What Have You Learned

Unmasking Your Vision For What’s Next – Part 4

What Have You Learned?  by Margo Ewing Woodacre, MSW

As I’ve moved through my own growth during this pandemic, I wanted to see how other women, similar to myself, were surviving and dealing with this disconcerting state of affairs. I drew up a compilation of diverse, Baby Boomer women and emailed a simple questionnaire. They, too, had been pondering similar questions and, in many cases, had internalized them. This was an opportunity for each to openly communicate her thoughts and feelings toward these months of the necessary but inconvenient lockdown.

Each woman was asked to write the first thoughts that came to mind.

Question: In one sentence, what have you learned about yourself?

With this question, 97% learned something positive from their experiences. These lessons included: I learned how to enjoy my own company; I will not take advantage of freedom ever again; I can adapt when necessary; I must stay stimulated and engaged with new things; I can depend on using my creativity and resourcefulness; I can learn to go with the flow; I know I need to let go of that which I have no control; I will work to remain positive and look for the brighter side of life; I need to do more acts of kindness; I can overcome my anxiety through mindfulness; I am stronger than I thought.

These results, on the most part, did not surprise me. We, as women who have lived 55 or more years of life, have dealt with many a challenge. Some of us have faced divorce, lost loved ones, lost jobs, combatted illnesses, and taken care of others in need — to name just a few of life’s ordeals. The common thread I found through this survey is that we can find the good in the worst of times and through that, we do more than survive, we thrive.

As we personally move ahead, we find that the sadness, fears and inconveniences of the Covid-19 pandemic still exist, of course. But the time we have had to reflect and contemplate perhaps has strengthened us and helped us to cope and form a new vision toward what we need to do next. Although the years behind us may out-number the ones we have ahead, we know that we can have the energy, creativity, and drive to thrive.

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What Three Words Describe Your Experience

Unmasking Your Vision For What’s Next – Part 3

What Three Words Describe Your Experience?  by Margo Ewing Woodacre, MSW

Having the time to look back at (the lesson of learning to “Dance in the Rain” during my husbands Alzheimer’s experience,) I ask myself, why wouldn’t this work now in dealing with the stagnant circumstances of today? The fear of the pandemic virus is still terrifying, but I understand that patience, attitude, and creativity have helped me to find new methods of safely taking part in life and fulfilling my purpose. My time alone has given me the chance to see with more clarity.

This was my learning, but I wanted to see how other women, similar to myself, were surviving and dealing with this disconcerting state of affairs. I drew up a compilation of diverse, Baby Boomer women and emailed a simple questionnaire. Of those gaged, the majority responded immediately, expressing an appreciation of the invitation to share their thoughts on this issue.

Each woman was asked to write the first thoughts that came to mind.

Question: With the seven months of unyielding solitude during this quarantine, what three words come to mind to describe what you have felt?

Of the 35 participants, 70% listed at least one positive word to describe their spirits including such terms as Hope; faith; peacefulness; blessings; comfort; resilience; flexibility; empathy; reflection; renewal. The most used description among them was gratitude and gratefulness.

On the other hand, 30% listed only negative descriptions such as: Uncertainty; purposeless; loneliness; anger; limitation; social disruption; boredom; and, understandably, the most used terms of: anxiety and fear.

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Learning to Dance In The Rain

Unmasking Your Vision For What’s Next – Part 2

Learning to Dance In The Rain by Margo Ewing Woodacre, MSW

Living through this pandemic brought back the same feelings I had when my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Ten years ago, the same questions emerged. I remembered how I struggled and played victim for a few months after his diagnosis. I felt my world had collapsed around me, and it wasn’t until someone shared a bit of wisdom with me that I decided not to let this defeat me! One day in my self-wallowing, I ran into a neighbor who was also caring for an invalid spouse. She wisely told me, Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain. I realized that I had the choice between being a victim or survivor. It was then that I decided to learn to dance with the uninvited circumstance that had entered my life!

For the following four years, our lives were filled with adjustments that fit the situation and still brought us happiness and contentment. The disease was yet present, but we continued to live our lives by enjoying the little things in life. It all had to do with having patience, changing attitude, and employing creativity.

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Unmasking Your Vision For What’s Next

How Do I Move Forward?  by Margo Ewing Woodacre, MSW

As our country enters into the eighth month of the Covid-19 Pandemic with its uncertainties, frustrations and fears, we find ourselves at a crossroad looking for direction of what might be next for us, our country, and for our world. The benefit, perhaps, from this bedlam has been the unyielding amount of time that has been imposed upon us, which has allowed self-introspection of where we have been, where we are, and where we want to be with the rest of our lives in this changing domain.

As a female, Baby Boomer widow, who has lived a life full of transitions and self re-invention, I have struggled to find answers during this Pandemic nightmare. When the world seemed to stop, I wanted to get off! I felt fear, anger, loneliness, and frustration. At 70, with the reality kicking in that I was in the latter segment of my life journey, these startling questions baffled me, Is this it? Is there more? How do I move forward?

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