Apparently, I am not the only one who has panicked over this realization. In fact, Sarah herself panicked when it was time to attend her high school reunion. She decided not to go because she was the only one in her class not married and the only one of a few who did not have children. She was so embarrassed, that she skipped it. After receiving calls from her classmates asking why she did not attend, she realized that she was being hypocritical. You see, Sarah in a licensed therapist specializing in relational dynamics. She was seeing patients with similar issues – panicking about their age and the impact it had on their lives. How could she give them advice to “not worry” when she herself was having her own dilemmas? And the idea of Fortytude was born.
What’s amazing about Fortytude is how Sarah built the content. First, she found only four books that spoke about “aging,” but they were all depressing, so she knew she herself had to find the answer to growing older gracefully. She went around the country to urban and suburban communities interviewing hundreds of women to understand their dilemma with turning forty or being in their forties. To help the women open up and have a good dialogue about this, she gave each of them a list of 20 values, asking them to circle their top five. What she uncovered was magical. Whether she spoke to a woman who lived in a city, the suburbs, or the country, they had the same top five values!
Sarah used these values to help create what what now know as Fortytude. I equate the book to be about how you live your life in your forties, or at any age, is all about your attitude. She speaks about each of the values in the book and found women around the country from all walks of life who exemplify each of the values, and she writes about each of their inspiring stories. Some of their stories appear on her website via video, which you can access by clicking here.
The five values these women said they use to define their authentic self are grace, connectedness, accomplishment, adventure, and spirituality. You may now ask, “What do these mean?” While Sarah provides stories and examples of what they each could mean, she was smart to point out that we each must define these values for ourselves. One of the audience members asked, “What do you mean by authentic self?” Sarah gave an example of hearing her mother’s voice when she was deciding whether to go on a second date with a man. Sarah’s voice and her mother’s voice differed, but her authentic self is based on what her own voice said.
I invite each of you to check out Sarah’s book. She is an incredible person, and I am so happy to have met her. I can promise you that one of our Second Tuesday topics will be to discuss what these five values mean to us. I think it will make for a great bonding and inspirational experience. I hope you do the same with your girlfriends.
Let’s go be our authentic selves and have a positive attitude about who we are, regardless of our age!