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Finding Your Unique Style and More for Midlife

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Today I found a new YouTube vlogger that I have absolutely fallen in love with.

Meet Melissa55.

Melissa is a 60-something wife, mother, and grandmother living in Tennesse. She has been posting on her Youtube channel each week for roughly 3 years with topics surrounding midlife beauty. While I was trying to find out more about Melissa, I stumbled across a quote of hers that I absolutely love:

“I feel like if we stick together in this aging journey, we can lift up each other and grow older gracefully and beautifully.”

– Melissa55

She creates tons of wonderful content surrounding the conversation of aging and how to feel beautiful while doing it. However, my favorite video series of hers is The Aging Woman and in this video series, she covers everything from fashion and exercise to friendships and marriage. Today I am going to share a few of my favorite (initial) videos of hers that I am loving and maybe you will love them too!

The Aging Woman: Finding Your Style

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This is the perfect example of what Melissa is all about. She uses her own experiences from finding her way through midlife to help other women abandon the stigmas surrounding aging and beauty and really embrace themselves. So, if you’ve watched the video, what’s your style and how has it changed as you have moved through midlife?

Craving more Melissa? Here are some of my other instant favorites:

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It’s Never Too Late for Adventure

not-mom-blog-pic-finalWritten By Karen Malone Wright

I was introduced to The Back Forty when I met Darrell Gurney at a conference in Los Angeles in late 2016. I immediately connected with his mission, and I don’t think he was surprised when I confessed that I’m living my own Back Forty career right now.

Like most people, I tend to focus on what’s currently happening, forgetting that I was 45 when I quit my job as a high-power, good salaried health care marketing executive in 2000. Except that the truth is, I didn’t quit my job; I escaped and ran from Shawshank prison.

I had prepared my escape quietly, carefully, for almost seven months. There were many discussions with my husband, my lawyer and my accountant. My lists had lists of their own. I read books detailing what it would take to become a solopreneur, and I had informational interviews and coffees with people who had already made the switch. I Googled everything in between.

Unlike the many advertising and public relations agencies named for the primary owner, I wanted my new venture to have a name with meaning, which my own decidedly did not. I decided on “odyssey”, because of its secondary definition: “an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest”.

Some might have thought that I simply started doing the same strategic communications projects that I used to do on a “job”, but from home. They were almost correct. What they overlooked was the jubilation infused with the free air I breathed. The work I performed was under terms set only by me. The ability to choose the clients, people and issues I would to support with my efforts, and to dismiss others, was exhilarating. I re-learned my own rhythms, and set my own schedules.

Unfortunately, bliss rarely lasts.  

Over the next 10 years, I grew increasingly unhappy with unreasonable clients, boring assignments, and even the very skills I used to take pride in. Over time, my new world had morphed into feeling like the old world, beyond my control and a waste of my ebbing time. Worse, it seemed impossible to imagine that anyone would pay me to do anything else (not that I knew what “anything else” might look like).

Here’s a sentence you don’t read every day: I was revitalized by social media.

As a communications major in college and a professional in the field, I was captivated by the new technology that hopped over TV networks and radio stations and PR folk like me to post its own reality. Simply put, everything old was new again.

It took hours for me to finish a simple online article, because any reference that I didn’t understand, such as virtual worlds (SecondLife), or channels like Twitter that took weekends to master, I clicked off to explore and teach myself. My first blog, using Google’s Blogger chronicled a Baby Boomer’s leap into modern communications.  Communications Goddess represented the self-confidence I had achieved while sharing my delight at the new tools the Internet steadily delivered.

In 2009, I started annual treks to attend BlogHer conferences in New York, Chicago and San Diego. Women – more than 2,000 of them – filled me with their energy and determination to have their voices heard. It was at BlogHer that I began to see blogging as a business. Soon after, I admitted that there were hundreds of bloggers with larger audiences, deeper pockets, and stronger resumes across the Net with social media blogs just like mine.

In March 2011, I flew to Austin, Texas to attend South by Southwest Interactive, a nine-day celebration of all things digital and online. It was there, in a session about how women connect with brands online, that I said aloud for the first time, “I can’t find myself online.”

By then, I was a 56-year-old woman who was not the mother of a teenager, nor an empty nester, nor a grandmother, nor fertile and still trying to conceive. I was not anti-child, anti-procreation or anti-anything. I was pro-me and, in all of cyberspace, I couldn’t find anyone like me. It hurt.

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Me, after I found my niche!

Someone suggested I start a website, and I responded that there was no way to avoid “mean girls” who don’t like children or their mothers. That’s definitely not me.

I thought the subject was closed, until another attendee urged me to follow up on the idea that Madison Avenue and everyone else were overlooking millions of women. I listened, and soon found US Census Bureau reports that the number of American NotMoms was the highest since tracking began in 1976. Today, one of every six American women will never give birth and nations worldwide are reporting historic levels.

I officially launched the new blog on Mother’s Day 2012 and named it The NotMom because of the many, many times I have been called to explain that, “No, I do not have children. I am not a Mom.”

If a woman isn’t a Mom in our Mom-centered world, she often feels adrift without a tribe, a community of her own. It’s easy for people to accept, without full comprehension, the universal power and influence of the title that is “Mom”.

Young Moms, single Moms, special needs Moms, Moms-to-be, adoptive Moms, military Moms, celebrity Moms, adoptive Moms, empty nest Moms, Moms of multiples, mocha Moms, first-time Moms and soccer Moms are all linked at a visceral level impossible to replicate. When a woman is not and will never be any type of Mom, even those women who chose to live childfree may feel overlooked and repeatedly out of place.

American in focus but global in scope, The NotMom is distinguished online by its embrace of women who once dreamed of motherhood as well as those who never did. Now approaching its fifth anniversary, the brand engages and influences a growing community of more than 25,000 childless and childfree women age 26 and up through the blog, events and social networks.

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Last year’s Not Mom Summit.

The NotMom Summit, the only conference of its kind in the world, brings these women together offline to acknowledge and enhance the shared aspects of their lives. The inaugural event drew women from three continents, five countries (Canada, China, England, Iceland and the US) and 18 states, proving that the interest in such a gathering has value.

The 2017 NotMom Summit will be on October 6-7, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio, and once again I am working hard to partner with major sponsors open to recognizing the potential of this important niche market. With my husband’s blessing and enthusiastic support, I am embroiled in the adventure of my life at age 61.

The NotMom has won a $5,000 prize from a northeast Ohio program for entrepreneurial women and scored international media coverage including Fortune, Black Enterprise, CNN.com, The Atlantic and The New York Times (twice!). No matter how this story ends, I will never regret chasing a dream to find my own community, and to help other women find theirs.

Karen is the founding voice & chief executive of The NotMom.com and featured by The New York Times as a leading expert on issues about women without children by chance or by choice. For more information on the 2017 NotMom Summit, go to: https://notMomsummit2017.sched.org.

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You Need to See How Inspiring this 98-Year-Old Woman Is!

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Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel old? You wake up and your back is aching, or your leg, or a random arm. And then you try to get out of bed and your joints are popping and you’re groaning and you’re tired. It’s days like these where I get up and say to myself,

“You are so old!”

Now don’t get me wrong, some days I feel young and full of energy, but other days…not so much. Other days I feel old and it causes me to make excuses. I can’t go to the gym because I hurt too much. I’m just too tired to go out tonight. The excuses go on and on.

Well, the other night I found a video posted on Facebook by NowThis and was inspired by it (and a bit ashamed of myself). I searched the internet for more information on this topic and I found the original video that NowThis had cut up for their 30-second news clip. If you are ready to realize just how young we all are and how our excuses should never get in the way of achieving greatness, watch this video created by Athleta below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBfslZKi99c]This is Tao Porchon-Lynch and she is the world’s oldest yoga teacher at the age of 98!

Tao is absolutely inspiring. At the beginning of this video she says,

“When you wake up every morning say, ‘This is going to be the best day of my life,’ and it will be.”

– Tao Porchon-Lynch

Meanwhile, I was here feeling old.

So, I challenge you (and myself) to be as strong and dedicated as Tao is.

Are you interested in learning a little more about Tao? Well, get ready to be inspired even more!

  • She has been a yoga instructor for over 75 years and still teaches 4 days a week!
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    Source: The Times
  • She was a model during WWII  and even had the title “Best Legs in Europe”.
  • When she moved to America after the war, she worked as an actress for MGM and even co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor in “The Last Time I Saw Paris”.
  • She has a passion for ballroom tango and has won several hundred first-place competitive dance titles.
  • She is the co-founder of the American Wine Society (as if I didn’t like her already)!
  • She’s written two books (one about yoga and one about dance).

All in all, she is an amazing woman that we should all aspire to be more like!

So I’ll leave you in awe of Tao with this last quote:

“Don’t let age dictate to you what you can and cannot do.”

– Tao Porchon-Lynch

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Sources: NowThis, Athleta, Wikipedia

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You’ve Always Controlled Your Life – Even if You Failed to be Aware of it!

As we start out this new year, I want to bring you an important message. It’s easy to see things in our past (especially life-changing things) as something that we didn’t really have control over. After all, when something is out of your control it can’t be your fault.

But today I want you to think about your past differently. Take a moment to read the following quote:

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You have always had a say. Even though sometimes it seems that you had no control over a situation. When you think of your past as being created from all of your decisions instead of being created by things out of your control – life suddenly becomes easier to manage.

You had a say over your past. You have a say over your present. And, most importantly, you will have a say over your future!

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Happy New Year from The Back Forty!

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However you are celebrating this night, all of us here at The Back Forty want to wish you a happy new year!

Take a moment to enjoy these inspirational thoughts to start out your new year right:

The Best Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List

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Do you find yourself still searching for the perfect holiday gifts? Are you realizing that Christmas is less than a week away and getting worried?

Don’t fear, I’ve taken the time to do a little research for you. I found something for everyone on your list. Look through the list below and find your perfect gift!

For the:

  • Fitness Enthusiast

    • Something Thoughtful: Sport Bottle Blender – This gift is a great idea for anyone on your list who is constantly blending up fitness shakes and smoothies. You just put the ingredients into your sport bottle, put your sport bottle on the blender base, and you’re done!3-bulu-box-animation
    • Something Unique: Monthly Health Product Subscription Box – The Bulu box brings new workout products to your present recipient’s door each month. This is perfect for someone who is always looking for the  next big thing!
    • Something Useful: HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle – This water bottle will put all other water bottles to shame! It will actually calculate your personal hydration needs, track your fluid consumption through the day, pace you to ensure hydration goals are met, motivate you to stay properly hydrated, and enhance your strength and endurance.
  • Globe Trotter

    • Something Thoughtful: Collapsible Water Bottle – Regardless of if they are roughing it or traveling in style, this is the perfect gift for any traveler you know. By making it collapsible, it takes up less space and is easy to take through airport security.map.JPG
    • Something Unique: Scratch Map – This map is a must for any true globe trotter. As they travel to new locations, they can scratch off that part of their map so they will always remember where their travels have taken them.
    • Something Useful: TSA Pre-Check Membership – For anyone who flys regularly, this is a godsent gift. Waiting in the security line is the worst, but for just $85 your traveler can skip the line for 5 whole years. They will thank you, I promise.
  • Perfect Host(ess) & Cook

    • Something Thoughtful: Wooden Cheese Picks – These picks are the perfect addition to any host’s collection. Place the picks in their corresponding cheeses to let guests know what is being offered.smoker
    • Something Unique: Handheld Food Smoker – Does your cook love the flavor of smoked meats, cheeses, and more? This handheld food smoker makes it possible to give anything you prepare a smokey taste without the long smoking process.
    • Something Useful: Oven-To-Table Entertaining Platter – This soapstone platter can be heated or chilled to keep your host’s dishes at the perfect temperature for serving.
  • Sports Fan

    • Something Thoughtful:  “Sportproof” Earbuds – These are perfect for sports fans who like to play as well as watch sports. These “sportproof” earbuds are sweatproof and bluetooth so that nothing will slow down your sports fan.sweaters
    • Something Unique: Try Uncommon Goods – I’m not going to try to pick a single item for this category. However, this page on uncommongoods.com is perfect for any sports fan. Regardless of if your fan is into football, hockey, baseball, or skiing, there is guaranteed to be something unique here!
    • Something Useful: Favorite NFL Team Ugly Christmas Sweater – If your sports fan is into football, this is a perfect gift. All you need to do is pick out their favorite team. This is especially useful for people who will be attending Ugly Christmas Sweater parties this season.
  • Businessman

    • Something Thoughtful: Rosewood Cufflinks – These handmade cufflinks can help your businessman stay in touch with nature while staying in the office, plus they are just plain stylish.smart-watch
    • Something Unique: Samsung Smartwatch – This watch is truly unique. Not only is it stylish, but you can also take phone calls, pay for items, track your fitness, find directions, and more with just this watch.
    • Something Useful: Handheld Luggage Scale – This is a perfect gift for anyone who has to travel regularly for work. It is the worst feeling to get to the airport and be told that you will need to pay an extra $50 because your luggage is 51 pounds instead of the maximum 50 pounds. This handheld luggage scale is easy to take with when traveling and will prevent your businessman from ever having to pay extra luggage fees again.
  • Artist

    • Something Thoughtful: Felt Succulent Kit – This is a fun (and beautiful) craft kit to spruce up anyone’s home. It includes everything your artist needs to make 18 felt succulent plants.3D Pen.JPG
    • Something Unique: 3D Printing Pen – This pen quite literally makes it possible for your artist to draw sculptures out of thin air. This is a wonderful gift that will be a guaranteed hit for anyone who loves art.
    • Something Useful: Heated Hand Massager – Anyone who spends a large amount of time creating art has hands that will get tired. This massager will help ease their pain after a long, hard day of work.
  • Spiritual Soul

    • Something Thoughtful: Merry Christmas Bonsai – This bonsai isn’t only spiritual, it is also festive! A mini strand of red (battery operated) Christmas lights are strung on this bonsai to give it a festive feel.choose-your-coach
    • Something Unique: Notes of The Buddha Post-Its – These post-its are shaped like Buddha himself, along with a pad that lets you choose if you are “out of mind”, “out of body”, or “just out”.
    • Something Useful: Midlife Coaching Session – Are you looking for a gift for a soul searcher? This session helps people in midlife create a playful, passionate, and purposeful second half of life for themselves. Plus, you can get a special $50 discount when you purchase the session with this code: NEWYEAR2017
  • Book Lover

    • Something Thoughtful: Personal Library Kit – Do you know someone who wishes they lived in a library? Or maybe they are always lending their friends and family books? With this gift, they can have their own library!book-perfume
    • Something Unique: Hermione Inspired “Books & Cleverness” Scented Perfume or (if they don’t actually want to smell like books) “Old Books” Scented Candle – These options are for the book lover who touts the smell of a good book above all else.
    • Something Useful: Clear Book Weight – This is perfect for someone who loves to read outside but doesn’t want to worry about book pages slipping away in the wind.
  • Gardener

    • Something Thoughtful: Personalized Family Member Signpost – This is the perfect gift for someone with family far away (or close)! You can choose between 3 and six personalized signs that include the names of your loved ones and how many miles away they are.grow
    • Something Unique: A Grow Kit – Choose from Grow Cocktails, Grow Salsa, or, Grow Pizza – These small grow kits are a unique way to grow all of the ingredients for your favorite drinks and snacks.
    • Something Useful: Gardner’s Tool Seat – This lightweight garden stool folds up into a tool bag for the gardener who spends hours in their garden.

Looking for a little something for yourself? Get your free gift from us below!

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