First, we attended our friend Julie Cantrell's book signing. She has written and designed two precious books (that are now my five-year-old's absolute faves) that were published by Zonderkidz. Her writing is beautiful in its lyrical simplicity. And, I should have taken a picture of the line because it was snaking out the door and onto the sidewalk. Congratulations
Then, later that afternoon, we met with about fifteen other women and Sarah Brokaw (Tom's daughter). She is a therapist in L.A. and New York and is writing a book about women in the transitional phase that takes place between the ages of 35 and 45. Her working title is Forty-tude, and she saw the need in the market for a positive book for women in this phase of life.
What she has discovered in her research and therapy sessions with clients is that across socioeconomic and geographical lines, women all seem to be going through a similar journey. We began our session by looking at a list of words and marking five that resonated with us personally (she warned us--if you hear someone else's voice saying what you should say, then ignore it). The words were things like beauty, competition, achievement, adventure, spirituality, sensuality . . . and she has discovered that women everywhere tend to choose the same five words to define themselves at this stage in life. [those are not actually the chosen five words--some of them are, but you'll have to buy the book . . . ]
She also asked each of us to walk into a book store and notice the three places that we tend to go to first to figure out our true interests. Katie and I talked about this later--we know what we're interested in and are lucky to be so focused on our goals, but neither of us have really looked at what was motivating us.
She acknowledged that we each have unique life experiences that shape us, but her focus was on how we are all alike in our basic desires. Then, she stressed that we should all be vigilant in our pursuit of discovering our true selves and interests--embracing our differences with the acknowledgment that we are all starting from the same place.
Be sure to watch for her Oprah appearance (apparently it's in the works), and you never know, one of her "anonymous" quotes could come from Katie or me.
I'd like to add that it was the first time that being "almost 40" felt cool and really special. Thanks Sarah!