Wednesday, May 2, 2012
NEW MENTORING GROUP
Younger one, "GREAT! Can I order scratch online?"
There is NO doubt a generation gap exists. The chasm has been created by distance, time, family pressures, a ka-billion practices and games to attend, and the idea that only your peers can truly understand what you're going through. Our culture has divided the ages. Two worlds have evolved and they rarely collide, but when they do it's FABULOUS.
A friendship that bridges the gap is delightful. The older woman offers years of experience, free babysitting, wisdom and a listening ear. The younger gal can teach her older friend to tweet, order fabulous shoes online and help her feel needed in the second half of her life.
Having been the guest speaker in 25 different venues/women's clubs/retreats/luncheons/parties over the past year and a half, I BELIEVE its time to build a bridge. There has been an outcry EVERYWHERE I've travelled throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. It's always the same.
The younger women moan, "Where are the older women?" The older women shake their heads and wonder, "Where are the younger women?"
I'm writing to answer that question! They're out there, doing life, consumed with daily challenges, sometimes floundering alone.
SO....a brand new shiny mentoring program has been birthed! (Name is still pending, but this plan has been sanctioned and encouraged by Stonecroft Ministries, the experts in connecting women with each other for many years.)
Last Thursday a few of my young friends put out the word and the e-mails are pouring in. The UNDER 50 gal desperately wants an older woman friend in her life that can help with babysitting, time management, recipes, old-wives tales, and most of all a listening ear. Some of these delightful women live away from mom, aunts and cousins and have no one to help them.
Today I announced this idea to a group of ABOVE 50 young-at-heart women and was AMAZED at the response. They couldn't get those applications to be a MENTOR in their hands fast enough. They are excited about befriending a younger wife/mom/business woman for this pilot program that will begin in a few weeks.
I have applications for "Mentors" and "Mentees." After they are filled out and returned to me they will be paired up according to interests, backgrounds, locations and asked to be in touch with each other at least THREE times for a six week period starting June 1st. They can call, go to lunch, visit in a home, email, talk on Facebook, Facetime or Skype. Any contact will do that will give the new friendship a chance!
At the end of six weeks we'll evaluate what's happened. If a "friendship" just isn't working, no big deal. That pair will part ways, no guilt, no obligation whatsoever. For those that are having a good time, great! They will probably continue the mentoring relationship for as long as they both shall live. That's usually how that works! We might plan a tea party or an event to just share stories!
I have several elderly women in my life and they have no idea how much I appreciate them. They are SO funny. The one-liners that come from them are stunning. And every once in a while they drop a pearl of wisdom that changes my life, attitude and countenance. (How many times have my older friends actually saved Honeybuns life when I was contemplating murder?) Sometimes if I'm in a complaining mood, low on estrogen or high on blood sugar, one will just smile and say "oh, honey...." and proceed with words that calm my soul! I'm amazed at how much we need each other.
I treasure elderly friends. And I learn SO much by hanging out with the younger ones.
It's happened! I've graduated from Mentee to Mentor! Well, Yippee, Skippee! This is going to be fun! I'm going to dig out my brownie-from-scratch recipe!