The life you planned vs. the life you have

Japanese girl in winter (drink version) Yesterday a friend shared a quote on her Facebook wall that resonated with me. I borrowed it (thanks Tanya) and immediately posted it on my wall…

You must be willing to get rid of the life you’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for you.

—Joseph Campbell

I started thinking about the life I’d planned and the life I have now. Many of the things I thought I’d be, would have done, and gotten to see, didn’t happen. But because they didn’t, I’ve been blessed to experience the things that did.  Travelling, new friendships, and a career I never thought I’d have, have all come as a result of my own best laid plans falling flat on their face.

Today, Women at Forty invites you to share your stories of “The life you planned vs. the life you have.” Have you been able to get out of your way long enough to live the life that’s been waiting for you, or are you still struggling with your best laid plains? We’ll share your answers in today’s posts.    

Click here to see what others have already submitted…

If Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar…

oscars This is the rallying cry of a friend of mine. She’s the creative force behind Bella Flowers Books, a fellow blogger, and one day she’ll have an award winning screenplay. How does she know all this? Well, if Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar…

Whenever she sounds the rallying cry, our little group of entrepreneurs laugh. Hard. And then we all nod in understanding and get back to work.

For those of you who have no idea who Three 6 Mafia is, they’re the group behind the 2005 song, “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp“, which won Best Original Song at the 78th Academy Awards. I am not a fan, nor could I identify the group’s members in a crowd of people. But millions of people worldwide can. And they have an Oscar.

I wonder if way back when Three-6 Mafia was merely a Couple of Guys and An Unorganized Gang, they ever thought to themselves, “one day, we will have an Oscar.”  I mean, I’m sure they thought Grammy definitely, but Oscar?!? Not so much. I imagine that even after receiving the nomination, when fellow nominees were proclaiming “It’s just an honor to be nominated,” Three 6 Mafia was more like “word?,” “for real?”  “seriously?”  But maybe not. Maybe they knew all along. Maybe they trusted their talent and knew that others would too – even if the word pimp was in the song’s title.  They were obviously on to something, because now Three 6 Mafia will forever be mentioned in the same circles as Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro. Maybe it’s not that hard out there for a pimp.

I never thought I’d be saying this, but maybe we can learn a lesson or two from Three 6 Mafia. Maybe if we trusted our talents more, and doubted ourselves less… Maybe if we spent more time being authentic, being who we really are, and less time conforming to what other people think we should be… And maybe if we write our books, start our businesses, work diligently on our blogs and pen our screenplays, even when no one is watching, maybe we’ll be saying “seriously?” one day as we’re presented with an honor we never imagined receiving.

So the Woman at Forty question for today is this, if Three 6 Mafia can win an Oscar, what can you do? Tell us in the comment section or submit your stories to contribute@womenatforty.com.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer ribbon large October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of breast cancer survivors and the loved ones we’ve lost, Women at Forty will display our special pink logo throughout the month of October.

Forty is the year women are encouraged to get their first mammogram.  I’m gearing up for mine, and am curious about other women’s experiences.  I’ve heard horror stories about the discomfort and pain involved in getting a mammogram, but I’ve heard far more stories about how having one ultimately saved someone’s life.

Mammograms are about as comfortable as a visit to the gynecologist, but ladies, it’s something we’ve got to do for ourselves and the people who love us.  If you’re uninsured, like so many of us are, and worried about the cost of a mammogram, the United Breast Cancer Foundation (UBCF) links women to free or low cost breast screenings and follow-up care at their local hospitals and health centers. To find out where free screenings are in your area, visit the Free Breast Cancer Screening page on the (UBCF) website.

If you’ve got a personal story about getting your own mammogram done, surviving breast cancer or living with loss after a loved one has succumbed to breast cancer, please share your stories with us. You can submit your stories to contribute@womenatforty.com. If you’d like to acknowledge a survivor or lost loved one, please give them a Women at Forty shout in the comment section of this post. We’ll feature your stories and tributes throughout the month.

Running Toward Forty, Maybe Too Fast and Too Hard

Today, guest blogger Tricia Amiel speaks candidly about reaching forty. Maybe, a bit too quickly…

Tricia Amiel Getting close…almost there, the golden age of 40.  I’m a single, divorced mom of two boys, and a daughter recently “adopted”, a former student from the high school where I teach.  At the moment, I’m consumed by the notion of transition, making decisions, planning for the life I promised myself I’d have at 40…

Somehow, on my 39th birthday this past July, a clock started ticking.  I remembered that I had stated some years ago that if I didn’t have my life together by the time I was 40, I would find the nearest bridge…  I see 40 as a magic age, when all the mistakes of adulthood thus far have been reckoned with, corrected, accepted, dealt with.  But here I am, less than a year away, and life is a muddy puddle of problems, fears, broken relationships.

So I started a mission… Continue reading Running Toward Forty, Maybe Too Fast and Too Hard

eHarmony vs. Old School: Digital Dating and the Analog Introduction

Today I’m excited to feature Women at Forty’s first ever guest post by fellow blogger and freelance writer, Rachel Dachel. Rachel’s a friend of Women at Forty and creator of the blog Rachel-y Motivated Incidents. She’s got something to say about being almost forty and dating in the digital era.  Any of this sound familiar? BlackCouple

Technology is an amazing thing. It is common these days to log on and pay bills, complete research and even shop online. Shopping is especially popular and many websites allow you to custom order goods to your own exact specifications, contributing to our society’s demand for instant gratification. The internet is becoming an increasingly popular method for people to meet socially as well. From MySpace to Facebook and Match.com to Yahoo Personals, people are logging on and surfing in record numbers to find like-minded people with whom to connect and hopefully forge some sort of relationship. Continue reading eHarmony vs. Old School: Digital Dating and the Analog Introduction