Moving Forward to 2021

Posted by [email protected] on January 10, 2021 at 2:00 PM


The new year approaches and this world is certainly changing rapidly. 2020 has been no exception.

I believe, all in all, that our generation has managed to face trials and tribulations this year, with grace, as we stay informed about the electoral college, rising COVID-19 cases and subsequent issues over vaccinations, waiting for agreement on a federal stimulus package and budget, widespread national unemployment and potential housing evictions.

Rick Steiner comments in his book, Retirement, Different by Design, when he says “In the end, even science and the authorities are unclear about the best way to move forward right now. The best any of us can do is to consider our options, make less than perfect decisions, choose what’s right for our families, and explore the possibilities. Only then can we reassess as time goes on and new information becomes available.”

It seems we need not become as overly concerned with the state of the union for which we have little control, but, as elders, we are weathering changes that directly impact us, as easily as one adjusts to the four seasons.

During this time, and although Covid is limiting, we seem to be growing on some internal plane, re-inventing, analyzing our health, making social connections, watching grandchildren grow, and taking time for important personal growth.

I believe we are at a point of ending the “fluff” that really doesn’t matter after all, and are drawing upon inner strength to move forward and flourish in our own small world at home.

Mary Pipher in her book, Women Growing North, says “Attitude is not everything but is almost everything. In fact, in so many situations it is all we have. Especially as we age, we can see clearly that we do not always have control, but we do have choices”.

In this pandemic, one 59-year-old has adapted to change by saying, “2020 was not exactly a WASTED year for me, but pretty close. I had just moved and could have used my time more wisely. Mostly l was unmotivated and disappointed in me. Now, l find myself building up a head of steam for the new year, making renewed plans that can be accomplished within the confines of Covid, new rooms, neighbors, city, and slowed down vitality. I only have to work on sustaining a positive attitude.”

As we assume the appearance of leisure during this (pandemic) time and cherish our individuality and uniqueness, we owe a responsibility to ourselves; to try and ignore negative forces that obstruct and keep us from fulfilling our potential and maintain positive thoughts while going through the daily grind.

Another gal is looking forward to the upcoming changes by commenting,” I retired from NC schools in 2018 at the age of 66 only to take a job with Hawai’i schools. Now I plan to retire for good at almost 69 and move back to my home on the mainland this Spring. I’m planning on becoming fluent in French, camping a bit, traveling to Europe some, and having time to explore cooking and homemaking in a more creative way. I also want to find a place to help in some way in the community. I have kids and grandkids there, so I don’t think I’ll get bored! Looking forward to it.”

In this new year, I choose to be the hero of my own story, with dreams to look forward to. A wise word given to self is a pledge to “march on”, be careful about watching TV and live by the motto that I’m never too old to learn, make new friends or check out new places of interest.

“That’s right. Take your brain out of its rut, see and do new things, surprise the brain, break from routine and you’ll surprise yourself," remarked Pipher.

And so, at this closing of 2020, I am also truly grateful to find myself in the role of Women Growing Older Gracefully coordinator. Your hearts are big and your energy is boundless. I marvel at your creativity, innovation, and ability to nurture others, and for this WGOG mission to re-invent and improve the quality of life in our older years.

Note: This blog was written on December 29th , before the insurgency upon our nation's Capitol on January 6th

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