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Holidays Are Veiled By Pandemic, What CAN You Do?

Holidays Are Veiled By Pandemic, What CAN You Do? Part 3

by Margo Ewing Woodacre, MSW

As a senior, my daughter has worried about my safety regarding a visit with the children who have been in school. As a grandmother, I have worried about the safety of my children’s visit due to my every-day whereabouts and choices. The biggest fear for all of us is, will I get my loved ones sick without knowing I might be carrying the virus?

After much discussion, our family has decided to get together at their home and have agreed to follow the “rules” for a safe, smaller gathering.

In my wildest thoughts, I never imagined life as it has been for these past months. But looking beyond all the stresses and challenges of the times, these are the days when we must feel the spirit of gratitude and joy as we celebrate family, friendship, and togetherness. Whatever venue each family chooses, it is important to not lose the focus for that which the holiday truly represents. Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you CAN do. Be creative and make the best of it and, above all, be thankful for each other.

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What Remains the Same

Holidays Are Veiled By Pandemic, What Remains the Same? Part 2

by Margo Ewing Woodacre, MSW

We, as women, are the big planners. The holidays are a time that we joyously plan ahead with decorating, creating festive menus, arranging travel and visiting accommodations, and shopping, gifting and wrapping. This year, however, we are in limbo and the normal course has been thrown into frenzy, laced with anxiety and unknowns. Our 2020 plans totally hinge on the status of the Covid virus. The big question is: Do we stay home? If the choice is to stay at home, what will the menus in each household be? At the request of my children, (who live 3 hours away), is there a way to make and send my mother’s traditional, Southern, cornbread stuffing? (This has been a staple in our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for over 60 years.)

If the choice is to get together, the strategy encompasses Covid testing (for all attendees), revisiting and possibly revising the small guest list, (who can be trusted to follow the safety rules), masking, social distancing during meal prep and visits, safe-distancing table or outdoor seating arrangements, and safe, protected accommodations. Whew! What traditions will you carry on? What remains the same?

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change

Holidays Are Veiled By Pandemic, What Has Changed? Part 1

by Margo Ewing Woodacre, MSW

I just spent an afternoon on Zoom with some positive-thinking, Baby Boomer women friends of mine, catching up on various topics, laughing, and telling stories. This is what we have learned to do during these unfortunate Covid months of isolation. I have learned to amend my former life of girl-friend lunches, wine get-togethers, and home-visits to occasional on screen social calls… thanks to today’s marvelous technology of Zoom and FaceTime. We seem to be managing it fairly well during this ill-fated period.

Of these friends, some are widowed, some are divorced and a few are with spouses or partners. We all have in common our children and grand children, whom we have seen very little of – if any – over these past eight months of the Pandemic. And when the question surfaced at the end of our chat this week, what is each of you doing for the holidays? the vein got more serious. During a time of year when planning ahead is full of anticipation and fun, most of us were unsure of what to propose or expect going forward with Holiday Season 2020. Is there more? How do I move forward?

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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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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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