Theme of the Month - La Vieja/La Anciana

Dec 7


Aurelia Flores

Aurelia Flores

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Why has aging become so scary? In Latino culture, elders are respected and listed to. Our elders have some amazing things to teach us. Some elders age gracefully inside and out and some do not. We can choose what we want to learn and incorporate their wisdom into out lives.

The Wisdom of Older Women

Why is it that aging has become such a scary thing?  Now, Theme of the Month - La Vieja/La Anciana Articles in traditional Latino culture, elders are revered, respected and listened to.  However, as Latinos in the U.S., we have this dichotomy of having respect for our elders in some circumstances, and at the same time, having a fear of aging and being "old," "out of date" or "not in touch."

While we know that some women age beautifully, both inside and out, others age in ways that are not so graceful (and I'm not talking about physically).  We get to choose, mujeres, if we learn from our lessons and incorporate our wisdom into our lives, sharing our experiences, or if we become bitter, and regretful.

I have to say that most of our elders have something amazing to teach us.  We have a world of knowledge that we can take from women who have gone before, lived in a different historical era, and had life experiences that we cannot begin to imagine.

And as we get older, we are likewise asked for our wisdom and the lessons we have learned.  Over the past two years, as I have interviewed all these successful Latinas, I have found that depth of wisdom in women who have lived in different times.  Additionally, I have spoken with young women who have incorporated lessons from those who have paved the way, and are appreciative of the opportunities they have had.

This month we will explore the ideas of the wise woman, the woman who has so many incredible things to teach us.  And I will encourage you to seek out women who are in the true prime of their lives and "download" their knowledge while you can.

My mom is one of those women who grew up in a different time and age and has been a woman who did risky things for her time.  I am so amazed looking back at what she did.  Here was this woman who grew up in a small town (approximately 1,000 people), moved across the country and started a totally new career, stayed single VERY late (especially for her time) -- like 30!  aaack! -- then got married, moved to Asia, lived there for 13 years, adopted two children from other racial/ ethnic backgrounds, etc., etc.

My mom was a pioneer!  I am so proud and amazed of what she did -- wow!  And I guess that I learned to be a non-conformer from her, as well as I (hopefully) learned her kindness and compassion.  But even more, I learn from her as she gets older, and I think about who I want to be...

Who do you have around you that are models of who you aspire to grow into?  And if you are older  and wise (a wise Latina -- and with the coining of the phrase from Sotomayor -- who isn't?), what do you want to impart?

We'll be having fun with these topics as we go into the end of the year...

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