Do you see any advantages to the new normal and its emphasis on virtual interaction? I can see how this could be a challenge for some Boomers who want to reinvent, but what might actually be the positives of this new reality? – Doreen G.
First of all, virtual reality allows people to live the lifestyle at 73 they want to live, but can be serving people in their 20s, their 40s, their 50s. That is, older people who can afford to move to a tropical paradise, for example, but love working or need some supplementary income can continue to work from anywhere–or this has been the case pre-pandemic.
Even now at age 76, I can reach and engage with my clientele and connections all around the world in a way I could never have done before. The advent of video chat platforms like Zoom have made it feasible for me to stay in the game yet live without the intense hustle and bustle of city life for the rural countryside. I sorely miss the groups, forums, and professional meetings. Truth is that statewide and interstate long nighttime driving back and forth to get to professional association meetings was forcing me to skip meetings, then drop my memberships. Networking in-person became a strain forcing me off the highways. I always loved presenting all over the country until it became a total drag to schlep my essentials, even with the advent of vertical wheelies and my well-worn knapsack. Then last summer came cataract surgeries which canceled the blinding night driving vision issue.
Soon after, Covid-19 hit the NY Tri-state area. The requirement to be on the roads at all was gone in a poof! Things here in the northeast got a whole lot more interesting for me! CoVid-19 did not force me not out of business! Quite the opposite: “Sheltering-at-Home” fostered a resurgence and expansion of my reach and provided real value-added engagement. Now I have colleagues and clients from all around the world right at my fingertips. Not only do I coach and consult virtually, I now lead and facilitate online-forums, coaching groups/masterminds. And soon, online courses seen by global participants via Zoom.
Bottomline for me is that my dedication to my well-being and CoVid-related restrictions and limitations became my perfect storm to catapult me and my work even more onto the global stage than I even imagined. Now there’s nothing I can’t do. Even when Covid-19 is tamed, it will be quite apparent that we are still emerging from a new virus invoked structural change. Conscious, unintended or unconscious bias around AGE is one of the last of the” isms” to be named and dismantled. The good news is that we are in a new phase of peeling back the denial of our self-ageism, homegrown ageism, and rampant workplace ageism across generations.
For ourselves, each other and our younger generations who are taking over the helm, we have to break down the definitions we’ve had of what it means to age and what it means to be older and even an elder… as well as what it means to be young or younger.