The expression ‘Once Upon a Time’ conjures up thoughts for me of a time when things were different, perhaps better, or at least simpler.
Generally, these are times fondly or romantically remembered but not always.
Once Upon a Time suggests a state of suspended history that we can look back on.
Today, as we near the end of this historic year, and I reflect back to the past months, it does seem that the world has lived in a dark fairy tale while our land was cursed with a pandemic.
All the kingdoms in the world were under siege from a villainous virus that threatened the lives and livelihoods of their citizens and the sustainability of many businesses.
I am not trying to make light of the negative and traumatic events of this past year by suggesting we have been living in some storybook or cartoon. But I think that you can see that there are some parallels with good old fashioned ‘Once Upon a Time’ narratives.
We know from stories of childhood bedtimes that...
At age sixty, I felt as if I stepped across a threshold into an entirely new world of my own creation.
I was energized by an infusion of possibilities and opportunities after my bout with Identity Crisis Syndrome in my late fifties.
I still had not fully answered the question “Who Am I Now?” but I was starting to figure it out.
There is something incredibly significant about turning sixty.
The number sixty is a measure of time and progress. There are 60 seconds in each minute and 60 minutes in each hour. We identify with fast cars that go from ‘zero to 60’ in a boasted time.
When I was young and impatient to grow older and more independent, time seemed to move excruciatingly slow.
As I evolved through my twenties, thirties, and forties, I was always trying to stretch time to pack in more ‘doing’. I was always “on the clock” trying to accomplish some goal or milestone.
In my fifties, I started to realize that ‘being’ was...
50 is Nifty – maybe - but that's not how I would describe my fifth decade.
I celebrated my 50th birthday in 2004.
The vibe was different then. We were riding high on the wave of a new millennium. We survived Y2K!
I threw a spectacularly fun New Year’s Eve party on December 31, 1999, my home bulging with friends, as we tipsily awaited the turn of midnight to see if our technology-based world would short circuit!
You know what happened, of course. All the hype about universal computer melt down deflated like my party balloons the next morning.
Enter the 2000s and we seemed to be on an energetic high! It felt like most of the world was making and spending money, more than ever before.
My company was growing at a rapid pace and I was running to keep up as its leader.
My 5th decade was witness to one more divorce and another marriage. Joyfully, this decade also allowed me to blend three families and extend the privilege of my matriarchal domain over multiple...
My fourth decade began in 1994. If you read my previous blog; The Decade I Balanced in Three Inch Heels: My THIRTIES, you know that I became an accidental entrepreneur in 1989.
Without forethought, experience, or any specific plan, I started a chemical business from my dining room table, with the belief that it was just a temporary thing to support my family.
Fast forward, five years passed and those were tough, grueling years which forced me to grow by leaps and bounds, in skills, confidence, resilience and stick-to-itiveness.
What was I thinking? I chose a business in an industry dominated by a closed club of men, tenured career professionals and science types. They were a hard drinking, tough talking, deal making on the golf course clique.
The initial years were like drinking from the proverbial firehose. Often, I simply got soaked, knocked down and left dripping on the outside of their fire circle.
I stuck out like a manicured thumb with glitter polish.
Fortunately, I came...
My third decade began in 1984 while I was employed in the executive and corporate aviation world. The culture and personalities of this micro industry taught me a great deal about what to do and what not to do to advance my career and dodge trouble.
I learned many skills including how to recite the aviation alphabet and hold my liquor like one of the boys. We worked hard and we played hard and for sure, today, many of the then accepted practices and behaviors would be forbidden. Let me just say the #MeToo club had lots of members.
My thirties were a very pivotal time in my identity development. This decade included my second divorce and my third marriage. I expand on this in the chapter "Serial Wife". in my book.
This decade was also the beginning of my education in the chemical industry, and a discovery I had an affinity to sales and marketing because of my fascination with the uniqueness and motivations of people.
Initially, I was terrified at the prospect of convincing...
I woke from a frightening dream about being marooned in deep fog.
The sensations of deprivation, loneliness, and disorientation were disconcertingly familiar and more nightmarish than dream-like.
This night terror rekindled memories of difficult periods of my identity crisis, and the struggle to answer; ‘Who Am I Now?’
Fatigued from chasing the elusive “Next Me”, while much in my life was changing, the challenge of reinventing again made me want to pull the covers over my head.
To the world outside of my gloom, it appeared that everything in my life was easy-breezy, bright and sunny. I pretended I had it all under control. Most of the time my family and friends were fooled. Sometimes, I fooled myself for a while.
Behind the veil, everything was grey and...
For most, or all of your life, you’ve been cast in roles by others and played parts based on timing, obligation and necessity.
You have been someone’s child, a student, a team member, a branch on a family tree. You were instructed, you were modeled, you conformed.
You have been an employee and or a boss, a member of communities, a volunteer, a leader, a citizen. You contributed, you adapted, you compromised.
You have been a parent, a caregiver to family members and others, a port in the storm. You balanced, you juggled, you sacrificed.
You studied, achieved, failed and tried again.
You have been a consumer, a spender, a saver, an investor.
Life and influencers thrust these roles upon you. Conscious choice was much rarer than imposed decision or circumstantial opportunity. It was expected; get an education, get a job, start a family, follow the rules.
You’ve fulfilled the roles, played the parts as directed by society and...
I've been called the Mistress of Transformation & Reinvention. I embrace that title as empowering but also a responsibility.
A woman’s life is fertile with opportunities to change, grow and reinvent!
My own journey has been filled with many tours, detours and ‘Oh My Goddess! I did not see THAT coming!’ experiences.
Full disclosure: Not all my life’s adventures and opportunities started as my idea. In fact, some of my roles happened to me or were forced upon me, and sometimes, I resisted and struggled with the change.
You might think that my story has almost come to an end at age 65, traditionally the age that our generation was expected to retire or begin our descent into obsolescence . . . Vroom Vroom!
I celebrated my ‘un-retirement’ by publishing a book...
‘Lift as You Climb’ is my personal mantra. It is a guiding principle in my life, woven into the fabric of my character by personal experience. Rather than compete, I believe we all achieve much more when we collaborate, share resources, and support others to be the best they can be.
I grew up in a farming community and witnessed neighbors coming together often to help each other bring in crops, raise a new barn, put out fires and share with others in need.
So, I suppose it was this organic education that led me to understand that opportunities to help others is not like pie. There are not a limited number of slices and then you run out. Opportunities to help others are infinite and the rewards are exponential.
If you read my book “Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored”, you will know I had a challenging start in life. I achieved great success and abundance because so many others were willing to help me,...
Leonardo DiCaprio and I have a lot in common
The 2002 movie, “Catch Me If You Can”, starred a young Leonardo DiCaprio, playing the part of Frank Abagnale Jr.
This award-winning film directed by Steven Spielberg, was inspired by the true story of a young man who successfully posed as a teacher, a doctor, an airline pilot and a lawyer. He so convincingly assumed each role that few questioned his authority to hold these positions.
In each identity, he leveraged his love of learning, powers of observation and personal confidence to adapt and function as different people.
My interpretation of the story is that Leonardo, aka Frank, succeeds in each impersonation because he immersed fully into each persona, believing he was that identity and didn’t need to act. He became that individual and stayed in character until there was a reason to transform.
This is why I think Leonardo, or at least his...