Rekindle the Romance in your Relationship!

Ignite the Spark with the
31-Day Romance Challenge!

Are you missing the PASSION and INTIMACY your relationship used to have? Want to get them back? 

It’s true, the pheromones might have subsided, but you can tickle that love-scent back into action and get those passion fires sparking again!

Yes! You really can do it!

It doesn’t take some odd cologne or a new sex toy – though you might want those later… BUT before you bring those into your bedroom, FIRST bring back the romance and the feelings that go with it.

How? With the 31-Day Romance Challenge!

romance challenge 2021

I designed the 31-Day Romance Month Challenge especially for August’s Romance Awareness Month to help YOU to get a little sparkle and a lot of fire back into YOUR relationship, quickly and easily! It’s full of fast & thoughtful gestures of love and simple activities – one small step each day – that you can do for, or with, your sweetie!

The romance is in remembering the little things you said, thought, and felt when you first started dating that helped you fall in love in the first place. The “challenge” is dedicating 15-20 minutes each day to focus on your relationship. 

You can download it HERE.

Do the Romance Challenges & Get Entered into a Prize Drawing!

Five year marriage giveaway prizes

Because I know you want that “in love” feeling again but also know how hard it is to fit even small efforts into your already busy schedule, I’m sweetening the deal with a little motivation!

During August, each time you post something about your romance challenge efforts on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest) and tag my account (so I can give you credit!) you’ll be entered into a drawing for The Fabulous Five-Year Marriage® Gift Pack: a personally autographed copy of The Five-Year Marriage® (so you can keep the good feelings going), a beautiful journal (to keep track of your romance), a pocket notebook (for those little love-reminders), a pen to record them with, and a $30 gift card to Panera (where you and your sweetie can go for some quiet talk). It’s everything you need to get busy leveling up your relationship romance!

A lot of couples struggled over the last year+ in lockdown together. Even the most healthy relationships felt a strain at times. Now that the world has begun to open up and started returning to ‘normal’, we have a great opportunity to be intentional about what our ‘normal’ looks like. One of the things couples ask me about is how to spark up a little more romance in their relationships. Right now is the perfect time to make a conscious decision to make space for romance – and it’s easier than you think with the 31-Day Romance Challenge!!

WAIT! Do You Feel Like Romance isn’t in the Cards for your Relationship Right Now? THEN YOU NEED TO READ THIS:

There are a lot of reasons why relationships wither or fail altogether, and it all starts with CHANGE. It could be a career change, family health issues, financial difficulties, unemployment or simply feeling like you’ve changed but your partner hasn’t, that your partner just doesn’t ‘get you‘ anymore. It could be any of the million different struggles couples face these days and there’s almost never anything you can do to prevent change. And that’s just it – you don’t need to fight change itself anyways.

The way back starts with a CHANGE – and the 31-Day Romance Challenge could be just the thing to get you two back on the same page. It may not solve the problems, but it could be just what you need to remind you why you want to solve them.

And, Once You’re “There”, Consider a “Reset” with the Five-Year Marriage®

The good news is that you and your partner CAN LEARN how to solve problems and adjust to life’s changes together! I explain, step by step, how to do exactly that in my book The Five-Year Marriage® – grab a copy from Amazon to learn how, or if you prefer a more guided approach, I’m offering the Beginners Guide to Your Brilliant Bad-Ass Marriage in the fall. You can also check out the 30-Day Relationship Reset Class that is currently live on Thinkific.

Positive Change Starts with a Single Step in the Right Direction

Check out the 31-Day Romance Challenge. Download it now and have a look through the various fun tasks and gestures you can do RIGHT now to take a step in a positive direction with your relationship.

You’re not Stuck, You CAN Make a Change!

I wholeheartedly believe that, and it’s my life’s passion to help you along your journey to Victory!

Sending

Pruning the Garden, Pruning Life & Independence

new growth, empowerment, inspiration

Happy July Victory Chicks!

Last month I attended a funeral and a memorial service. The funeral, in early June, was for my brother, 63, who died unexpectedly. The memorial service was last Saturday for Rose, one of Joseph’s long-time clients, who died of Covid last Christmas Eve; she was 92.

My brother’s funeral was short and sad. Everything was at the funeral home and his son-in-law gave a lovely eulogy. There was no burial service. My relationship with my brother was problematic and we seldom spoke. When I found out he died, I wasn’t really sure how I felt. It took time for me to sort out my feelings.

The memorial service was joyful. It was at church and Rose’s minister, children, and nephew spoke about her. Joseph said they totally captured the essence of the woman who – until lockdown – was on his massage table weekly. The organist played Silent Night – Rose’s favorite Christmas hymn. A luncheon was held outside; it was hot. Several one-minute drizzles cooled us and were welcomed.

Pruning on My Mind

By the time we got home in mid-afternoon, my patio tomato plants were begging for water. I have 10 of them. I accidentally bought them – way too many for my 3 planters. I couldn’t let them die and my neighbor didn’t want the extras. So I googled and read warnings about how overcrowding could end up killing the plants, or making them diseased…thus stealing from me the pleasure of a home-grown tomato and basil salad (with evoo and lots of garlic). OH-NO!

new beginnings

So all season I’ve been watching the plants extra carefully. That’s what I was doing on Saturday when I found myself picking off big leaves that didn’t have flowers. I’d never done that before and after I did, got nervous that I might kill the plants. So I stopped and googled.

Turns out, I was doing the exact right thing. Those big and non-flowering leaves hide the sun from the producing parts of the plants. Pruning them not only allows more sunlight, but “removing dead, diseased, or just unnecessary leaves and stems from tomato plants increases the fruit.”

HA! Whodathunkit? Well, maybe you knew it, but it was news to me. I’m guessing my Italian ancestors – including my mother – were guiding my hands or whispering in my brain.

So I went back to pruning tomatoes, and while I did, my brother and Rose came into my mind. Why were they pruned off the tree of life? I believe that if their job wasn’t done, they wouldn’t have died. So they each served their purpose here. But how will their passings bring increase to those whose lives their tree touched?

What’s been Pruned for You?

What about other things in life – like Covid confinement? That was certainly a pruning – wouldn’t you agree? What was pruned from your life over that year-long lockdown? How will that thinning out bear fruit for you in the coming year? Maybe you’ve already seen some good? Cheez-Louise, if nothing else, you know how to use zoom!

But I’ll bet it’s more than that – so please share it on the Victorious Woman Facebook page – we can all always use a little good news!

Happily, unlike July 4th of 2020, on this holiday weekend, we can enjoy time with family and friends – and fireworks (one of my all-time favorite things!). I do that and also help Joseph set up his healing station so that it’s ready for him after next week’s prostate surgery. We’re nervous, so please keep us in your prayers.

growth, personal and garden

And, of course, I’ll be back on my deck pruning those tomatoes…looking forward to that tomato salad, and thinking about how lucky I am that my tomato-growing ancestors chose to leave Italy and come to the United States so they could have the independence here that didn’t have in their birth country.

Maybe your ancestors did the same…each looking for something better here than they had before…their own independence. We can celebrate their courage and victory as we celebrate ours this holiday. 

Guess What? Exciting News about the Five-Year Marriage!

I’m excited to be quoted in both Marie Claire Magazine (my first international publication), and She’s SINGLE Magazine.   

Don’t forget…I’ll be doing a few workshops for both Savvy Sizzle and Five-Year Marriage (that once-crazy idea is getting more notice these days especially with millennials!). I’ll keep you posted about when in August! Plan to join me because for one of both of them because they’ll be GOOD – and you don’t want to miss out!

american independence, your independence

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!

With love and in victory,
Annmarie

I’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationships. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark. Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal VictoriesVictory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

Annmarie Kelly, speaker, author, lifestyle influencer for women over 40

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW. WANT MORE?

CONNECT with other VICTORY CHICKS in a Private FaceBook Group

You can learn more about Annmarie and get free tips and advice about
Victorious Woman and Five-Year Mariage here:
https://AnnmarieKelly.com

Follow Five_Year Marriage on Facebook: https://facebook.com/fiveyearmarriage
Follow FYM on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fiveyearmarriage/
Follow Annmarie on Twitter https://twitter.com/AnnmarieKelly

Like Victorious Woman on FB: https://www.facebook.com/victoriouswoman​

Subscribe to Victory Chicks Radio & Podcasts:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRvlD2OkHa05E0aaKolvlTg​

Are You Dreaming Big Dreams or Simply Setting Goals?

Inspiration for midlife transformations

Hi and Happy Summer!

I was sitting in my office late one Tuesday in mid-May when I heard the corridor door open. I was startled at first but I checked the clock – 6pm – and realized it was the cleaning staff.

A few seconds later, a young woman was standing in my doorway. She was new and asked if it was OK to empty my trash. Of course it was, I told her. As she did the job, I started a conversation.

In the few minutes I learned her name is Inez and she is seventeen, in 11th grade, and is helping to support her family (including her 5-month-old son). Her mother works two jobs because her mother kicked her father out when he cheated (for the fifth time). There is no child support.

It was a lot to hear and you and I know that when that much personal information gets shared so fast, the person telling it is in pain. Her story reminded me of some of the stories I heard while doing interviews for my first book: Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal Victories. The difference is that those women had already come out on the other side. Inez is still in it, probably near the beginning – and she doesn’t even know it yet.

I wanted to help somehow, and what I knew I could do was give her a copy of Victorious Woman. Maybe she would read it and find some solace and hope in the many stories of women overcoming seemingly impossible odds. However, I gave her an actual book (not Kindle or audio) and she’s seventeen…so, I thought, who knows if she’ll even look at it.

The next time I saw Inez, we talked more. She actually read some of Victorious Woman and asked me questions – including about my own life.

This past Tuesday, I was there when the corridor door opened – but there was no Inez. Apparently, she quit. It wasn’t a big surprise because turnover is huge.

What was a surprise came next. I opened a desk drawer and saw a note from Inez. In it she thanked me for listening to her and helping her find peace. She compared herself and her life to a caterpillar, saying “people don’t like them…they are ugly…but when they turn…they fly free.” It was quite an insight into her life.

midlife transformation - lessons from a catepillar

STILL, Flying free…what many of us have been dreaming of doing since the start of the pandemic. Yes, we did things to stay active – or not – but, while we survived, lockdown made us feel like caterpillars. Or maybe that was just me…

If it wasn’t just me, the good news for you and me now is that many of us are fully vaccinated. A doctor I know says she believes we are close to herd immunity. Are we ready to turn into the butterfly…and, if we are, what does “fly free” mean?

Does it mean a new dream?

I recently watched a Super Soul Sunday interview that Oprah did with her mentor, Maya Angelou, about a year before she died. It ended with Angelou reading her poem at President Clinton’s inauguration and this was highlighted: “Lift your eyes upon this day breaking for you, give birth again to the dream.”

Birthing Dreams. Sometimes, when life sucks the energy out of old dreams, it’s frustrating and keeps us from dreaming new ones. Then it takes work to get the energy back. Energy-generators like visioning, daydreaming, taking a class, finding a mentor, talking about the future, researching solutions. Some – or all – of those gin up that visioning energy – the dream-maker energy.

Goals and dreams aren’t the same thing…

Earning a certain amount of money is a goal. Getting a new job or retiring is a goal. BUT, why do it? The WHY is likely to be the dream. For example, when you make more money, what will that get you that will fill you up? A house at the beach, freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want, peace of mind? Knowing the answer is a big step to fulfilling the dream.

Do you have goals…but they aren’t really focused on your big dream? If you don’t know your BIG WHY, you won’t do it. Instead, you’ll be working against your own self-interest…stealing your emotional energy from yourself. Doesn’t make sense, does it?

Joseph’s recent diagnosis has been a catalyst for him and for me to dream bigger – do better at syncing our goals up to our dreams (and let go of the ones that don’t). NOTE: don’t wait until something awful happens in your life to dust off your dreams! Do it now!

What are YOU dreaming about?

What will make you fly free? Is it a new job, better relationship, a missed vacation, restored health, peace of mind, following a too-long-ignored passion? If it isn’t one of those, what is it? Please share it with us on FB a VictoriousWoman Project.

Speaking of the cancer

Joseph finally decided on prostate surgery instead of radiation and it’ll happen on July 12. Please say a prayer for a perfect surgery and an easy recovery – and thanks for your prayers and good thoughts.

After the surgery, we plan to take a vacation. Since Joseph will already be out of work, he wants to extend our trip to Maine by a few days and spend some time on Monhegan Island (made famous in paintings by artists Andrew Wyeth and Jaime Wyeth). In the meantime, we are both reconfiguring our worklife to include more fun as well as some non-business travel.

​And, since I last wrote to you, I’ve been paying more attention to what’s going on with my throat chakra and (good news) my voice is coming back – sometimes even back to full strength. It’s just not consistent yet….up and down.

Cool Publicity for The Five-Year Marriage!

Since we got such a great response from our appearance on The Tamron Hall Show, we are planning some Facebook/Instagram-live segments for the Five-Year Marriage while Joseph is recuperating. Also…more press: I had a great time on the Growth Marriage podcast, and this month I’ll be mentioned in articles in both Marie Claire and She’s SINGLE magazines. Wooo-hooo!

Come fall, and hopefully with my voice back, I’ll be doing a few workshops for both Savvy Sizzle and Five-Year Marriage. I’ll keep you posted! Plan to join me because they will be GOOD – and you don’t want to miss out!

Have a GREAT month – and – DREAM BIG!

With love and in victory,
Annmarie

Annmarie Kelly, speaker, author, lifestyle influencer for women over 40

I’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationship. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark.

Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal Victories, Victory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW.

WANT MORE TOOLS, ADVICE & COMMUNITY?

CONNECT with other VICTORY CHICKS in a Private FaceBook Group

Follow Five_Year Marriage on Facebook: https://facebook.com/fiveyearmarriage
Follow FYM on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fiveyearmarriage/
Follow Annmarie on Twitter https://twitter.com/AnnmarieKelly

Like Victorious Woman on FB: https://www.facebook.com/victoriouswoman​
Subscribe to Victory Chicks Radio & Podcasts:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRvlD2OkHa05E0aaKolvlTg​

Five-Year Marriage® featured on the Growth Marriage Podcast!

I had a great time chatting with Nate Bagley on the Growth Marriage Podcast! We discussed how any why I reinvented the concept of traditional marriage and came up with the Five-Year Marriage®. We talk about this concept in detail and why the idea of reassessing and recommitting not only keeps partners from growing lazy, it keeps each person engaged and invested in the relationship. That regular investment results in a relationship that is more connected and more intimate than traditional marriage.

Have a listen now!

Learn more about Nate & Growth Marriage. 

31 Days of Victory! 2021

victorious woman month - self-care & empowerment activitiesDid you know that May is officially registered as Victorious Woman Month?

If you were ever going to have a midlife or quarter-life crisis, the past year would have the catalyst above all catalysts for making it happen! The pandemic has challenged even the strongest of us!! So, if it did – or even if you’re just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired of being in lockdown, here’s the antidote! It’s the annual 31-Days to Victory Calendar, published in honor of Victorious Woman month!

My annual “Victory-a-Day” Calendar gives you small things to do each day. some will take just a few meditative minutes to start and then – throughout the day – remind yourself. Others will take 15-30″ and a few (like the declutter day) will take longer. BUT each one will make you feel good when you do it!

You’ll see the activities accommodate the pandemic limitations many of us are still under. One of the last obes is a Victory Happy Hour – because, even if we’re still in restrictions, we can meet for drinks outside.

We’ll be posting the Victory activities daily on the Facebook pageInstagram, and Twitter feeds, and I’ll be blogging about some of them at AnnmarieKelly.com. However, you can get the whole month right now by downloading it here:  Click Here to Download PDFvictory a day - may 2021

If you’ve been feeling stuck, and I know many of you have – me too – this victory-a-day calendar will help you break out of that rut! I hope you and your girlfriends will join me in creating a small victory-a-day in May!

Join me and share your victories on the  Facebook page at @VictoriousWomanProject!

Stay healthy!
With love and in victory,
Annmarie

Spring Time Wake Up Call

Hi and Happy Holidays!

happy easter everyone

It was just about this time last year when officials said if we lock everything down for two weeks, it would stop the spread. Two weeks came and went. On Easter in mid-April, Joseph and I went out for breakfast – Sizzlis and tea at Wawa. We ate them at a nearby park, sitting in our car; we couldn’t sit outside because it was raining.  After breakfast, we took a sanity drive around the Brandywine Valley. It was the first of many weekends when we’d pick up takeout, go to a park with picnic tables, and “eat out” among the trees and flowers.

Whodathunk – 12 months later – most of us would still be locked down!

However, now that the weather is allowing for outdoor seating, we can eat out more. And as more and more people, and younger and younger ones are getting vaccines, things may finally start getting back to some kind of normal. Yayyyy!

Now What?

For the past year I’ve been writing about pick-me-up ideas, and striving to live them along with you. However, in my life, I have some new challenges – two of them. The lesser of them is my voice – it cuts out on me sometimes. So not good for someone whose living depends a lot on speaking. I’ve been to several doctors and had lots of tests  and – good news – I’m in good physical shape. So what’s causing it?

Lately I’ve been going inside…We know the throat chakra is the power center and, no surprise, the past year hasn’t given me – and most of us – any personal power surges. So that’s one idea.

Also, like you, I miss people…and hugs…and laughter. I miss being in-person with you and all the wonderful Victory Chicks – and you guys who love us – who inspire me to get out of bed in the morning. Also, I miss in-person meetings with a new and growing group of Millennials who are curious about the Five-Year Marriage®.

So many of them – especially women – aren’t as interested in giving up their careers and hard-won independence just to be married. Because of that, recent research says that 25% of Millennials are likely to never get married. That’s not very good for society in general.

Still, those younger ones are so interesting as they search for the better way to do “I do” — looking at things like open marriage and polyamory. As they explore, the Five-Year Marriage offers them an approach that is different – but not as different as polyamory and open marriage, and definitely more main stream.

It’s exciting, and I miss the one-on-one and group connection with them.

Here’s the other challenge I’m facing…

The other new wrinkle in my life is that Joseph was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. The good part is that he has been getting PSA tests for 20 years. At his last physical, when he saw a PSA spike, he paid attention fast. So it’s in an early stage.

Since the diagnosis we’ve been seeing lots of doctors and researching the best solutions. I expect that Joseph will decide on his treatment soon, and it’ll most likely happen in May or June.

And, FYI Victory Chicks, I now know more about prostates than I ever wanted to know! My biggest surprise is learning how many men have it – and often don’t even know about it. So take note: if your sweetie, friend, father, or brother isn’t getting his PSA, insist on it – NOW!

It’s funny how most of us Victory Chicks know a lot about our hoohas, but most men know nothing about their prostates – and they don’t want to know. Maybe they would if the prostate had some cute name… 🙂

So, in the same way that you do your regular mammogram and gyn, the men in your life need to be doing his PSA and prostate exam. Yes, I know he says it’s not comfortable. So what? It isn’t comfortable for you when your feet are in stirrups, but you do it.

I learned long ago, we go faster when we go together

Joseph and I are looking at what’s happening with us as a wake-up call. You see, when we “new” thirty-some years ago, we did a lot of visioning and spiritual work. Together we dreamed about what we wanted for our future and where we wanted to go together. Then, at the end of each of our six previous marriages, we reviewed and reset our plans, and those gave us a fresh start in each of our new marriages.

However, something shifted in the past few years. We did our five-year marriage thing in 2018, but since then we aren’t moving in the direction we planned. At first, I thought it was covid – and some of it is. However, by the end of last year, I started discussing the “something’s wrong” with Joseph (it must be the curse – or the blessing – of being married to a teacher/author).

The more we talked, the clearer it became that…(1) we got mentally and spiritually lazy. Maybe it’s because we are now where we dreamed and visioned we would be 30 years ago. As a result, the “hunger” isn’t the same…and, also, we aren’t as perky as we were then. And (2) when we set our goals for our new marriage and our future together, we didn’t do any dreaming or visioning about them. So they were good to talk about doing, we weren’t working together to make things happen.

Here’s the thing…

I truly believe that when you and I don’t create our own vision for the future, we get the “default” version. That’s the “go with the flow” edition of life.

I’m not built for that and neither is Joseph. I’ll bet you aren’t either!

For Joseph and me, I’m finding that there are fewer things that focus the mind like a cancer diagnosis!

So we’re going back to our roots and doing some things we didn’t do before…including reading/listening to books. One of them is old: The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. If you never read it, it’s really worth the read.

In fact, if you want to read it with me, we could discuss it on a zoom meeting – like a book club. If you’re interested, send me an email at Annmarie@AnnmarieKelly.com with BIG MAGIC in the subject line.

Also, Joseph found this video on YouTube. Kathy Buckley is a deaf woman who tried to commit suicide several times, was hit by a jeep, had cancer and finally decided enough is enough. She shares her story and she’s funny.  I like it and maybe you will too.This is the short version: Kathy Buckley

It’s a new season – Spring, Easter, Passover…a season of rebirth and renewal. Make the most of it!

And, if you would keep Joseph and me in your prayers, I appreciate it!

To those of you who are celebrating…
Chag Pesach Sameach!
Happy Easter!

With love and in victory,
Annmarie

It’s still early in the year and you CAN make 2021 your best year yet!

I’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationship. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark. Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal VictoriesVictory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW. WANT MORE?

CONNECT with other VICTORY CHICKS in a Private FaceBook Group

Follow Five_Year Marriage on Facebook: https:facebook.com/fiveyearmarriage
Follow FYM on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fiveyearmarriage/
Follow Annmarie on Twitter https://twitter.com/AnnmarieKelly

Like Victorious Woman on FB: https://www.facebook.com/victoriouswoman

Subscribe to Victory Chicks Radio & Podcasts:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRvlD2OkHa05E0aaKolvlTg​

Women in History: Midlife Reinvention Inspiration

inspired, womens history, women's empowerment

Abigail and John Adams wrote to each other constantly. In one letter, she reminded John to “remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors…if particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion.”

An Empowered Spouse

That Abigail Adams was really something! She was an empowered spouse a few hundred years before anyone had ever thought of women’s empowerment. Same with Eliza Hamilton. If not for Eliza’s diligent dedication after Alexander’s death, Lin Manuel-Miranda would have had nothing to rap about for his fabulous musical. We also probably wouldn’t have had the Washington Monument. [FYI: Cokie Roberts wrote an amazing book about those women and others – Founding Mothers. So worth the read.]
 
So many women of the Adams-Hamilton time did amazing things despite wearing those long dresses with endless skirts and tight whalebone bodices. I always wondered how they kept those skirts from the fire in those wide-open hearths. I don’t think I would have managed very well in their shoes, or dresses! A few nights ago, I was making shortbreads. I got distracted checking email and FB. I might never have noticed the biscuits were done if it hadn’t been for the strange, sort of sweet smell, that filled the air. By the time I opened the oven door, the little crusts were a crispy brown.
 
If it was colonial times, that smell would probably have been my burning skirt. Good thing I live in this century, not that one! Can you imagine what those Colonial women had to do just to live a single day – with no cars, no radio, no phone, no TV, no internet, no washer/dryer, no grocery stores, no tampons, and instead of Revlon or Maybelline, they used soot to darken their eyebrows and pottery pigment for rouge!

You Can Live Your Passion in Spite of the Pandemic

A hundred years later, it was no walk in the park either. Victorian women, like Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott, were mocked and berated when they started fighting for a woman’s right to vote. They were not “proper women,” but they were passionate about what they were doing, and I admire that.

 And here’s an interesting bit of trivia, did you know that during the 100 years of women’s suffrage, there were several pandemics: Yellow Fever, Cholera, Scarlet Fever, Typhoid Fever, Smallpox, and the first polio outbreak? Yes, you and me aren’t the only ones trying to have a life in the midst of the craziness we’ve had this past year!

Obstacles: Is “NO” an Ending or a Beginning?

While those ladies were mere days away from getting the women’s right to vote amendment passed, another woman, one of my personal Women’s History heroines – or sheros – was just graduating from high school. Helen Taussig was born at the turn of the 20th century. She was still a young girl when her mother died of tuberculosis, which she also contracted but survived.

In 1919, just after Congress passed the 19th Amendment so women could vote, Helen got rejected for admission to Harvard Medical School (no women allowed). So instead, she studied medical sciences at Boston University. Though Helen could go to classes, she had to sit apart from the men. She did. Also, she was told she wasn’t likely to graduate – no matter how good her grades were, because if her gender.
 
Undeterred, Helen finished there just in time to be accepted into Johns Hopkins Medical School – one of the few schools that finally decided to admit women. She wanted to specialize in cardiology but there was only one open slot for a woman in that field, so she went into pediatrics instead. Good thing too. Dr. Helen Taussig later developed the groundbreaking procedure to remedy “blue baby” syndrome. She and her physician-partner saved hundreds of babies from dying!

So many women made history in so many different ways – and did it despite being treated as second class citizens. They also did it while being forced to climb over an avalanche wall of discrimination, socially and economically, to get to where they wanted to go.

Inspired to make some history yourself? 

What do you want? Is there something you want to do – in your life or in your marriage – that you’ve been putting off? What’s stopping you? Have you lost your sizzle? Or are you telling yourself you’re too old, it’s too hard, you don’t have the money, it’s too much work…or making some other inspiration-numbing excuses?

Time to change it up! Make a commitment, TODAY!

Don’t put it off. You can go after whatever it is you want – covid or no covid! During this time Women’s History, find a woman who inspires you. She can be in today’s news, your own circle of friends and colleagues, or a woman from the far past or nearer past – who felt the same “can I do it?” thing. Pick one of those women and make her your inspirational mentor. Study who she is – or was – and find out what kept her going in spite of everything. Copy her quotes and keep them where you can see them. Then figure out what you need to do differently – or more of – to model her. 

If you need some inspiration, pick up a copy of my first book, Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal Victories. In it I tell you stories of real life women – everyday women who faced overwhelming challenges and beat the odds. I personally interviewed every one of them and can tell you each one was just like you and me. When their life got turned upside down, they found it within themselves to do what they needed to do to become victorious. You can download it from Amazon to your Kindle right now: VictoriousWoman 

Want more than the book? Check out my ‘Savvy Sizzle No Regrets‘ Masterclass. It’s 5 weeks of step-by step-guidance during which you rediscover your inner passion, determine a clear, attainable goal and plot out a clear path towards it!

Make this the month YOU start making your own woman’s history!

With love  and in victory,
Annmarie

Single on Valentine’s Day? Fall in Love Now…

midlife women valentines day tips for self love

So, it’s Valentine’s Day and you’re single and unattached. Can you still fall in love? Actually…YES! But how and who with? As one woman, who reinvented her life after 40, recently explained, she’s been hurt too many times so now she only wants “BIG LOVE.”

Big Love???

What she meant was not one-on-one romance, but love for the world…for the planet…for all the human race. You get, right? BIG LOVE.

I agree with the big love part – love for others who is experiencing life on the big planet the same time that you are. Also, love for those who went before – not only your direct ancestors, but all the women who walked a tough path and opened it for you. In my life I think about celebs like Katherine Hepburn, Mae West and other women who wouldn’t accept life in the roles others said were theirs. love those women. my idea is having BIG LOVE for yourself…your own heart, your own accomplishments, your own frailties. Being able to do that is REALLY BIG!

However, BIG LOVE can also be the kind of love you need to give to yourself. So many times we think love has to come from outside – loved ones, friends, colleagues, neighbors. Yet the truest and most satisfying love comes when you have BIG LOVE for yourself. Start here:

Valentine’s Day Tips for Women

1 – Make a decision to fall in love with yourself again.

Yes, that’s right – with yourself. Too many times we take ourselves for granted and make others a priority. Take some time to let your unconscious mind know how important you are…to you! A few years ago I found a children’s book (Take Heart My Child) that was beautifully written by the author for her unborn daughter. How can you not feel good reading, “May you strive to be happy, change your course if you’re not, Embrace the world’s colors, Colors others forgot.” Or, “And if you stumble or the path grows too steep, Take heart, my child, Trust yourself, take that leap.”

Taking some time to express your love for yourself – for how your body work and how amazing your mind is – those are great for your self-esteem and self-confidence!

2 – Take yourself out for a date (or, for covid, have a special dinner in).

Do you have a special food – like Maine lobsters or tiramisu? Treat yourself once in a while. Or go to your favorite place and order your favorite meal. Don’t think you’ll savor it alone in a restaurant, then do takeout and, when you get it home, set a nice table, put on music you love, and have a candlelight dinner. Follow it up with some chocolate red wine or hot chocolate spiked with peppermint vodka.

3 – Make it a good night.

After dinner, curl up with a good book, a favorite mushy movie or binge-watch a series on Netflix. My two recent favorites are Schitt’s Creek and Last Tango in Halifax. I also love watching The Holiday…with my favorite-ever movie line: “Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I  can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.”

Falling in love is good – so go BIG…with the one person you are always with, who knows how hard you work, and who can appreciate you the most and the best.

One last thing…dont forget February 15th is Chocolate Sale Day!

If you’re a candy lover like me, you know that the day after Valentine’s, February 15, is a red-letter day for you because all the stores sell the Valentine candy at half-price and by the 17th, at 75% off. I’d love to not know that, but I do…and I stock up on Russell Stover coconut nests (in whatever form they’re in this year) and peanut butter cups. Yes, it’s true, I’m a little too excited about Valentine’s candy…

Have fun loving yourself this holiday weekend!

With love  and in victory,
Annmarie

Are you Starting Over, Reinventing for Your Next Chapter, or Making a Midlife Change?

Then join the Savvy Sizzle ‘No Regrets’ Master class!

In this 4-week class, I’ll take youStep-by-Step, through the lifestyle makeover that let’s you reignite the passion and excitement – and hope – you used to feel.

Are you feeling old, depressed, like your best days are behind you, and there’s nothing good to look forward to anymore? If you want to add some jazz and savvy sizzle and take those ‘shoulda, ‘coulda, woulda’ dreams and make them happen, you need to join my Savvy Sizzle Master class! Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll let you know when and how. Do it here: Newsletter

Looking to Connect with other Midlife Women?

Join my Victory Chicks Private Facebook Group

Follow Victorious Woman on Facebook: https:facebook.com/fiveyearmarriage
Follow Annmarie on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annmarie/ or Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnmarieKelly

Subscribe to Victory Chicks Radio & Podcasts:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRvlD2OkHa05E0aaKolvlTg​

Can You Fall in Love Again?

valentines tips for single's and couples
Valentines card with decorative paper hearts and pink flowers. Vector illustration

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s that time of year for…chocolate! And, oh yes, for celebrating love. Frankly, not everyone in a relationship is happy about doing it. Covid confinement has been rough on many relationships. Last year a woman said to me, “I just can’t look at his face anymore” and recently a woman told me she let her sweetie know, about sex, “I’m done with that.” Neither of those is conducive to cuddling and love talk. However, most likely that’s NOT you, so you have options.

Valentine’s Day Tips for Couples

Even if you and your sweetie have been together for a while, with a little planning, Valentine’s Day can open up a whole new set of possibilities. Here are some suggestions that could help you “feel the love” this Valentine’s Day:

1. Have a Plan!

You and your sweetie have a couple of days, so talk about it together. What do you want to do? Sometimes starting with “if time/money/kids weren’t an issue, how would we spend the day?” Sometimes just talking about that is fun. And maybe it will jog some ideas in your head. Also, the anticipation of something special – for now or for the future – lifts your spirits.

Here are a few practical ideas:

  • …Plan for takeout or to cook a special meal together
  • …Get some hearty appetizers that you can cook at home and plan an appetizer-only extended Happy Hour (instead of dinner)
  • …Is there a special movie that gets you in the mood for romance? A favorite for me is Somewhere in Time. I have it on DVD but I’m pretty sure it’s on Netflix
  • …What about going through old pictures together…of vacations or special trips. Going back over those old memories of your good times together is like greasing the engine of your car – it minimizes friction and allows things to flow more smoothly between you.
  • …Do you need a sitter? Get one for just an hour or two. Then take a long drive together to someplace where you can stop and watch the sunset – but first stop for hot chocolate at the convenience store (Philly locals know Wawa has the best – unless you make your own).

2. Be NICE!

When you’re together a long time, it’s easy to forget to be polite and appreciative. Being treated with respect and getting a thankyou from time-to-time is something everyone wants – and you and your partner are no exception. One woman told me that she started to notice the things her sweetie was doing. They were little niceties that he always did – like making her a cup of tea at night. She realized that she’d gotten so used to those things that she stopped thanking him. One night, as he put her tea on the end table next to her, she looked him in the eyes and said, “You know, I don’t always say it but I appreciate it when you make me tea at night – and it’s how I like it. That makes me feel special.” She said the look on his face almost brought tears to her eyes. When she realized that tiny little courtesy made him feel so good, she started looking for other things. It took him a few weeeks, but eventually he starated doing the same. Those little things reingivorated her marriage!

So…when you’re making your plan, include an agreement to say please, thankyou, excuse me – even if you agree together to focus on being nice just for the day. And don’t forget to add and “I love you” once in a while too!

3. Share a Soft Touch

A soft touch from a loved one can be like gold! Remember when you were “new” together and s/he would brush the hair off your face and you liked it so much? Or how just holding hands made you feel good?

Something as simple as stroking your hand or face, rubbing his/her shoulders, a long hug, or a snuggle in bed – are the small things that say “I still love you.” Soft touches can be both soothing and healing. No, it doesn’t have to lead to sex (unless you want it to happen). 

When was the last time you two held hands?

Making Valentine’s Day special doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive or over-the-top crazy. In fact, the longer you two are together, the less all those “externals” matter. What most people want in marriage is the love and respect that results in true intimacy – emotional intimacy. That’s how you can fall in love all over again.

You can choose to let love be all around you this weekend. So go for it…and enjoy!

With love  and in victory,
Annmarie

Annmarie Kelly, speaker, author, lifestyle influencer for women over 40

I’m Annmarie Kelly, award-winning author, speaker, and lifestyle expert. I’m also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project, the empowerment resource for midlife women looking to make a change in their life or their relationship. Check it out…it’s full of helpful and inspiring articles, interviews with fabulous women who have been there and done that, and also classes and other tools that will help you find and nourish your inner spark. Oh…and that’s also where you can get one of my inspiring and motivating self-help books. Victorious Woman: Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal VictoriesVictory by Design, and marriage game-changer, The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm.

I know how the past year has challenged you – body, mind, and soul. They’ve challenged me too. It’s been hard on everyone! But there’s good news – the future is what you make it! So it’s time to look forward to better days. And you can start RIGHT NOW. 

Now’s the time to uncover the happiness and passions you put on hold. 

You can make 2021 your best year yet!

Join the Savvy Sizzle ‘No Regrets’ Master class or the 30-Day Relationship Reset class.

CONNECT with other VICTORY CHICKS in a Private FaceBook Group

Follow FYM on Facebook: https:facebook.com/fiveyearmarriage
Follow FYM on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fiveyearmarriage/

Get free tips & advice for midlife: https://victoriouswoman.com
Like VW on FB: https://www.facebook.com/victoriouswoman

Subscribe to Victory Chicks Radio & Podcasts:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRvlD2OkHa05E0aaKolvlTg​More about Annmarie Kelly: https://annmariekelly.com
Follow on Twitter https://twitter.com/AnnmarieKelly