Several online websites and social media channels on lifestyle appeal to women after 50 in beauty, fashion, entertainment, food, and travel. I frequent some of these sites.
As a woman over 50, I have earned my Ph.D. So, I decided to discuss topics outside the limelight.
My site, HoneyGood.com, and my three private FaceBook groups are for women facing challenges. All women have their ‘stuff’ and need an ear and advice from a woman like myself who has experienced more than her share and landed on her feet.
Let me tell you, problem-solving is not easy, but it is rewarding. Everything is doable when you have a desire and your peers by your side.
INVISIBLE NO MORE: EMBRACING AUTHENTICITY AND CONNECTION
Most women over 50 know how to cook a 25-minute dinner and sip on their favorite teas. This woman, after 50, is wise enough to realize she no longer needs to ‘gild the lily.’ Therefore, she wants to discuss real-life issues with a woman like myself and her peers to find answers and solutions that teach and uplift her.
My three private Facebook groups pinpoint situations many women encounter after age 50. These groups are made up of women who are facing disruptive events in life.
I don’t want to give the impression that I am a downer. I am anything but a downer. What I am is an upper and a realist. And, sweet reader, stuff happens to all of us. Perhaps it is a blended new family, a career change in later life, first-time solo travel, a lost job, a break-up in a relationship, financial grief, and the list goes on. You and I know women need women to help us with advice and friendship in all these situations.
MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUPS:
I refer to myself as a realist. So, I decided on these three topics for my initial groups because they are not discussed in the media and I prefer not to sugarcoat a woman’s life over 50. The fact is, women over 50 face estrangement from adult children (The New York Times in 2020 gave a figure of 67 million parents in the USA), widowhood at an alarming rate, and feeling invisible after 50 is a ‘visible’ force in society.
Why suffer alone and in silence? Why not have the opportunity to have an open dialogue with other women over 50 facing similar situations? “No man is an Island. No man lives alone.” — John Donne
I felt a desire to open the door with my authentic writings and groups to women because, you see, dear reader, I am the mother of estranged adult children. I was widowed in my 40s, and I think women’s groups and reading my authentic stories are better than visiting a shrink and cost a lot less money! As you know, private Facebook groups are free.
UNWRAP THE INNER YOU
This is what you will learn or discuss when you read my stories or join my group, Women Over 50 Celebrate Visibility. Firstly, you are not alone; secondly, uplifting solutions exist for these feelings.
Do you feel invisible? If so, search within, sweet reader, and visit your inner beauty. Have you been so worried and obsessed about your outer look that you have forgotten that 80% of your beauty is the inner you?
The inner you control your posture, your smile, your emotions, your wit, your gait, your self-confidence, and your thinking. Start acknowledging your inner attributes, and you will feel your confidence rise. Trust me, your outer beauty will take on a new look when you realize you have great self-worth.
When you reach this conclusion, the muscles in your face will no longer be tight, and your smile will be warm and sincere. You will walk taller, laugh more, and have a ‘visibly’ beautiful presence. This is inner beauty at its finest.
A TRUE STORY ABOUT FEELING INVISIBLE AND WHY I STARTED MY GROUPS
Seven years ago, I received a phone call from a young advertising man who wanted to run ads on HoneyGood. He asked me if I would put together a focus group of women over 50 because he wanted to understand how they felt because he was in his 40s. He flew in from Colorado, and I quickly assembled a group of women.
We sat around the little bar in our home in California. He asked questions. Suddenly and out of nowhere, a trendy woman, a psychologist, a woman of self-worth who traveled and had style, said, “I feel invisible.” The other women sitting around the bar looked up, startled. I must admit I was taken aback, too. I asked her why.
She told us she had visited her brother at his home at Thanksgiving and sat alone. The children played with one another. The parents gabbed with one another; her brother and his wife were busy preparing the meal. And there she was, as she said, feeling invisible. She explained it had nothing to do with feeling unloved. It was her age. Her time of life.
And then, the other women piped in and said, “I feel invisible.” They were all attractive, well-educated, well-traveled, and had husbands or significant others. OMG, I thought to myself – “The word invisible has never entered my mind except when I think of Casper the Ghost!”
MY MULTIGENERATIONAL GROUP
Over the next week or so, I thought about the word, invisible. It haunted me. So, one day, I picked up my phone and called ten women, told them the story, and asked them if they wanted to form a group to discuss women’s issues after 50. Not one woman turned me down; that, my darling, is how I started my groups. That group lasted for three years. Covid came, and we sold our home in California.
I missed the group, so when the New York Times asked me to invite a group of multigenerational women into my condo in the sky, I said yes!
So, I invited women aged 27 to 96 into our home, and they did not want the evening to end! The photographer from the NYT said, “I love the conversation, but I have to leave!”
The young asked questions of the women over 50, and the women over 50 asked the younger women questions. They left, hoping to meet again. It was December, and my ultimate concierge and I left Chicago to spend the winter in our California home.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH WOMEN’S GROUPS
From my experiences with women’s groups, I have learned that no one understands a woman better than another woman. As mentioned above, joining a group is far better therapy than visiting a shrink! Women love to talk and share their feelings. Do you know a woman who does not like to give her advice? I am smiling.
Therefore, who better than a group of women from all over the world experiencing the same dilemmas: feeling invisible, trials of widowhood, or estrangement from adult children, to help you over the hump? My feelings are women need women, and groups are the answer.
“We are the hero of our own story” – Mary McCarthy
When a woman joins one of my groups, she is eager for help and advice. She feels the need to come to terms with a problem(s) she is facing. She needs a group of women facing her difficulty(s) to wrap their arms around her and tell her she is not alone. She also knows this is her opportunity to help her new female friends.
I want every woman to regain her optimism after she shuts down from an unexpected event. To stay shutdown is not living.
CLIMB THE STAIRS
Whether you are a woman going through the pangs of feeling invisible, the grief of widowhood, the tragedy of estrangement, or other problems, my sweet reader, you must take the bull by the horns and climb the stairs. It is hard work. No getting around it. But it will be a joyful experience to wake up with a smile on your face, a relaxed body, and the feeling of a ten-pound weight of anxiety and sadness lift, and in its place… peace, self-power, and joy.
I know because I wore some of your shoes. I was widowed, and I am the mother and grandmother of estranged adult children. Sadly, I know suffering. Through years of hard work, I have learned that I am the captain of my ship.
However, I can never again allow myself to wallow in grief, despair, anger, loneliness, and fear of the unknown. Instead, I will pick myself up and lead the best life. After doing my due diligence – mourning my losses, I choose survival and joy. And that is my goal for you.
I, TOO, HAVE UPS AND DOWNS
Sure, I have downtimes, but they are far less frequent because I suffered my losses by going through mourning. Mourning is a very personal and challenging process. Many a woman tries to avoid it. Believe me, I know some of those women. I believe what the authors on grieving state, “You cannot return to truly enjoy a normal life until you go through the mourning process.”
I mourned my late husband. It took a very long time, even though I married my ultimate concierge, who was a widower. He understood.
I mourned the loss of my estranged family. This has taken years of my life, and I hope not of my life.
Today, I stand firm.
Why do I authentically share my feelings with you, my dear reader, or group followers? Why am I not afraid to share my vulnerable side with you?
It is because I want to give back to you. My goal through my stories on Honeygood.com and in my Facebook groups is to help you find the power to live your best life possible: walk with your head held high and a smile on your face while thinking to yourself… Here I am world. Hear my roar.
Remember, sweet reader Mary McCarthy’s quote:
“We are the Hero of our own story” – Mary McCarthy.
Amen. I am smiling!
Please share this story with other women!
Are you a member of one or more of my groups? Would you take a moment to share your experiences with our community here in the comments?
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