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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