Editor’s Note: Very early on in the life of this site we had women sharing their stories about what turning and being 40 was like for them. Since many of our new readers have never read these stories, I thought I’d share a few of them this week. In this post, Kalin talks about having a life changing epiphany in the middle of her 40th birthday party. Talk about a light bulb moment…
I started preparing for my 40th birthday 6 months in advance. I knew I was going to have a huge party and look fabulous — and I did! However, looking fabulous is not the same as feeling fabulous. Earlier that year I had been laid off of my TV job after 17 years, and at the same time a lot of the problems in my marriage were coming to a head (after being together 17 years and married for almost 9).
It’s amazing how being at home everyday can pull you out of marriage denial and force you to take action. At 40 I not only expected to be further along in my career, but well on my way to my 10th wedding anniversary. I also didn’t expect the horrors of 9/11 to happen a few months before my 40th birthday. That event brought many families and spouses closer together — sadly that didn’t happen for us. But it did cause me to do a lot of soul searching. Continue reading Having a life changing epiphany at your 40th birthday party
I’m an avid reader and have been for years. For me, reading is the ultimate equalizer – knowledge gained from a great book knows no gender, race or social class. And while Kindles, Readers and ebooks have been slowly replacing actual paper filled books for some time now, for me nothing beats the feeling of curling up with a good book, flipping, folding and leaving my own marks on the pages I never want to forget. So in this week’s Five for Friday, I thought I’d share five of my favorites…
1. Jane Austen’s Persuasion – I’m actually a fan of all of Jane Austen’s books, and the BBC versions that frequently run on PBS, but Persuasion is my favorite. Its themes of social class, women’s roles in society, forgiveness, and of course love, provide life lessons that transcend time and place.
2. After three layoffs, the one thing I’m certain of is that one stream of income is never enough. Ten years ago I was introduced to that concept by the book Multiple Streams of Income by Robert G. Allen. My copy might be ten years old, but the concepts Allen discusses are timeless. The concepts of having multiple streams of income, and almost everything else in your life, will represent, as a reviewer put it, “a powerful paradigm shift” for anyone who reads it. Continue reading WAF’s Five for Friday – The Literary Edition
Though I enjoy the freshness of newly built hotels, I also enjoy staying at historic hotels that have been around so long they have a story to tell. May is Preservation Month for the more than 125 Historic Hotels of America. Some of the hotels where I’ve had the pleasure of staying include: the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois; The Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; the Tutwiler Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama; and most recently, The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia. The historic hotel is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, but it’s a great place for you to celebrate your 40th year! (left: The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, St. Simons Island, GA)
The King and Prince originally opened in 1935, as a private dance club where celebrities, dignitaries, discerning families and business travelers could enjoy dancing by the sea to live band music. And it was THE place to be during the resort era of the 1950’s and 60’s. But if the walls could talk, they’d tell you that the hotel withstood the test of time through two fires in its first two years, and a closing for about five years during World War II. That’s when the U.S. Navy occupied the hotel to defend the southeast coast from German warships. Today a recent multi-million-dollar renovation makes the 75-year-old look as elegant and regal as ever, with ornate painted ceilings and stain glass windows.
Continue reading Kalin’s Chronicles: Relax Like a Queen at the King and Prince Resort
Something Tricia said in Monday’s post got me thinking about change. Specifically about adopting the mindset of embracing change, in whatever form it comes, as opportunity – opportunity for growth, expression, and reinvention. Change can take the form of the end or beginning of a relationship, a move to a new city or country, or as in my case, a layoff. Or more accurately, another layoff.
Unfortunately, or fortunately as I now see it, layoffs are nothing new to me. I’ve been handed my walking papers three times in my almost 20 year career. And although that might not seem like a lot, when you’re a dedicated employee who (for the most part) enjoys the work you do, a layoff can feel like a punch in the gut.
The first time I was laid off was while I was working at an adult vocational school. There’d been a curriculum change that made the courses I, and a few other instructors were teaching, obsolete. After they told us about the impending change, they told us that they’d be serving cake and ice cream in the break room to say thanks. Today, although I know they meant well, getting sugary treats with my walking papers still feels a lot like Marie Antoinette saying “let them eat cake!” Continue reading Embracing change
Editor’s Note: Last Thursday I shared part I of Tricia Amiel’s post ‘Nearing the Shore.’ Her submission came at a perfect time. For one, last week the topic was about baggage, and as Tricia put it, about women at 40 cleaning our emotional closets of the people, ideas, and feelings that have kept our “consciousness wrapped in warm wet wool.” But for me, the message went even farther than that. In life, when seemingly out of nowhere, you’re presented with an opportunity that seems larger than the talent, ability or resources you currently posses, there’s a tendency to shrink away from it, to doubt, to be afraid. And I was doing all those things.
But when Tricia sent me an email that read in part, “writing my life has always been like poking and twisting a stick into a sore; it hurts, it bleeds– A LOT. Women at Forty gave me a safe place to do that, one in which I felt myself being listened to rather than turned away from…” it reminded me that there is a community of women, myself included, for which The Women at Forty Project will answer as many questions as it asks.
Part II – The answers are coming toward me by Tricia Amiel
As my physical pain subsided, I slowly came to understand something I thought I already knew—that change, in whatever form it comes, is opportunity. I found myself praying on a daily basis, something I had never deigned to do before. The world reached my eyes and my thoughts differently, with a softer hue. I wrapped myself in blankets and sat outside on my terrace on the coldest nights Florida has seen in decades, feeling myself at peace with something larger than everything, my hopes and dreams included. I listened as my friend reported to me what was happening in my workplace and determined that I would not return. Continue reading The Answers Are Coming Toward Me