Monthly Archives: July 2012

Value, Peace and Power in Confronting Life’s Difficult Topics

“Les Chuchoteuses,” by Rose-Aimée Bélanger, Montréal, Canada

I found another “pearl” I had to share with you.  Here’s something from Sondra Wright, whose articles I’ve been enjoying for some time on her blog 40PlusAndFabulous.  I wanted you to get to know her, too, so I invited Sondra to guest post here today.

Value, Peace and Power in Confronting Life’s Difficult Topics by Sondra Wright

Read by Sharon O’Day

It seems strange to have to invite women to sit down and talk.  After all, isn’t talking one of the things we do really well?  I mean, my entire life I’ve heard how we’re so much better at verbally expressing ourselves than our male counterparts.

And on the surface it would seem so.  Women eagerly seek each other out to talk office gossip, shoes and handbags, kids’ report cards, and who did what to whom on our favorite reality TV shows.  Occasionally we may even touch on some deeper topics like illness, divorce, and sexuality.

But when it comes to the real topics that matter most in our lives, topics like planning long-term for our future health needs, whether or not we have adequate resources for our future financial needs, or making sure our loved ones know what our future medical wishes are, who’s talking now?

These are the tough topics many of us would rather have a root canal than discuss.  They’re the monsters that evoke certain fears in us, and so we hide our concerns and seek relief in the arms of avoidance.  But avoidance brings a relief that is only temporary, as unfinished business always finds its way back.

Peace and empowerment, however, come from facing challenges head on, staring them in the eye, and addressing them with the power of our choices.  And as you do, what you find may surprise you:  your choices really DO matter, these nagging topics never had any power except the false power you gave them, and you were never alone.

There are others out there.  Women like you who share the same joys and pains, dreams and fears, but just like you, simply are not discussing them.  It’s time to break the silence.

The reality is, as unique and as individual as we are, our journey is a shared one.  There are things we all have in common and experiences we will all share:  each of us will lose someone, none of us will live forever, and every one of us deserves the best.

My suggestion is simple; invite some girlfriends over and have “the talk.”  A bottle of wine, a little fruit and cheese, and some background music are all optional, but will certainly lighten the mood.

Invite a financial planner, estate planner, or family law attorney to the party.  Throw in a couple of games and prizes and make “tough talk” fun.  Creating a safe, fun, and educational environment for women to come together, explore concerns, discover solutions, and feel validated is extremely necessary, highly rewarding, and the best gift you could ever give a girlfriend.

Need Resources, Handouts, or Discussion Materials for Your Group?

AARP has launched the Decide.Create.Share(SM) Initiative, a public education effort designed to help women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s take charge of their futures today so they will be adequately prepared for a safe, healthy, and secure tomorrow.

You may even be able to attend one of their live information sessions, with free long-term care planning, held in select cities nationwide.

Visit AARP’s Decide.Create.Share (SM) Initiative for more information and to get guides, fact sheets, brochures, and webinars; in short, all the tools and sound advice you need to start securing your future.

Be sure to let us know in the Comments section below what challenges you’ve faced trying to have “the talk” with yourself or someone else!

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Bio:  Sondra Wright is a certified behavior specialist, midlife transitions and personal development coach, and expert on women and aging.  With a passion for helping women 40 and over debunk myths, shatter stereotypes, and break through barriers that prevent them from becoming all they can be in midlife and beyond, Sondra has become a sought-after speaker and bestselling author with her breakout book 40+ and Fabulous: Moving Forward Fierce Focused and Full of Life!