Our first Staying Sassy seminar!
This week saw the first of our Sassy seminars – ‘45 and very much alive’. I faced a pretty tough audience – twenty very independent, strong and feisty women from the London Welsh Club. My audience ranged from 45 to 85 and not a shrinking violet amongst them.
Our seminar covered the situation women find themselves in today – legally equal and yet still the main providers of cleaning, shopping, caring, scheduling and common sense. Most agreed that a career was great – but there was still the job of organising life to be done. We had to agree that maybe we are our own worst enemies in this – we keep on shouldering these domestic responsibilities, complaining about men who let us do it, and then we do it again. There is plenty of evidence that men forced into these responsibilities by life events are quite capable – so why do we keep doing it for them?
Next step was assessing life. It is all too easy to keep going less than satisfied, but too busy to sit back and think. See our article on life assessment [link]. That done, we moved onto shifting from negative to positive thinking about the changes we have to make and then the shifts we could make in our lifestyle to ensure we have the physical and mental energy to drive those changes – sleep, exercise, especially cycling, and managing your micro-biome.
At the end we had a group of women all geared up for making life better. But it was the life stories of the women there, shared over a glass of wine which probably was the most inspiring.
The life stories
The woman who having endured the loss of a son, divorce and a heart attack had found a new lease of life assisting local children with special needs to improve their literacy. She had found a beacon of light in life by helping those less able than her. All she wants is a three wheeler bike to keep her fit!
The woman, who at 71, had given up a job she hated and set up her own consulting business which is going strong and ensures she wants to get out of bed every morning at the age of 75 and get going.
The woman who had never married, but made the decision never to mourn it and ensured she did something she enjoyed and stretched her every day.
The woman who, having planned her retirement, found the goal posts changed and was knuckling down to re-start her career.
The older women who had never thought about challenging their negativity because they ‘didn’t have time to moan – we just got on with it.’
Women who had faced cancer and fought their way back to life.
Women who travelled to explore their world and never let anyone hold back their enthusiasm with talk of danger.
In a world of celebrity we always look for ever more inspiring women to make us feel we can have it all and be amazing. We all look at women like Dilys Price winning the Pride of Britain Award for skydiving her way through her latter years to raise money for the disadvantaged. But if we open our eyes and ears, we find sassy strength all around us. We are surrounded by strong women who underneath an ordinary exterior have extraordinary strength and conviction. The women I met in the London Welsh were certainly 45 and very much alive. I just hope the evening helped them look in the mirror with added pride and a positive clap on the back for themselves.