One of the original spurs to the creation of the Green Bubbie concept was the physical move of my mother-in-law into our home over 3 years ago. At the time, she was in her late 80's, and as I was becoming a grandmother in my own right, I began mentally charting the differences in being a 'grandmother' and a great-grandmother.
On a purely numerical basis- health aside, I would say a green bubbie is anywhere beginning in your 40's 50' or 60's and easily stretching into the early 80's. As 5o becomes the new 30, I would say that from my vantage point 80 plus to 120 is beyond the scope of what I mean as a 'green bubbie' There are always exceptions.
For me 'green' means young, new and pliable. Just as in a twig or branch, if it's green it is very much alive and capable of new growth.
I also want to put forward the idea that there are probably a good 30 years for a green bubbie to grow and sprout new roots, nurture and thrive.
Stay tuned for my 'hole in the bucket list' video coming to a you-tube near you.
Here is where we get to know the green bubbie in each of us- and identify the people who have been the green bubbies in our own lives. The ‘green bubbie’ is really a name of a relationship. It is about charting a course in our lives, about what kind of person we want to be and become as we age. It is about the kinds of relationships we can create and nurture. You can “grow your own” family. Nurture the relationships you have, and branch out to establish new roots with the people who live near you- its a bio-regional focusl it’s about giving life through sharing yourself and helping those around you connect.
First of all, a 'Bubbie' is a Yiddish word for grandmother- every culture, language had its own name for this relationship, and within families idiosyncratic names emerge -- usually from the first adorable utterance of a first grandchild. The warm associations with the name "Bubbie" may be from previous generations, when families lived within inches of each other, and generations shared language and religion as well as meals together.
Today families are spread out geographically and spiritually. The definition of 'family' keeps changing, and in many corners, the multi-generational Jewish family could be nominated for the endangered species list.
So, in this rapidly changing world, I'd like to offer a new relationship for consideration: it's "the Green Bubbie." I have been toying with "the Green Bubbie" for over a year- I wasted months thinking of it as a non-profit organization, or considering it as a for profit company. I concluded that there is nothing the Jewish community needs less at this time that another non-profit, and on the other hand, there is nothing we need more that a renewed sense of 'family.' And who could be more nurturing, accepting, connecting than a Bubbie- full of the wisdom of our sages, coupled with the passion and know how to plant real seeds and bring beauty and meaning to the (younger) generations around us.
So, I see a " Green Bubbie" as a person who can draw on her roots to establish relationships. She also knows how to plant real seeds, and how and when to pull the carrots out of the ground. Now, you don't have to be Jewish to have a Green Bubbie- and when I first started with this idea, people thought it was about teaching preschoolers how to garden. Well, that may be true, but it is also about establishing relationships with 30 and 40 somethings- it turns out, people are 'open for wisdom' and and there seems to be no limit on the number of caring relationships you can build. In this world, the more you give away materially, the less you have, But on a spiritual level, the more you give , the more you 'are' the more you 'become' and realize all you can be. It's shifting perspectives from a world defined by what you have, to a world of becoming all you can be!