As Lady Boomers we’ve spent the last fifty years or so getting multiple degrees, developing career paths, cracking our heads against glass ceilings, raising children, volunteering at school functions, serving on Temple and church boards, and managing households. I guess it’s not surprising then that “reliable and dependable” dominate as the leading personality traits or characteristics defining Lady Boomers. The Kitchens Group (a market research firm of which I am a principal) conducted an internet survey of 553 Baby Boomer women between the ages of 46-65. A series of words and phrases were provided during the course of the survey to which respondents were asked how accurately the phrases described them. Eighty percent said “reliable and dependable” very accurately reflected who they are. Now, compare this response to “spontaneous and flexible” which elicited only a 27% “very accurate response” or “playful and fun”, where only 33% fell into the “very accurate” response category. Only 27% acknowledged “creative and artistic” as a defining characteristic.
While no one will argue dependability and reliability aren’t perfectly wonderful qualities in a partner, parent, or friend, don’t you want a little more for yourselves? These words describe someone who is in constant service to others- admirable of course, but far from self nurturing, and maybe even just a little dull. What about applying our overdeveloped sense of work ethic to discovering our own colorful spirits? What have or could you do that might be just for you? Let me know.
I have written and illustrated a journal entitled, “Be Brave. Lose the Beige“. The journal incorporates many of my blog posts from this site, and is designed to encourage Lady Boomers to discover their own colorful spirits and define what ideally living means to them. Through the use of whimsical and sometimes tongue-in-cheek – art images, readers are guided through an exploration of their interior selves, their goals and priorities. I’m hoping this will be a safe place for empty nesters to re-discover themselves as they rebuild their nests and make room for their own dreams, which may have been postponed for the past 25 years.
Evocative questions ask Lady Boomers, “As we age into our 50s, 60s and 70s, how can we creatively spend these years?”
Be Brave, Lose the beige is not just about color (although I’m crazy about colors…all colors, the more the better) it’s really a life choice. BBLB gently pokes fun at societal rules and norms. It says yes when the world around us says no. Is running from meeting to meeting, checking off the to-do lists really what it’s all about. I don’t think so. Discovering the playful side of life. Spreading joy. Being colorful … clever … creative. Now, that’s living.
Let me know if you would like a PDF version of my Be Brave, Lose the Beige by posting a comment below. Happy Journaling…
I am excited and nervous. I’ve recently sent out my Be Brave, Lose the Beige manuscript to a few publishers. This is the journal I have written and illustrated. Anyone interested in seeing a PDF version of Be Brave, Lose the Beige, just let me know in the comment section below. I realize the very mention of “journaling” elicits the following reactions- eye rolling, sighing, mutterings of “I wouldn’t know what to write” or “what a waste of my time!” If you can overcome these biases, here are a few suggestions:
–Write in longhand, stream of consciousness; try upside down, sideways, off the margins writing. See how liberating it can feel.
–Do not re-read the pages or allow others to read them. This is sacred space, a private place on which to complain or rejoice.
–Some journals pose questions for you to answer. Try posing questions of your own. Listen for the reply, it invariably comes.
In the process of writing, we discover our own identity, not just that of Mom, daughter or employee. In order to achieve a happy and fulfilling life, you have to know what you want and who you are. Meet yourself in your journal pages. Allow Be Brave, Lose the Beige to help.
I have done several posts about journaling. In fact, I’m writing a book about journaling entitled, “Be Brave, Lose the Beige” (obviously the same title as my blog). I am reading Danny Gregory’s “The Creative License” about illustrated journaling. “Writing is really drawing”, he says. The lettering in journaling is also an opportunity to create. Handwriting is drawing. He urges us to “Think about the shape of our paragraphs. There is nothing wrong with vertical sentences or upside down writing. “( I like this because in a previous post I talk about upside down, sideways, outside of the margins journal writing). “Play!” He commands. A journal can be a place of contemplation and catharsis. He goes on to write, “Ironically, journaling can make one less self absorbed and more connected to the things that fill your life. Journaling is about believing in yourself, celebrating your life, feeling a part of (not separated from) the universe.” A very inspiring book. Go to www.dannygregory.com for more inspiration.
In a previous post, I talked about journal writing. The very mention of “journaling” can often elicit the following reactions – eye rolling, sighing, mutterings of “I wouldn’t know what to write” or “what a silly waste of time!” If you can overcome these biases, here are a few suggestions:
-Write in longhand, stream of consciousness, try upside down, sideways, off the margins writing. See how liberating it can feel.
– Do not re-read the pages or allow others to read them. This is sacred space, a private place on which to complain or rejoice.
-Some journals pose questions for you to answer. Try posing questions of your own. Listen for the reply, it invariably comes.
In the process of writing, we discover our own identity, not just that of Mom, daughter or employee. In order to achieve a happy and fulfilling life, you have to know what you want and who you are. Meet yourself in your journal pages.
I’ve written a couple of blog posts about Journaling. Journaling has become such an important part of my daily ritual over the past ten years, I don’t want to do without it. But I view this activity as a private one and don’t care to share it with anyone else.
A couple of weeks ago I was on a 50th birthday cruise and shared a cabin with a friend. Each morning I would literally sneak out of our cabin, capture a cup of cappuccino and hunt for a secret space in which to write my thoughts as I contemplated my day, weekend, and life. (Quiet place on a cruise ship is an oxymoron, let me assure you). I had to laugh at myself as I settled into the giant theater (where no salsa music was playing and the view of the ocean was fabulous) at the lengths I would resort to just to be able to engage in this 45 minutes of me time.
Grab a spiral notebook and 15 minutes today and jot down a few random thoughts. Try this three times a week. See how it feels. Let me know one thing you discover.