this topic may raise include:
What is your perspective on this current time in your life?
Who are you in a youth-oriented society?
Is aging one of your concerns?
What do you fear, worry about, or avoid regarding your life now or in the future?
What do you look forward to?
Do you have a yearning inside that has not been answered? If so, what?
How does the culture support you or make this time of life more difficult?
What kind of support or community do you wish you had?
So, have I stirred the pot? Which of these issues, if any, concern you now? We're bound to be pioneers in the area of aging simply by being here at this time. The question is, what do we want to make of this opportunity?
if you'd like to weigh in on these questions, I invite you to discuss them on the Spirited Woman Facebook page, or email me at pam@ThroughADifferentLens.com. Or, simply post your comment here and we'll start a discussion.