Now that’s what we’re talkin’ about…


Living alone means you get to decide how to spend your time

Being a blogger on several subjects, I get hundreds of emails in my inbox everyday – most unsolicited information about interesting products, books, restaurants, wines, travel ideas and so on. Necessarily, this results sometimes in my having to ignore the subscriptions I’ve actually signed up for. No time to read philosophical stuff when you’re having to beat back the tide. But one headline today caught my single-working-woman eye.

“Seven 7 reasons why people who like to be alone have stronger personalities” on Ideapod is brief and pithy. A quick read made me think that not all seven points are universally valid. For example, if you’re a single woman or mother, are you smarter than someone in a relationship? That’s simply not a logical conclusion and certainly not a given, as this article suggests. But living alone or as a single mom – as in any case when everything depends on you – definitely encourages quick and creative thinking.

It may well be that you’re more independent – but isn’t that kind of circular? Living alone is automatically more independent, right? Think how much work it would take to be DEpendent while living alone! Cripes. You’d be exhausted just trying to find enough people to “help” with everything.

Anyway, it’s always fun to think about the positives of being a single working woman, mother or not. Some of the points in this article are questionable, but like everything we have to handle in this overwhelming electronic age, just take what fits and leave the rest.

And here’s an earlier meditation on what “Living alone means…

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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Single moms and their kids battle recession

Mother holds Child
Image via Wikipedia

I was somewhat surprised to read in a Legal Momentum e-newsletter that single mothers have traditionally always had a higher unemployment rate than the general population. Now they say the recession’s having an even greater negative impact. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) say the unemployment rate for single mothers was 13.6% in 2009 compared to 9.3% for the population as a whole.

I know how hard-hit so many two-parent families have been by this recession—several in my family had to have the stay-at-home mom go out and get a job. And having been a single mom myself who fought like hell to pay the bills and find a new job after losing  my employment in two earlier recessions, I find it painful to think about the struggles of the single mother in today’s brutal economy. First, they are women, which means they are already more likely to be paid less than men for similar work—in every type of job, from WalMart greeter to corporate executive. Second, unlike two-parent families there’s no second person to bring in backup income. Third, since a single mom already has an important second job—raising her kids—it may literally not be possible to take on a third job or find money to pay for child care even if she could.

Whether you make $20,000 a year or $100,000, whether you’re a working married mom or a single mom, as a parent your goal is to give your child the best possible life. When I read about how families are supported in other countries such as the private/public partnership to provide child care for all kids in Finland, it makes me sad that we don’t feel more of an obligation to help all of our country’s children receive the care they deserve while their moms work or look for work.

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WLoVE is solace and inspiration for every woman

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”- Plato
I noticed this quote in my email one morning, not only because it’s a very wise insight into human behavior, but also because it was written long before the politically correct era of non-sexist language. That is, only adult men are mentioned, and while Plato may have meant both sexes, many of us have grown used to being surprised when women are conspicuously left out.
Now Plato’s a guy for whom I have the highest regard, for I understand he is supposed to have said way back in 370-something BC, “If woman should ever become man’s equal, she will quickly become his superior.”  Quite an observer from more than 2000 years ago.
Afraid of the light. Perhaps he was referring to the fact that we human beings tend to be afraid of success, afraid of our own capabilities…or perhaps he meant we are afraid of learning too much and having to change our comfortable beliefs. Maybe all of the above.
With all the books and videos and so on out today about getting in touch with our inner strength, about finding our direct connection to God (the Higher Power, the Greater Good) within, it’s not surprising that we might be afraid of the  light. Be afraid that those who talk about making the connection know some secret that we’ll never be privy to. That we aren’t that “special” to be able to feel that connection.
Well, here’s a chance to hear much more about your personal specialness. It's all about unfolding as you are.SWWAN is participating in a wonderful conference this year called Women Living on the Verge of Evolution. You can attend a weekly 60 to 90-minute telephone session and hear about the personal journeys and the amazing discoveries being made by some talented but very human women. These women are doctors, lawyers, marketing professionals, coaches, yoga experts and more. Some started out in one career and completely changed over after a life-defining realization.
In any case, they each have words of encouragement and inspiration for anyone who comes to listen. It’s a little like I always think about going to church–letting myself be called to my higher self for a while, pulling away from the daily grind, the constant tasks and duties of my single working woman’s life. It’s good for the soul. Balm to the spirit. Food for the hungry heart.
Listen to last night’s interchange with Dr. Barbara Trautlein on the topic of Women’s Power at Work. And mark your calendar for the next few Thursdays. In fact, I’ll be speaking next Thursday at 8 pm CT. The subject is: “Being Single: A prolonged state of waiting–or an empowered life choice?”
And to wind up the series, there’s an international convocation in Las Vegas coming up. Check out the special deals on registration and hotel prices: 21-day special of $210 for 1 attendee and $397 for 2 to attend the 3-day Convocation here in Las Vegas.  The hotel is $59 per night and the rooms are 1-bedroom suites newly renovated in a non-gaming hotel.

Single women at Christmas


Here's to hearing angels on high all year long

Single women have pretty much the same array of choices for spending Christmas day as non-singles. Some will spend it with family, some with friends, some alone (e.g., the non-single woman who is estranged or separated from her mate—or wishes she was). Some will get Chinese food and see a movie, some will rest and read, some will clean or perform other chores.  Some will volunteer at soup kitchens. Some will exercise their creativity—cook, write, paint, play music.

Some, like me, will hang out with their grandchildren and see Christmas again through the eyes of the child. Some of us have spent hours planning, shopping, and wrapping. Some have foregone this practice and decided just to share themselves in some way.

Some of us, like me, who are moving, may be practicing the art of letting go—there’s a joy in releasing stuff to do good elsewhere in the universe. I’m pleased that I can give some of my treasured things to my family members this year. This Christmas I decided to do a little of each: “shopping” from my own possessions, wrapping, and writing about my move within Chicago.

Whatever you’re doing this year, try spending a few minutes every hour just stopping and feeling your feelings. Regard them with respect and tenderness. Send love and appreciation to yourself for all that you do, for all that you share with others, and for all you contribute to the world around you. And while you’re doing that, be sure to express your love to people and send appreciation out to all those who touch your  life.

Merry, merry Christmas to all the wonderful single women in the world. Extra good wishes to all the single mothers who work so hard to make Christmas special for their kids.

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What if you could have an expert advisor for everyday issues?


I’ve been thinking about the wonderful expertise our presenters will be sharing with you online at our conference this year. I don’t think there’s a single one of these sessions that doesn’t have something to offer me–a middle-aged (well, maybe a little more than that), long-time single divorced mom/grandmom in her own business. But you don’t need to be single OR in business for yourself to get real help. We decided to call the conference “Secrets You Wish Your Mom Told You“–because most likely your mom had no clue about these things.

Even though I’m at the top of the proverbial hill (I refuse to be seen going over it), I really need to learn a secret for using networking to gain personal power. I’m terrible at networking. How about you? And as bold as I am sometimes, I would love to learn a new way to turn off my fears. I’m excited at the very idea of learning how to easily package my own existing skills and talents to make money online–even just a little. Could you use some extra money for what you already do? These are the kinds of learning you can get from these presenters.

I urge you to take a look at these classes. Read the program descriptions. Read the presenter bios–these women are top professionals, but they’re also real-live women like you and me. They face some of the same junk we do everyday. But they’ve got powerful ideas for getting past or around or through the muck. Read, think and come get inspired–we’ve extended the earlybird pricing until July 27, so don’t wait.

Men who love and respect women–go forth and multiply!


You know, I’ve been meaning to get to this all month. And today’s almost the last day–of Women’s History Month. Did you know there’s actually a “national women’s history project“? Yep, visit it and be inspired.

Women–we are such complex and wonderful creatures, are we not? Is it any wonder that there has been so much effort over the centuries to keep women out of power, out of politics, out of sight? I think it was Aristotle or Plato or one of those early wise guys who said, “If woman should ever becomes man’s equal, she will quickly become his superior.” Now just think how long ago that was…

With the rise of increasing numbers of independent single working women, the sight of women being strong and successful in their own right becomes ever more common.

Let us hope that the wise and loving men in our world who give women their due will spread their wisdom and multiply their kind in great numbers. And then we can look forward to the day when the new reality will no longer be considered a threat.

Book review: Missy…being single and hard luck in the old West


Reading an amazing story called Missy by Chris Hannan. It’s about a “flash girl” in the gold/silver rushes of the old West. These were prostitutes who were affiliated with an establishment, as opposed to street walkers. Lots of period dialog and details. Compelling story of a young woman whose mother is a total bust-out–playing like she is a lady but being seriously drunk all the time. Abandoned her daughter at age 13.

The daughter keeps following her around the country trying to help her–because she promised her when she was 10 that she would always take care of her. The daughter is addicted–like so many people of the time, particularly women–to opium in various forms. It was a drugstore remedy available to everyone and cheap. Still the
daughter maintains a semblance of sanity compared to her mom. Many scenes of
violence described with the dispassionate voice of someone who’s simply
used to it. Hard to put down.

Good reminder of some of the progress that’s been made for single working women in our world.

Ghandi movie gives half a lesson


Watching the classic movie, Ghandi. Am struck by the fact that his incredibly powerful non-violent resistant efforts began in South Africa where they were highly effective because they were set up against LAWS. Yes, Indians had to carry ID cards when no one else in S. Africa did. They were required to do X and Y by law–a clear and present ruling against which they could fight.

How unlike the prejudice against single women in our society today. There are no written laws against which to stand. There are no formal regulations to contest. What single women face is only unwritten prejudices and informally sanctioned exclusions. Restricted or impossible access to loans, shame for being in need as a single mother, embarrassment at coming alone, without a "date," for a social or even a business occasion, missed opportunities because there is no man at the head of your business. The list goes on.

Even when women fought for the vote 100 years ago, both married and single women could fight alongside each other. And still the married women had the sanction of their husband's power behind them–or they risked divorce, at the time an almost impossible choice for a woman to give up the financial security (not to mention the social approbation) associated with marriage.

Elibabeth Cady Stanton was the married agitator. Susan B. Anthony was the lifetime single woman advocate. Blessedly they became closest friends. Today, the gulf between single and married is as great as it has ever been since the Victorian era and before. But the separation is more disguised because today single women have at least a greater chance of supporting themselves independently. Less room to be openly pitied–but no less room to be resented, stigmatized, ignored, or marginalized.

But then we see Ghandi turning to help his own country gain greater respect within the world community. Here is where we may take a lesson. There were no laws against being an Indian citizen. There were no laws against being strong and independent as a nation. But there was an overwhelming sense of unworthiness among the people. Ghandi said, “Poverty is the most powerful kind of violence.” So that is what Ghandi began to fight–the expectations, the systemic setup against success. That is where we can find inspiration for single working women.

Today we are creating change in the world.

Reflections on changing the world


Year-end is always a good time to think about what has happened in your life and what you’d like to have happen in the future. Was reading an article in Ode Magazine yesterday and found a story about a professor at Barnard College in New York who invites local Harlem residents to sit in for free in his philosophy classes. He got in trouble with the administration, but he told them these are his friends and they wouldn’t dare tell another professor his friends couldn’t sit in. Cool.

Anyway, he quoted Ghandi and I think it’s a perfect one for single working women, too. “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Make the choices you really want to make–not those society would have you make. The single women of today who do work they love, who pursue successful careers of all kinds, and who build caring relationships with friends and family are demsontrating that women are in charge of their own happiness.

How many children are raised by a single parent because of divorce, desertion, or death? Why should a stigma be attached to single mothers by choice? The single women of today who choose to become mothers because they have not met the right mate are courageously living out their dream. They are showing the world that healthy, happy children can come from all types of homes–as they have always done.

The single women who face medical and financial challenges and find new ways to overcome those obstacles are showing resourcefulness and courage that is an inspiration to others in this profoundly down economy.

The single women of today who live alone or caring for an elderly relative yet find joy in work, play and friendships are embodiments of hope. They personify the energy, the creativity, and the courage that are helping to make the world a better place for all.

Merry Christmas to all. May we all continue to be the change we want to see in the world.