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While Fun, The Drama Does Drain - All The Single Girlfriends

While Fun, The Drama Does Drain

Girlfriends Just Talking With Girlfriends

Feb 17, 2011 by

I can cut onions and talk,” was how Kelley Connors, head of KC Health and builder of healthcare communities for women, entered the conversation on All The Single Girlfriends [ATSG] podcast February 14th.  And, that three-hour talkfest was how Toby Bloomberg launched ALSG, a digital community for women over-40 who are not in traditional marital relationships.  The Connors pragmatism captured exactly how we women had managed to buck convention and still blossom on every front, be it work or holding onto our health.  Regarding the latter, we were a hearty bunch.

The lion’s share of the podcast, no surprise, focused on new economic realties.  The wife of a fireman [married women can be honorary members] made those very clear in her observation:

“Everyone needs a Plan B. Only Plan B is yourself.”

For her, Plan A had been for her husband to stick with the career path of being a firefighter.  Then the two could retire on the pension the town was going to fund.  Thanks to budget challenges [is there a lawyer in the house?] the town might renege on that.  In the worst case scenario they would have to move onto Plan B – that is themselves.

Every one of the topic experts and callers on the podcast had had experience with Plan B.  The collective pain and ability to get on the other side of all that – wow – astounding.  One woman had earned her MBA and had lost her marriage.  Doing a reverse Nora in “The Doll’s House,” the husband said, before he slammed the door on the way out, that he had married a wife, didn’t have one any more, and was off to find another one.  Another had become a professional artist.  The shock was that she had to learn to promote her work and then close on sales.  A third – me – had lost everything, ranging from career to 401K, at age 58.

But there’s more to daily life than Plan B.  Other topics passionately explored on the podcast included how to create communities like ATSG for professional and personal reasons.  Those of us in social media know that the demand for expertise has moved way beyond ghostwriting blogs and tweets for clients to planning and executing the strategy for several communities for a cosmetics company or a brand-name nonprofit.  My article on that how-to of building digital communities has gone viral.

Other issues which obviously grabbed experts and callers by the throat were different expectations about female behavior in different cultures such as Japan and France; looking for love, particularly online, at 50, 60, and 70, along with the epidemic of STDs; learning to say no and others accepting that; how brands should market to women; thanks to the Internet, have we entered a post-gender society; and what emerging social network technologies are worth learning.

The biggest takeaway might not have been the information and insight.  For me it was how I have been shortchanging myself as a solo business owner by remaining relatively isolated.  With digital communities there is no need for that.  Also, standing apart from God’s Plenty – members of ATSG are so individual – tends to make minor setbacks and frustrations balloon into high melodrama.  While fun, the drama does drain.

I recommend that podcasts happen every six weeks.


About the Author

Jane Genova Has Written 24 Articles For Us!

I’m a coach, book author, and lecturer on careers, specializing in transitions. When I was 58, I restarted my professional life. That was in 2003. Since then I have I have muted into one of those renaissance folks who keeps multiple lines of work going. My latest book Over-50: How We Keep Working has helped thousands of people realize that exciting careers don’t depend on your age. I write four blogs: Jane Genova, Law and More, Career Transitions, Over-50.
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2 Comments

  1. Debra Pearlman

    You’ve summed up the blogtalk and so much more about how we are building community. Back in the 60’s we called them consciousness raising groups…but the reality is that it was a way to come together as women to support each other, and we’re still doing that. Kudos to atsGf

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