Month: April 2010

Has the Woodstock Generation Lost Its Way?

Has the Woodstock Generation Lost Its Way?

Every day I’m a little more amazed at the materialism in our country. Even as many of us struggle to tighten our budgets and live in spite of lost wages, the majority of our citizens live abundantly by the world’s standards.  We are blessed and yet we find it difficult to be grateful.

In the late 60’s, when I was in my youth, we railed against materialism and the soul numbing we believed it caused. Our generation was determined to be different – to make a difference – to forgo luxury for the betterment of society.

A couple of years ago I awoke from the hyper focused years of child rearing to discover that my generation had sold out. We reared our children in abject indulgence! Perhaps we were lying to ourselves in the 60’s or didn’t realize how difficult it would be to live out our convictions. If the truth is told, at 19 we were probably just enamored with the notion of peace, love and rock and roll! What 19-year-old isn’t?  Although I do not believe we were that shallow.

I bucked society by choosing to stay at home with my children. But the whole time I felt like a failure as I watched my friends and peers “doing it all”. I comforted myself with the conviction that my children would be happier, better adjusted adults because they were not relegated to a life of day care and nannies.  I was determined that they would have their Mom and Dad and dinner time together every day of the week. At this time my young adult offspring have not displayed this esoteric effect to the degree I expected.   I realize there is still time and they are good, responsible, kind people who value the family connection. Perhaps this is enough.

Most of the members of my generation of peace, love and hippie beads chose to climb the corporate ladder and do nothing about health care or free-flowing illegal immigration. We can blame the government all we want for these problems but we are to blame. We elected them. We refused to speak loudly enough about our dissatisfaction over the years to make change happen in the way we believed we would.

And so, I find myself in the “middle years” with more issues than I ever dreamed I would, financial, social and otherwise. I have decided to start a new revolution; to ferret out the lost hippies of yesteryear and reignite the flame to put meaning back into our lives – whatever that is.  We must go back to the optimism of our youth, add the wisdom we have earned and begin to make a difference.  Now. There are no more tomorrows. It’s time to go back to the core values we left at Woodstock and make the world a better place. Care to join me?

Dare to Dream Another Dream

Dare to Dream Another Dream

Will you dare to dream another dream? 

I meet women over 50 everyday who are dreaming big. They are changing their lives, and perhaps more importantly, they are changing the

dare to dream
“The Old Astronomer”
Artist: Charlie Bowater

way they look at life. It’s exciting, and, it energizes everyone around them.  Letting go of regrets and expectations, they are grabbing onto to the moment with a different kind of enthusiasm than they had when they were young. Now, their enthusiasm is tempered with wisdom and experience.

I’ve experienced this feeling and it’s amazing. It doesn’t happen every day for any of us, but even just once in a while is enough to keep me going.

When my kids left for college I decided I needed, no wanted, to make significant changes in my life. Up until that point, I was driven by the desire to meet the needs of my children and family. I spent most of my life in hyper-put-everyone-else-first mode – you know the one that seems to have taken over the psyche of women of our generation?

NURTURE YOUR DREAMS

Nurturing and watching over the less able is hardwired into our DNA as women. And as the expression goes, it’s a blessing and a curse. The problem for me has been that this mindset can become ones whole identity. Then, we tend to forget, or shove aside, other aspects of our personalities, abilities and interests.  Boomer women who chose the career track , some with children and some without, are telling me that they have come to realize that there’s more to life than achieving and being successful and they have gone to work realigning their lives with a fuller version of themselves.

Women over 50 are taking advantage of the opportunities allotted them via that better health and longevity and writing a new chapter in their lives. We forget that is also a new chapter in history. Women are starting second careers, traveling, giving back to the world in whatever way their essential selves are calling them to do.  Jan, at 50, started a home care business in Knoxville, TN. She saw a need and decided to fill it. Mary sold everything she owned and moved to a farm where she is living a simpler, more fulfilling life. I left our family business and began to write full-time. The sky is the limit for anyone who is willing to take a risk and follow their dreams. Will it be perfect? Nothing ever is, but it is always an adventure.


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