Ottawa was a blast. I’m not sure what was more exciting for the younger girls – meeting Senator Cools or two unrestrained trips to the Sugar Mountain candy store across the street from our hotel but nonetheless, it was an amazing three days together.
The OVERFLOW group has been together for a year. It’s grown in size from a quiet six to a vibrant fourteen and the group continues to thrive. The relationships are getting deeper and the adventures continue to motivate and inspire each of us.
Coco is currently a third year student at Queens University. I met Coco about five years ago, when I was teaching high school. She was an International student from China and through a series of events, she came to live with my husband and I for two years as she completed her high school education. She is beautiful, independent, creative, strong thinking and hard working. She loves the Lord and desires to live passionately for Him. No question – I am richer for knowing her and learning from her. I love her very much.
Coco is part of OVERFLOW and offers her 21 year old perspective on the dynamics of the group.
Overflow is a group of younger and older women. They come together and share ideas and different perspectives. This Ottawa trip actually showed me more about what Overflow is like.
Let me start with the young girls. I was laughing my head off when I heard some young girls’ comments (i.e. “Can I have a sleepover at Senator Cool’s house?”, “Ottawa police are much cooler than Toronto police!”). The comments are usually random, but sometimes profound. Since they are young women, they are heavily influenced by the present culture in our society. Older women have already constructed their own beliefs, so they are more difficult to change.
When two groups come together, you see a very interesting picture: older women are trying to use their understanding of the world to reply to younger women’s questions, but the questions are more controversial than the topics you talk about with your mother. Young people are curious about the world, but they cannot share everything with their mothers (i.e. some controversial topics are not permitted in the family); with Overflow’s older women, young women are free to ask whatever they want to. This is the advantage of young girls being in the group. On the other hand, older women are being challenged to think about things that they never really think about. This keeps their minds young and brains active. They also learn a new way to see the world in a more colorful way.
I benefitted in this young-old woman relationship since I lived with Diane. Diane is not my biological mother, but she acts both like a mother and a friend to me. We talked about sensitive issues, including religious, sexual, male-female relationships and etc. It is very natural for her to share with me a mother’s perspective, but she is very willing to ask me what I think as a young adult. I believe this kind of interaction helps me to carry on some good values from the past, and also allows me to challenge what I have been doing.
I believe as long as older women are honest with themselves and constantly looking for fun in life, they will benefit a lot from Overflow because of the constant flow of young energy. If they hesitate in their desire to truly know what young women think, young and old women will not go well together. Young women need to sit longer and listen more, If they fail, they will make older women tired rather quickly.Overflow has great activities that make young women stay focused, so it is less of a problem.
The potential in Overflow is endless – keep doing it. It changes your life.
The longer that this groups meets, the more convinced I am that it is a good thing.
By the way, Happy Birthday, Coco!!