Make Your Voice Heard - What Makes You Fierce at Midlife?

Forever Fierce Campaign 2018

I am so honored to be part of the Forever Fierce Facebook Group started a year ago by a visionary named Catherine Grace O'Connell!  It started with 50 women and has grown to over 5000 in just one year!  This is a supportive and empowering group and we are changing the idea of what midlife is all about!  I am one of 50 bloggers who was chosen because they represent the qualities of kindness, compassion and a radiantly, beautiful heart, to pose this question to nine non bloggers in order to make their voices heard...What Makes You Fierce at Midlife?  Midlife is a time to make your own rules and shine more brightly than ever before!  Here are the nine very different answers to that question!  I hope you enjoy reading this post and that it changes your perception about what midlife is all about!  All of the women represented in this campaign represent the qualities of kindness, compassion and they all have a radiantly beautiful heart!  The world needs to hear the voices of women at midlife!  To read the blog posts of the other 49 women please visit the Forever Fierce Campaign 2018.  And be sure to join the Revolution at Forever Fierce on Facebook.

 
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Fierce at midlife means so many things!

To me life experience has made me  the woman I am today. I can look in the mirror and honestly say that I love the person I have become. 

I see someone that is a mother, wife, friend, daughter…. so much to so many. 

Most of all I see a survivor! I see a women with a few wrinkles that has persevered through at times unmanageable pain and loss. 

At 18 my middle child went to heaven. Its been a little over 2 years and honestly I wake up everyday  still in shock that my heart is  beating! I know god has a plan for me! 

I was told soon after my sons death that the sun would shine again. This great man had also lost his son. His words run over and over in my mind. They were, when the sun shines down again on you you will be able to live the rest of your life with your head held high knowing you will never again feel this depth of pain in your heart ever again.  

The sun is now shining and I am so blessed! My heart will hurt forever. However I feel free and at peace, full of love, family and wonderful friends! 

I have survived 2 divorces but have now been married to the love of my life for 7 years. 

Through my life experiences I have learned so much. 

When you love with great passion you will also grieve with great passion. I have become a pro!

I have no hate or ill will towards anyone. I pray daily for my life to be used in a way to help others. 

Being midlife has given me a beautiful gift…..Peace! I know longer feel the need to have the perfect body, I don’t have to compete with anyone on anything! Life is short…take advantage of every minute you have with the people you love! 

I just want beautiful sunsets, the sun on my face, and love in my heart!

Tonia Melton ~ 46, Burlington NC

 
 
 
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Being fierce in midlife.

Bonjour à vous tous et toutes!
My name is Christel (van Malsen, don’t Suzanne if you are using last names), I was born 58 years ago in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
From an early age on, I decided that this life should be a learning adventure.
With all its ups and downs, which I grew to see as challenges and experiences, rather than as “luck, good fortune or problems”.
Life took me to live in different countries. To France to learn the language, to the US an an exchange student, to Germany for work, to many other countries to discover their culture. I got married, divorced, unfortunately never children but then I did have “children of the world” in Bolivia where I ran humanitarian projects for almost 10 years. I learned one does not own anything, it can be taken away from you at any given point in time. And it all has, but only to be replaced with someone else or something else that is beautiful, worthwhile and challenging.
And now, looking at my age, my way of life, I can only feel that life is good and a magnificent journey. I have grown to trust that whatever happens to you, is ok. Ok to teach you, to learn, to make you a more complete person.
Thanks to all the people I met whilst living these adventurous events, I can be fierce in midlife. Change is good as getting out of your comfort zone is good. It keeps you young of mind. Each age has its own charm, respect it and go with the flow. Love and support are and will always be there.
Wishing you a wonderous day!
Christel Van Malsen - Lourmarin, France

 
 
 
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What does it mean to be fierce in midlife?

Since achieving midlife, I look back and remember my previous dreams: learning to become a better designer, to become a better business person, to gain confidence in knowing how to handle difficult situations, and to further my education. Suddenly, as I entered middle age, all of these aspirations seemed to resolve themselves, as my life experiences gave me answers to these questions and my fierce fight to stay afloat gave way to faith and surrender.

Today, my fierceness is manifest in a desire to protect my clients: from poor decorating choices, from wasteful spending, and from shoddy workmanship. As a designer, am fiercely committed to giving my clients the best quality work, within the realm of their budget. I am fiercely committed to balancing and weighing the best options for my customers. Sometimes, my clients do not realize the work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ to save them money and headaches.

Despite the fact that I am more confident than ever about my creative abilities, I am not fierce about self-promotion and need encouragement in this area. For my generation, self-promotion is generally considered an unattractive trait; however, it seems that securing my own confidence in my work is the best tool for self-promoting my business.

Even though I find the thought of being fierce for myself exhausting, I am compelled to showcase my passion for design.  To continue to be a better designer, to be proud of my work, and to know that I have provided a valuable service is what inspires me to show fierceness each day in my work.

Leigh Jones, Burlington, NC

 
 
 
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I retired from the airlines after 19 years of service and starting painting in 2000.  I never dreamed that my life would take this path, but I followed my heart!  I see beauty everywhere...whether the shadowed arches of a crumbling European bridge or the graceful tilt of a tulip stem.  My paintings reflect the view of my life journey.  I have traveled extensively throughout the world and I love the North Carolina coast.  I delight in the personality of a family pet or a treasured family moment.  My work is full of life and my art reflects a richness and joy in being alive!  My art and family are the blessings of my life!

Laine Francis, 58 ~ Burlington, NC

 
 
 
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Being fierce in midlife is definitely a state of mind!  It's not living in fear, but in freedom that comes from knowing your life's purpose.  It's learning from the road that you have travelled.  It's embracing what sets your soul on fire and following it with reckless abandonment.  It's understanding that you have a purpose, i the "marketplace" that surrounds you and not letting hardships and fear anchor you to the past.  It's knowing that your mark is made in the legacy you leave!

Sara-Anne Caudle ~ Burlington, NC

 
 
 
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CELEBRATE! 

I am a fierce midlife, empty nester who is allowing my light to SHINE BRIGHT, and I am in LOVE with this brilliant woman.  I am no longer defined by the circumstances around me or nor am I fearful of the power that is held deep within me.  By embracing my power and divine guidance, I am brightly illuminated.  Self care, personal development, meditation and surrounding myself with other fierce women has been crucial in my evolution to fierceness.

So simply put, being fierce means I have stepped into my spirit-filled power, which is divinely beautiful.  I speak and share my wisdom and knowledge to empower other women to find her fierceness, so she too, will RISE and SHINE!

Susan Crews, 57 ~ Oxford, NC

 
 
 
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What does it mean to be fierce in mid life?  By reaching "midlife", I have been graduated to a life of freedom.  Where do I want to live?  Who are my friends?  How do I structure my day?  A decade ago, the answers to these questions were still influenced by school districts and the schedules of my children.  I am now making decisions to those same questions with mindful thoughtfulness.  "Being fierce" in mid life suggests an effort to protect and guard that freedom.  Is it really necessary to be fierce?  I think so.  The world pulls us in so many directions, and fatigue is the enemy of a fierce woman in midlife.

This new age of freedom doesn't mean family demands simply dissipate.  My children still want me to be engaged in their lives, and my parents certainly need me in their lifestyle transitions.  Being fierce means being intentional with my words, and with the most valuable commodity of my life, my time.  I plan my week to prioritize the essential ingredients to my contentment.  They are simple and few.  I need exercise, quiet time for prayer and reflection, time to nurture female friendships and time with my husband when my mind is uncluttered and my focus is undivided.

My needs haven't changed since middle school (except for my sweet plus one) and meeting them doesn't sound all that complicated.  The feminist Helen Gurley Brown said "we could have it all" but at 56, I've come to know one thing.  If I "have it all" at once, I don't enjoy it.  Finding simplicity and balance in each day means being fierce about what I say yes to, and what I say not now to.  I'm flip flopping with several friends who are starting up new businesses in their 50's.  It's fabulous"  I encourage them with gusto, "Go for it", while I am closing a business that served me well in my 40's.  Does "being fierce" mean dating a guy half your age, or pioneering a new business?  I think that's closed minded and cliché.  I can fiercely pursue new intimacy in my marriage, or business, or falling in love.  Currently, my new passion is yoga.  I'm finding common threads in my growing discoveries during my practice, as I listed as essential ingredients to contentment.  Exercise, quiet reflection and fellowship with women are all rewards from the gift of time I set aside for yoga.  Being fierce, is being authentic, creating contentment and loving middle age.

Suzie Lambeth 56 ~ Burlington NC

 
 
 
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I've enjoyed some ages more than others!  At fifty, I found myself at a crossroad - no job, no children at home, contemplating my identity.  I was presented with an opportunity three days after asking God to show me what he had next!  Fastest answer to prayer ever!

At fifty:

I had the Freedom to be myself

The Intelligence to go after what I believe in.

The Enthusiasm to perservere

The Radiance to be reborn

The Clarity to trust my instincts

The Energy to be empowered by my age

I also raised a bunch of money for a cause that I love!  I continue to support the cause three years later.  I'm more confident than I've ever been.  I pray that I'm a light in a dark world and an inspiration and a role model to my beautiful daughters and my fabulous friends that are fifty and over!

Britt Stadler, 53 ~ Burlington, NC

 
 
 
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Being fierce in midlife is walking in confidence.  It's about giving yourself permission to celebrate your mind, body, heart and soul because you finally recognize that your self-worth is not neurotically tied into other people's opinion of you.  It's about using your knowledge and experiences to influence and empower others; it's single-handedly raising an amazing daughter and putting her through college without either of us incurring any debt; it's about having the courage to be vulnerable; it's being brave enough to stand up for what you believe in even when it's not popular; it's emotionally and physically surviving whatever life throws at you; and it's knowing what you need to be happy and refusing to settle for anything less.

Being fierce in midlife is simply embracing You.

Dana Lutz, 54 ~ Lorton, Virginia

 
 
 
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My oldest daughter was born when I was 23 years old.  Up until about a year ago, my life was dedicated to raising my three children and running a busy household.  My husband has always travelled for his job and much of the responsibility for our family was left to me.  Last year in August, my youngest daughter got married and moved away.  Her sisters, and my grandson who I kept for the first year of his life had already moved.  I felt very alone!  I had started my blog, Crazy Blonde Life, and I knew that I would be able to pour my heart and soul into it at that point.  There is no such thing anymore as a conventional life and I feel that the sky is the limit as far as doing what I want to do.  I believe that the Universe will meet me where I am and take me where I want to go!  I want to discover and pursue what is fulfilling for me, not necessarily what is expected of me.  When I am excited about what I’m doing with my life, as I mostly am these days, I feel liberated and powerful.  There is still doubt sometimes…but it doesn’t last very long, because I see where I started and I see how far I’ve come.  There is no reason to believe that I cannot do whatever I want to do now at age 55.  I am not afraid to make up the rules as I go along.  This wasn’t always the case, I and I feel that thist is what makes me fierce in midlife.  I have become very strong and I finally have the confidence to pursue my dreams!  

 

Suzanne Smith ~ 54, Burlington NC