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Single women over forty, divorced or widowed women, freindships, relationships,

Job Search and Happiness

Many of we “single women over forty” have had to get back into the workforce at a time when millions of people are looking for a job.  But we cannot get discouraged – in fact, we need to do just the opposite!    We have a right to get the job we want and to be happy doing it!  A recent Gallup poll found that the “happiness” factor of Americans could be linked to two important criteria: living in medium-sized cities, and working in the industries that are “alive and well.”

It may take a little “out of the box” thinking, but many opportunities are created by this method. This may be the first step toward  (re)creating  yourself , and remember, you are not alone!  

Di Chapman, founder of Words to Your Advantage Speaking and Writing Service, has written an article on this topic for examiner.com.   With a focus on success strategies, she posts thedailyjobhunt.wordpress.com, specializing in career management and workplace issues.  Please click on the link below for more info.  


It's All Relative!

It’s All Relative!
 
Did you know that May 18 was National Visit Your Relatives Day?  Honest! Of course, we have all heard the phrase, “You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your relatives!”  As a result, we’re all related at some point to some one we would not choose as a friend - and vice versa.  God does have a sense of humor! 
 
But what about picking “in-laws?”  Unless you are from a culture where a child’s future spouse is chosen at birth –no one has a say in that, either! And mothers, don’t ever kid yourselves into thinking you can influence your sons’ or daughters’ choices of partners.  No matter how close you are to your children, their choices will often surprise and bewilder you.  And of course – rarely does anyone marry only a spouse – they marry a family! (Kate Middleton, anyone?) Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even pets come into the mix.  And with any luck at all, you may be compatible with a few of these family members.  I personally have had the most luck with pets.
 
I’m not sure where the dynamic of opposites attracting comes from, but being a romantic at heart, I would like to believe “love conquers all.”  And, it may for some fortunate couples.  However, being “opposites” as in-laws does not attract love or any other favorable emotion.  At best, we can hope for tolerance, and at worst – “Meet the Fockers!” 
 
And by “opposite” I don’t mean the obvious such as race, religion, politics, etc.  (Although, avoiding discussions about religion and politics is always a good call.)  I’m referring to the basic perceptions all families have about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.  It has been my observation that most of us don’t adapt easily to change in our routines, especially where family gatherings are concerned.  One-on-one we can be amiable, flexible and even enjoy each others company.  But, put us in a group and . . . . not so much!
 
Having been an in-law several times, whether through my own marriages, my children’s or my sibling’s, I am certain that the one thing we all have in common is the best interests of our loved ones. Unfortunately, that can, and does, get in the way of familial harmony. 
 
So, back to the beginning, since we have no choice as to whom we become related to by law, since we love our own family (most of the time), and since we want to be involved in our loved ones’ lives (again, most of the time), what choice do we have?  Take the high road!  Do our best to be tolerant and respectful of our differences.  Be a little more flexible with our routines, and we may find some of their customs actually enjoyable.

Remember, we do love the same family member(s) that made us in-laws,  and the best choice we can make is to be a likable in-law.  We may be surprised to find, without picking one, we’ve made a friend.  Happily, I did!  Now, go for a visit!
 

Great Places to Meet Single Men - Not!


Great Places to Meet Single Men!  This banner headline can get more attention from women than a sandwich at a picnic can get from ants! And it’s no wonder.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2009, there were only 88 single men for every 100 single women over the age of 18. And the gap widens over the age of forty. Stacked deck, anyone?
 
Even with the Internet beckoning to us, there are many single women on both sides of forty who would like to meet a potential mate in person before beginning a relationship. Therefore, much has been written about how and where to do this. Here are five suggestions I’ve come across recently: business conferences/seminars; car, boat, and RV shows; libraries; weddings; and hosting your own singles mixer. Sounds good in theory, not so good in practice.  Here’s why.
 
            (1) Business conferences and seminars.  Having been in business for years, I have attended many of these functions.  I can honestly say, the single men who also attend are there to work – not flirt!  They are usually ambitious men who are climbing the ladder of success, earning points with their bosses, etc.  Does this sound like men who are there to meet women and begin a meaningful relationship?  Unless they are twenty years old, and you are really hot, probably not! 
 
 
            (2) Car, Boat and RV shows.  These are usually filled with single men.  And most single men are there with their buddies, whose full attention is on the cars, boats, RV’s, and the very young, nubile models who are sitting in or on the cars, boats and RV’s.  
Enough said.
 
            (3) The public library. This one has me saying, “Really?”   It is presumed that intellectual, frugal men visit there routinely.  Well, perhaps they do, and that’s good if you want to hook up with an elderly, retired gentleman living on a fixed income, or a young student who’s too broke to buy his own computer.  Personally, I’d rather take my chances at the coffee shop in Barnes & Noble, where at least the presumed intellectuals can afford a mocha latte!
 
            (4) Weddings.  I have always enjoyed weddings, and will attend even if I barely know the bride and groom. But, have you ever seen a movie where single men attend weddings just to hook up with a hot chick for a one-nighter?  Funny on film, not so fun in reality.  Let’s face it: we women love weddings because it means one of our own got lucky and found Mr. Right.  Men love weddings because it means they may get lucky
and not have to become Mr. Right!  And eventually, you can run out of friends and acquaintances who are getting married.  So, unless you want to be a one-nighter or a wedding crasher, your options here are limited.
 
            (5) Last, and definitely “least” is my personal favorite, “Host Your Own Singles Mixer.” Invite your girlfriends and have them bring two single male friends.  Well...if any of my girlfriends knew two eligible, single men, (a) they wouldn’t need the mixer, and (b) who said they would want to share?  Again, enough said.
 
Okay, so the reasons why these may not be the greatest places to meet men don’t mean they couldn’t work for you…serendipity does exist!  Just realize that attending anyplace that is recommended as a “great place to meet singles” with the expectation of actually meeting one will usually disappoint.  It has been observed that many single women over forty who have happily remarried, or are in a successful relationship, have met Mr. Right while simply going through the everyday process of living.  Yes, meeting a potential mate is a numbers game – and if you want to win, you have to play. But play by your own rules, follow your instincts, and don’t rule out serendipity!
 

Still Learning!!!


Most of us have heard the proverb “Physician heal thyself.”  As a child, I used to picture my family doctor putting a cast on his own arm. Well, in a way I suppose that’s one version. But through the years, the meaning has changed for me. I now interpret it to mean, “Put what you know to be true into practice, and start with yourself.”  Well, this is sound advice, but not necessarily easy to follow. 
 
Those of you who have read my book, "How to Survive in the 21st Century as a S.S.O.F.F*",  know that I still struggle with this one. It’s often easier to help others than to help yourself. I’ve discovered one simple fact: maintaining my own well-being is hard work!  And coming from a relationship that gave me support, to doing it on my own, is even harder. 
 
This is why I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping in touch with the friends and family who support you. It’s easy to become discouraged if you’re not getting positive energy from outside sources. We are all connected as human beings, regardless of our beliefs.  We need this connection at a basic, spiritual level. One definition of spiritual is “closely akin in interests, attitude, outlook, etc.”  That’s where friends and family come in. 
 
I bet you’ve always been there for many of them over the years, and now you need to allow them to be there for you. I tend to find it difficult to graciously accept the support of others.  Embarrassing but true!  Many S.S.O.F.F*’s find this difficult as well. We’re so used to being needed that we can forget how to need.  Being in need is not a bad thing, just unfamiliar.  And remember the word “gracious.”  It keeps you from feeling “desperately needy” and it gives others a chance to be genuinely supportive.
 
Emotional healing takes much longer than physical healing.  So be patient with yourself.  Allow time and friends to assist with the process.  Always treat yourself as you treat others, with empathy and compassion. Another proverb, “Charity begins at home,” is also a good rule to follow.  And remember, you are not in this alone! 
 
 
 

Valentine's, Love and Friendship

 
 
I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, I know many people say “It’s too commercial;” “I don’t want to be told when to buy flowers;” “Valentine’s Day Sucks!” (a recent quote from a dear friend in Iowa), or, “It’s too much pressure to be romantic on demand!” Blah, blah, blah. Well, come on now – if you don’t want to participate in the spirit of Love, which includes giving, receiving, being a part of . . . . on one specific day of the year -  then don’t. But please, don’t ruin it for the rest of us.  Thank you.
                                                           
Now we all know there are many kinds of “love” and one of the nicest, with the potential to last a lifetime, is the love between good friends. I had the privilege of hosting a party Sunday for several good S.S.O.F.F* friends!  It was our first official get together since the release of my book “How to Survive in the 21 Century as a S.S.O.F.F.*  And, of course, my friends are the ladies who contributed their personal experiences and observations to the books “S.S.O.F.F* Vignettes.” 
 
It was such fun to see the camaraderie between them, even though many hadn’t seen each other in years! Granted, they all have being “suddenly single and over forty” in common, however, each differs in background, careers, and lifestyles, to create a unique, diverse, fascinating group of friends. I am so grateful and honored to be a part of this circle, and truly hope we all keep the connection “alive and well” for a long time to come.
 
So. . . .  to the Valentine Scrooges out there: “You need to take a minute to really think about those you love and how often you acknowledge this without the help of a specific day to remind you. And if it’s not often, or maybe never, then for goodness sake, let Valentine’s Day give you the nudge you need to ensure your love lasts a lifetime!”
 
 

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