A Cool Course To Help Inspire The Course Of Your Life



Once many of us enter our mid-40s and 50s, we’re finally–and hopefully–starting to feel more secure about ourselves and our abilities than we did when we were in our 20s and 30s.

Whether we strived to be the best mothers or wives; the best friends or sisters; the best teachers, writers or businesswomen, we always were so busy working hard, competing vigorously, and trying to impress everyone around us that we never stopped to take stock of who we really were, what we really were accomplishing, and where we really wanted to go! Now that those heady, and sometimes helpless and heart-wrenching, times are behind us, we’re ready to take the time to do just that!

drWhen you come to a point in your life where you deem yourself successful, you have discovered your personal place,” assert the smart folks at Concordia University, which is offering us a free online and email course, appropriately called “How To Create Your Personal Space.” The three-part mini course is designed to help you recognize what you need to do to GROW PROFESSIONALLY, CONNECT WITH OTHERS WHO CAN HELP YOU SUCCEED, AND THRIVE BY ENCOURAGING OTHERS, explains Ken Harris, Program Director at Concordia, in his inspiring opening video.

Quoting an 18th century French philosopher, Ken said: “We discover in ourselves what we hide from others, and we recognize in others what we hide from ourselves.”

Using essays, videos, interactive polls and download journals, the succinct and insightful course material comes from Concordia University Wisconsin’s one-year Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Administration (OLA). An OLA is an alternative to an MBA that focuses on personal growth and leadership potential. You can looking forward to:

Exploring the importance of expanding your horizons, learning your limits, developing a personal growth plan, and taking the tactical steps to create “a comfortable place where you can operate within your skills and instincts,” explains Ken. 

Understanding how knowing yourself and reading your own emotions will help you recognize what’s missing within you, and connecting with people can help give it to you.

Recognizing when to fight and stand up for what you believe, and when to walk away from the fight and seek a new path to success.

Learning the essential ways to give to others, from giving “the real you” and giving emotionally to giving physically, without expectation and financially.

How to Create Your Personal Space should take only about one week to complete, which is a modest amount of time to learn how to put together the tools you’ll need to build a successful life. And, once you create it, you’ll own it for life.

box-1294153_640I enjoyed listening to Ken Harris’ three fast-moving videos, chock full of sage advice, and to answering the essay questions, including what I need to change when encouraging others. I highly recommend that you sign up, too. Remember, it’s free, it’s fast, it’s fun and it’s enlightening. I can’t think of a smarter gift to can give yourself for 2017!


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Sign up here today!

This post is sponsored by Concordia University Wisconsin. Thanks for supporting FabOverFifty!

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

If you live in an apartment building in Manhattan, you may barely know the person who lives in the unit 10 feet from yours. Technically, he’s your “neighbor,” but the two of you hardly are what you’d call “neighborly.” That’s just the way it is there, maybe not always, but often.

If you live in a rowhouse in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant section (Bed Stuy, to those in the know), being “neighborly” is the rule, not the exception. This probably is nothing new to those of you who have lived in houses most of your lives (except if you live on a fancy estate and your nearest neighbor is acres away). I, on the other hand, haven’t lived in a house since I left my parent’s home when I was 21, and became a married woman, so this is a brand new experience for me.

I now live on Lexington Avenue, between Bedford and Nostrand Avenues (coincidentally, I also lived off Lexington Avenue in Manhattan). My house sits on a ridiculously long block that’s about ⅕ of a mile, and has about 60 houses, but it feels more intimate than the upper east side co-op building where I lived, which had only 22 apartments, three on a floor!  I meet neighbors when I walk Rigby morning and evening, when I take out the trash (I’ve become a religious recycler here, where everyone follows the rules to a T), and when I move my car from one side of the street to another to abide by alternate-side-of-the-street parking regulations.

What’s especially lovely is that this is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city.

Young couples live on the block. Beautiful and charming Mina Stone, a private chef, and her artist husband (I forgot his name) live immediately next door, and the wonderful aromas of her cooking periodically waft onto the deck off my kitchen.  Mina is having her first child any minute (she’s two weeks late, and the doctors want to induce today, as a matter of fact), so it will be fun to have a baby next door.

Another young couple, with a 16-month-old son, lives about 10 houses away. The husband and I met when we were standing on our decks on Thanksgiving Day, both taking breaks from cooking our Thanksgiving feasts.  I followed the progress of their beautiful backyard renovation during the summer, and was thrilled to hear he’s a landscape architect, and I could hire him to work on my backyard this coming spring.  

Single women rent apartments in some of the homes on the block.

One moved here a few years ago after breaking up with her long-time boyfriend. She loves gardening and tends to the front garden, which must please the home’s owner.

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Why It’s Especially Important For Women To Vote

“There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.”

― Susan B. Anthony

On Election Day in 1920, millions of American women exercised their right to vote for the first time. It took activists and reformers nearly 100 years to win that right, and the campaign was not easy: Disagreements over strategy threatened to cripple the movement more than once. But on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.”  www.history.com

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Whichever side of the aisle you’re on 96 years later, it is your right and responsibility as a citizen to help chose the most powerful leader in the world. Although American women have made great strides during the last  century, we have many more strides to make. Our salaries remain lower than men’s; pregnancy and motherhood still can impede our ability to be promoted; sexual harassment still exists in the workplace; women currently hold 84 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives, or 19.3%, and  20 of 100 Senate seats, or 20%.

Unless we make our voices heard about issues that affect our lives and livelihood, and will affect the lives of our grandaughters, we likely will continue to defer to those who don’t think women and men are absolute equals.  Surely, our country faces troubling matters that go beyond the status of women, and we must also consider which candidate is most closely aligned to our positions on them when we vote next Tuesday. But, please think where we might be if passionate women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott hadn’t stood up for their ‘sisters’ in the 1800s.  And exercise your right in 2016.  

Do You Have A Good Working Memory? Do You Even Know What Working Memory Is?

The last two weeks have been among the most frenetic in my life!

I’ve moved from the section of New York City where I’ve lived for 48 years; I’ve started renovation on an 1899 house with overgrown front and backyards, absent a kitchen or a single bathroom; shuttled back and forth, sometimes five times a day, between a temporary rental apartment and the house, and worked every single day on my biggest passion, FabOverFifty. I have always prided myself on being able to multitask with the best of ‘em, but I’ve been juggling multiple projects like I’ve never juggled before.

Last night, minutes before going to bed, I suddenly realized my handbag wasn’t in sight, and since I’m currently living in a 400-square foot studio apartment, I knew I simply hadn’t misplaced it. I became frantic. My life sits in that bag. Keys to all the doors of the house; a few hundred dollars in cash; checkbooks, and my wallet with every conceivable piece of crucial ID. My mind started racing. I got back into my temporary home a couple of hours earlier, so I had those keys. Surely, I had to have left my bag in the car. I popped on a blouse (sans bra) and shorts, and raced out of the building, running most of the three blocks to the blue VW Golf.

There it was, resting comfortably on the back seat, where I had obviously tossed it on my last outing. I grabbed it, held it to my chest, and thought, “You’re doing too much, Geri.”

But am I?

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This Lady Sure Knows How To Toot Her Own Horn

Louise Baranger first put her hands on a trumpet in the fourth grade.

“Someone came to the school so we could learn to play band instruments. My best friend’s brother had a trumpet in their attic, so she had to play the trumpet. Of course, I said ‘I’ll play the trumpet.’ I immediately realized this was me. The trumpet was really cool,” Louise told me.

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Do You Believe You Should Have The Right To Die?

When my former father-in-law was bedridden with congestive heart failure, at 96, he asked his son (my ex) to help him end his life. Douglas contacted the Hemlock Society, a national right-to-die organization founded in 1980, to get  a blueprint on how to carry out his father’s wishes. Douglas then asked if I’d be there while he did the deed. I said “yes,” despite the fact that it made me terrifically apprehensive (as it did him.)

Douglas’ father, unbeknownst to me and Douglas, told his nurse about the plan; thankfully, the nurse wrote an email to his boss about it and copied Douglas. I say thankfully because if we had actually gone ahead with the plan, and then someone reported what we had done, we would have been charged with homicide.  

I would not be a model prisoner, nor would Douglas. (more…)

I’m In The 86% Group. Are You?

I was interested–and intrigued–to see the results of a one-question poll we posted last Thursday. For those of you who didn’t see it, the question was:

How do YOU want to look:

● I want to look as good as I feel
I want to look as young as I feel
I want to grow old “gracefully”
(aka embrace my wrinkles & gray hair)

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How Do YOU Want To Look?

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So read the headline of an ad for “older” women, in a beauty magazine I was perusing at the beauty salon. A photo of a nice-looking woman accompanied the quote. She appeared to be in her late 40s, maybe early 50s.

How does feeling “young” feel? Do you want to skip rope or play hopscotch? Wear your hair in pigtails or a ponytail? Make out with a cute guy at work? Drink yourself silly? (more…)

Friends In Need Are Friends Indeed

“When you first meet her, you think, ‘how could anyone be so sweet,’  but when you get to know her, you discover she really is that sweet,” said one of Susan Kaden’s many friends, who gathered at a New York City restaurant recently to celebrate her 50th birthday. “She is one of the most special people I’ve ever met.”

Susan had two solid reasons not to be sweet during the last couple of years: Her mother died of pancreatic cancer, three weeks after sharing her diagnosis, and her husband died of brain cancer last April, 19 months after he was diagnosed. But those unfortunate experiences didn’t prevent Susan from living with the graciousness, generosity and compassion that have always defined her, her friends told me. She was an exemplary caregiver to both her mom and to her husband of 26 years, celebrating the life they enjoyed together while they still could.
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A FOF Spin On The News

SCORE ONE FOR THE MOMS

Photo Credit: Sporting News

I have zero interest in soccer, but was pleased that the US Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup this past weekend.  It was heartwarming to see three of the teams’ FOF moms interviewed before the game, because each of these women clearly played a role in helping nourish her daughter’s passion for the sport. Judy Wambach, mom of player Abby, choked up talking about a note her daughter sent her that read: “I wouldn’t be here without you.”

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