Single Working Women's Week a reason to congratulate yourself

Yep, we’re just finishing up the second annual celebration of the week designated just for single working women. If you didn’t do something nice for yourself this past week, why not extend the holiday–as many of us do by stretching our birthday celebrations out for weeks–and do something wonderful today? And if you have some single working women friends, call them up and remind them to be good to themselves today. Do something nice for each other!

SWWAN is proud to be a voice for the new single woman of the today. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those women. You use your strength and your passions to create a life you find rewarding. You may be an older woman taking care of an elderly parent while still holding down a full-time job. You may be a successful entrepreneur who still finds time to volunteer for a worthy cause. You may be an independent woman who struggles to make financial ends meet but doesn’t mind too much because she’s doing what she loves.

You may be a person with a wide circle of good friends, or someone who likes her own company best–some of us are both. You may have a child herself or may volunteer to help children. You may have a pet or not. You finds creative ways to get the touch and the sense of connection every human being needs.

We are excited about our next SWWAN Dive show. I’ll be interviewing Dr. Kay Trimberger, author of The New Single Woman. She’ll share insights gained while following the creative lives of the single women profiled in her book. I especially look forward to sharing what she says about how single women can support each other during illness and when growing older. Tune in to “The New Single Woman–Uncensored” on August 15 at 11:00 am Central. We’ll try to make time for questions so you can call in if you like.

To all our fellow Single Working Women, seize the day and enjoy!

DOES it get better than this?

I remember once seeing a newspaper article taped to someone’s refrigerator. It was a well-written article talking about a commercial that glorified a just-the-guys’ weekend–can’t remember if it was hunting or fishing or camping. The main thing was, they had their beer and each other. And the tagline was “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

The author of the article, a man, went on to say how inappropriate he thought that tagline was. He talked about his relationships with his children, and particularly with his wife, and how that’s the sort of image that really belongs with a tagline like that.

I remember having a brief discussion with my father about this. And what a point of difference we had–it just showed that we were living/thinking/breathing on such different planes that it was a miracle we could ever cross the divide and reach each others’ minds.

We’re going to be interviewing Dr. Karen Gail Lewis on our SWWAN Dive radio show on July 17. Her book, “With or Without a Man,” is a sensitive analysis of what it really means to be single. She’s a professional therapist/counselor, a single woman herself, and she’ll talk frankly about both the bad and the good parts of being single.

“7 Shocking Truths Every Single (or Single Again) Woman Must Know” mark your calendar to join us on that call. Her stories are fascinating, and her advice is perceptive and wise. You might already know everything she’s going to say. But sometimes it’s exquisitely rewarding to share your dreams, hopes, fears and joys with others.

Getting outside really IS good for you

If you were a bookworm or otherwise inclined to stay inside when you were a kid, your mom may have yelled at you to get outside and play. Turns out she was right–that being outside is literally good for your health.

Vitamin D, that elusive nutrient that’s only available from sunshine and from vitamin supplements, seems to play a significant role in death rates. A study shows people tend to die sooner from all causes when their vitamin D is lower than accepted levels. How’s that for a powerful reinforcement of your mom’s prescription!

Plus, I read the other day about a test comparing how students’ hearts behaved while doing an assignment and viewing either a) a blank wall, or b) a video screen showing a nature scene, or c) an actual window onto the same natural scene. Guess what? The only situation that proved favorable to the students’ hearts was viewing the real natural scene.

Advice for every busy single working woman to take to heart. Getting outside’s good for your heart.

And oh, yeah, if you’re in Chicago, come join us outside when we celebrate the opening of Single Working Women’s Week by co-hosting a street fair booth with SWWAN vendor Radiance Fine Jewelry. Radiance offers all SWWAN members 25% off fine jewelry repairs all year long.

Tip for busy single working women–cool reminder system

How many times have you thought, while driving your car, “oh, darn, I forgot to…”? And of course, you can’t type on your cell phone (assuming you have gotten one of those with a keyboard that receives email, and if you haven’t, consider doing so–it will revolutionize your life) because you’re driving.

Sometimes I’ve called myself at my office and left a reminder message to do the forgotten thing. But strangely–or maybe not so strange because my main office phone doesn’t have a flashing light or other attention-getting indicator of when I have a message waiting–I often forget to check for messages when I get back in the office. And then I don’t remember to do the thing.

Sometimes I’m in bed when I think “Oh, darn…” so I have to do one of two things: turn on the light to write it on the steno pad I always keep handy–because who wants to get up at 3 am on a winter night and go dig up something to write on? Or I have to turn on the light to see the keypad so I can dial my cell phone (I keep the sound off so I don’t have to hear the ding-ding reminders of tasks and appointments I haven’t yet cleared) and leave a message there. But that’s not foolproof–when I’m in the office I rarely use my cell phone so often don’t see “message waiting” notices.

The only nearly foolproof way for me to see something is to get an email about it, because I check my email religiously many times a day. In fact, when I’m in the office I live with it open. I’ve tried shutting it down so I can focus on a project, but half the time I end up having to re-open it–to send a client a question, look up a previous message, etc. So email is my most-used method of communication.

SO, if you made it through all that, here’s the payoff… I’ve found a very cool program–free–that lets you punch a speed dial key on your cell phone (or dial from any phone if you have the number), speak your message into the system, ask for a reminder, specify the time, and then quit worrying about it. Fifteen minutes before the designated time, an email will appear in your inbox with your message nicely transcribed into print! And you can even Jott friends, family, and colleagues, too.

The Jott voice recognition software does a handy job with regular speech and is pretty good at guessing spellings of names, etc. It keeps lists online and a number of other things that might be helpful for you. So visit the Jott site and download it for free.

One caveat. When you choose to send a reminder to yourself, you’ll receive an email, but you’ll also receive a text message–and your phone may charge you big for that. They tell me they are working on fixing that so you can opt to send only an email to yourself. So if you say, “no” to “do you want a reminder?” you won’t get the email, either. Then you have to remember to log onto the Jott site to see your reminders. But if you’re like me, even that can be helpful because sometimes I remember I was supposed to do something but don’t remember precisely what it was, so having it somehwere-I-can-find-it is still helpful.

As for friends, family, etc., you can avoid having them get charged for a text message by simply not putting in their cell phone number when you list them as a contact. Then they will receive only an email reminder.

Sending yourself or someone else an email with your voice. Isn’t that a cool trick for when you’re on the road?

Now, let’s see, if I want to replace the light/paper/pen thing in the middle of the night, it means I would have to start keeping my cell phone in the bedroom when I go to sleep… But then how will I remind myself to go get it when I go out?

Sigh. Guess nothing’s perfect.




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