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Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’.”

Bob Dylan, 1964

I can almost taste the change coming!

When I first started writing this blog, I wrote about the word “Crone” and what a dismissive ugly word it had become in our culture until, perhaps, the women’s movement in the 1960’s. Then the word Crone was revitalized and symbolized a wise older woman.

According to the Crone Council, “The Crone was the postmenopausal woman who enjoyed a special, revered status. This elder woman was viewed as a fount of wisdom, law, healing skills, and moral leadership; her presence and leadership were treasured at every significant tribal ceremony and each personal occasion from birth to death.”

We, ladies-of-a-certain age, although still invisible in the United States, are powerful, dynamic women and deserve the respect and honor Crones were given in the past.

Like Gloria Steinman, I believe, “One day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the earth.”  And, like Ophra Winfry, I believe, “A new day is on the horizon.”

But, I feel we must own our own power. We do have power as gray-haired women (that power is still there even if our hair is dyed!)

Our power comes from our inner strength to live our own lives and take responsibility for our own happiness and growth. Yes, it is not too late for us to come up with our own dreams and goals and go after them for this latter part of life. It’s about rejuvenation, not stagnation, according to Elinor Miller Greenberg and Fay Wadsworth Whitney, authors of “A Time of Our Own.”

I am so thankful that a reader sent me a copy of” writer Jill Filipovic’s article, “You Don’t Need a Daughter to Want a Better World,”in the January 4, 2018 edition of the “New York Times.” “We should treat ourselves with the love and adoration we bestow on our girls and start demanding what we actually want, right now.  We should learn to feed ourselves first,” she wrote.

“Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land And don’t criticize What you can’t understand Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is Rapidly agin’ Please get out of the new one If you can’t lend your hand For the times they are a-changin’.”

Bob Dylan, 1964

Over the holidays, so many of my friends complained to me about their grown daughters: She hardly spends any time with me, doesn’t return phone calls or emails; Do you know what she served us for Thanksgiving? Soup!; My daughter bought this outfit for me from Nordstrom’s. I would have never shopped there.

It seems the very mother/daughter relationship itself has changed.

I could so relate to my friends.  One of my daughters this year did not even honor the time-honored tradition of spending the holidays with her family.  She took her family on a three-week vacation.  My other daughter served scalloped potatoes (and other things) for Christmas.  The time-honored tradition that I taught her was to serve an Italian dinner, a tradition handed down to me by generations of women.  Nope. My girls don’t spend a lot of time with me either.  They are both busy with very demanding professional lives and a family. Because we have such different fashion tastes, I can’t imagine my girls buying me clothes, and I certainly don’t buy clothes for them either.

With the holidays all topsy-turvy, what is a mother to do? How does she account to the generations before her?  Well, I can tell you this has been most difficult for me to accept; but, thank goodness, I have come to acceptance.  This season I had wonderful times with friends, enjoyed the lovely meal and beautiful Christmas at my daughter’s house, and was delighted to get texts from my grandchildren as they shared their holiday adventure.  I decided I had done my best in passing down the traditions.  It was not my job to make sure they were upheld as well.

In another early blog, June 1, 2013, I quoted Andrew Solomon from his book, “Far From the Tree.” “Insofar as our children resemble us, they are our most precious admirers, and insofar as they differ, they can be our most vehement distracters. From the beginning, we tempt them into imitation of us and long for what may be life’s most profound compliment: their choosing to live according to our system of values.  Though many of us take pride in how different we are from our parents, we are endlessly sad at how different our children are from us.”

I could so relate to Laurie Metcalf who portrayed Marion McPherson, the hard working mother in the hit movie “Lady Bird.”  In her own practical way, she so wanted the best for her belligerent daughter, Christine, aka “Lady Bird,” played by Saoirse Ronan. Amazingly, even though her behavior was obnoxious, I admired “Lady Bird” for pursuing her dreams.   My parents would have never tolerated that behavior.  I would have ended up in a reform school.

Yes, we’ve come a long way baby.  I remember vividly the day in the 1980s when I was finally able to get my name, along with my then-husband’s name, on the utility bill!  We changed the world back then; we Crones are changing the world today!

Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call Don’t stand in the doorway Don’t block up the hall For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled There’s a battle outside And it is ragin’ It’ll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a-changin’.

Bob Dylan, 1964

Copyright – Elizabeth J. Wheeler – January 10, 2018