Empower: make (someone) stronger and more confident,
Control: the power to direct and determine
As life rolls by and we survive into the latter years of the lifespan, normal aging relentlessly changes our appearance and capacities. Gradually, imperceptibly the changes enter our lives. If we think about it at all, we realize that what we see happening is the result of invisible structural changes inside our body, changes that are beyond our control. We can purposefully engage in a lifestyle intended to delay them, but come they will. What we can control, to some degree, is how we acknowledge the changes in our capacities and which areas of our lives they have impact on. We can learn about adaptations to them that, in one way or another, become additions to our ongoing lifestyle.
One would think that all this constant work would be more than enough to expect of any older person. But now here we are . . . being presented with the additional demands of a raging CPVID-19 pandemic with its contagiousness and potentially dire outcomes. And, as if that weren’t enough, we’re surrounded by a wide range of conflicting official, political, social and personal attitudes and behaviors. Do we mask or not? Keep social distance or not? Sanitize or not? And if so, when and how do we correctly do each one? Each of these issues and tasks add major, complex loads to our already demanding ones.
We’ve no control over this presenting situation. The virus, the officials, politicians, businesses, and hordes of people around us control a host of dimensions that surround us. We know we are at high risk for serious illness and even death should the virus strike us.
What each of us does have is the control (power to direct and determine), how we individually will respond to what’s surrounding and happening to us. And this is where EWA comes in, with its thinking-acting way of looking at both our situations and our personal capacities and assets for dealing with them
Our existing EWA skills and experience can empower us (make us feel stronger and more confident), as we take stock of the current status of our aging capacities and link them to the specific tasks in daily living they have impact upon. Then we can plan and test the options for dealing with what we’re experiencing. Sometimes we will start by looking at the task itself and find ways to accomplish it given our capacities and resources. But, as importantly, we’ll also deal with how we feel about the situation and having to make the changes as well as the resultant outcomes that might feel undesirable or uncomfortable to us..
Our previous experiences in applying EWA to both tasks and our reactions in our lives empower us as we approach these new, complex requirements that have been thrust upon us.
Will we be able to fully achieve the outcomes in task performance or attitude we would wish for? We may not. But what we will gain is hard-earned knowledge about the EWA efforts we’ve undertaken and acceptance of the degree of control and outcomes those efforts are producing. These well may be results we would not have achieved without our EWA skills. And, in flexing our creative capacities and testing our adaptive strategies we’re adding to our competencies—bit by bit. Fully confident? Perhaps not. But stronger, more confident? Surely!
We’ve achieved more experience and skills. And, we’re more empowered to deal with the next challenge that is sure to come.