Ho…Ho…Hold the madness

aquamarine ringThanksgiving and Christmas have always been my favorite holidays. As a child, gift receiving played a major role in my joy, but as I got older, the holidays reminded me of family and togetherness and of course as a woman of faith, the true reason for the season. So as I’m celebrating my 32nd Thanksgiving and Christmas season (32nd because I have no memory of the first 8), I’m beginning to feel a twinge of sadness about this time of the year. Why? Glad you asked.

It’s all become a bit too much. What’s up with Christmas decorations on store shelves next to Halloween candy in October? And how about the word “Xmas” replacing the word “Christmas” to save space. And is it my imagination or has “Black Friday” turned into “Black Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Cyber Monday and every day until Christmas?” Hold the madness people. I like to get a good bargain as much as the next person, but the commercialism of the holidays have begun to wear on me.

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What we’re thankful for: A second chance at love

Rachel wrote this piece after becoming engaged to someone she often refers to as “that wonderful man.” Finding love again at 38 is something that she wrote about being grateful for, but the accompanying wedding…

I knew I was truly fortunate when I found love again at 38 years old. After kissing more00400061 than my fair share of frogs and marrying a toad, I had resigned myself to the fact that there was no prince for me and that my happily ever after would not include a husband, 2.6 children who were conceived “old school style” and a white picket fence. I was perfectly alright with adoption and a condo, but I still really hoped to find a suitable mate who would one day become my husband.

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A lot to be thankful for

00049552A year and two thanksgivings into this turning 40/blogging about it/trying-to-make-a-dollar-out-of-15-cents process and I have more to be thankful for than ever. And no, a baby isn’t one of them (more on the accompanying photo later.) One of the things I’m most thankful for are the hundreds of Facebook fans, Twitter followers and subscribers to Women at Forty. I’m thankful that they come from all over the world, all walks of life and all races, cultures and ethnicities. I’m thankful for the community of women – some who are loving 40 and others who aren’t quite there yet – who read and share their experiences each week.

I thought I’d use this week to share some of my favorite WAF “thanksgiving” stories submitted by readers.  From becoming a mom for the first time (hence the picture) to deep self reflection, these women also have a lot to be grateful for. I hope you enjoy their stories as much as I do.

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WAF’s Five for Friday- The “What I learned from the Pink Event” Edition

little  pink bookNot the floating above the crowd, Glitter in the Air Pink, but the daily-dose-of-career-advice Little Pink Book Pink, whose 6th Annual Fall Empowerment Event I attended this past week. The event was hosted by Atlanta TV personality Suchita Vadlamani and featured a powerful panel of women including; Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter, Pam Blalock, VP MetLife, Penny McIntyre, Group President, Newell Rubbermaid and New York Times Bestselling Author Emily Giffin. Well over 400 women were in attendance for the panel discussion and while it’s impossible to reproduce the feeling of being in a room with so many inspirational entrepreneurial minds, I can share with you five of the many things I learned.

1. This lesson was  WAF’s Facebook‘Thought of the day’ earlier in the week, and although it might sound harsh, it’s true – Hope is not a strategy. Hope is great, necessary, can help us get out of bed on a Monday morning and motivate us to make it through the day, but hope is not a strategy. A strategy is a systematic plan of action. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. So if strategy is the cake, hope is the decorative rose on top – everybody loves the candy rose, but the cake is the main thing.

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Every “No” gets us that much closer to our “Yes”

Rejected StampEditor’s Note: I originally ran this post back in March. November is shaping up to be a challenging month and with everything we’re trying to accomplish during our 40th year, we need to be reminded that every “No” gets us that much closer to our “Yes.”

I made a phone call last week. Not just any phone call. I called a publicist to set up an interview with a celebrity who’s recently turned 40. I’ve been putting it off for months. Why? I was afraid they’d tell me no.

I envy the way the word “no” rolls off the backs of most men. I’ve watched them after hearing the word no, scooping themselves up, dusting themselves off and moving on to the next woman, business or project, intuitively understanding that each “no” gets them that much closer to their “YES!”

But for me, and I suspect many women, a simple “no, she’s  currently unavailable to interview with you” turns into something along the lines of  “NO, you’re not worth our time or effort, and what you’re trying to accomplish is ridiculous, and who in the world do you think you are anyway?!?” Whew! That’s an awful lot to of negativity to pack into a simple two letter word. But oh what power we give the word “no!”

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