Single Women Over Forty, Sandra Bullock, Camille Grammer, Single Mothers over Forty
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
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!
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
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! 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.
(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
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!
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!
The acronym S.S.O.F.F.* was created by pure serendipity. Being
“suddenly single, over forty and female” was
my situation – and the alliteration was irresistible! I was pleased with the reaction I received
from others when I defined S.S.O.F.F* for them. However, a few of my friends
had suggested adding a “T” to have it read as “ssofft.” But that would be
misleading. The S.S.O.F.F.*’s I know are not soft! Quite the opposite. It
takes strength to survive as a S.S.O.F.F.* My fellow S.S.O.F.F.*’s have an amazing amount
of inner strength and resilience, which isn’t always obvious on the surface. May
I remind you of Sandra Bullock and Camille Grammer?
The S.S.O.F.F* chose her lifestyle of wife and mother and
really enjoyed the feeling of
warmth and security this environment provided. She worked
hard at making it appear effortless. Believe me, it takes a very strong woman
to pull that off! And even greater strength and fortitude is required when that
lifestyle is destroyed.
The word soft is
often equated with being feminine, having a gentle quality, soothing, graceful,
etc. And this is great!!! But soft
can also be seen as weak, ineffectual, or malleable. And that is not the definition I want associated
with a S.S.O.F.F*!
So, please leave the “T” off the S.S.O.F.F. Hey, maybe I should add another “S” for
Strong. S.S.S.O.F.F.? Think about it!