As 2020 winds down, we’ve been thoughtful about this past year ~ the surprises, the sorrows, the celebrations of small successes. As we anxiously await what 2021 has in store, we’re taking a moment to savour the silver lining.
What does this mean? Well the Webster dictionary tells us that silver lining is a “consoling or hopeful prospect”. For us, we’re talking about the wise and wonderful folks who’s silvery shimmer lights up our lives in loving and lively ways: SENIORS!
Our parents and grandparents have been a constant reminder for us at ZAPPED about the power of perspective, the longevity of our lifespan, and the brilliance of balance. This post is about appreciating their literal silver lining, giving that light a little polish, and putting their brilliance back up on a pedestal. Sadly, they are not always feeling bright.
Did you know our senior generation feels the most forgotten and invisible in society today? As ageism, wrinkles and gray hair sprinkle their looks and shrivel their spirits, the loss of connection and social isolation often leaves seniors feeling unsupported and lonely as their life’s purpose fades into the past. Coping with myths and realities of technology challenges, no longer being seen as valuable contributions to society, as well as new physical and mental limitations, our elders need to expend so much energy on staying seen and feeling relevant (Invisible Seniors).
Seniors loneliness is so real that the World Health Organization undertook an initiative to create age-friendly communities, and the UK has a Minister of Loneliness. Many organizations are linking seniors and grandparents with youth and each other, such as Grandmothers for Grandmothers Regina, in an attempt to re-build community and cultivate purpose later in life.
Thankfully, we’re seeing a splendid social shift where “showing off our silver” redefines beauty and aging, particularly for women. Celebrity examples like Glenn Close, Meryl Streep and Maye Musk, or a modeling agency in Russia featured in Vogue for its 72 and 85 year-old model favorites, know how to celebrate silver. We love the words of 73-year-old fitness idol, Joan MacDonald:
“You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again!”
In fact, it was our own mom, Heidy, who introduced us to the word SEENAGER: Senior Teenager, where life is even better as a sassy senior without school or work commitments slowing ambition and vitality down.
A recent New York Times article cites how “70 and Female Is the New Cool”, highlighting energetic and powerful women (some of which are grandmothers). Mary Pipher’s article on “The Joy of Being a Woman in her 70s”, reflects back on resilience, wisdom and experience that comes with age:
“Many of us have learned that happiness is a skill and a choice”
So how do they (and we) not feel invisible? In other words, how do we BE SEEN? We think these 7 tips apply to every day families across all generations:
- Connect with family, friends and society (we need to be creative with these restrictions!)
- Commit to managing physical and mental health
- Stay in touch with a changing world
- Have a positive attitude
- Live life with purpose and meaning
- Be respected and respectful
- Strive for personal safety and financial security
So this holiday season we are savouring our silver lining and the most important seniors in our lives: our parents! Thank you for being so rad, and reflecting your awesome light back onto us.
Happy Holidays from our Zapped family to yours.
Scarlet & Niki
PS: Speaking of Holidays - did you know we sell GIFT CARDS at ZAPPED, great idea's and stocking stuffers to be able to skip the line-ups at the post office this time of year.