Kalin’s Chronicles: Dancing Destinations

I’m a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars and often fantasize about being on the show and winning first place.  Dance was my first love, and at one time I thought I’d be a Broadway dancer like Liza Minnelli or Debbie Allen.  Though journalism eventually stole my heart, I still love to dance.

In fact, many of my travels have included dance lessons:  I learned to tango in Buenos Aires, meringue in the Dominican Republic, Raggae in Jamaica, and belly dance right here in Atlanta.  If you love dance as much as I do, you may want to try out a “dance vacation.” (Photo: Betty & David, Salsa Retreat)

Dance vacations are becoming popular all over the world through special tours, resorts, and cruises.  Here are a select few to check out:

  • You can literally dance with the stars on the new Cruising With The Stars,  a dance-focused fan cruise that launches in June from Los Angeles, for a 7-day excursion to the Mexican Riviera on Carnival Cruise Lines.
  • Dance Fun Cruises has salsa cruises headed for the Mediterranean and Mexican Riviera in October.
  • Becka Tango Tours offers customized tours with daily tango lessons at your hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Salsa Retreat offers salsa vacations and workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • Move to the rhythms of the drum at One World Dance & Drum’s African Dance and Drum Retreat near Seattle in May.  Or visit the African Drum and Dance Festival in San Francisco in November.
  • And finally, bring your sexy back at X Burlesque University, where burlesque choreography is taught by the women featured in “X” Burlesque at the Flamingo Las Vegas.

So gather your girlfriends – or your sweetheart – and dance your cares away on a dance vacation.  It’s great for your mind, body and spirit.  I’m adding Cruising With the Stars and X Burlesque University to my Bucket List!  And remember:  “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain.

Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, visit www.seetheworldproductions.com.

A fool for love: Mr. Big in the real world

Carrie and Mr BigEditor’s Note: When I saw they were making “The Carrie Diaries”, (the “Sex and the City” prequel) I remembered this post and wondered if much had changed over the past couple of years. After overhearing a conversation among a group of late 20s/early 30s women I thought, “not so much.”  Are we still waiting for the Mr. Big in our lives to come around? Is he worth waiting for? Are we?

Technical difficulties (a malfunctioning laptop adapter) forced me off the computer for much of last week. So instead of spending mindless hours on the internet, I spent mindless hours watching movies. Sex and the City was one of them. I’d like to make a confession. I wasn’t one of the thousands of women who loved Sex and the City while it was on TV. I thought it was, at times, smart, interesting and funny and I thought the portrayal of women, friendships and relationships was (again, at times) spot on, but it wasn’t must see TV for me. So when the movie came out, I didn’t rush out to see it that first weekend. Or the second. In fact, I just saw it for the first time earlier this year on DVD. And once again, the portrayals were great and the relationships realistic.

That is until Mr. Big and Carrie got married.

I can hear some of you booing me already. And I’m going to make you hate me even more by admitting that I was rooting for Carrie’s and Mr. Big’s relationship to end. Not by him leaving her at the altar, but by her deciding that she’d had enough of waiting for him to come around.

One thing forty years, several boyfriends and watching friends with their boyfriends has taught me is that whoever that man is three months into the relationship is who he’s likely to be three years in. This is a generalization of course, but many male friends have confirmed this for me. Men know what they want and who they want to be with pretty early on in a relationship.  So, if he was non-committal when you met him, he’ll be non-committal 10 years later.  If he’s ghost on the weekend a month into the relationship, don’t be all “OMG!!” when you can’t find him on a Saturday night five years in.  And finally, if he was with someone else when he met you, he’ll be with someone else while he’s with you.

Sex and the City was just a movie, but the reality is, the reason the show and movie resonated with so many women is that we imagined ourselves as one of those women, living that life, being involved in those relationships – buying those shoes. So, when Mr. Big finally, finally, finally realizes he wants to be with Carrie we’re elated because if Mr. Big can finally come around, so can the guy we’ve been with for 10 years.

But in real life, it often doesn’t work out that way. And in real life, drama doesn’t make a relationship any stronger or more valuable – it just makes it more…dramatic.

Someone once told me, “a fool at forty is a fool for life.” Ironically he was a fool himself, but I take my wisdom where I can get it. For my own sake, I hope it isn’t true.  I hope that at forty and beyond I’ll still be able to learn from the foolish things I’ve done for love, and change course when necessary.

I suppose the Carrie Bradshaw-Big ending, as unlikely as it seems to me, does happen. I’m sure there are many instances where after years of not being sure about who he wants and how much he wants her, a man finally realizes that he just can’t live without her. I know it happens. But in my case, I hope it happens faster and with a whole lot less drama. Is that too much to ask?

Are we still waiting for the Mr. Big in our lives to come around? Is he worth waiting for? Are we? Share your thoughts in the comment section on Twitter or on our Facebook page.

Image source: Access Hollywood

Five for Friday: The Earth Day 2012 Edition and an Envirosax Giveaway

On Sunday, April 22nd., Earth Day turns 42, and there’s no better way to celebrate than to incorporate some easy, affordable eco practices into our daily lives. This week’s Five for Friday shares a few simple ways, products, and organizations that can help you do just that. (Image: Envirosax resizable tote you might win!*)

1. The Earth Day website is chock full of information on how you can get involved in local Earth Day events. From faith based initiatives to Athletes and Arts for the Earth, you’re sure to find a wide range of activities and projects that will resonate with you and your family.

2. If you’re a fashion fanatic with an earth friendly focus, then Fashioning Change is right up your alley. Fashioning Change says it’s “dedicated to creating shopping experiences that give you fashionable eco-friendly and ethical alternatives to popular name brands.” In other words, Fashioning Change believes that being fashion forward and eco-friendly aren’t mutually exclusive.

3. EcoFirms.org is a green and non-profit project that originated in 2005. Their mission is to connect all eco friendly companies and organizations in the world and share their products and services with the site’s visitors. EcoFirms list companies that support eco-tourism, locally sourced food and dining, and eco-trade, just to name a few.

4. Over on her blog Green & GorgeousJennae Petersen describes herself as “a recovering shopaholic who loves Starbucks’ Java Chip Frappucino ice cream.”  A green living expert and an authority on eco-friendly decorating, Jennae shares great eco-friendly design ideas, green-living tips and much more on her Green & Gorgeous website.

5. Since 2004, Envirosax has provided eco-friendly alternatives to traditional plastic bags. Plastic bags clog drains, cause flooding, pollute waterways and destroy plantlife. In contrast, Envirosax bags are environmentally friendly, lightweight, portable, waterproof and hold the equivalent of two supermarket plastic bags. My favorite part about my Envirosax bag is that it rolls up neatly and fits inside even the smallest handbag so there’s never a reason to be without one.

I’m such a fan of these bags and of my readers, I’m giving two away to two lucky readers! All you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment in the comment section below or on the Facebook page describing how you are, or plan on, incorporating eco-friendly practices in your life.*

*Winner will be chosen randomly by drawing. One winner per household. Bag pictured is not necessarily the design that will be awarded.*

 

8 Reasons NOT to Contact His Mistress – Part 1

Editor’s Note:  I get book pitches and media inquiries on a daily basis. I usually just skim through them, not necessarily finding them relevant for this audience, but this headline right here, got me…

8 Reasons NOT to Contact His Mistress.

I’ve never been married but know the pain that being cheated on can cause. And while I have had my doubts about a few of the men in my past, I’ve never been the tire slashing, car keying, email/cell phone checking type. Ever.

But some women are. Even women in their 40s and beyond.

And then there are women who, some may argue justifiably, want closure and who feel the best way to get that is by reaching out to “the other woman.”

This guest post from Rick Reynolds, founder of AffairRecovery.com, is speaking directly to them.Read it, mull it over, then sound off. Do you agree, disagree? Have you ever confronted “The Other Woman?” Share your thoughts (anonymously if you prefer) in the comment section, on the Facebook page, or email your story to contribute (@) womenatforty (dot) com.

8 Reasons NOT to Contact His Mistress – Part 1

By Rick Reynolds, LCSW
President and Founder of AffairRecovery.com   

When cheated on, the devastation of betrayal can make you react in ways uncharacteristic of yourself. Obsessive behaviors take over and you can end up behaving in a way you never believed possible. This isn’t only for women either; this applies to men who have been cheated on as well. If you do happen to find out who the mistress or other person is, the open wound can cause you to act out via confrontation. So what’s the driving force when we feel a compulsion to speak to the other person? Typically it’s to feel better, to take away a bit of our pain. We think somehow that course of action provides more benefits than the alternative. Rarely have I seen much benefit, and I’ve certainly witnessed a great deal of harm. Here are 8 reasons NOT to confront them.

  1. How much information do you really want? If you think you might be able to get more information from the affair partner, you’re right, but it might not be what you want. If you have been with your partner a long time, then you’ve probably already realized that you and your mate have different subjective realities. You can have vastly different recollections of any event. For that reason alone you can certainly gain a different perspective, or details about a specific event. But you’re not gaining anything worth-while, it’s hard enough to process the information from the perspective of your mate, why add to that?
  2. Affair partners can lie. It is interesting how often a hurting mate believes the affair partner will tell them the truth and sorrowfully see the error of their ways after they realize the pain they have caused. It is not uncommon for the affair partner to tell lies and manipulate the situation to get the upper hand.
  3. Talking to the affair partner is comparing apples and oranges. One of the most difficult pieces of an affair to discern is motive. Frequently, there is a compulsion to discover why this has happened. Don’t be mistaken and think the answer lies with the affair partner. In reality, the affair partner has created an illusion of what your mate’s reason for cheating is. So please don’t think the causes and motives thought by the affair partner match those of your mate.
  4. Vengeance doesn’t work.When you’re really hurting, it’s really tempting to think about making the other party experience the same pain that you’re going through. The only problem is this course of action only results in self-inflicted injuries. Don’t compromise your personal integrity by acting in ways you normally would never approve of. Injuring another will never bring the peace you seek and it will only lengthen the amount of time it’s going to take to recover.
Next Week, Part 2: 4 More Reasons Not to Contact The Mistress
Affair Recovery specializes in helping people heal after infidelity. After recovering from his own affair 25 years ago and helping 2,000+ other couples do the same, founder Rick Reynolds and his team have developed research-validated, groundbreaking online and in-person programs for redeeming the losses created by infidelity, betrayal, and sexual addiction. Take the free Affair Analyzeronline assessment, to learn more, visit www.AffairRecovery.com.
Editor’s Note: Inclusion of author’s links and website is not an endorsement of his products and/or services, nor necessarily reflects the views of womenatforty.com.

 

It’s not who you are that holds you back,

it’s who you think you’re not. 

When I saw this little saying on Pinterest I was all “That’s me!” Then sadder and quieter, “That. Is. Me.” 🙁

Here’s an honest list of the things I’m guilty of telling myself I’m not.

I’m not…

pretty enough, as pretty as her, any combination of statements about pretty where the conclusion is, I’m not.
smart enough
bold enough to… (fill in the blank)
that girl
the kind of person who wins things
the kind of person who works out regularly
good at math
smart enough
good enough
popular enough
worthy
young enough

Any of these sound familiar? Unfortunately, I could go on and on. And on.

So this little image I saw on Pinterest has challenged me to acknowledge the truth about the internal dialogue I entertain and begin a new conversation.  I’ve spent an awful lot of my life convincing myself of who I’m not, instead of reminding myself of who I am.

Among other things, I know that I am…

a child of God, made in his image
smart
kind
funny
loving
a good cook
creative

…and now the things that are true, but much harder for me to say out loud (or out blogged), but I will say them, over and over, until I finally believe it. All day. Every day.

pretty
sexy
worthy of being loved
a great catch for the right fisherman 😉
brave
confident
strong
powerful

Whew…

What are some of the the things you tell yourself you aren’t? And now, who are you really? Not the sum of all the things you aren’t, but all the things you are? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on WAF’s Facebook page.  And, I’m just getting in on this Pinterest craze, so join me over there too and add your visual goods to the WAF Pinterest Boards.