40+ and Fabulous Moving Foward, Fierce, Focused and Full of Life by Sondra Wright

Moving forward fierce, focused and full of life!

40+ and Fabulous Moving Foward, Fierce, Focused and Full of Life by Sondra Wright - Moving forward fierce, focused and full of life!

40 Plus and Fabulous to Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8

Happy Women's Day background with text 8th March.Embracing every decade of life and challenging the status quo of what it means to be an “older” woman in America. That will be the core message on March 8 as 40 Plus and Fabulous celebrates International Women’s Day with its 3rd Annual FabU Academy Lifestyle Empowerment Conference. The event will be a day of workshops designed to promote positive aging and enhance the lives of women forty and over.

This year’s event takes place on International Women’s Day. The goal is to help women make smart, strategic decisions in areas such as health, retirement finances, family and eldercare, long term care planning, and life balance. Additionally, the long-term impact is to spark creativity and reignite passions, so that positive, significant contributions can continue to be realized through social responsibility and community service.

Sondra Wright is the CEO of 40 Plus and Fabulous and founder of the FabU Academy Women’s Empowerment Conferences. She is a baby boomer on a mission to inspire equality in aging. “It’s a perfect way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Women are living longer than men but are also more likely in those later years to experience poverty and discrimination. We have to prepare by making smart choices today, but we must also demand greater visibility and better access to resources and opportunities as we grow older,” said Wright.

The daylong event which features presentations, interactive workshops, dancercise, lunch, and a “Bring on the Bling” fashion show begins at 10 am and will be held at The Clarion Hotel, Swing Rd. The 40 Plus and Fabulous Woman of the Year Award will also be awarded, in recognition of the outstanding contributions of a woman within the local community. Registration is required at www.fabuacademy.com; there will be no on site or same day registration.

“Whatever age or stage if life you are in, you are sure to glean something from this event,” Wright said.

She said she believes being a woman over forty is not an over-the-hill ending, but a bold new beginning. “This is an occasion to acknowledge and celebrate past struggles and triumphs, and more importantly, to look ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await us as well as the future generations of women coming behind us.”

The conference is co-sponsored by MetLife of the Carolinas, J W Wright & Associates, M and M Meetings and Event Planning, and SRH Travel.

Want to go?

The FabU Academy Lifestyle Empowerment Conference will be held Saturday March 8, 2014, 10 am – 4pm at the Clarion Hotel, 415 Swing Rd., Greensboro NC. Registration is required at http://fabuacademy.com

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A Note From a Reader

I woke up this morning to the greatest gift; a note from a reader expressing what 40+ and Fabulous has meant to her…

“Thank you so much for writing 40+ and Fabulous. I just finished reading the book…and in doing so, rejuvenated the JOY of being over 40!

The thought of turning 40 was REALLY tough for me. No Children, Single and 70 lbs overweight? With the statistic that a woman over 40 had a better chance of being struck by lightning looming in my brain (LOL..funny now but I wasn’t laughing then!), along with all the over 40 stereotypical nonsense, I decided to do something about my weight and self out look.

Well, I lost the 70 lbs, did a ton of things to improve my health and over all self esteem! I have been working so much and so hard lately that I had forgotten to embrace life in my 40’s and beyond!

I love having the book, the stories of other women to remind me to ENJOY ME….at every age!”  ~ A. Hall

Thank you Ms. Hall. What a tremendous blessing it is, to know that I’m making a difference.

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. ” ~Albert Pike


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Growing Up 1970’s: Remembering My Good Ole’ Days

It’s a beautiful, unseasonably warm and sunny, winter day, and I was suddenly struck by the eerie silence of my neighborhood. Not at all like the childhood I remember; when the sound of children; running, playing, and laughing, seemed to always fill the air.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day. The only rule was to be back inside before the street light came on.

Thirst was quenched by a quick drink from the water hose. We didn’t have cell phones, so you’d better stay within earshot of your mom calling you from the porch. The last thing you wanted was for her to have to come and find you, like Rod Wilson’s mother did one day. Not pretty.

We’d spend hours, jumping off of anything that was high enough to jump off of. From Renee Royster’s shed, to the tractor at my uncle’s house, you could find us with a sheet baby pinned around our necks, yelling ‘Fly Robin Fly’. Sometimes it was lively and animated; like four square, rolling to the bat, or dirt dobbler – a game my brother and some of his friends made up. At other times, it was quiet and easy going; like lying in the grass identifying cloud shapes, or catching grasshoppers, or butterflies. And who could forget Babydoll and Cindy, flying around the neighborhood on their moped; no helmet, no license to ride one, jumping the railroad track without even tapping the brake.

There was no Playstation 1, 2 or 3, but nothing brought friends together like a game of neighborhood dodge ball. No Nintendo’s and Xbox’s, but turn the water sprinkler on, and we’d run and laugh for hours. And as day gave way to dusk, we’d get in a good game of tag, or hide and go seek, knowing it would not be long before the first flicker of the street light signaled it was time to head home.

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Kim Cameron’s Bold, After 40 Move, Takes Her on a Thriving New Adventure

Kim Cameron, SideFX Band

After years of successfully climbing the corporate ladder, a few years ago Kim Cameron suddenly jumped off that ladder to follow her heart in an entirely different career. The catalyst? A young family member’s fight for his life. Kim says the crisis made her re-evaluate her life’s work. This beautiful and dynamic woman – now a full-time singer-songwriter, performer and recording artist – says the family crisis helped her realize that life’s too short not to be doing what you most love. Music was always her first love.

Today she’s a self-made rising star in the music world, something she accomplished in about two years – a feat that takes most at least a decade. Now a popular indie recording artist with a hot band, Side FX, and two full-length albums under her belt, Cameron is currently getting air play on radio stations nationwide and internationally. This Washington D.C.-based singer-songwriter, now 42, is doing what she loves. Besides recording, she performs in some of the hottest venues in New York City and elsewhere. She just released a new single from her forthcoming third album.

The build was fast, and one of the keys to her rapid success has been hard work, persistence, firm direction, and the savvy use of Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, and other social media sites. Today, her band, Side FX, is nearing 800,000 total original views on YouTube and MySpace since the band started. Her personal singer page ‘Kim Cameron’ went from 0 friends to 3,200+ in less than 2 years.

You’ll find a lot more about the band and Kim Cameron, including the newly released song, “A Dance,” other music, music videos, her pilot reality show, her blog, and much more information at: http://www.sidefxband.net/ and http://kimcameronmusic.com/

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Downsizing Leads to Frightening Career Transition for Women Over 40

The recent announcement of the American Express closing in North Carolina is devastating news. The call center employs about 1,900 full-time workers, at least two-thirds who will find themselves competing for jobs in an already tight North Carolina market.

My heart goes out to each of them, particularly the women over forty, many whom will find themselves making a career transition, for the first time since the call center began operations, more than 25 years ago.

Although you did not expect to greet the New Year with a job loss, I believe 2011 can still be your best year yet. I’ve come to recognize in my own life, that it’s been out of those times of extreme challenge, adversity, and despair that strength, resiliency, and profound change was born. Don’t let a crazy economy keep you from setting and achieving your goals, and don’t allow yourself to get stuck on the “age thing.”

While you may not have yet gotten the recognition you deserve, you are at the peak of your wisdom and knowledge. You bring value by way of skill and experience to any employer. And as my friend, Yana Berlin, of fabulous40.com says, “Women over forty should see themselves as very marketable. Age is just a number, and I can assure you, if I wanted to get a job right now I could walk into a company, if I’m qualified, and get the job.”

Dr. Helen Harkness, career coach and founder of Career Design Associates, says that “Career change often occurs when the pain of present circumstances exceeds the fear of change.” Harkness offers very sound and practical advice in her Four Step Model for Career Change.

  1. Self-Assessment. Who am I? What can I do?
  2. Career exploration. Where can I do it? What’s out there?
  3. Future Direction – How do I see myself? What do I really want?
  4. Strategic Action Plan – How do I get there? What are my options?

My advice is simple. Grieve and let go; refuse to internalize the disappointment, and embrace this as a wonderful time of new beginnings. Focus on constructing a new mid-life you, which aligns with your passion and purpose. Stay in faith, knowing that your true source lies within that spiritual force outside of you, and that you are safe and protected. Keep a clear vision for your future. You’ve spent many years manifesting the vision of another company, now it’s time to manifest a vision of your own. Successful companies have a vision, principles, and philosophy. It’s just as important to your success, to identify your personal principles and philosophy.

Success is what you define it to be. Here’s to a successful new you!

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Is 40 Really the New 30?

Is 40 Really the New 30?

There are quite a few buzz phrases circulating today, suggesting 60 being the new 50, 50 being the new 40, and so on. But is 40 really the new 30?

I remember going through my 30’s – still wet behind the ears with milk on my breath. Thinking I knew everything and not asking for help because asking for help was a sign of weakness. Squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom of the tube; putting every dish away before bedtime; and insisting on a place for everything and everything in it’s place. I even rolled my eyes and sucked my teeth at the sight of someone in lounge wear in the middle of the day, because I thought wearing pj’s after 9am was just lazy and pathetic. Yep, I had a lot of personal hangups that kept me from fully enjoying life and the people in my life.

Thankfully, my forties has brought me to a more relaxed, less rigid, and different view of life and the world. I realized it doesn’t matter what end of the tube the toothpaste is squeezed from, just make sure the tube is completely empty before throwing it away. Then I really got bold, gave it a try, and discovered a dish left in the sink overnight would actually not bring the world to an end. And I promise you, right now, there IS  no one out there who looks forward to a rainy pajama day, curled up with some classic movies, more than me.

I still keep all of my shoes in the original shoe boxes, and have my occasional moments when I think the world would be a better place, if everyone would just do what I told them to do. But those moments are fewer and farther between. I’ve come to value and appreciate the individual uniqueness we all bring to this world, and have stopped offering the Creator suggestions on how He can improve on His design.

Every unexpected events are no longer an emergency, and my happiness is no longer contingent upon things being done my way. It’s a much more satisfying and freeing way of life. I even like the new, improved, relax, laid back 40 something me so much better than the uptight, control freak, my way or the highway, 30 something me.

So is 40 really the new 30? You’ll have to decide that one for yourself.  But, from where I stand, 40’s is where it’s at, 50’s will be even better and 30 — well 30 NEVER rocked like this!

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This Wisdom and Experience is Not Ours to Keep

This Wisdom and Experience is Not Ours to Keep

A young lady just reached out to me on Facebook, asking if she could possibly get anything out of reading 40+ and Fabulous, even though she’s only half that age.

I took a sip of coffee, and a huge smile came across my face as I recalled the many, many times I’ve said to myself, “If I only knew then, what I know now.”

Young women need mentorship and friendship from women twice their age, and as women twice their age, we should seek out opportunities to support empower, and improve the quality of life for the ones who are coming behind us.

These are our little sisters. When we reach out and share our accumulated wisdom and experience, we lay the foundation for a path that was less rocky and a little straighter than our own. With our stories, we can help young women identify unhealthy relationships, empower them with the confidence to dismiss from their lives the things that don’t enhance it, and help them value an identity and self worth outside of their material possessions.

My response to the young lady was this, “Learning from the lessons of women twice your age would give you an extreme advantage over your peers. Remember, everywhere you’re going – we’ve already been.”

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