I was asked to answer four questions and write an essay for Chicago Woman Magazine after being chosen as one of Chicago’s 50 Fierce outstanding women over 50.
I turned to my dictionary, hoping to find a positive definition. I could not put myself into the fierceness category. The dictionary definition read, “Having or displaying an intense or ferocious aggressiveness: as women, we need to accept that we can be fierce, cunning and predatory.”
Why would the managing editor choose the word FIERCE?
That same day, Friday, I had lunch with three friends. I asked them to define the word fierce. Their definitions matched the dictionaries. Walking home from lunch, my tummy was turning as my thoughts turned to my assignment, due Monday.
I explained my dilemma to my ultimate concierge. He was of no help because his definition of the word matched the dictionary and he did not see me as a fierce woman either.
Friday turned into Saturday and Saturday into Sunday. Darlings, my stress level was at its max. I pondered and pondered over the meaning of the word and its relationship with my character.
Seven hours over three days and then, finally, a light bulb went off in my mind. My generation viewed the word, fierce, negatively. Today’s generation describes a fierce woman positively.
I thought to myself, “I bet a young editor decided on this word, fierce because she sees a fierce woman as ‘the ultimate woman.’
Suddenly, after seven hours of thinking and trying to define on paper why I am a fierce woman over 50, my fingers hit my keyboard and in less than 10 minutes, I wrote, “What Makes me Fierce.”
I thought it would be interesting to read how I answered the four questions and my thoughts on being a fierce woman at my age. Darlings, I am as fierce as they get and so are you. And it is all ‘good.’
Who Are Three Fierce Women You Admire?
- Barbara Walters: My husband and I were leaving the restaurant, La Grenouille, in New York. I was totally caught off guard when I noticed a woman signaling me to her table. It was Barbara Walters. When I reached her side, she paid me a lovely compliment. I returned one. My take away from the meeting: Not many women pay a compliment to another woman. Those who do feel good in their own skin. A fierce woman enjoys ‘gifting’ a complement to another woman.
- Ann Morrow Lindberg: When I was in my early twenties, a close girlfriend gave me a present, the book Gift from the Sea, written by Ann Morrow Lindberg. It still sits on my night table. Her message, on womanhood, is a keeper for all ages.
- My mother: My mother is my role model. I owe her my moral code of values and my true grit to remain visible and relevant at every age. She is 97 years, young.
What is a Favorite Book?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It has the key to secrets of positive existence. Its lessons inspire me to live my dreams. I have gifted this book to several of my grandchildren.
What is Your Favorite Spot in Chicago for a Night Out?
It turns out I do not have a favorite spot for a night out in Chicago. I enjoy taking in different scenes, different recipes and different venues. I do love the romance, Peking Duck and fine outdoor dining at the Shanghai Terrace, in the Peninsula Hotel. I always look forward to dinners at Gene and Georgetti and Gibsons because New York strips and al dente pasta, combined with an evening of gaiety, makes me smile. I savor biting into the homemade hotdogs at the Four Seasons Hotel as well as its quiet atmosphere. I am delighted and leave restored after listening to an outdoor concert with my husband at Millennium Park. The roar of the city, combined with the sounds of Mozart, Bach or Beethoven is a mix of grandeur.
What Do You Love The Most at This Time in Your Life?
I love my lifestyle. I love and am loved by my husband, Sheldon Good, who I call my ultimate concierge because… there is nothing he does not do for me. I am blessed with a blended family who I love and who love me. I love my home I share with my husband and our new pooch, America O. Good, on the 71st floor overlooking Lake Michigan and my beautiful Chicago. I am blessed with a positive nature, and I am grateful every day of my life.
And now for the seven hours of thinking that took ten minutes to write.
What Makes Me Fierce
I am fierce because, above all else, I am a visible and relevant woman.
I am fierce because a woman’s femininity is her greatest asset.
I am fierce because my word is my bond.
I am fierce because I give back.
I am fierce because everything I do is with purpose and often passion.
I am fierce because I use my power in a soft manner.
I am fierce because I am loyal.
I am fierce because I see life as a series of challenges, not problems.
I am fierce because I walk on the sunny side of the street.
I am fierce because my top priority is my husband and my family.
I am fierce because I am worldly.
I am fierce because I know inner beauty surpasses outer beauty.
And most importantly, I am fierce because I am grateful.
What Makes You a Fierce Woman Over 50?
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