WOW: Women's Older Wisdom

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Popular WOW Posts in 2016

Pat TaubPat Taub

For my end of the year post I thought it would be fun to offer highlights from some of the posts that were popular with my readers in 2016.

The Joys of Living Alone  (August 23rd)

 From the post:

Older women living alone relish the independence to come and go as they like, to cook or not to cook, to read in the middle of the night, to take a spur of the moment road trip—practices that frequently require accommodating to a live-in partner. By and large they told me the last thing they want is to remarry or live with someone.

An unexpected dividend of solo living is the personal growth that can accompany loss. Connie, 80, alone for the first time three years ago after her partner died, describes how this death changed her:

“Without the presence of another I am expanding in a new way. There is no one to reflect back to me, so a new aspect of my life is opening.”

To cope with the loss of her husband, Elaine spent more time meditating, deepening her practice, appreciating the reflection and calmness ushered in by sitting in silence.


Pat Taub, WOW Blog, Portland, Maine

A Native American female elder at Standing Rock after being sprayed with mace

The Women of Standing Rock (November 29th) and Peace Warrior, Col. Ann Wright (November 2nd)

 I’m assuming that these posts were well liked because they offered valuable role models for these dark times.


Liberate Yourself from Past Hurts: Practice Forgiveness  (June 7th)

 From the post:

Forgiveness can be especially meaningful late in life. This is the time to wipe the slate clean, to do away with emotional baggage that prevents us from living in the moment.

To quote Ram Dass: “The role of elders is to move away from ego into soul.” What could be better for the soul than to practice forgiveness?

Pat Taub, WOW blog, Portland, Maine

A Ram Dass reminder on how to move into Forgiveness

You might ask: “How do I go about forgiving close friends or family that have hurt me?” For starters, regard forgiveness as a process and not a single act.


Please Don’t Let Me Get Alzheimer’s!  (October 5th)

Concerns about developing Alzheimer’s are high on the list of most older women. Readers were grateful for the reassurance that some memory loss is normal as we age and for the guidelines for recognizing Alzheimer’s.


Facing One’s Mortality  (July 26th)

From the post:

Quoting the Buddhist writer, V.F. Guaratna:
It is the contemplation of death, the intensive thought that it will some day come upon us, that softens the hardest of hearts, binds one to another with cords of love and compassion, and destroys the barriers of caste, creed and race among the peoples of this earth all of whom are subject to the common destiny of death. Death is a great leveler.


Awake at 2:30 AM!  (February 3rd)

Pat Taub, WOW blog, Portland, Maine

Yours truly in the grips of insomnia

From the post:

Just when I thought I would never lick insomnia, I discovered the concept of “segmented sleep.”

According to historian Roger Ekirch this was the common sleep pattern before the Industrial Revolution, where sleep was divided into “first sleep” and “second sleep.” People would go to bed, sleep for four hours, and get up to write, read, and even have sex. After a few hours, they’d go back to bed for another four hours of sleep. In the morning they’d report feeling refreshed.


“Cropped at Sixty,” Guest Post by Janet Weil  (October 14th)

 On cutting her hair short to grow out the color and go gray:

It’s been an interesting journey thus far. I’ve been called “ma’am” much more often than before, “sir” a few times (followed by apologies), and have received many more compliments than I ever expected.

The author with hair that speaks "Free at last!"

The author with hair that speaks “Free at last!”

Somehow being “myself” showing my real hair color, not afraid to be “unfeminine” or feminine in a different way, seems to bring out smiles and connection with others. I’m surprised and grateful that a haircut provides me with an instant ice-breaker/conversation-starter.


Aging May Be A Laughing Matter After All  (May 12th)

This post advocated humor as an invaluable resource for managing the ups and downs of aging and included this poem by Judith Viorst from her book, “I’m Too Young to be 70.”

No lines on my face.

No gray in my hair.

No stains on my clothes where I spilled

In the course of one of my fork-to-mouth

Incomplete passes

No dust on the tables.

No spots on the rugs.

I’m absolutely thrilled

At how perfect the world becomes

When I take off my glasses.


Pat Taub, WOW Blog, Portland, Maine


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Pat Taub is a family therapist, writer and activist and life-long feminist. She hopes that WOW will start a conversation among other older women who are fed up with the ageism and sexism in our culture and are looking for cohorts to affirm their value as an older woman.