Thursday, November 20, 2008

On The Humorous Side: The Hot Flash Club

Welcome to the Hot Flash Club!

Whether you like it or not...this is the beginning of the rest of your life and it will be ushered in on a heat's too bad it couldn't happen on the beaches of Maui or the Bahamas...reality decided to have it happen across the landscape of your face, neck and body...OH, JOY!!! Isn't middle-age an adventure?!!!

Prepare yourself to coordinate your wardrobe with your coloring from now on...RED is going to be your enemy for the near term! Make sure you don't wear all red, because when you have a hot flash your clothes and skin will blend'll look like a red hot chili pepper and I don't mean you will look like a member of the band with the same name...Oh…you'll look hot, but not'll be burning red hot all over...and there will be nothing chilly about you...your new nickname will be Pepper.

Don't worry though you'll learn how to do the newest mid-life dance craze...The Hot is a striptease of sorts...there is nothing sexy about it...when you are finished you are dripping with sweat, standing naked in front of a fan and God help the man that wants to touch you after your performance! Your response to this will be: "You're kidding me...Right?!"

Your newest friend, who is replacing your old "friend" is full of as many surprises...but this time you will discover places that you never knew could places that have aches and pains...but here is the won't remember's kind of like when you gave birth...all the pain of cursed your husband for putting through it…but afterward you don't remember any of stupid, do it again...then, you curse your husband...then forget again. start to ramble… a lot because you can't remember your point. Yes, it affects your brain...the few brain cells you have left.

And the grand prize for entering into the Hot Flash Era is (drum roll, please!)

You will never have to worry about wearing white pants ever again! Mid-Life...embrace the "hot"...and whatever you do... don't sweat the small will be over in a flash!

Amy L. Harden Copyright 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guest Blogger: The Lazy Women's Guide to MidLife Reinvention

With all due respect to Oprah, the life coach industry, and my overly-enthusiastic friend Y. who keeps insisting I live an "authentic" life, I'm beginning to think this midlife reinvention stuff is strictly for the birds.

It sounds simple enough in theory. Relying on the wisdom and experience that comes to us at midlife, we take a leap of faith and pursue our deepest passions. Armed with little more than faith in ourselves and a copy of The Secret in our hands, we go forth expecting good things to certainly come our way. 

And let's be honest - after decades spent raising kids, climbing the corporate ladder, and living with the same, predictable man, who among us isn't ready to shake things up a bit? 

Aiding and abetting us is an entire industry that's sprung up to support our ventures. From books to videos to weekend retreats, there is no shortage of charlatans - oops, I mean professionals - lining up to tell us how to get to the next big thing in our lives. 

At 47, I've ploughed through my fair share of reinvention attempts. From the would-be crafting business ($700 in supplies yielded three scarves, one sleeve and zero sales) to the "youthful and playful" hairstyle my new stylist talked me into (he goes by the name of Jean Paul but I prefer to think of him as Edward Scissorhands on speed), I've tried diligently to reinvent myself but sadly, never quite made the grade. 

Reflecting on my failures to launch, I believe I've learned a thing or two about the awakening that comes at this stage of life. As a gesture of support and solidarity for the midlife women who might be reading this, I'd like to pass on some thoughtful advice to make your own midlife reinventions go just that much more smoothly. 

The Lazy Woman's Guide To Midlife Reinvention

1. It's more fun talking about reinvention than actually reinventing.
The planning stage is by far the most rewarding part of the process. What can beat long, contemplative walks, detailed list making of our strengths and interests and endless discussions with friends over dinner about hopes, plans and dreams. 

Play your cards right and you can remain in this stage indefinitely.

2. Don't write a book - read a book.
For those of you who dream of penning the great Canadian novel, try reading a book instead.

Most of us are so busy that we barely have time to read a book. Wouldn't it be a challenge just to start one and finish it in a reasonable amount of time?

And I'm not talking about the dry and slightly depressing Canadian literature your book club insists on reading because it makes them feel intellectual. I'm talking about a good, juicy, Chick Lit read that you can't put down, even if it makes you feel slightly dirty when you're done. 

3. Forget being a Cougar, chasing sexy, younger men. Go after the old guys instead.
Not only is the competition less stiff, older men are much easier to catch. I mean come on - which 40-something woman among us can't outrun an octogenarian in a wheel chair?

4. If you're itching to start a business, keep things on a small scale.
Sure we hear about the success stories but if the truth be told, most businesses fail within a year or two of start-up. 

If you really must scratch your entrepreneurial itch, might I suggest taking a cue from all the mompreneurs of Generation X. Create a simple product and market it from the comfort of your own home. 

I, for one, am waiting for some enterprising midlife woman to invent much needed products like Flash Memory Cards to combat those embarrassing short-term memory blips that come with middle age.

5. Skip the makeover - just get rid of your mirrors.
Why spend thousands on Botox, fillers, a new hairstyle and wardrobe? You're still the same, wonderful person inside that you've always been. 

--Karen Hamilton lives in Toronto, Canada, where she publishes The Best Kept Secret, an e-newsletter and Web site for women over 40. Like the proverbial Seinfeld of the perimenopause set, Karen is fascinated with “the little things” of midlife. You can reach Karen via e-mail at, visit her Web site at or enjoy more of her quirky humour at The Best Kept Secret Blog .

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