For the fourth day of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge I am giving you a bit about my dreams and views on history and legacy.
Sometimes things seem to align. There is a wisdom brewing. It is an interconnected women’s wisdom.
Many of us writing on the web write from monikers real or imagined, or somewhere in between, somewhre out in cyberspace, that are suggestive of a midpoint, midlife, although I think we all know that the midpoint of our lives is apt to be behind us unless we live to be over 100.
I cannot speak for the other women, but I know that for me I have been thinking about the ending of individual lives and how we personally feed into the human legacy. I realize that I might be a bit young to be thinking about what we leave behind, but I guess I tend to be an outlier in most things. As an anthropologist I am intrigued by what we as individuals add to the nebulous collective of knowledge and structures and rules that we call culture. Recently facing the reality of probably losing another brother in the near future brought the theoretical into the world of personal, practical, nitty-gritty reality.
I am 57. I am an elder of the Late Boomer Cohort within the so-called Baby Boom Generation. Sid Vicious and I were born within a week of each other and I have taken on the comparison as a mantle so as to show that Punks obviously delineated something significant breaking away from our older Hippie brothers and sisters. I try to use female examples wherever possible, but I have not found an easily recognized icon of my own gender that fits the bill as well as Sid does. Patti Smith rose up in the rock world at the same time as Sid, but she is one of the oldest of the Boomer Gen. I guess that shows that women of the Boom couldn’t sneak through the cracks into the new cultural paradigm until a critical mass of change burst through the barriers and opened a new ecosystem, or at least a new niche, defined by a new level of open communication and personal determination.
Women began to really come into their own when reliable birth control allowed larger and larger numbers of women to direct the course of their lives more than at any point in human history. The later born boomers are the women who were just becoming sexually active as Roe v. Wade was decided. The 1970s were where the trends of the 1960s became real in the lives of the culture as a whole. The last half of the Boomer Generation are the first women to have had self-determination for all of their adult lives. We are also the first group of women to have a level of comfort with the interconnectivity that the online world brings with it.
This is a shift of seismic proportions that is still playing out as human culture works this development into the mix. Women who are of an age to become a wise woman, an elder, to sit at the grandmothers’ counsel right now have perspective that was impossible to fathom even a generation ago.
The balance of power is shifting. Let us continue to work toward wisdom, as the women elders we are developing into have more important work in preservation of the world and humanity, as part of that living system, than any generation has faced. We are up to the task. We are finding our way, making our way.
Strength and wisdom guide us.
Women elders hold an abundance of wisdom if we empower ourselves to recognize it. And share it. Thank you for this, Nancy.
“If we empower ourselves to recognize it. And share it.” I think you have done both. Thank you.
Nancy, I LOVE this beautiful new site! WOW!!!! At 73, I have probably been considering these things a little longer than you. I am feeling more creative that I have in years (most days – my body sometimes sabotages me) In my youth girls got shipped off to Homes for Unwed Mothers (their “aunt”). I did try to sign up for A-Z but too late. Nevertheless am doing something on my blog anyway because in my love for using Facebook as a platform to get my message out to lots of people at once, my writing has suffered and I want to correct that. Hugs to you and Robin.
Thank you Gerry! You embody the whole strength and wisdom thing, and your support of it means the world to me. Peace and love.
Lois Alter Mark
I love the whole idea of living your legacy. It feels daunting to be approaching elder status but I do agree with you that we, the late baby boomers, are the first generation to have had a lifetime of self-determination and now the tools to make a difference. It’s why midlife bloggers are so important. We have a lot of wisdom to share, damn it! Thank you for sharing yours.
I hope to not just share mine, as the project would soon run out of steam, but to garner, gather, and grow a node of recognition and distribution. I will certain share the wisdom of the amazing women bloggers I know, with credit, whenever I can. And we do “have a lot of wisdom to share, damn it!” And maybe just a little bit of attitude too!
I loved this post. Lately I’ve been thinking so much about how I got from there to here. (we are the same age) I never gave much thought to being the first women at so many different things. My granddaughters can’t seem to comprehend some of the stories I tell them about having to wear a dress, being actually told I deserved but couldn’t have a promotion because I had kids. Sometimes I can’t comprehend it all.
It is overwhelming to think about the pace and degree of change we have experienced. Sharing is important, both for our understanding and the understanding of others. As writers we are getting the ball rolling, so to speak.
i believe we have decades more to go in the struggle of equality, but we are on the right path and having the right conversations!
We are on the right path. Equality will be a byproduct of enlightened, organic change. But we can help it along.
There are so many women to serve as mentors for the next generation, there are so many more stories out there for young women to read and feel inspired by. More than I ever had as a woman coming of age!
More than we had, true; but not yet enough!
I think those newly seated elders at the grandmothers’ council just might shake it up and change the course of the world. The shift to listening, hearing, synthesizing, and adapting to what will make this world a better place is so tightly wrapped in our shared wisdom and is the recipe for positive change. Just my humble opinion though :)!
Positive change from the steady, persistent efforts to distribute the knowledge of women. Full speed ahead!
I just turned 60, so add me to that list of women elders. When I entered the corporate world in the 1970s, women were looked down upon as inferior support workers. I managed to scratch my way up that corporate ladder from minimum wage clerk to mid-level management, against all odds. Hopefully women have it somewhat easier today.
As we speak out, tell our stories of our lives, we are making it easier for those today and those to come. How can we know where we are going if we do not know where we have been?
Wow! This is so interesting. Great thoughts. In my own way, I try to influence people around me in the hope of influencing a positive change. It may not be much but I think every bit counts and will make a difference eventually.. I hope…
This is exactly what I am talking about. Each of us has much to offer the world. Together, especially as bloggers and others who preserve their work, we are making a huge difference! Keep on doing what you can. It is more than you can know.