8.5.16 RadioWrapUp: Overcoming Divorce

brenda-reynoldsAnnmarie Kelly and Brenda Reynolds talked about Brenda’s unique divorce experience – unique because Brenda’s work as an organizational consultant is all about making things work. But nothing prepared her for her own big life change.  It required a mid-life reinvention at a time when the future was unclear and yet to be determined. Annmarie and Brenda dished about what she learned and how she came back from the devastation she experienced in her divorce.

Brenda Reynolds has been a sought-after consultant, speaker, coach, workshop facilitator, author, and founder of BKR Consulting.  She has spent over 2 decades consulting to organizations, leaders, and teams during times of change and transition. (i.e. Sherwin Williams, AOL, Special Olympics).

Learn more about Brenda Reynolds

If you want to read President Obama’s essay/op-ed piece that he did for Glamour Magazine, it’s here: Feminism

Interested in reading the 2nd place winning entry in this year’s Victrious Woman Contest? Here it is: Annette Glaudel

The park I was talking about, the free one with the free parking and resonable-rate rides, is Knoebel’s in Elysburg PA

If you’re interested in music, there’s Musikfest in Bethlehem. You can check out the free performances, stuff for kids and the paid performances. I think I’m going to see Lady Antebellum.

Here’s this week’s (anonymous) quote:

“Good things fall apart so better things can come together.”

Tune into Friday Happy Hour at 3pm on AMradio 1520. You can also listen online at www.WCHE1520.com.

Call-in: 610-701-9243

7.15.16 RadioWrapUp: Beating Bulimia

Beating Bulimia
Iris Ruth Pastor
On today’s show we talked with Iris Ruth Pastor about her forty-six year battle with bulimia. It was fascinating to learn about how Iris got started binging and purging and why she continued doing it. More importantly, why Iris stopped and what she learned in the process is something that can translate to any of us for almost any challenge we face. You can learn more about Iris on her websitePhilly.CityHall
I took this picture of City Hall last night…and, on the show, talked about the curse of Billy Penn.
If you want to see the 1996 replay of Kerry Strug’s great performance, check it out here: Kerry Strug
Congratulations to the 2016 Victorious Woman Contest winners:
First Prize: Petra Monaco
Second Prize: Annette Glaudel
Third Prize: Diane Gabrielli
 
 

Public Noise: What Would You Do?

WomanScreamingDid you get your taxes done? I did, but much later than usual. As a result, I was in a very long line at the post office today. It wasn’t just with tax-payers. There were five people in line ahead of me who were mailing packages, four had multiple packages, so the line grew longer fast.
I’m a people watcher, so I watched the other people who did have their phone with them. I’m guessing they were answering emails or checking their social media because most of them were smiling and a couple chuckled.
Watching people do that always makes me laugh because I’m old enough to remember a time when, if you saw someone by themselves – in a line or in a car – and they were laughing or talking, you thought they were a little off. Now you realize they’re having a conversation with someone, either talking or texting, or joining a party on facebook or twitter. I sometimes think this is such a good time to be crazy because you can get away with so much more in public than you could even ten or fifteen years ago. And, yes, I know “crazy” isn’t a politically correct. But I have a very long family history with crazy and that’s what I call it.
Anyway, most of the people were quietly engaged. Except for one loud man, who had no idea how lucky he was to be several people down the line from me. I hate it when people are rude like that in public…like I should be impressed by his/her importance.
One time, also at a post office, the woman in front of me was on her phone gossiping. I felt she was making all of us join in the scandalous conversation. So, when she asked something like, “What do you think?” I answered her.
That woman spun around and looked at me like I was crazy. I said, “We’re all listening, and you asked, so I’m answering you.” She gave me the dirtiest look. But she got the message and told the person on the line she’d call them back.
I know, it was ballsy of me and, for a half second, I was waiting for John Quinones, to pop out and I’d be on the “What Would You Do” show. He didn’t. But that woman was having wasn’t a nice conversation and I felt like it was stressing people out. It was definitely stressing me out, and I can do stressed-out all by myself. I don’t need any help.
It’s the same thing when I’m near someone and every other word in the conversation is an f-bomb. I’m no prig, and no stranger to the language, but it’s uncomfortable in a public place. You know those signs that say no shirt-no shoes-no service. I think they should start including no cell phone and no “f’s” in public.
So I spoke up. I wish I’d do that more. I wish everyone would do that more. When people don’t have respect for other people, they should be told. I only did it once, but I’ll bet if more people did that, & I mean, a lot of people, more of those conversations would be taken outside the building or into a private place.
What would you do? Would you “join in” on someone’s loud phone conversation? Or have you already done it…and what happened?

4.15.16 RadioWrapUp: Kelly Hayes-Raitt

kellyphoto-300x198Kelly Hayes-Raitt and I chatted about her midlife reinvention from political consultant into her most interesting “bohemian” lifestyle.
Kelly is an activist and author who is passionate about protecting women’s rights, the environment and consumers’ rights. She is currently writing a book about her experiences in the Middle East with Iraqi and Palestinian refugees called “Living Large In Limbo:  How I Found Myself Among the World’s Forgotten.”  You can read more at her website: LivingLargeinLimbo and here’s Kelly talking about Iraq on YouTube
If you’re looking for a group and aren’t already familiar with the most popular conglomeration of groups, go here to find one – or start your own: MeetUp
If you want to get on my email list, you can do it here: VictoryEmail and please join me on Facebook
I hope you and your girlfriends will join me, Pat Ciarrocchi, Theresa Hummel Krallinger and some fascinating girlfriends at the The Girlfriend Gala on May 25, 5:30-8:30, Penn Oaks Golf Club. You can still get the early bird discount…so do it now! The Girlfriend Gala

Today’s quote was from Goldie Hawn, who said,

“You have to truly grasp that everybody ages. Everybody dies.
There is no turning back the clock.
So the question in life becomes:
What are you going to do while you’re here?”

What ARE you going to do???

Tune into each week to the Friday Happy Hour at 3pm on AM radio 1520. You can also listen online at www.WCHE1520.com. Call-in: 610-701-9243

 

Thoughts about Women's History and You

NancyReagan.1It’s Women’s History Month and Nancy Reagan, US First Lady from 1981-1989, died this week at age 94. I think it’s curiously delicious that she died during Women’s History Month, don’t you?
As I read about her this week, I learned new things. I knew Nancy Reagan was an actress before marrying then-actor Ronald Reagan. What I didn’t know was that she was born in Flushing Queens – just like “The Nanny” (still playing in reruns on at least one cable station).
About Nancy Reagan, I remember two things. The first is how, as first lady, she was fiercely devoted to Ronald Regan. Politics aside, theirs seemed to be quite the love story. At one point, Nancy Reagan published I Love You, Ronnie, a compilation of letters the president wrote to his spouse. Some of the letters are silly things while, in others, the love between them practically jumps off the page; it’s quite beautiful. That love and fierce loyalty continued after the couple left the White House and during the president’s sad, slow decline from Alzheimer’s.
The other thing I remember about Nancy Reagan is how much she was vilified in the press. The only other first lady I can think of who got as much criticism when she was first lady was Hillary Clinton…and for very different reasons. Nancy was mocked because of her expensive taste in the white house, including her clothes and the white house renovations, and her devotion to her spouse.
With Hillary Clinton, it was more professional. In the beginning of the Clinton presidency, she went right to work on Hillary-care and was quickly trashed by all sides – which always made the criticism seem sexist and chauvinistic vs. substantive; it seemed unfair.
A couple years later, however, when all Bill Clinton’s proclivities surfaced, Hillary went all “Tammy Wynette ‘stand by your man.'” Frankly, that really disturbed me because, during Clinton’s first presidential campaign, Hillary was strong about insisting she wasn’t that kind of woman. Instead, she was a woman working out a problem situation in her marriage….like many women. I bought that story.
Even now, as Hillary talks about being for women’s rights, and makes it a centerpiece of everything she says she stands for, she continues to handle Bill Clinton’s serial philandering like the 1950’s housewife dependent on her husband’s money. While sex might be Bill Clinton’s thing, lying is Hillary’s. And not just lying to you and me, it seems she lies to herself, telling herself the stories that she wants to be true instead of the ones that actually are true.
I admit, it takes a lot to leave a bad marriage, especially when there is money, power and social position involved. But I also think staying sucks the life out of your soul. Because of Victorious Woman, many women have bared their souls to me and said that all the money in the world couldn’t make up for the empty life of their past (or current) relationship.
I know every woman doesn’t agree. When I express my opinion that I believe it’s incongruent for Hillary to stay in a marriage that belittles and demeans her as a woman and then talk about being for women’s rights, almost every defender of Hillary says, “what was she supposed to do, leave a sitting president?” Well, no, I don’t think she should have left a sitting president then. But, and I’m saying this because, based on the models I hope I’d follow, once out of the White House, I would have kicked his sorry butt to the curb. And then I would have become powerful without him.
Like Ariana Huffington did. She divorced Michael Huffington, who served in the US House of Representatives. The couple split in 1997 amid a myriad of rumors. A year after they got divorced, he came out in Esquire Magazine.
Ariana could have stayed. Instead, she went out on her own and made herself powerful in her own right. She decided that, to be successful, she didn’t need to hang onto a gay guy’s coattails, and face the (“poor Arianna”) pathos of her peers every time the couple was seen together.
It seems Hillary decided she did.
“What if” you might say, “in spite of all Bill’s sexual dalliances, Hillary still loves him?”
Of course she loves him. So what? You can still love the man, care about his well-being and still be friends with him. Ariana Huffington’s models demonstrates that point when her ex occasionally writes for Huff Post. They still get along, she can still love or care about him and work with him. At the same time, she doesn’t let someone else’s lies and scandals make her the butt of jokes and the target for unwarranted criticism.
Any woman can separate the man and the marriage. And, after you leave, not only are you free to empower yourself, you’re free to find someone who really loves you…just you.
Which takes me back to Nancy Reagan.
She didn’t stop enjoying her clothes or gazing up at her spouse. She adored her spouse, had great influence on the president and was his best friend. She could joke about the criticisms, which she did eloquently at one press club dinner. That night, after the press presented a skit that mocked her “style” and its expense, Nancy Reagan excused herself. She returned, on stage, dressed in mis-matched clothes and performed “Second Hand Clothes” (to the tune of Second Hand Rose). Nancy Reagan showed the press and politicians that she could make fun of herself…be a good sport.
A couple years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. Even that didn’t curtail her style…or her determination. After going public with the disease and her treatment, her forthright attitude encouraged many women to get mastectomies…and it saved lives.
During Women’s History Month I think it’s good to look at recent women in history- the ones whose stories we read while it was happening (vs. women that can only be found in history books). Current women give us samples of behavior happening in our time. We can think about them and watch and model what they do, or watch and reject their actions.
One thing is for sure. What Nancy Reagan figured out as she traveled through her life, “You learn something out of everything, and you come to realize more than ever that we’re all here for a certain space of time, and, and then it’s going to be over, and you better make this count.”
When your life is over, you’ll be the woman whose history others will remember. Maybe it won’t make front page news, like Nancy or Hillary or Ariana. Maybe it’ll just be small stories told by your children or grandchildren. But you’ll be part of Women’s History Month just the same.
What kind of stories will they tell…and are they the kind you want them to tell? If not, what will you do today to make that different?
 

More Chapters For You?

88px-An_American_in_Paris_posterLeslie Caron’s interview with Jane Pauley on last weekend’s CBS Sunday Morning reminded me of the strides women have made over the last half-century. And it reminded me that, even if a woman has made regrettable choices, no matter how good the reason, you still have time to make it better. In the interview, Caron drove home a point to all of us in midlife: Your life isn’t over until it’s over.
The eighty-four year old Caron started her career at age nineteen. She was picked by the much older Gene Kelly to play opposite him in An American in Paris. The movie pushed her into stardom, complete with the awards to prove it. She was a major star in the 1950’sand 1960’s.
Then she married man and had two children. He wanted her to stay home. And Caron did, giving up her career. “It was a different time,” she explains and the regret on her face and in her eyes is so sad.
Today, however, things would be different. Caron would wag her finger at him and say “Now look here.” She wouldn’t give up her career but acknowledges, “It took women a very long time to say, “I’m me, I exist. My life has to be fulfilled, too.'”
Do you ever feel like that? And haven’t you ever felt like you do and do but never get all the kudos you deserve? You wonder if anyone notices…or even cares. And you stop dreaming.
Caron did and, in her 2010 memoir, Thank Heaven, decided, ‘The best part of my life is over. Now is the time to reflect.'” When Pauley asked Caron about it, she laughed, conceding that she now disagrees with her younger self. “Okay, and I reflect that it’s not over!”
And she’s proving it. She’s back to performing. In 2007, Caron won an Emmy for her role in a Law and Order episode about a rapist. Her performance was riveting. (Law and Order SVU, Season 8, Episode 3, “Recall” and you can see it on HULU). Her first movie, An American in Paris, is now a Broadway play. It’s brought Caron’s career a whole new kind of attention.
How about you? Your past doesn’t have to equal your future. Whatever role you played until now, if it isn’t who you are anymore, you can change it. The decision you made yesterday doesn’t have to limit the decisions you make today.
Are you ready to reflect “that it’s not over” and commit yourself to your bigger life. Isn’t it time to move the dreams you put on the back burner up to the front? If Caron can do it – in her eighties! – so can you.
See the whole interview: CBS Sunday Morning
Photo source: https://www.movieposterdb.com/poster/4e09899f

1.15.16 RadioWrapUp: Makeovers

AnnmarieKelly.WCBM_..web_-150x120Barbara Wasserman joined us for Happy Hour today. We did some good talking about midlife and midlife makeovers!
Barbara’s My Next Purpose teleseminar begins on February 8. She included a $50 discount for you here: Barbara Wasserman. The discount code is: *MNP50.*
Here’s that cool quote by journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Goodman:

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.
Maybe this year, to balance the list,
we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…
not looking for flaws, but for potential.

My Favorite Christmas Gift

Boar'sHead.newsFavorite Christmas Gift

Earlier this week, or maybe it was last week…the days have mushed together…I was watching a TV show and the host was asking guests about their favorite childhood Christmas present. I remembered my favorite Christmas gift.
My parents didn’t believe in a lot of flash and we got mostly practical gifts. But one year I got a bride doll. She wasn’t a Barbie, or any “name” doll. She didn’t bend and only her arms moved. But she was beautiful in her white gown and high heel shoes. And she had boobs!
I never played with her. Instead, she decorated my bed (and was probably the reason I didn’t mind making my bed each day). I have pictures with that bride doll lying stiffly on a pink satin bedspread, her head resting gently on the pillow.

A shadow of her former self
A shadow of her former self
Believe it or not, I still have her. The shoes are long gone, what’s left of the dress is in tatters and her hair could use a perm. She looks like she’s been around the block a few times. So have! But, unlike me, gravity hasn’t had an impact on her perky little boobs.
I can’t throw her out. Someday I’ll take her to a doll hospital (they still exist, don’t they?) and have her refreshed.
Interestingly enough, I had a neighbor who also had a doll that she loved. Hers too had fallen on hard times. In midlife, she decided to have the doll refurbished. Then she took it a step further.
One Christmas she spoke to her church group and likened the doll’s restoration to her own spiritual rebirth. She compared the different doll parts to areas of her life. As she explained how the doll doctor fixed this part or that, she described how the Christ fixed her heart, badly damaged in a difficult relationship, and her mind which had been weakened through anger and resentment. The Christ also strengthened her body after battling breast cancer. Her talk, and her very presence, provided the congregation with a very powerful demonstration of victory through Christ’s birth.
It was storyteller Garrison Keillor who said that it didn’t matter if you were a Christ child believer or not because, “Christmas is like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”
I think that’s true about life too. That’s what makes the Victorious Woman Project so powerful…we are all going through this thing together.
And I’m looking forward to doing it some more with you in the new year!

Psychic Friday at Happy Hour!

ChristmasWreathChristi Cavallo was back doing her thing! I hope you were one of the lucky ones who got in to talk with her.
If you want to talk to Christi prvately, or you are thinking that a pshcychi reading would make a great gift for some special person, you’re in luck! Christi is giving you a 2/1 @$100. Purchase this weekend and you have until January 30 to use it: Reading with Christi:
Here’s info about the free teleseminar on January 12 : Savvy Sizzle

Today’s quote was from poet Grace Noll Crowell:
“Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again.”

I Hate the Holidays: Stress-Busting Tips

Macys.NYC.2014.8“Glad to see ‘em come, glad to see ‘em go,” announced Mrs. Evans as she charged into the teacher’s lounge and plopped, exhausted, into her chair at the lunch table. She’d spent the previous night baking Christmas cookies, the morning dealing with second graders full of Santa-stimulation, and that night, after making dinner, she had to do three loads of laundry and then wrap presents.
I was a new teacher then, single and still living with my parents. I loved everything about the Christmas, even the ebullient energy of my fourth graders. I had a little of that same Santa-stimulation myself. So, I wondered, “What’s she talking about? Why is she being so ‘Bah Humbug’?”
Now in midlife, probably the age that Mrs. Evans was then, I get it! In normal months, it’s hard enough juggling the demands of a business with regular family tasks and responsibilities. Then comes the Christmas holidays with weeks of extras: extra shopping for gifts, extra dinners and parties, extra-charged family dramas, extra sadness for that missing someone special, extra stress. Who needs it?
The extra you really want is the extra love and joy, but you just aren’t feeling it! But you really want to, right? Here’re a few tips that will not only help you stay in control over the holidays, but also take you comfortably into the New Year:
Simplify: You don’t have to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Instead, buy store or restaurant gift cards. They are appreciated by young and old alike and you don’t have to worry about saving receipts and making returns. Best of all, with grocery stores offering gift cards to almost all the major chains, you can do all your gift-buying when you go food shopping!
Another way to simplify and celebrate the season, with style and without debt, is to forgo gifts altogether. Instead, gather family or friends for a special event to which everyone contributes. One of my favorite holiday memories is a dinner-for-twenty when, instead of gift-giving, every friend bought just one extra special dinner item: a gourmet appetizer, special wine, dinner delicacy or fancy dessert. Everyone also chipped in a few dollars for basics like candles and table decorations. We made a night of it and, from the shared preparation for the candlelit, laughter-filled meal to the last sip of wine, we made that holiday memory that we all recall with a glowing feeling.
Boost your energy: You don’t have to get worn down. Here are five things you can do:

  • Sleep! Yes, it always seems like sleep is at a premium, but make a point to choose just one night each week to be in bed by 9pm.
  • Stretch your body every day. You can do it before you get out of bed in the morning and before drifting off to sleep. If you don’t know how, just watch a cat and mimic its moves.
  • Vitamin B Complex is said to be great for stress and Vitamin C to ward off colds. Take each one daily.
  • Exercise. Make it a plan (PLAN means write it on your calendar) and then follow through. Research shows that exercise releases the beta-endorphins that reduce stress. Even just twenty minutes on the treadmill while watching your favorite TV show will make a difference.
  • Laugh. It relaxes you and exercises your internal muscles. Few things are as energizing as a good belly laugh!

Outsmart temptation: Nothing puts a cramp in the New Year like putting on your pants and struggling with buttons and zippers. Here are four ways you can prevent it:

  • Christmas treats: Indulge in drinks and sugary desserts only at holiday parties. Keep baked goods, alcohol and other sweets out of the house for a couple weeks. Store them out of sight (try the trunk of your car or your neighbor’s house).
  • Christmas goodies at work: Decide how many you’ll have and choose the time you’ll eat them. For example, if a co-worker brings in her always-scrumptious cookies, choose your favorite two and save them until after lunch. Once they’re eaten, tell yourself “that’s it for today.”
  • Before you go to a dinner party, make choices.
    • Wine: Decide how many glasses of wine you’ll drink and that you’ll drink a whole glass of water between each one
    • Hors d’oeuvres or cookies: set a limit on how many you’ll eat. You’ll be surprised by how picky that will make you, how much more you’ll taste those goodies and how much more you’ll enjoy them! Also, if you taste something that doesn’t make you say “ooh” and “yum,” spit it (politely) into a napkin.
    • Dinner and dessert: No 2nd helpings and eat only half of every dessert
  • Before baking those Christmas cookies or going to the big holiday party, reduce hunger by drinking a big glass of water and eating an apple and a hardboiled egg (odd, but it really works).

This year, instead of being a frazzled shopper or angry, horn-blowing driver, you can take control and fill your holidays with better-than-ever chunks of the good cheer we all enjoy.
And there’s an extra bonus: without the stress caused by a bloated budget or the fuzzy sugar high, you won’t have to ease your way into the New Year. Instead of procrastinating, you’ll be getting a jump on 2016 by being strong, energized and focused on your goals.
Think about how much that will do for you by the time the next holiday season rolls around…
I wish you a Merry Christmas, fabulous holidays and a Victorious New Year!

###

Are you overwhelmed? Tired of putting everyone else first? Are all those years of ignoring your SELF starting to catch up with you?
If you feel like your life has too much fizzle and not enough sizzle, you aren’t alone.
40% of women in midlife feel the same way right now.
An empty nest, the end of a marriage, a milestone birthday or something else has changed things. All of a sudden you don’t recognize that person in the mirror. You feel like you’re living someone else’s life and you don’t know who that “new me” is yet.
Worse yet, when you watch TV or look at a magazine, the ads make your life seen like all you can look forward to is incontinence, hormone replacement, and brittle bones. You start to wonder if passion is only for the young.
It isn’t!!
BUT, where do you find your passion? Your purpose? You know how Stella got her groove back, but where do you go to rediscover your mojo?
If you’re feeling like life’s a fizzle and you want to re-ignite your personal sizzle, come to the Savvy Sizzle Free Teleseminar. In the comfort of your home or office, you can listen in as Annmarie Kelly reveals:

  • How your lifestyle that could be sabotaging your best life…and how to stop it
  • The top five reasons why women get stuck in personal and professional ruts
  • The three steps every women must follow to get what she wants
  • Three things emotionally energized women do differently

It’s on January 12, 2016 and you don’t want to miss it!
If you don’t want to feel next year the way you feel now, you MUST join Annmarie Kelly for this one-hour teleseminar. You can Register Here: Savvy Sizzle Free
Annmarie Kelly helps women create their fabulous second (or third!) act… one that they can live with purpose, which delivers satisfaction, joy, and happiness in midlife and beyond and leaves a meaningful legacy for those who follow.
An author, speaker and radio show host, Annmarie Kelly has been there, done that – is still doing it – and wants to help you do it too!