Last spring while on a speaking tour with Kim Serafini and Annette Symn, I was having a conversation with an Executive Business woman from Australia and she made the comment that in the business world, your professional life is over at 50. My immediate reaction was perhaps naive as I said: Are you kidding? That’s not the story for me.
I was on a flight home from L.A. and I sat down next to a really nice couple. A woman just a few years older than myself at the time, around 5o years of age, smiled and we began chatting. She shared with me her story that she had basically stayed home raising her family for the past decade or so. She and her husband were financially secure and didn’t need the extra income.
My exercise regime is focused on core strength. I just had my 51st birthday, and without some concerted effort I can definitely see some “muffin top” happening. Some of that is just unavoidable and has more to do with a slowing metabolism and a desire to let loose and have some fun and celebration now and then. (At least, five extra pounds of fun.) I may allow my pendulum to swing a short while to the left but, as I swing back to the middle, I’m all about facing the next bar of fitness—no matter what age I am, and I love the hour I spend doing that at my local Nextbarre studio.
You’ve probably noticed some of my more passionate posts lately on behalf of women. As an American Heart Association spokesperson, I want to help increase awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women. One out of three women will die from heart disease and it’s because we don’t listen to the early signs of detection. Why is that? My mom recently had a minor heart attack. She woke up in the middle of the night feeling like an elephant was sitting on her chest. She didn’t go back to sleep, but she didn’t go to the hospital right away either. At about 2 p.m. the next day, she spoke to my niece who is in medical school studying to be a naturopath.
Truth is, beautiful people don’t just happen. There are two ways to see beauty. I can look at something from the outside as an object, or I can see the essence of beauty that comes from the inside-out - the soul of beauty. Essence is something far more reflective and intangible but clearly present in the energy of all living things.
Coming off The Truth Event tour with my good friends, Aussie speakers Kim Serefini and Annette Symn, I was struck by a question Annette would ask in the entrepreneur business building portion of her talk, “How many of you would like to make a lot of money?” Even more striking was the hesitancy people had in raising their hands. In each event, only one or two people would raise their hands when asked this question. Why?
Let’s pretend for a moment that we are having a glass of wine together, and we are in circle of women who have lost the man in our lives. We are modern day widows. We find ourselves on this unexpected sovereign journey that we are not very sure of, and we step forward not because we want to, but because we have to.
When Carolyn Moor asked me to write this column for Modern Widows Club, I hesitated momentarily, as anyone might. I thought about what a taboo subject our feminine sexuality can be especially to “the good girls.”
One of the things that hits us the hardest as widows is the fact that we were in a marriage, coupled, and now find ourselves navigating the murky waters of what it means to be “single.” Even our friendships that once seemed safe in our couple’s world now feel awkward and strained as we are seen differently as a “single” woman. The only rule there is in the process of healing is that there are no rules! There is nothing to guide you but your heart and what you feel is the very best choice you can make to heal. You are, after all, the surviving spouse. Here are a few guidelines I would suggest you reflect on as you begin to discern your next moves as a modern widow and single woman.
Woman to Woman Series: When is the right time to begin dating after the loss of a partner or spouse? No one can answer this question for you. However, there are a few preceding questions that will help you know if you are ready to begin dating and what kind of relationship you want.
In the greater scheme of things, while it is difficult to imagine in the midst of the heartbreak of loss, there is an incredible gift coming that can be missed in the presence of fear. The gift, as widowed women, is to stand complete in our sovereignty and on our own two feet realizing our human potential as we embrace both our masculine and feminine nature. What do I mean by that?
Widows are in a different league altogether than divorcees but all of us are in the same position as single women. Getting your feet wet “dating” and meeting people can be challenging on many levels and it would be nice to have that big sister to talk to and help answer some of the questions you have. That’s “why” this column. That’s “why” this Modern Widows Club.
As you warm up to the idea of dating, you boot up your computer (perhaps just a little reticent), and start to “ask” Google to search and show you what’s available in the online dating world. You begin to find that there are free sites and paid ones; there are Christian sites and Jewish ones, too, that promise the possibility of love and connection.
I didn’t wait the standard year before having sex with a man for the first time after my husband’s sudden death. I was 43 at the time and in my sexual prime. The Tibetans say that sex brings life, energy and creative force to a woman where it depletes a man of his life and creative force. Makes total sense to me! We are energized by sex whereas men are sleepy and tired after, right?
It’s no secret that in order to attract what we want we must first show an opening and be able to clearly define and ask for what we want. It’s all about “intention.” This phase of widow-hood is new and can hold a lot of deep fear and even some survivor’s guilt on the unconscious plane. Somehow, by asking for what we want now, the greatest fear may be that we will be letting go of what we had, placing it in the memory bank of a past life.
Loving oneself is not narcissistic, it’s imperative to love oneself in order to live a successful life of loving others. You can always find ways to love yourself and learn to receive a little more, and so can I! I’ve happily devoted my life energy to a wonderful marriage, to family, to career, to schools and committees, to friends and sports teams, to Brownies and Girl Scouts, and now it’s time to learn the art of receiving.