I continue to surprise myself. At a conference with my “tribe,” the Bloggers at Midlife (BAM), that took place at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa, in Summerlin, Nevada we were encouraged to embrace age and use it to our advantage to successfully reinvent ourselves in the blogging world. This is the second BAM I’ve attended. The first was held last year in Nashville.
We had a disco-themed party and I danced like a disco queen for hours. That didn’t surprise me because I love to dance, even though it had been a long time since I kicked up my heels. The fact that I lived to tell about it is another story.
I woke up at 3 in the morning after the party feeling stiff and in pain. “OMG! What did I do? I’ll never be able to get out of bed again!” It didn’t help that my sleep was further interrupted by a drunken moron in the next room who was yelling loudly and slapping his wife around. Bleary-eyed, I called security. I don’t know if they ever showed up. The idiot finally quieted down or passed out. But that’s Vegas.
I didn’t fare as well at our group yoga session the next morning. My feet are still not flexible after spraining both of them last year. I could cut a rug dancing to Disco Inferno and YMCA, but couldn’t do a downward dog to save my life. As humor writer Elaine Ambrose, one of our speakers, mentioned on Facebook the next day, “my downward dog had to be put to sleep.” My dog was already dead.
Before I arrived at the conference, I spent hours shopping to find a disco-appropriate costume to fit over my muffin top. I finally gave up and wore all black. A bunch of ladies showed up in fantastic, shimmery disco attire, complete with go-go boots. I graduated high school in 1971, worked as a set costumer at the studios, and also as a waitress in a disco. Go-go boots were “mod” (from the late 60’s) and pre-disco. So were neon psychedelic patterned mini-dresses. It didn’t matter, though. Everyone looked fabulous shaking their booties across the dance floor.
Some gals looked so hot and trim in their outfits it was like they never left high school. Others didn’t care and let their muffin tops hang out with abandon. Valerie Streeter Albarda from Midlifeagogo.com led the pack. Not only did she look sizzling in her costume, but she was first to hit the dancefloor and ruled the night. We all followed suit. The free drinks helped. I had two dirty martinis and felt invincible.
During the evening, two dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance” showed up and we all followed along with them dancing to Copacabana. I was proud to say I kept up. That’s not bad considering I still can’t remember how to do “The Hustle” to save my life.
The BAM Conference – How to embrace age midlife and beyond
Approximately 170 women, most of them 45 and older, attended the two-day conference. Our talented and successful speakers advised us on how to optimize our social media, video production, travel writing, book publishing, branding and much more. We also had the opportunity to meet with brands that fit our “midlife and beyond” audience. They had display tables and gave out tons of swag. I ended up checking in my “carry on” bag on my return flight so I could get it past the TSA.
Two of my favorite brands were Madison Reed, a company that has non-toxic and sulfate-free products to color and cover gray hair. Their line is non-toxic and sulfate free. I use their touch up compact to fill in my non-existent eyebrows. The other was Boiron, a homeopathic company that has a medicine finder app. It assesses your medical needs and gives you suggestions of homeopathic formulas you can use that are natural rather than big pharma. I’m using several of their formulas to alleviate my ear pressure caused by muscle tension and it’s working.
The conference was hosted by Anne Parris of Midlife Boulevard, Sharon Greenthal of Empty House Full Mind, Teresa Kindred of Nanahood, and Beth Rosen from The ChicagonistaLIVE Show. Other sponsors included Domain.me, Chicos, Osteo Bi-Flex – Made to Move, FeedBlitz, Galderma, Zappos, Prudential, John Hancock – Vitality, Lincoln Financial Group, Vibrant Nation, Artful Home, Cabot Cheese, IBlog Magazine and Hashtracking. I hope I didn’t miss anyone.
The average age of a best-selling author is 55.
The older you are, the more stories you have to tell. ~ Estelle Erasmus
This is powerful. Think about it. We have wisdom, experience and have overcome numerous obstacles. Everyone has a book in them. If writing a book is something you’ve been considering, write 500 words per day non-censored. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Get it down on paper or on your computer. You can always tweak it later.
Reinvention – We all do it as we age
When you reinvent yourself in any type of venture write a mission statement. Who are you and what do you stand for?
Be Consistent, authentic and purposeful. ~ Pam Luttrell – www.over50feeling40.com
Be quirky, be yourself ~ The Gypsynester
Fear is good. Living in fear is not – Phil Hallow – Feedblitz
People who embrace age in a positive way live 7 ½ years longer.
Are you telling people you’re old and using it as an excuse to move forward?
Marketing is typically geared to young people. However, as bloggers, authors, video producers, online and offline creators we are the media and can change how aging is perceived.
Walker Thornton, (sex educator, writer, and speaker) showed us a greeting card with two chipmunks (or squirrels, not sure) saying to each other “Do you smell old people?” It’s a disgusting view of aging but it’s how we’re often portrayed. Aging doesn’t have to mean we’re going downhill. There are plenty of vibrant women and men in their 90’s plus who have proven that.
We’ve only just begun to live. Embrace age and rock it. Dance like a disco queen.
How are you planning to embrace age and make the most of it? Please leave a comment below.