Happy 2013 .. On Your Terms

Jan 1, 2013 by

The 2012 Holiday Season for this Single Girlfriends is one of profound gratitude. My second breast biopsy came back negative. That is despite the fact that breast/colon cancer tends to cluster in families and that it does in my family. My eyes are okay. My teeth, at least the ones which matter, are keeps, for the current time. I also have learned to make friends, something I initially got the hang of in the Single Girlfriends. As we Baby Boomers used to say in our youth, “My dance card is full.” People are coming into my life, rather than my chasing them. Toby Bloomberg helped make this possible. Thanks, Toby. In addition, my business is going along fine. I have reconfigured it from the focus on social media (no $, big glut) back to my...

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Baby Boomers: New Families?

Nov 27, 2012 by

Once Randy dies, that’s it.  No more pets.” That’s what my 64-year-old neighbor told me several months ago.  I agreed. Last February I had to put to sleep my Havana Brown feline Carlotta.  It was horrific for me and worse for her soulmate black coal feline Jason.  I vowed that when Jason, who is 17, passes over, that’s it. No more animal companions. I could not get through pet grief again. Also, I have seen what happens too often to pets when their “parent” dies.  Relatives tend to drop them off at the shelter or even let them run loose on the street, despite the legal contract of the will which specified and funded the care instructions. That was that. This summer Randy, an exotic bird, had to be put down because his injury...

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Change or Die: My Job Hunt

Aug 9, 2012 by

I’m an optimist. That should explain why, around my 66th birthday, I decided to look for a full-time job.  It wasn’t that my consulting business was in the dumper.  It was just that I decided it would be a good idea to have a regular paycheck, some benefits, people to be around, and learn new skills “on the company.” According to Buddhist philosophy, adversity is a gift since in it we are presented with lessons we can’t ignore. That gift was a big one.  Those employers inviting me for interviews probably hadn’t Googled me.  Otherwise they would have known my age.  Forget all that crap about “not looking your age.”  The reality is that we are older.  Employers don’t want older. It was a shock to be knocked out of the box because I was old,...

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My Breast

May 26, 2012 by

My age – on the other side of 50 My family history – breast, colon cancer, which tend to be linked in families  My mind-body problem – bouts of depressive episodes since age 11  Those risk factors haunted me as I went through the ordeal of two ultrasounds and one biopsy after the yearly mammogram. One phone call puts our life on hold and makes even the most independent of us dependent on the medical community. The receptionist for my primary care doctor made that call.  Although there was nothing wrong with the X-ray results, the radiologist recommended an ultrasound.  I said I would think about it.  Silence on the other end.  But that’s what this overeducated Baby Boomer does: Think about it. When my car was stolen three years ago, I thought about...

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Failure + Girlfriends = New Directions at Age 66...

Feb 14, 2012 by

The meme of our time is failure.  In fact, the folks at the HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW are all worried about Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership at Facebook since he hasn’t as yet failed and therefore not proved he has what it takes to come back Well, I got really lucky there.  In 2003, I lost it all, ranging from my executive communications boutique to my mind.  Nine years later, sure, I agree it was the best thing that happened to me. At the very least the fear of failure is gone.  That in itself breaks us open to using our talent instead of blindly following some rules we grabbed onto chasing success.  And that in itself is a lot. But it wasn’t enough to help me move out of hiding out inside myself.  The missing piece...

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That Gratitude List: Item #1 is becoming a writer...

Dec 26, 2011 by

Here it is the holiday season. And no one over-40 gets through it without work, the emotional kind, I mean.  Ministers, spiritual coaches, and therapists worth their salt all tell us that work goes a lot easier if we start with a gratitude list.  Yeah, really. Well, that gratiude list really does trigger an internal paradigm shift – going from poor-me to lucky-me.  At the top of the list I put something that I have been wrestling with since 1975.  That’s my decision to become a writer. Had I not made that decision I might have become a rich, powerful woman.  After all I had the intelligence, stomach for risk-taking, and drive to take that great leap forward into investment banking or even being a security analyst. But, it dawns on me more and...

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That Second Half of Life: No one said it was going to be this way...

Dec 14, 2011 by

This is awful.  That’s what I thought to myself every few years, after I was over-50.  Now, I find out that I am not alone. “Necessary suffering” is what Richard Rohr calls much of what goes on in the second half of life.  A Roman Catholic priest, Rohr recently published “Falling Upward.” Yes, suffering is a predicable a phase in life as we age as was adolescence after childhood. During the first part of life, explains Rohr, we humans in theU.S.are preoccupied with getting ahead in a career, building the nest and a nest egg, and struggling with an identity.  Then comes the time of reflection about all that, plus, as the cliché goes, life intervenes. We may find that we indeed get ahead in our professional life.  However, we -also realize that the ladder...

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Plan B: Turning this-isn’t-working into that-could-work...

Nov 28, 2011 by

Who hasn’t surrendered to the reality that the original strategy, tactic, and/or educational investment wasn’t panning out?  With such a volatile economy disrupted by technology, we’re all finding ourselves stumbling or even stuck.  Yet, it’s been tough to admit that, yet again, Plan A didn’t work.  We feel foolish.  Our confidence is shaken to the core.  And we just want to relocate to an emerging economy like Nigeria which is growing at about eight percent.  Could be that we will have more luck there. Serial entrepreneur David Murray sucks out the drama from failure.  His book “Plan B” chronicles how few plans yield any results.  And that’s it’s primarily through constant course correction, sometimes radical, that we can finally hit some home runs. Murray presents the riveting example of why Facebook is going gangbusters and MySpace...

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Wedding = Universal Symbol of Hope...

Oct 26, 2011 by

Shakespeare’s comedies frequently end in weddings, the universal symbol of hope, even in the face of mankind’s dark side. We single girlfriends honor that emotion when those we care about take that step.  Even though divorce happens after about one half of marriages there’s the possibility the couple, two sexes or one sex, can do whatever it takes to make a joining of separate human beings function better than one human navigating life solo. So, when Cate Edwards married her college sweetheart Trevor Upham, M.D. many of us were rooting hard for both of them. Edwards, like members of the Kennedy dynasty, has experienced more than the average amount of suffering at a young age. Her brother was killed in a car accident.  The marriage of her parents, so seemingly idyllic, foundered on the...

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Gloria at 77

Aug 29, 2011 by

At age 77, Gloria Steinem is having a renaissance in the media.  Of course, thanks to Steinem, we single women didn’t have it rougher than we did.  We could have, you know. For decades, Steinem not only fought that we women, single and married, be perceived and treated as people [not babes]. She also remained single, until late in her life.   And that was despite her classically attractive face and bone structure which could have attracted a wealthy husband.  Steinem was not from a privileged background. In conjunction with the airing of the HBO documentary on Steinem, Maria Shriver interviews her in the current edition of Interview Magazine.  The conversation has many surprises. For example, despite all her emotional boldness in activism and not marrying, Steinem tells us that she essentially ducked whatever was associated...

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Marriage The Institution

Aug 22, 2011 by

Perhaps we single girlfriends here in the U.S. should start a national Single Pride Day.   There is now concrete evidence showing that we took the road which savvy educated women around the world are increasingly traveling.   How that is playing out in Asian societies is the cover story in the April 20th issue of THE ECONOMIST. Sure most of us know that for women in European nations, marriage has been a declining institution.  For example, in Sweden, 55% of births are to unmarried women.  In Iceland, the number is 66%, reports THE ECONOMIST.  In the U.S. the institution isn’t doing too hot either.  Now we find out that pockets are Asia are also experiencing the female disinterest in tying the knot.  Not for me, Asian women saying. For example, as THE ECONOMIST notes: “The...

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“Singlism” by Bella DePaulo – The plight of the 40% of adults...

Jul 13, 2011 by

Singism by Bella DePaulo could be the sophisticated Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Like that iconic but sentimental work, Singlism might just call the right attention to the tragic treatment of those not in a legal marriage. The Census Bureau counts them as 40% of the adult population. If you are among them like I have been all my life, you probably have not had an easy time of it. The odds are that, like people of color and those with alternate sexual orientations once did, you sought therapy, tried to comply with whatever and fit in, and self-destructed through shame. In Singlism, DePaulo turns on all the lights about the bias and bad [perhaps illegal] behavior toward singles. We, for example, are refused rentals. Employers expect us to pick up the slack when the married leave...

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