Lady Boomers wear a lot of hats. One of the hats I wear is that of market researcher. I conduct focus groups, talking with women around the country about various issues facing their families and communities. This week I was in Winston Salem, North Carolina talking with 11 women about the economic recession and its impact upon their families. Now, I have to say, I’ve worked in this field since 1986, starting the day after the Challenger exploded, gauging the public’s pulse on political and environmental issues, 9/11, and a variety of other social and economic issues. In all the studies I’ve conducted throughout these years, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a more depressed and disillusioned group of women.
I initiated our interaction with the following question: . “There has been a lot of discussion in the media about the state of the economy. They suggest we are in a recession. What do you think? How is the current state of the economy affecting you?” Just the faces I beheld alone should have signaled me what I was in for. The stories I heard..the foreclosures endured; the adult children boomeranging home; the grandchildren they are raising; the lay-offs; the lack of access to health care; pension plan and retirement anxieties; banks rejecting credit applications. The list was interminable.
The name of my blog is “Be Brave. Lose the Beige”. I’ve written and illustrated a journal/book by the same name. Be Brave. Lose the Beige is not just about color (although I love color, the more the better), it is really about women’s creative empowerment. BBLB urges women to discover their own colorful spirits, to say yes when the world around us says no. This may sound a little pollyannaish after all I heard last night, but I believe nourishing our spirits is more important than ever. Families are emotionally and financially down right now. Women- Moms, daughters, wives and friends tend to bear the brunt of these anxieties. So, ladies, if you have found yourself in this position, carving out a little time and space for yourselves is essential. The way to achieve this is vast and varied. Here are a few suggestions…
-exercise your creativity. This can take many forms- gardening; baking; sculpting/drawing; singing
-creating a spiritual practice- whether it be church, temple, or Quaker meeting house, silence and contemplation enables you to hear your real self speaking
– journal writing..meet your real self in your writing and musing
-an artist’s date- go solo to window shop (no shopping goals allowed), see a movie, wander a museum or gallery
Routinely engaging in any or all of these practices will help you will feel psychically refreshed, which is what you are going to need amid this time of recession and depression.