Now more than ever, I’d like to focus on renewal.
It feels overdue after three tumultuous years. In what feels like another lifetime, November 2019, I happily dove into a glass half-full. I looked ahead, joyfully, to a new decade. New academic and writing successes blossomed one after another. Travel plans fired my imagination. My optimism and energy knew no bounds. Here in the U.S., many eagerly anticipated an election that would oust a coarse, contentious president and his ugly policies.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to us, a vicious virus poised to emerge and explode.
Seemingly overnight, plans large and small evaporated. As COVID spread, our worlds got smaller. Survival took on a new and more visceral clarity. The world’s economies, social dynamics, and priorities convulsed in unexpected ways turning many of our lives upside down and inside out.
Apart from the now well-documented destructive biological disruptor, we’ve faced other foes and dangers at home and abroad. Around the world, we now mark time and memories with new descriptors: pre-pandemic; pre-January 6; pre-Brexit; pre-Ukrainian invasion; pre-Dobbs decision; pre-climate change disaster (choose your local flavor: wildfire, drought, flood, hurricane) …
Untold personal loss, strain and turmoil accompanied each new upheaval.
Did I mention I’m overdue for a renewal of optimism?
Swept up in this three-year blender of structural changes we’ve been tossed, willy-nilly, into new and unfamiliar liminal spaces. Liminality, I’m reminded, is defined as the state of being in-between or something that is in a state of transition. Don’t know about you, readers, but I thought I was pretty adept at managing new and unfamiliar liminal spaces. Turns out this latest wave of structural changes and the liminality they created did more than test me. They depleted me regularly.
I know this because, pre-all-of-the-above, things that once brought me energy, joy and sustenance … writing, yoga, engaging with big ideas and fellow bloggers, travel, seeking out new relationships and nurturing friendships … these all took more effort than I had within me on most days. Many of my cherished activities and occupations languished. They didn’t get the attention they deserved. For that, I apologize for my remoteness and acknowledge my limitations.
In recent weeks, I’ve channeled my limited energy in a new way. I’ve been busy helping to elect compassionate, honest and competent leaders at the local, state and national level in a variety of grassroots ways. The outcome of elections across the U.S. November 8 will set a course for what comes next not only locally and nationally but internationally. To my U.S. readers, if you haven’t voted yet, please make the time to do so.
Buckle up, I keep telling myself. Anything can happen…
This is my long way of saying: renewal of mind, body and soul remains a top priority. That’s why I’m reserving time December 21 to reflect on the theme of renewal and what it means with fellow Gateway Childless Elderwomen. Clearly, I’m not alone in my desire for renewal. Friend and fellow elderwoman, Jody Day, writes about what inspired this latest fireside chat. She dives deeper here. I hope you can join us; you may register here.
Also in the renewal of ideas category, please check in with the New Legacy Institute blog. Christine Erickson and her advisory board have some new efforts in the works. More to come on this in the coming weeks and months.
Social Sign Offs?
Finally, I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering whether it’s past time to delete some of my social media accounts. Ugh. The latest news about Twitter? Ugh. Similar frustration about Facebook and Instagram. While I value the connections and ease of communicating across the world that each platform provides, I dislike the billionaire bros who own the companies. Not sure who still uses blog readers? I may need to fire up my newsletter to share posts in the future instead. Welcome your thoughts.