Food for Thought

We are pioneer women. All of us. A pioneer is a woman who is one of the first people to be involved in developing something, whether an area of scientific research, settling new lands, developing a new form of art, or crafting a new way of living. Pioneering can also involve tackling age-old problems in a new way. We are pioneers on multiple levels. We are creating new ways to age with vibrancy, dignity, and grace. We are pioneering becoming older women in a highly technological and sometimes impersonal world where many of us feel alienated, isolated, and adrift.

I suppose women of every era are pioneers in some sense. However rich we are in having ancestors and respected elders who have come before us, we each become the pioneers of our individual lives. No one else has ever lived our life before and living our lives requires courage, flexibility in the face of the unknown, and the willingness and creativity to improvise. In a sense, our whole lives are a form of improvisation. We may have scripts to follow in our early years, but then we are on our own, pioneers with no map to guide us apart from our elders, our friends, a few guides, and our intuition.

Today we face a new challenge, aging in an era of rapid technological advances, incessant change, and the life-threatening presence of the coronavirus pandemic. While past generations of women have faced many of these same challenges, there is a confluence of forces that pushes every one of us into the role of being pioneers. We are pioneering new ways to connect, to be social, to live with ourselves and by ourselves. We are pioneering ways to manage health risks while staying somehow engaged with life and the challenges of aging in a very altered societal context. Let us talk about how we are handling the challenges of being women pioneers during this strange era.

Questions to Consider:
1) Did you come from a family in which one or more members of your family were pioneering in some facet of their lives or careers?
2) In what ways have you been a pioneer in your own life or by touching others?
3) Name some qualities and characteristics of people you consider pioneers.
4) Share a story of how your own pioneering spirit has led to the development of something creative, perhaps even something you would consider a legacy?
5) How are you pioneering aging in a world plagued by natural and unnatural disasters political division and COVID-19?
All rights reserved © 2020 Beth Firestein, Ph.D. Wise Women Group