“The challenge for us is to treat aging not as a gentle decline, a slipping into the margins of society – but as a new adventure.”Marni Jackson, Journalist
Many women enter the autumn of their years, chomping at the bit to embark on new adventures. Slipping into the margins of society is not a viable option for these women. They have far too many things to do, people to see, and places to go.
We live in a society with outdated views that its elders cannot contribute in meaningful ways. Challenging this view of aging and the concept of retirement will keep this new generation of retirees busy until our collective last breath. There is much work to do.
The best way to challenge societal views is to provide a new perspective of what aging and retirement can be. I know women are up to challenge. I am more than ready to walk alongside these incredible women. But before we make meaningful change, we must be clear about which challenges to tackle and battles to pick. There isn’t enough time to fix every problem. The next several blogs will highlight a series of the influences, myths, and realities that have shaped who we are. They will also highlight societal changes that can impact our lives positively as we cross the threshold into retirement. It’s time to become the wise goddesses in our society.
The subtle ways people look at seniors or act around them, the way they speak slowly and loudly around them are visible everywhere. So are the beliefs that elders are unproductive members of society. All are damaging. Our generation was highly influenced by decades of massive change, which forced us to constantly adapt. Those experiences are what’s forcing women to re-invent the concept of retirement. The old model no longer fits. We’ll explore seven influences that have shaped our lives and examine how they are re-shaping the concept of elders in society today.
Like stereotypes, myths about aging and what seniors can contribute to society abound. We will examine and dispel ten of these myths, We will also highlight the amazing things older people are doing. Inspiration is everywhere for those who are timidly entering senior-hood.
Some realities are difficult to accept in a society that holds steadfastly to outdated beliefs about retirement and aging. We will delve into four realities that impact women as they move into retirement. The more we know about the realities we face, the easier it is to make lasting change.
No generation has ever seen the dizzying pace of change that Boomers experienced. Because of this incessant change, we have adopted a change-maker mindset. We are unlikely to stop changing now. We’ll explore six of the biggest changes that await us in retirement, from the transition itself, to embracing a new ecstatic dance, to moving from getter to go-giver, from career to avocation, from independence to interdependence. We will explore how to embrace this transition, from career women to women of wisdom, from motherhood to being grandmothers.
We are living in a new world, with new challenges to tackle and much work to do ahead. These are exciting times, ripe with opportunity to re-invent this chapter of life and leave our mark for future generations. It’s time to reach for new heights of fulfillment in the process. Slipping quietly into the margins will never fit our reality; but it should serve as a powerful reminder of what we don’t wish to become.
Are you ready to embrace these challenges? I am. I want to reach the pearly gates kicking and screaming, clinging tightly to a long list of issues yet to be challenged. And I know I can make a difference.