Friday, June 24, 2011

Fortyness: Stepping Out!

In our 20's, stepping out was all about being the center of attention. Perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect actions..... it was all about us wanting to catch another's eye. Sometimes it was to connect with that special guy or gal. Sometimes it was to strut our peacock feathers. Sometimes it was just to be the topic of someone's conversation.

In our 30's stepping out was all about gaining the approval of others. Perfect play dates, perfect parenting, perfect volunteering opportunities..... it was all about wanting someone else to think we were doing a good job, we were good parents, and we fit into the mold that made us part of the in-group.

The 40's are different. Stepping out has a different purpose.

At this time in life, we start to care less about being the center of attention or being the center of the in group. In our 40's, we want less to be the center of another's world and want more to be centered in ourselves. We step out to make a difference because it matters to us, because we were afraid to in our younger days because of what others would think, and because we see it is time to feed our selves as we begin our middle life years.

In my fortyness I am stepping out boldly. Although many of my roles in life aren't changing - I am still and always a mom and I am still a wife to my husband.... but the job descriptions do change. I need to understand who I am outside of those roles. Stepping out allows me to understand me. It allows me to explore those things that I've always wanted to do. It lets me discover pieces of me that were either buried or that I didn't even know existed.

So what have I done in my fortyness to step out?

I graduated college.
I learned to rock climb.
I started a blog.
I started a website.
I have reached out and contacted people boldly to make connections and friends.
I have started an internet radio show.
I have made opportunities to speak in public.
I have searched for and found my voice.
I have embraced my own idea of creativity.

It's your turn....what are you going to do, or what have you done in your fortyness to step out?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hat Trick Tips - Paper Beads!

Fun, easy, and inexpensive paper beads make a great summertime project to fill the "I'm bored!" time! Great for parents and kids. Your imagination is your only limit with this project!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fortyness - Embracing Your Einstein

Has this ever scenario ever happened to you?

Woman and Man (insert your own names....) attend a corporate party with all of the co-workers and big wigs of the company. Business talk, small talk and corporate conversational etiquette ensue as the topic of the moment turns to Alma maters, degrees, corporate positions and accomplishments. The business rhetoric makes its way around the sea of well dressed, well versed, well educated, and highly accomplished gathering of faces. You feel the tension build like an overstretched rubber band as the discussion approaches you. Here it comes, the questions.... your answers....

Q: So, what do you do?
A: I stay home and raise our kids.
Q: What's your Alma Mater?
A: MU, Mom University - (chuckling)

The conversation quickly moves past. Eyes, faces and even bodies turn away to face the next "professional" person. You could feel it coming, you withstood the discomfort of the questioning, then had to stay as you felt minimized, overlooked, undereducated, and just plain less than the others in the room.

Now this scenario doesn't have to revolve around a corporate setting or be hung upon degrees, status, or position. It could be hung upon an interest or industry that is not shared by you, but by others in the room. It also doesn't have to be the woman who feels less... it could be the man as well.

The point is that when we feel left out, like we have nothing to contribute, like we haven't met the same goals, position, or status as others, sometimes we just feel... well.... less.

In fortyness we have each had a lot of life experience that has made us at least proficient in many of the necessary functions of life, and most likely experts at others. What we may feel like we "lack" (it really is just non-familiarity or non-interest) in one area, we more than make up for in another. We may feel like we know nothing about the conversation in the room full of financial analysts talking about macro-economics, but we might be an expert at connecting with, and understanding people. We may not be able to do the complex formulas that the analysts are spouting off like slang, but we can watch their body language and see the messages behind the words they are saying.

In fortyness we each need to embrace our inner Einsteins. Einstein was not a genius at everything he did. He probably didn't master EVERYTHING. He was human, and so are we. But he was a genius as somethings - as are we. Those things have tremendous value and are a part of what makes our lives, our relationships, and the world function. We must not overlook our own strengths, compare them to other's strengths, or think that they are any less important or necessary than others.

So, at the next encounter when we feel like we are not worthy or smart enough to be in on the conversation, we should listen with interest - we just might see that we really do understand more of it than we realized. But more importantly, we need to realize that our inner Einsteins are alive and well, contributing to different conversations and making the world a better place.