Happy Independence Day! What does Independence Day mean to you? So much of what I write about, is drawn from my everyday interactions. I love to sit and talk with our senior clients. I had the pleasure of spending time with one of our 90 year old clients last week. She shared with me, that in the 1940s, she worked for a major corporation, a job she quiet enjoyed, but had to leave when she got married. In the 40s – when a woman got married – she was not allowed to continue to work. The company’s director would inform the female employee, that her employment was no longer necessary! As a woman in my 40’s, that is hard to imagine.
I would dare say that many of the women who lost their jobs, probably needed to contribute financially to their new family, not to mention, many, like my client, loved their job; to a woman of that generation, independence may mean freedom to work, as long as she desire; freedom to continue in a profession she enjoyed, and freedom to decide to marry and work.
Many of our clients, comes to us because their ability to care for themselves, have been impacted by an illness or aging. For them, independence means continuing to live in their own home, surrounded by all that is familiar – aging in the place, they always envisioned they would.
For me independence means, autonomy; freedom to make choices about who I live for, who I live with, and what I do with the life I’ve been gifted. For more reasons that one, I am grateful for the timing of my birth. Unlike the generations of women before me, I get the freedom to choose to work and marry; to be educated; to start my own business, or work for an employer; to drive; to vote.
So this Independence Day, as we celebrate America’s independence – what does independence mean to you? Enjoy it, and remember the many, on whose shoulders we all stand.