When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams...

May 29, 2012 by

What does it mean to live past the age at which a loved one died? We are guided and shaped by the important people in our lives, both by their lives and by the confusion of losing them.  In two years I will be 45, the age at which my late husband, the most profound influence on my adult life, passed on.  Even now I wonder what it will mean to live past the age he attained.  How do we grow beyond what our mentors could offer? I am not the only one to note the significance of an age. “I am fifty-four years old, the age my mother was when she died” begins Terry Tempest Williams in her new book, When Women Were Birds. Her mother had pointedly bequeathed her two shelves of...

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Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends...

May 21, 2012 by

Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends is an All The Singles Girlfriend series that shines a virtual spotlight on amazing women who have been supporting women and girls over a period of time. For so many of our All The Single Girlfriend community there is a very, special role that we play that is often over looked or simply taken for granted by much of our culture especially in the western world.  We are called: ThIa. Tía. Faster. Moster. Teta. Täti. Tante. Emtë. Teze. Ciocia. Tia. Aunt. Auntie.  Melanie Notkin knew first hand the the precious joy and value of being an aunt. In 2008, she launched an online community, Savvy Aunties, to bring awareness and celebrate the value of the modern aunt. From that platform Melanie went on to create an influential lifestyle brand that resulted in something even...

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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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Valentine’s Day Observations

Feb 14, 2012 by

Want to know how folks in relationships spend Valentine’s Day? From DINKS to polyamory, check out the guide from CNN on how people spend Valentine’s Day. While interesting I admittedly, I skipped to what I thought might be the juicier bits regarding the relationships with multiple romantic partners. I learned nothing new other than the author’s advice ‘If you are in a couple, you should consider stepping up your game.’ Then when I was looking around for Valentine’s Day chocolate ideas on Facebook my friend Constantina posted this: NYC sewage plant to offer Valentine’s Day tours. Evidently, each tour ends with a Hershey’s chocolate kiss – not the chocolate I was seeking, I assure you. As you can see recently, I had the opportunity to absorb more data about dating and romance than one should. I was on a road trip with my...

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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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I’m Sorry. Please Forgive Me....

Oct 3, 2011 by

The Jewish High Holidays kicked off with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on Wednesday, September 28 and continues until Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – on October 8.  The ten day span between those two events is often called the Days of Awe. It is time when we are asked to reflect on the past year and the ways we have ‘missed the mark,’ the literal translation for the Hebrew word often translated as ‘sin.’ Part of that work is to ask for forgiveness from others for ways we might have caused distress or pain or created distance and misunderstanding. We are told that we can work out our relationship with God through prayer, with ourselves in a variety of personal ways, yet when it comes to clearing what has happened...

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Five reasons I want a husband (or at least a partner)...

Sep 7, 2011 by

It takes all kinds to make the world go round, or so they say.  Girlfriends don’t always agree and as much as many of the women writing for this site are avowedly single, I want a partner again. Partnered relationships aren’t for everyone.  They take a lot of energy, they require compromise and sometimes a commitment beyond what seems reasonable.  Just look at the biblical Sarah, a woman married to a man whose search for meaning brought her a pregnancy at age 90!  She laughed when she heard this prediction, just as I would have laughed if told what my marriage would help me grow into by midlife. Thus, I respectfully submit to the Girlfriends my list of what I have learned about long term relationships. A stable relationship frees my energy How do...

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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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The Expense of Joy

Aug 8, 2011 by

There ought to be some joy in all this. Dating in middle adulthood is all confusion.  Everyone I meet has been wounded, one way or another.  The formerly married endured divorce, the never married endured someone who left or whom they had to leave.  Everyone fears vulnerability.  They question whether the benefits of partnership are worth the potential expense. I’m not saying dating in young adulthood is any kind of picnic by comparison.  I remember it as an anxious, stressful endeavor; the part of my life that causes me to say things like, “Every boyfriend I ever had, except for my late husband, made me miserable”.  I did, in fact, marry Dave because he didn’t drive me crazy.  He made me calmer.  I saw this when I picked up a journal I’d written in...

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House of Mourning

Jul 5, 2011 by

This is a house of mourning, even if you can’t see it among the brightly colored ceramic lizards or hear it in the laughter. I have woven mourning into every house I’ve lived in since the death of my husband in 2008.  It flickers like dappled sunlight, casting shadows with the death of each cat who was part of our home, with every new chicken in the yard or farm skill learned, with the introduction of every potential long term boyfriend. Our old life slips away like hands reluctantly unclasping.  Like the sun at the summer solstice, an era sets slowly. Sometimes, I sit outside at the most recent grave and talk to Spot.  I tell him things I never told him when he skulked around the house, catching mice and stealing Snowball’s food. ...

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Resting Spot

Jun 8, 2011 by

Mr. Spot, one of our beloved cats, died on Thursday morning. He died in the way of his choosing; at home, under the bed, where he felt safe.  He hadn’t been able to breathe well for months due to congestive heart failure.  Six months ago, I took him through a labyrinth of stressful veterinary medical procedures to ease his breathing, but two days after, his symptoms returned. We could have done it again.  We could have submitted to another terrifying day of waiting rooms and needles, but how many times until we accept the inevitable? Since the death of my husband in 2008, I have had an uneasy relationship with the medical system anyway.  When they told us Dave had leukemia, his only symptoms were some lethargy and pain in his side.  He checked...

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Vegetarian Chili

May 20, 2011 by

OK. I confess. I’m not single, I’m a carnivore, and my husband is always trying to convert me to veganism, or at least give it a Girl Scout try.  I’m the classic Irish Potato head, and if I had my way I’d be eating hamburgers and corn beef hash behind his back. So, being married is definitely not all it’s cracked up to be girls.  If you’re Catholic and married or Jewish and married, there’s a ton of guilt that could even result in your confessing, “Oh, I feel so guilty that I ate that”. It may be only slightly exaggerating to say that I feel guilty that I’m not a more “healthy” eater because I talk about health all the time and shine the light on others who actually…are the ones I wish...

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