S3-EP19: Island Women Speak About Their Pandemic Year: Challenges, New Best Things and More
Island Women Speak, the popular multi-generational women’s storytelling event that Debbie produces, could not take place this winter. In this short episode, Debbie invites three past performers onto the show to offer a taste of the intimacy and wisdom that the live audience has loved in the past.
One of the biggest “gaps” for Debbie this past year was the absence of Island Women Speak, the multi-generational women’s storytelling event she has produced and directed on Deer Isle, Maine.
For the past three winters, on a cold January night, seven local women representing seven decades from 20s to 80s have bravely stepped on stage to tell revealing five-minute stories about their lives, in the tradition of Moth storytelling. The other half of the storytelling equation is the audience: packed into Stonington, Maine’s historic Opera House theatre for warmth and intimacy, their presence has never failed to create a safe space for storytelling.
It has been a special evening that this community has talked about for weeks and months afterwards. It’s meant so much to Debbie to work with these extraordinary women and to help make the event happen.
Well, it was NOT to be in January 2021.
So she decided to invite three past performers onto the show, representing three different decades (or teams), to get their differing perspectives on this pandemic year and to offer a taste of the intimacy and wisdom that the audience has loved in the past. In this short episode, you’ll hear from three women about loneliness and uncertainty but also about resilience and perseverance, the sturdy outlook on life that is typical of Mainers.
Representing Team 30 is Amanda Larrabee who is a landscaper and mother of a teenager. For Team 50 is Becky Siebert who has served the community for decades as a nurse. And for Team 80 is Lorraine Knowlton, a retired minister. All three are lifelong residents of Deer Isle, Maine, the remote coastal community that Debbie now calls home.
Debbie asks each of them a series of questions about their pandemic year:
– What has been most challenging for you?
– What is your NEW BEST THING that has come out of this year?
– What do you want more of?
– This has been a year of loss, but has it been a lost year for you?
Tune into this short episode to hear three women, three generations, and three perspectives on the ways we’ve all experienced this past year and how we are looking ahead.
Watch videos of their Island Women Speak performances:
Mentioned in this episode or useful:
- About Island Women Speak
- S1-EP9: Island Women Speak: Connection, Truth, and Storytelling in Maine
- Deer Isle, ME
- The Moth (the art and craft of storytelling)
- Island Women Speak (article in The Ellsworth American, January 24, 2020)
- Why Older People Managed to Stay Happier Through the Pandemic (New York Times, March 12, 2021)
- Parents, Stop Talking About the ‘Lost Year’ by Judith Warner (NYTimes, April 11, 2021)
Note from Debbie
I hope you enjoyed this podcast. Would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than sixty seconds, and it really makes a difference in attracting new listeners and upcoming guests. I might read your review on my next episode!
Sign up for occasional updates and get my free writing guide at http://eepurl.com/qGTP
Connect with me:
- Twitter: @debbieweil
- Instagram: @debbieweil
- Facebook: @debbieweil
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/debbieweil
- Email: [email protected]
- Blog: Gap Year After Sixty
We are looking for a sponsor
If you are interested in reaching a smart and thoughtful audience of midlife, and older, listeners, contact Debbie Weil.
Thanks to our media partners
Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.
Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.
Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."