Don’t underestimate the POWER of surrounding yourself with those whom you admire in midlife!

October 25, 2009

When I was first invited to co-author 50 Interviews: Professional Speakers, I wasn’t quite sure.

Did I really want to give THAT much of my own time to interview so many successful speakers, not to mention the hours of transcribing, editing and producing a book?

Now that I’ve interviewed six speakers, I can answer that question with an unequivocal YES!  The inspiration factor is changing my life everyday, not to mention all the amazing tricks and tips I’m learning!

Speaking to those who have started from nothing, as we all do at first, and created exactly the kind of career they had only dreamed of before, is pure genius for those who think they might like to change careers.  There is no better way to learn so much about a different career very quickly!

But more important, talking to those who have been through it before, we can quickly see if this is the kind of life we want to pursue, or at least which aspects appeal to us.  It can show you how likely it is that you will love this new career, and whether you are likely to succeed, when you take into consideration all of your own needs and personality traits.

Then there are the advantages of being older so we can choose from a place of knowing ourselves very well.  After years of learning how to be honest, and embrace our natural talents and tendencies, we may find that we are finally ready be all that we can be!

Find a way to surround yourself with those you think you would like to learn from. It’s a POWERFUL EXPERIENCE!

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Finding Your Area of Excellence

October 21, 2009

“If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write.  Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.”     – Louis L’Amour

Since deciding to become a writer in late 2005, I have met so many wanna be writers, which is silly because, let’s face it, we are ALL writers to some extent.  I loved the quote in Marrying George Clooney when Amy Ferris quips:  “Exactly how does a writer retire?”

But a few courageous or just plain crazy ones of us, decide to try to make a go of it as writers.  This makes sense.  The world NEEDS good writers and a lot more good editors too, judging by the TERRIBLE spelling and grammar on the internet!

The best advice I received when I started writing was to just keep writing! So many of us believe that one is only a “writer” if we are getting published regularly or if we are getting paid for our writing.  I know far too many writers who are getting paid to write annoying commercials and vapid TV shows.  Are they writers?  They are making more than most of us.

In my interview with Cheri Hill this week for our 50 Interviews book on professional speakers, she made a great point about being a brilliant speaker, one which also applies to writing.  Writing and speaking are both skills, they are crafts we can always get better at, with plenty of training and experience.

It is far too easy to assume that the great writers and speakers came to their level of excellence naturally.  They were not born writers or speakers.  They decided to dedicate their lives to growing and changing as their skills improved.

The tough part for most of us is simply finding that skill or trade that we can commit to.  Where should we put all of our belief and energy, because somewhere inside we KNOW that we can excel?  And we also know we need to find our own area of excellence to feel good about ourselves.

Dedicate your life to finding your own area of excellence!  And when you finally find it, don’t let ANYONE tell you you don’t know what you’re doing.

“The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it.”    -Chinese proverb



What’s the point of worrying?

October 19, 2009

alfred_e_neumanParade magazine had an article yesterday called:  What Should You Worry About?

I was very surprised and disturbed to find out that a lot of what worries me the most, is highly unlikely to happen.

Here’s a few interesting statistics from the piece:

Elephants kill more people than sharks each year.

75% of murder victims know their assailants; seven out of ten rape victims do too.

When it comes to identity theft, nearly half of ID theft victims are ripped off by someone they know, and 90% of thefts happen offline!

I know many of us seem to be pre-wired to worry, but what a waste of energy!  You’re probably worrying about the wrong thing anyway.  I like this saying when it comes to worry:

Worry is like interest paid in advance, on a debt that may never come due.

The most important information I gleaned from this article is: 

Choose your friends very carefully!


Estrogen at menopause, good or bad for you?

October 14, 2009

Researchers seem to go back and forth on this one.  I’m sticking to my low dose bio-identical estrogen patch for now:

Hormones may ward off dementia

By JEFF DONN, Associated Press

BOSTON – New research suggests that hormone therapy taken soon after menopause may help protect against the mental decline of dementia, even though it raises that risk in elderly women.

The study adds yet another frustrating twist to the back-and-forth findings about whether hormone-replacement therapy protects against diseases of aging. Though the accepted answer has been “no” in recent years, the latest evidence suggests that timing of treatments may be key, at least for heart attacks and now for dementia.

“When you give it may be very important,” said Dr. Sam Gandy, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

The new findings were released Wednesday in Boston at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Experts cautioned that they are preliminary.

Lead researcher Dr. Victor Henderson, of Stanford University, agreed that it’s too soon to consider putting younger women back on hormones to forestall dementia.

For decades, women routinely took hormones to treat the hot flashes of menopause and to ward off ailments of aging. Then, in 2002, a milestone study showed higher risks of heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer with estrogen-progestin treatments. Estrogen-only pills were later also linked to stroke.

As a result, millions of women gave up the pills, and government experts advised women to use them only for severe menopause symptoms and to take the lowest dose for the shortest time possible.

But in recent weeks, mounting evidence has emerged that women who take such drugs closer to menopause may get more benefit or confront less risk than women who start taking them later. An analysis this month indicated the drugs do not raise the risk of heart attack for women ages 50-to-59, and they seem to survive longer with the drug.

The latest findings focused on 7,153 women in an offshoot study of the huge Women’s Health Initiative that tracked breast cancer and heart disease. The cognitive study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and by Wyeth, which sells hormone treatments.

Previous research showed that women who take hormones after age 65 experience a 75 percent increased risk of dementia over other women.

But this study found the opposite for women who took hormones before age 65: Dementia risk was reduced by nearly half.

Dementia developed in 22 of 2,228 women — or only 1 percent — who took hormones at the earlier time, but in 84 of 4,925 who did not — or 1.7 percent. The apparent protective effect was especially strong for Alzheimer’s disease, a common form of dementia.

“It’s an intriguing and biologically plausible finding … but it needs to be confirmed,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who helped research the Women’s Health Initiative.

She said replacement hormones may preserve blood circulation in the brain.


Failing upward!

October 13, 2009

looking up into treesI heard a great expression the other day and I loved it!  Failing upward!

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years, and it seems to be working really well for me!

I now see every circumstance where I try to do something that fails, as a breakthrough learning experience.

I have lost my fear of failure because each time something doesn’t work out as I had hoped, it leads me to a higher level of under-standing about myself and the kind of work I need to be doing.

If we are open and fearless, we can learn so much about ourselves through this process!

My best example was the matchmaking service I started in 2004 after I lost my job as a librarian.  It was fun.  I enjoyed it and made some money, but I realized it wasn’t really me after about six months.

So then I hired a career counselor and together we decided I should try freelance writing next.  I worked really hard at that for a couple of years, but could soon see the major problems with writing as a profession.

Freelance writing is so unpredictable and undependable right now, what with newspapers and magazines going out of business right and left, and nobody certain how or if we will ever find a way for writers to actually get paid a living wage through the internet.

More importantly, I learned that what I most love to do is exactly what I’m best at.  I finally got the BRIGHT idea to do what I love!  I know I’m a GREAT coach and counselor. I have heard it from everyone my whole life.

I LOVE encouraging a crowd to think outside the box, expand their vision of what they are capable of, and then go do it.  I also LOVE working one-on-one with others when they feel stuck and feel a strong need to move on in life.

Is it possible I could do what I love and am best at, and also make a good living at it?  Will wonders never cease!


Amy Ferris shares her confessions from a midlife crisis: Marrying George Clooney

October 12, 2009

One of the BEST benefits of being the Midlife Crisis Queen is being automatically mailed a few of the latest books published about midlife.

MarryingGeorgeClooneyBeing a librarian from way back, I ALWAYS appreciate a good read, and Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a midlife crisis is just that!

Any book about midlife crisis that can make you laugh and cry at the same time, is well worth reading.

From her love affair with Ambien to her midnight musings as she cruises the internet, Amy Ferris captures the deeper turmoil and confusion that only menopause can bring.

At first I thought her book would only be a light and sometimes hilarious romp through Amy’s own version of a midlife crisis with great lines like, “I no longer have a waistline!” and her compulsive need to Google old boyfriends and lovers.  She definitely kept me on my toes and laughing through her discussions about being a control freak even AFTER her own death.

But at the end of the book, Amy graciously shares her last days with her mother before she died.  No more touching words have been written about the passing of a beloved parent.


Where does authenticity come from?

October 11, 2009

Unfortunately, for many of us, true authenticity can only come from finding ourselves in desperate situations.  I am speaking from personal experience here.

I recently spoke to a room full of newly unemployed people, folks who had never really known that kind of desperation before.  At the end, the first question was,

“Do you have to reach that point of feeling like you have very little left to lose, before you can begin to acknowledge and appreciate your own uniqueness?”

My only answer was, “I did.”  Before that point, I still believed I had all the answers.  I still believed in the traditional American dream and felt like it was working for me to some extent.  In other words, I was still willing to ignore my deepest personal need to become my best self, because I had some sort of marriage and job and that felt safe.  Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken!

But when that all crumbles before your eyes, when everything you thought you knew about yourself and your future is no longer true, desperation CAN lead to inspiration.

The same can be said about marriage.  If you have a mediocre marriage that meets a few of your needs and you feel safe, you may stay in it, because the alternatives look grim.  But when that marriage ends, you are forced to become much more creative when thinking about your future.  You realize now anything could happen, and that can be refreshing and terrifying at the same time.

But if you are willing to take the necessary risks and take the time to invest in finding a better future for yourself, help is available.  If you are certain you don’t want to go back to the same old, same old or your life feels like it has turned into a 9-to-5 way of dying, you are now ready to change for the better.

You may be ready to find the courage inside to explore what you were put on this earth to do!

Remember: do-overs are indeed possible before it’s all over!