Reflections on single retirement and meeting friends

Flowers for your single friends – or you!

It’s coming up again: Single Working Women’s Day (August 4) and Single Working Women’s Week (7/30 – 8/5/17). It’s the time of year when we get to buy flowers or gifts or do little favors for the single women we know and appreciate – including ourselves, of course. Thank you to Working Woman Report and to TimeandDate.com for talking up the holiday recently.

Is singleness different when you’re retired? If you’re retired and live alone, whether you’re widowed, divorced or never married, you face unique challenges, yes. But for many of us, being able to choose our activities and allocate our time just as we like can make up for a lot of inconveniences.

Say, for example, you decide to spend an entire day reading – or two days or whatever your heart desires. You don’t have to make excuses or apologies to anyone about it.  What’s it worth to you not to have to worry about offending someone by passing gas or burping? To eat when you feel like it and eat whatever you want without having to explain yourself? To experiment with super-healthy recipes that no one else has any interest in? (If that idea clicks for you, check out this cookbook, Sneaky Blends, that shows you how to up the nutrition in lots of different recipes.)

The most important thing is having at least a couple of sympatico friends who like to go out and do things together once in a while. We humans are social animals, and a workplace always provided an automatic social setting. When we’re retired, we don’t have that setting, but we also don’t lose the wish to socialize. Even for those of us who are semi-loners, occasional companionship colors the world a little brighter. Having someone with whom you can share what your day was like can soothe the spirit.

In some cities, like Cleveland, Ohio, for example, many natives grow up with a ready-made social set – people who went to grade school and high school together tend to stick together throughout their lives. Although I lived there more than 30 years, only one native/local woman ever made even a small attempt to be friends, and she admitted I was the only “outsider” she’d ever socialized with. The rest of the folks I met and/or hung out with were all transplants like myself. Here’s an interesting chat forum on the subject of the “them” vs. “us” mentality in many cities and towns.

How do we meet new friends when we’re getting up there? Well, there’s always Meetup.com. In Chicago and in many cities across the country there’s a “school” for people over 55 called Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. This is a peer-led organization that gets lots of retired (and semi-retired or still working) people – most are 70-ish – coming together in study groups to tackle subjects of mutual interest. The one in downtown Chicago – and in Evanston, too – is housed on Northwestern University’s campus, so there’s not a ton of diversity among the members, but it’s still possible to meet people with the potential to become friends or at least going-out buds.

So consider treating your single women friends somehow during Single Working Women’s Week. It’s a great time to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a single working – or retired – woman.

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Single Working Women’s Day is also National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Just found out. Not only is Single Working Women’s Week going on right now, but Single Working Women’s Day, August 4, is also National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. What a lucky coincidence that a favorite dessert fits right into the holiday week!

For those who love chocolate chip cookies – and/or the raw dough – what a great way to celebrate with your single women friends. Buy or bake and bring some when you go out or stay in to congratulate each other on your many contributions to the world. And kudos to AMNY for celebrating SWWW!

Meanwhile, DoubleTree Hilton Hotel on the Mag Mile has its own iconic chocolate chip cookie recipe and yesterday on August 4 they were handing cookies out with abandon at Union Station in downtown Chicago. Feathery light, break-apart, feels-fiber-rich cookie. I intended to eat a third. I ate the whole thing. Beware: 310 calories per.

Good chance you’ll get some when you stay at the DoubleTree Hilton next time.

DoubleTree Hilton Hotel hands out cookies at Union Station

DoubleTree Hilton Hotel hands out cookies at Union Station

Copy of Doubletree choc chip2

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SingleWorkingWomensWeek – July 31 to August 6, 2016

Yes, it’s that time again. The official holiday week to celebrate the energy and passion and dedication of all single working women. The single working women who earn and bring home the bacon and then cook it, serve it and clean up afterwards. The single working women who come home from work and do all the housework and laundry, care for the pets, and still make time to visit with friends and loved ones.

So this July 31 to August 6, take a single working woman to lunch or dinner. Or take out her garbage. Or run an errand for her. Or ask her just how you can help. She’ll appreciate you thinking of her. Tell her it’s her official week and, if she can manage it, she should take some time off and relax. Everybody else has holidays, right? This week, every year, single women do, too.

Happy Single Working Women’s Week to you and you and you!

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If you thought your vote didn’t count…

A new source of in-depth data and analysis about unmarried women and what’s known as the “Rising American Electorate” is now available at Voter Participation Data Center. It’s interesting and puzzling to see from the graphic (below) that so many single women did not vote—even ones who were registered—in recent elections. What’s up with that?

 

There are 57 million unmarried women in America today—and by the time the 2016 election rolls around, they’ll be a majority of voting-eligible women. The Voter Participation Data Center aggregates research on the social, economic, and political lives of unmarried women, giving a complete picture of the ways in which they’ll shape our economy and our policies in the decades to come. It’s got demographic and economic profiles of unmarried women and analysis on the recent legal and electoral developments that most affect the lives of unmarried women—including paid sick leave, equal pay, workplace fairness, and the Affordable Care Act.

 

The Voter Participation Data Center puts out all this data in the form of shareable graphics that encapsulate it in a quickly-readable and easily-digestible form, making it easy for you to make your friends, family, and political leaders aware of how important unmarried women are going to be in the coming decades—and how important it’ll be for political leaders to speak to their needs and concerns.

 

Registration and Voting Rates in 2012
Voter Participation Data Center is intended to serve as a one-stop shop for anyone interested in understanding unmarried women—who, along with people of color and millennials, form the Rising American Electorate who may cast a majority of the votes in 2016.

 

Just in time for Single Working Women’s Week this August 2 through 8, 2015.

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Cool – Brazil celebrates Women’s Orgasms during Single Working Women’s Week!

It’s hard to say whether Brazil’s International Women’s Orgasm Day (August 8), which falls right in the middle of Single Working Women’s Week (August 4 – 10 this year) is more about encouraging women to acknowledge and celebrate their sexuality, or more about guys wanting to have an excuse to talk about women’s orgasms.

Ecstasy.

Ecstasy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Either way, it’s funny and nice that it coincides with Single Working Women’s Week. Hope everybody’s having a very gratifying week.

And if that includes having an orgasm, go for it. Women who have orgasms more frequently are said to have happier dispositions, better health, and less pain. Check out these top 10 surprising facts about orgasm at Women’s Day online. 

And don’t forget to do something nice for the single women in your life!

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Happy Single Working Women’s Week – August 4-11 – AND Single Working Women’s Day August 4, 2013

Our special holiday is upon us once again. Single Working Women’s Week is August 4 to 11 this year. And now we have a Single Working Women’s Day on August 4 every year!

We urge everyone everywhere to  honor your single working women friends. Send her a card. Offer to take her garbage out. Or babysit her kid(s). Or cook dinner for her, or surprise her with a meal at her favorite restaurant. Sometimes just even spending a few hours together can feel special – even just going to the store together.

My life as a single semi-retired working woman has been mighty busy these last couple of years. Between health challenges and helping raise my lovely granddaughter (now 6), I haven’t had much time to reflect on living single. But this coming holiday week is a good time to do it. Rosie the Riveter is the image that caught on to represent all the women who went to work while the men fought WWII. Today women are everywhere in the work world. And nearly half of  women in the U.S. today are single (including divorced, widowed and never married).

A real-life

A real-life “Rosie the Riveter” operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, Tennessee, working on an A-31 Vengeance dive bomber. Downsampled from original and sharpened slightly and resaved to increase managability of file. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like many single women today who find the elusive “right” guy simply isn’t coming on the scene, my daughter decided almost seven years ago to have a baby on her own. Her greatest passion in life has always been for children – she even spent her pre-teen and teen years working in a home daycare setting across the street from our house.  She is great with kids. I cheered her choice; I was sure she’d do a wonderful job despite all the challenges I knew she’d face being a single mom.

And she is.

I love being able to watch the future taking shape in the mind of a bright and happy little girl. Whether she ends up finding her soulmate one day and chooses to marry or she chooses the single life, she will never forget the passion, the energy, the devotion and the commitment of her single mom – and her single grandmom!

So here’s to all of us SWWANs: Happy Single Working Women’s Week and Single Working Women’s Day! Kudos to you for the passion and energy and creativity you  put into making your single life a celebration every day.

 

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Saudi businesswomen stop fighting the system and create a women-only city

Saudi Arabia is a society totally controlled by males.

Map of the territory and area covered by prese...

Map of the territory and area covered by present-day Saudi Arabia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Many Saudi women wear the burka and, despite their earning 60% of the country’s college degrees, including PhDs, females constitute only 15% of the workforce. They can’t marry, divorce or travel without permission from a man. Segregating the sexes in workplaces is a long-honored tradition in Saudi Arabia, according to an article in Autostraddle.

Now a group of businesswomen have decided to create their own, all-female Saudi city. Hofuf is the first of five planned cities where women will be able to pursue careers, living, working and socializing in a more open environment.

It’s a good article—objectively covers a lot of pros and cons about this revolutionary concept. I have to say that, coming from a family where males were automatically considered superior, my experience attending an all-girls high school was my first opportunity to test my skills and talents without the gender imbalance working against me. I gained a great deal from being able to do that at an important stage of my life.

I can’t imagine living with the restrictions Saudi women are up against. But I also can’t think there’s anything negative about creating their own forum for exercising their brains, skills and talents. As for the faulty idea of separate but equal that didn’t work so well for race, I think it doesn’t apply here. As one commenter said, the only thing these women might have to worry about is backlash from some Saudi men who will be threatened if the women succeed “too well.”

And even though it doesn’t say so, I’m going to bet that a big portion of the energy for this idea and its execution comes from college-degreed single working women—who might have to stand up to only their resistant fathers and brothers rather than to both them and husbands!

Congratulations, ladies. Looking forward to hearing about many good things ahead.

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TV station celebrates Single Working Women’s Week!

Congratulations to Kansas City’s Channel 4 television

English: Picture taken from the Liberty Memori...
English: Picture taken from the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. High Resolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

station’s Morning Show for celebrating Single Working Women’s Week. It may be only an article about fashion, but they’ve got the right idea. Fabulous!

And I hope you are finding something nice to do for yourself and your single working women friends this week. We all deserve it and this is our own special holiday!

P.S. This year we have a Single Working Women’s Day – August 4. Yahoo!

 

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HuffPost author tells single women: “don’t be so picky”

Yesterday I followed a Google News alert link to an article telling single working women how to increase their chances of getting a partner. I definitely wanted to express an opinion about the article, but when I tried to write this as a comment on the column itself, after multiple frustrating tries, it simply didn’t allow me to post my comment. So I’m writing here on SWWAN.

Holly Sidell, author of the Huff Post Women section, does tend to write about dating, so you might expect this sort of thing. But still I was surprised to find her suggesting that some impliedly-significant percentage of women are “still” single because they’re too picky. She writes about how she decided to negotiate her “deal breakers” (I can’t be with anyone who…) with her latest flame and how she has now found love. She then suggests that perhaps if other women would do the same with their deal breakers, they, too, might find the perfect mate. My thoughts:

A) Seems wrong to write as if being paired up is the state to which all women aspire. Not every woman feels that way.

B) Regardless of  what boundaries a woman creates, it seems just as reasonable to assume that deal-breakers become negotiable not when you randomly decide to negotiate them, but when the circumstances fit and the feelings between the two people are strong enough to allow, or even compel, them to work such things out.

That’s one thing I don’t enjoy: lectures about ways to get un-single.

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Why is it so hot? How to cool yourself down

Heat, smog, sweat

Heat, smog, sweat

How’s the weather by you? We are having record-breaking heat for March in Chicago and over most of the Central and Midwest U.S. When it’s 73 degrees at 9:30 at night, you’re talking the middle of summer. Uh, excuse me, we just celebrated St. Patrick‘s Day.

Something is seriously wrong here.

A few folks have some stats and ideas as to why it’s happening. The American Thinker says high-temperature records are being set all over the country—66 degrees at midnight in International Falls, MN, known as the country’s Icebox. That’s 6 degrees higher than the city’s previous record. Read more about this incredible 2012 winter heat wave.

I live in a wonderful seniors building, but sadly they have an HVAC system that can only be one thing or the other—heat or air conditioning. And a city ordinance says they must provide heat until May 15—no matter how hot it gets. And because of how my apartment is situated, I get zero breeze when the windows are open. So I can tell you it’s stifling in here.

Found a really thorough article on WikiHow that describes a bunch of ideas for how to cool yourself down without air conditioning. I like that a lot of these ideas involve creative uses of tap water.

And here’s another one. If you have a significant other, avoid the body heat and sleep in separate beds. That’s one we singles usually don’t have to worry about!

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