About a month after launching the site, I had a thought – well a question. Five to be exact. I wondered: what women our age most regretted, what was the one thing we couldn’t shake, of what we were most proud, what was the most exciting thing we planned to do (or did) at 40, and what were some of our biggest dreams. The challenge was to answer in 3 words or less. To date, I’ve received almost 100 answers and although less than half answered in 3 words or less (what was I thinking?) all the answers were interesting. Here’s some of what you had to say…
Father’s Day is Sunday, June 20th and in honor of all the fathers and father figures out there, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s Five for Friday to five really cool gifts for the men in our lives…
1. For some men, grilling is a religion. The Bodum Fyrkat Portable Grill ($50) turns it into religion with style. Available in colors like orange, green and yellow, it’s not only practical, it’s ultra cute and modern too. Ok, maybe the cute part is more for us…
2. If your man’s got World Cup Fever he’s going to love the Umbro World Champions Collection. The collection of shirts celebrate the history of the World Cup with jerseys from the seven countries that have won a world Cup including Brazil, England and Italy.
3. For the guy who’s always carrying his laptop, notebooks and everything else in a raggedy old bag, the Archival Clothing Rucksack ($240) offers a stylish alternative. This rucksack features a taller, leaner design that’s great for laptops, two outer pockets, and long-lasting waxed cotton twill fabric.
A few months ago we launched The Women at Forty Five Questions Challenge. We asked women at 40 to answer 5 questions that would help tell us about regrets, plans for our 40th and more. The catch – you had to answer in 3 words or less. The questions are:
- Most exciting thing you did/plan to do at forty?
- Biggest regret?
- The thing(s) you’re most proud of?
- The monkey on your back you can’t shake?
- Finish this sentence (ok, so technically it’s not a question) – If Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar, I can…
And we’ve received dozen of answers ranging from “skydive naked” to “who the heck is Three 6 Mafia?” It’s been a while since we posted your responses. So here are a few of the most recent…
1. Most exciting thing you did/plan to do at forty? Be more authentic.
2. Biggest regret? Regrets are useless.
3. The thing(s) you’re most proud of? My sons.
4. The monkey on your back you can’t shake? Fear. Just fear.
5. Finish this sentence (ok, so technically it’s not a question) – If Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar, I can… find happiness daily.
1.Most exciting thing you did/plan to do at forty? Vegas on December 31
2.Biggest regret? not having more sex
3.The thing(s) you’re most proud of? my mind, independence
4.The monkey on your back you can’t shake? Ben & Jerry’s
5.Finish this sentence (ok, so technically it’s not a question) – If Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar, I can . . . exercise more
1.Most exciting thing you did/plan to do at forty? commit to style
2.Biggest regret? having one income
3.The thing(s) you’re most proud of? parenting well-rounded child
4.The monkey on your back you can’t shake? just being content
5.Finish this sentence (ok, so technically it’s not a question) – If Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar, I can… find my passion
Most exciting thing you did/plan to do at forty? I plan on graduating with my Master’s degree in my cap and gown.
Biggest regret? I actually don’t have any.
The thing(s) you’re most proud of? I am a self-made woman. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and joined the Navy when I was 17 years old and found a wonderful career in the government. I am successful and respected in my field. It is my hard work and persistence that has paved the way for my success. I also lost 40 pounds last year and I am back at 125 lbs and looking fantastic.
The monkey on your back you can’t shake? I get depression and sometimes have low self esteem.
Finish this sentence (ok, so technically it’s not a question) – If Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar, I can…
What the heck is three 6 mafia??????
To read all the comments, or to take the challenge yoursef, click here.
If you’re not familiar with the challenge, it’s where we ask our readers to answer five questions. The challenge is two-fold. The first is getting 100 women to respond. The second, and even more challenging, is getting them to answer each question using three words or less (it’s not as easy as it sounds!) The goal is to see how much alike, and different, forty year old women around the world really are.
As you can imagine, the responses thus far have been really interesting. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that many of us list “finishing school” as the answer to the “Three 6 Mafia” question. Whether it’s medical school or a bachelor’s degree, at forty, many women have their sites set on going back to school. For many of us, weight – or as Rachel put it, “my ass” – is the monkey on our back we can’t shake (see “The life I’d Planned”). Relationships have simultaneously been our biggest regret and the thing we’re most proud of. Whether it was the Greek, that first husband, or the three divorces, even at forty, wading through the relationship waters, for some of us at least, hasn’t gotten any easier. Other women listed their marriages and children as the thing they’re most proud of.
If you haven’t yet participated in our 5 question challenge, click here to include your answers (anonymously if you’d like) on our site. You can also add comments on our Facebook Fan page or follow us on Twitter. If you’ve got something to say and three words just won’t cut it, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to post your Women at Forty story on the site. Finally, if you’re reading Women at Forty from somewhere other than the U.S., here’s a challenge within a challenge for you – be the first Woman at Forty from your country to share your story with the rest of the world. We’d love to hear from you!
Here’s the latest sampling of responses to our “100 women, 5 questions, 3 words or less challenge”…
Most exciting thing you did/plan to do at forty? Skydive naked, Embrace my age, Son’s first birthday Skinny dipping
Biggest regret? The Greek guy, A man, Loving Taco Bell, Not finishing school, Wouldn’t change a thing
The monkey on your back? My mother nagging, My weight, My inner critic
The answers keep coming, and I’ll keep sharing. You can check out all the responses here.
My observations so far 1) There appears to be at least a little planned nudity in our fortieth year, 2) men, of all ethnicities, seem to be some of our biggest regrets and 3) a lot of our monkeys are really heavy…