Six of us were present for this meeting. In Old Business we continued our discussion on adding members.
Two new points were made, neither of which I had ever considered.
LB told us that there would/could come a point at which the size of the group alone could cause her to self-censor.
She appreciates the intimacy we now have and is concerned that too large a group could lose that feeling.
Irma holds the opinion that those members who are absent in the flesh, or IRL, are actually present in some ways. That is true..in some ways. Others seemed to feel that their energetic presence is not here & that energy is missed. It's an interesting idea and maybe fun to explore in a discussion.
A couple of us are a bit reticent to welcome someone with strong political differences, since one prospect is politically conservative and the group as it is tends to lean rather firmly in a more liberal direction.
That could be a big concern.
But since we have been talking about helping women be heard, and since we have already made it 'policy' to leave politics as such OUT of our discussions, then it seems quite possible that we could enlarge so much more than just the group Size by embracing other points of view (POV).
I am linking elsewhere an article about the "Epidemic of Identity Politics" on this very subject. It's a good read, and could also be an excellent topic in itself.
On to New Business: we didn't really have a prepared facilitator; seemed to work just fine, at least for me! :)
The Barbara Ehrenreich article started off our discussion of medical issues.
We talked about Vaccines; we're fairly evenly split on whether we get them or not, with a slight bend toward yes. The discussion about why we would choose different medical procedures, etc., was very informative, and to me, clarifying. The best reason I heard was Grandchildren! And several of us are still in our 60's and younger, so it seems natural that some of our opinions differ. A few take a stand more strongly in favor of natural treatments where possible and use our doctors more for testing and diagnosis than for treatment. Others have conditions that require intervention by the traditional medical world in order to continue to live as fully as possible.
Some of us are just grandly confused by all the manipulation and marketing and "bottom line" thinking that exists in the medical-pharmacological world.
It was also disconcerting to learn that most drug testing does not, and never has, included old people.
Someone mentioned that one could find out online how much money our doctor makes from pharmaceutical companies.
If that was you and you have a specific link, please send it to me.
However, a quick search using the most generic phrasing produced many results, so if you are specifically interested in this subject, you can find it.
I brought up Mental Health next, because it is presently a big issue for me. The discussion that followed was helpful, mostly loving, and gave us a chance to look at how we communicate. We bumped up against our rule about advice or 'fixing', and learned that we can point out those things without offending or derailing.
And just so you know, your willingness to hear me was immediately helpful.
I have since found a couple of resources that are continuing that help. Not the least of which is guided meditations through an app called Insight Timer and a teacher named Sarah Blondin. I have used that App for some time, and recommend it highly.
As conversation began to wind down, two additional topics were suggested.
One was to talk specifically about what we want our dying process, and/or funerals-memorials, to look like. This came from some mention that green burial is now possible in NM, up near Espanola, and that some groups have formed clubs to make their own coffins.
Personally, I think that discussion could be fun, but maybe that's just me.
And we mentioned again all that Death-related paperwork. Wills, trusts, Advanced Directives, and such. Some of us have done it all, some not; some have simple estates, some more complicated. The answers are varied, to say the least.
I look forward to our next meeting on the 25th.