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name for partner
Love & Sex
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I never know what to call my “boyfriend” when speaking about him to strangers.  Just today I had this quandary at my car dealer.  We are in our late 60s, and have lived together for 5 years.  Boyfriend sounds juvenile.  Partner sounds like it could be another woman.  Significant other is too cumbersome.  Neither friend or roommate don’t fit the situation.  Any suggestions?

Guess Who Made the List?
Healthy Living, Work & Money
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Yoga Anita is honored and excited to be part of this list!

Popexpert is excited to recognize the Top 20 Mindful Life Coaches to Watch for 2015, chosen for their meaningful contributions to the mindful living movement and dedication to creating online learning opportunities for people around the world. These coaches are on a mission to help the world live, work and be more mindful in all aspects of life.

The list is comprised of distinguished popexpert experts, authors, business owners, contributors, and speakers across diverse categories of life. From nutrition to fitness, meditation, relationships, parenting, yoga, happiness, and more, all of these coaches have in common a dedication to teaching their clients a more mindful approach to living.

These coaches are all known for:

  • Contributing significant thought leadership to the mindful living community
  • Creating and facilitating incredible education opportunities through speaking engagements, blogging, and teaching
  • Bringing awareness of the conversation around mindful living styles to the forefront of the health & wellness industry

As we rapidly enter a new era of mindful living, we’ve seen a large trend toward people, businesses, and governments around the world acknowledging the importance of living a well-balanced, meaningful life. The landscape continues to evolve at an increasingly fast pace with the proliferation of online education opportunities. Through their involvement in the professional community, whether speaking, blogging, or teaching, these leaders are empowering people to learn and grow.

In conjunction with this announcement, we asked these top emerging mindfulness leaders to share the single most important focus area that will help anyone at any level live more mindfully in 2015. We’ll be releasing their insights in a series of upcoming blog posts over the next few weeks.

See story here.


Dr. Anna Garrett
Dr. Anna’s Quickstart Guide to Cardiovascular Disease in Women
Healthy Living
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Did you know that heart disease is THE #1 killer of post-menopausal women?

Did you know that more women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer?

In women, it’s easy to miss heart attack symptoms in the early stages because symptoms show up differently than in men. Quick action can mean life or death, so it’s up to you to get familiar with the warning signs of a heart attack.

Am I Having a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.

Signs of a Heart Attack:

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and chew or crush a 325 mg aspirin while you’re waiting for the paramedics.

How About a Stroke?

Stroke is the #3 cause of death in America and can result in severe, long-term disability. The only thing people are more afraid of than a stroke is public speaking.

Stroke and TIA (transient ischemic attack) happen when a blood vessel feeding the brain gets clogged or bursts. The signs of a TIA are like a stroke, but usually last only a few minutes. If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help.

Call 9-1-1 to get help fast if you have any of these, but remember that not all of these warning signs occur in every stroke.

Signs of Stroke and TIAs

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. It’s very important to take super-quick action.

Research from the American Heart Association has shown that if given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.

If you’re a woman over 55 and at higher risk for stroke (smoke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, have a family history of heart disease or you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke), ask your doctor if you could benefit from taking a daily aspirin.

Does Estrogen Increase Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke?

Some data suggest that estrogen may actually decrease the risk of heart disease when taken early in postmenopausal years.

If you’re having a tough time with symptoms of menopause but worry about how hormone therapy will affect your heart, talk with your health care provider to put your personal risk into perspective. Consider these points:

  • The risk of heart disease to an individual woman taking hormone therapy is very low. If you are in early menopause, have moderate to severe hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, and are otherwise healthy, the benefits of hormone therapy likely outweigh any potential risks of heart disease.
  • Your individual risk of developing heart disease depends on many factors, including family medical history, personal medical history and lifestyle practices. Talk to your doctor about your personal risks.
  • Risk differs for women with premature menopause or premature ovarian failure. If you stopped having periods before age 40 (premature menopause) or lost normal function of your ovaries before age 40 (premature ovarian failure), you have a different set of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) health risks compared with women who reach menopause near the average age of about 50. This includes a higher risk of coronary heart disease.


Flower Bear
The Gift of Giving
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Peace Dove Outdoor Ornament - Free High Resolution Photo

Some of the most meaningful gifts I’ve received over the years were in response to something I gave to someone else. These weren’t always the kind of gifts that were wrapped up in paper and ribbons, although some were. The ones I’m speaking of were gifts that touched my heart and changed my life in some way, and all because I had given a piece of myself to others.

One particular gift came to mind recently. Years ago when I was in my early 30’s I became a community outreach worker for an inner city church. The church sat in a neighborhood that had fallen on hard times.The area was mostly African American and Latino.  Unemployment was high as was drug and alcohol use, and child abuse or neglect was all too familiar. Along with providing a Mothers’ Morning Out program. which gave at-risk women some much needed free time to themselves while we ran a nursery school of sorts, it was my task to visit the elderly in the neighborhood to make sure that they were being taken care of and that their needs were met. I was also trained to offer to pray with them and, more often than not, just be a friendly ear for those who had no one to talk to.

My very first home visit was to a woman named Blanche. That should have been my first clue as Blanche was my mother’s name. Blanche lived in a very run down but very well kept little home that she shared with her adult daughter. Her daughter eyed me suspiciously when I knocked on the door, but when I explained that I was from the church down the block and just wanted to visit with Blanche, her eyes softened. She said that her mother would be so pleased to have someone from church to talk to as she could not get out much any more and that she, the daughter, often worked nights and weekends in housekeeping at a local hospital and couldn’t take her mother to church. Blanche was 92 years old.

I found her seated in an old tufted armchair. She was the tiniest African American woman I’d ever seen, with snow white hair pulled back in a bun and dressed in a faded but clean cotton house coat. When her daughter explained why I was there, the smile filled her face.

I was so very nervous. I had never done anything like this before despite all of my training. I was suddenly tongue tied. I didn’t know what to say to this beautiful lady and didn’t want to let her down. I started pulling out brochures about the programs our church was offering and going into my learned speech. But somehow she knew what was going on in my head, and in my heart. She reached over and took my hand in her two small ones and thanked me for coming to visit her. She asked me to tell her about myself, about my children, and the work I was doing in the neighborhood. She then told me all about herself and how grateful she was for her daughter, for taking her in and taking such good care of her. We spoke of her fond memories spending time at church and we prayed together. Before I left, she leaned over and said, “you did very well, dear. You’ll do just fine. Just remember to be yourself because that is beautiful enough for anyone.”

I cried all the way back to my office. I had gone there to be a comfort to this lady, and she had comforted me. Blanche made me a better person, and all the work I did after that visit came from my authentic self. She passed away peacefully in her sleep a few months later. I was richer for having known her, and the community poorer for having lost her.

Christmas doesn’t come in ribbons and paper. It doesn’t come in gift cards and parties. It comes wrapped in love and genuine compassion for others, and for every gift of yourself that you give to another, it comes back ten fold. May your gifts be many and, as the song says, “let your heart be light.”

And so it is.

Dr. Anna Garrett
The Dollars and Cents of Menopause Relief
Healthy Living
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Show me a woman who isn’t starved: Starved for time, money, and let’s be honest, a little sanity!

At Menopause Chicks, I’m on a mission to crack open the conversation on one of the most natural of life’s occurrences–yet one of the most taboo and misunderstood subjects: Menopause & perimenopause. People will happily discuss sex, religion…even money, before they’re willing to talk about (whisper): the “M” word.

And speaking of money…when I initially lifted the lid on the topic of menopause, little did I realize how freaking expensive a pleasant menopause experience can be! Who knew you needed a savings account just for this?

Researching and “shopping” for your best healthcare provider takes a whack (that’s Canadian for a LOT) of time and money, and favorable treatment options are often not covered by insurance.

Here’s my own experience:

Feeling quite “kookoo” (couldn’t sleep, major mood swings, HUGE brain fog, bad cramps, and unpredictable periods) in my early 40s, I felt the need to explore what was available to me in the way of managing–even curtailing–what seemed to be symptoms of perimenopause. What I found was a little jaw-dropping:

Other areas that I am personally interested in exploring include counseling, acupuncture and yoga. All can cost $100 or more per month, and again, our extended medical plan covers $500 per person per year (except yoga).

For some women, this investment is well worth it because the payoff is huge in terms of quality of life. But for others, this kind of spend isn’t feasible without going into debt. And that just adds to the overwhelm. (As an FYI, Dr. Anna offers a very reasonably priced hormone testing package.)

Here is a concept I’m currently dreaming about: I call it MenoCAUSE.com. Imagine a bursary fund or scholarship or some sort of pool of available funding (and potential access to pro-bono services donated by health professionals) so women challenged by available resources can access the same powerful information & preventative measures.

No one would suffer in silence and everyone would have the opportunity to feel empowered and become their own best healthcare advocate…to menopause & beyond!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about menopause and money. Share your ideas in the comments below.

Lisa Copeland, The Dating Coach Who Makes Finding Love After 50 Fun and Easy!
Dear Lisa, How Do I Get Him To Call Me?
Love & Sex
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Dear Lisa
Today, I’m answering questions about how to get men to notice you and ask you out, including one from Susan, who says she’s shy and it’s tough to approach men, especially in the real world.

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, it’s one of the hardest parts of dating at this age for all of us, don’t you agree?

In my book, one of the tips I give for making it easier on you and the man you’d like to flirt with – who, by the way, is afraid you are going to reject him – is to smile and make eye contact with him for a FULL 5 SECONDS. It will feel like an eternity, but it’s a great way to signal that it’s safe to approach you without having to come up with anything to say.


Hi Lisa,

I am wondering about the over 60 prejudice of a lot of older men.  I happen to be a 66 year old widow and seem to get online responses from younger men, 40’s & early 50’s and much older men, 74 up.  What’s going on with the men who are closer to my age, i.e., men in their 60’s? Thanks, Rebecca




There are lots of good men online who will date women in their 60’s. You might not be seeing them because they aren’t your usual type. But they are there and many will date women who are 3-5 years older than they are.

You will also find men in their 60’s online who have this crazy notion that women of the same age can’t keep up with them. These are the men looking at women in their 40’s and 50’s.

There are 2 things you can do to improve your chances of getting men over 60 to notice you.

If you’re willing to date online, you MUST have a really great profile and picture that shows your very best YOU!

If you have the skills for meeting and flirting with men, try going to upscale bars in your area. Find an empty seat next to a man you’d like to meet and ask him to suggest a wine you might like. If you’re not used to doing this, it can feel really scary.

An easier way would be to check out MeetUp.com in your area. Because their get-togethers are activity driven, it automatically creates something in common to talk about.

Meeting men in real life takes away the age prejudice that is so common with online dating sites. And it gives you an opportunity to get to know someone’s personality, which often makes them far more attractive than just seeing a picture would.

Regardless of age, if you really want to meet a man, you’ll have to continuously take action, whether you do it online or in the real world to make something happen for you. I hope you’ll let me know what you decide to do.


Hi Lisa,

I wanted to ask your advice. I was at the market the other day and a nice looking man needed to pass and I was a bit in his way, so I said, “Excuse me,” and he said, “Did you say squeeze me?” and I thought for a second and answered yes! So he walked over and hugged me. I loved it. He was wearing a hat that let me know he fought in Vietnam. I said, “Thank you for serving,” and he replied, “Thank you for saying thank you,” then we said, “Have a nice one,” and he was off on his way! I wanted to talk more but did not know what to do being that I’m a 70’s girl and girls did not pursue at this point. Guys did. I walked around shopping and had to come back that way, so I looked for him and there he was at the meat counter, so I said to myself, do something I headed his way and was going to tap his basket with mine, but did not, he looked up and I said, “I was going to bump you with my basket but thought better of it.” He said, “Turn about is fair play,” and then it was a bit awkward so I said bye and walked away. What should I have done? I felt like if he was interested he would have carried on the conversation? Any advice would be great! Thanks so much. Janet



You’re question is a really good one. First, I want to congratulate you on thinking of ways to flirt with him…like tapping your baskets. That was great thinking on your part because flirting makes you seem fun.

Now… how do you lead a guy to continue the conversation without it appearing like you’re pursuing him?

You want to understand that as scary as it probably felt for you trying to figure out how to get him to continue your conversation, it was probably 100 times harder for him. The movies have made it seem as if men just come up to women they want to talk with. Not true. In reality, most men are petrified of your rejection.

The secret lies in making it safe for a man to approach you.

In your situation, you could have handed him a card or a piece of paper with your first name and number on it. Then you could have said something like, “I’ve really enjoyed talking with you and would love to continue our conversation sometime. Here’s my number.”

This is such a simple way of telling a man you are interested and if he’s interested too, he now knows how to reach you. You aren’t pursuing here. You are just giving him an opportunity to continue what got started. And you’ve shown him it’s safe to talk with you again.


Dear Lisa,

I have enjoyed listening to you speak about over 50 dating. It seems, though, that the techniques you speak about work better for extroverted women. What about the introverted women like me? I would love to be able to flirt or walk up to men and hand them my card while telling them to call me if they want to have coffee sometime…but I am somewhat shy and I can’t see that happening! Susan



I understand what you are feeling and if it helps, I think you’d find that the majority of both men and women who date after 50 are feeling way out of their comfort zone when it comes to speaking with the opposite sex in the real world.

I know for me, when I first started dating in my 40’s, it felt really scary to go up to men and just start talking to them. I ended up relying on internet dating to create the possibility of meeting someone.

Well, the thing is – and I didn’t realize this back then – your profile also has to be flirty. The easy part about online dating is you’re not directly watching a man’s facial expression when he reads what you’ve written… as you would in real life.

Be kind to yourself and know approaching men isn’t something you know how to naturally do. You weren’t born with this skill. No one was.

The way you can get comfortable is from knowing as many techniques as possible for talking and relating to men in the real world. It’s funny… my one-on-one clients (who felt just like you do when it came to approaching men) often say they can hear me talking to them on a date as if I were standing right next to them, whispering advice in their ear. It gives them comfort knowing how to handle situations with men.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you want to learn everything you can about men and dating because knowledge is what’s going to bring you comfort. Take what I shared about flirting in Janet and Rebecca’s letters above and anything else you’ve learned about over 50’s dating. Then go out and practice, practice, practice it.

Sometimes you’ll get it right. Sometimes it will be more challenging but practicing is the only way dating and approaching men will ever get easier for you.

I’d love to hear what makes dating less nerve-wracking for you in the comments.

Until next time~

Much love and joy to you, Lisa

The Sisterhood of Breast Cancer
Healthy Living
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There exists a sisterhood of women who have survived breast cancer. Those of us in this group know many members who have not survived. Recently I was giving a breast cancer awareness talk at a community college. One youngish woman asked in all sincerity, “But women don’t really die any longer from breast cancer so shouldn’t all this money and education be spent on more life threatening diseases?”

Luckily I was not the only person giving the presentation and my partner found her words faster to reply. This was a question in my 8 years of breast cancer outreach I never before had heard.

My speaking partner is a 32-year breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed at age 30 after giving birth to her second child. 32 years ago breast cancer treatments were just short of barbaric and she told her story and how research and treatments have come a long way from slash, cut, and poison but yet still some women die. Actually younger women have a higher mortality rate, however breast cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. Some women with metastasized breast cancer can live 5-15 years. But not all breast cancers are alike.

I told the story of a friend of mine who was diagnosed 5 years after my diagnosis. Her cancer stage was actually better than mine but it was a different kind of cancer. She did everything according to protocol set by her oncologists. After her 5-year mark it was discovered her cancer had metastasized and with-in 5 months she was dead.

In the last 5 years I have lost 3 friends to breast cancer. 2 more have been diagnosed with the disease, and 2 more have had a re-occurrence. It is a sisterhood that binds us together, one we never wanted to join. The fatality rate has been reduced through educational and social outreach, and medical advances resulting in early detection but it is still a life threatening disease with no cure!

Do you know some one in the sisterhood?

Advice on being picked on
Work & Money
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I am in my early 60’s and after 10 months of being laid off from an employer who sold the business,  I was happy to be back in the work force.  I work in a moderate size office and know my trade exceptionally well. The agency is owned by a gent in his 70’s who is in and out of the office, and is a wonderful man and I do like the dynamics of the office and what I do and the peoople I work with ….but his son is a somewhat staple just minding the gate.

He’s in his mid to late 30’s and can be arogent at times.  I stay on business level with him.  Here is the problem…. and I need some thoughts on this.  A few weeks ago he questioned me when I was speaking to a client in the office and made insinuations he though I was speaking to one of the agents… which I was not. What was strange, he stayed in his office which is about 25 feet from my office and was yelling out the door questioning me.  One of my co workers later approached me and commented on his behavior to me and tone of voice.  I dropped it and moved on… but not too long after that he stopped at my office door and asked me a question about an account and proceeded to speak in a loud voice announcing I could be sued and the agency if I handled the client and gave him misinformation… he was totally off the wall and 100% wrong.

I discussed this with my supervisor and she was so puzzed over what and why he brought this up and tried to make me look as if  I did not know whay I was doing… when he had no idea at all that what he was saying was totally incorrect.  I actually went in the manual and printed out the ruling for my records….but again what was the reason for this and why is he trying to make me look incompetent ? Today, I was working in my office and my supervisor came by and offered me some small pretzels which I took a handful and put in a napkin next to my desk… He again the son immediately went by my office and looked in and said…why am I eating at my desk it is not permitted and that is why we have a kitchen… ( snacks) everyone eats snacks, bars, fruit at times at their desk but once again he was singleing me out. I apologized and told him I did not know we weren’t allowed to have some snacks at our desk and won’t do it again..After he left, my supervisor came over and said, I heard what he said to you and he did that on purpose.  He heard me offer you some pretzels and made it a point to come by and belittle you and embarrasse you..

Later that day I spoke to my supervisor and asked her what could be wrong with him and why is he doing this to me.  He is definitly making it his job to embarrase me, make me look incompetent and I don’t know why. She said she has no idea what his deal is and he certainly seems like he enjoys picking on you..He recently fired a new employee who I had noticed he was “picking on him” and found fault with everything this poor guy would do.  I never experienced this before and I have been working a long time… He is unapproachable and talking to him will only make him worse.  For now I am flying below the radar but it’s upsetting to me and don’t know why he is picking on me.  Any ideas ….. need suggestions.    thanks !

Mind Games and Gaslighting
Other Topics
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I experienced being subjected to some form of mind games by my co-workers that eventually evolve into workplace bullying. the manner by which it was conducted was by speaking vague comments that are either insulting or sexual innuendos and i was keenly aware that this is a form of harassment and it is being deliberate. i tried to adopt and “play along” with the manner of communication with the intent of getting what they are really trying to tell me but things just got so confusing and oppressive that i decided to quit.

when i quit i thought that everything ended. i took the responsibility to walk out of the controversies and just wait for my unemployment and move on to looking for a job. but 3 mos down the road i didn’t get my unemployment which was in essence shot down by my employer and i wasn’t getting any job offers. my record for looking for work is that i get responses with in 10 days so 3 mos is ridiculous. what compounded things is that i can distinctly observe that i am being stalked, intimidated and harassed and this time it is in the streets. i have observed so many things that are beyond the concept of coincidence. i concluded that this was probably some kind of control measure the company is doing to make sure i don’t file any law suit. i didn’t intende to file anything because it it will just be a bother goint thru that when i finally get a job. but the harassment continued and it even involve people in my community. it felt like everyone knew soemthing sordid about me and evryone hates me. i get a lot of side comments that are insulting for about 2 more months. then these comments became issues about sex and relationship. i am so aghast at how information like these travel fast and furious. and i can’t understnad why the issues are personal more than professional. up until now i am still not getting any job offers and i am afraid that this is because my professional rep was probably damaged. it s so hard to be in a situation like this when everything is just up in the air and no one is telling me anything concrete. i do not trust anyone anymore and i feel strongly the need to leave my community.


has anyone out ther been thru similar experience?

VN Editors
Learn Kegels for Women at a Vagina Spa
Love & Sex
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Determine the strength of your vagina and get a full checkup at New York’s newest attraction: the vagina spa. Want to know if your Kegel exercises for women are really working, and find out how to pretty up your nether region? This is the place to do it.

Better Vaginal Health

The first vagina spa has opened in Manhattan on East 58th Street. It’s fully dedicated to this private body part, designed to promote both beauty and better health. The owner of the spa, gynecologist Lauri Romanzi, is offering several services at the facility.

Women purchase a $150 exam at the spa. During this procedure, the doctor will insert her fingers into the vagina and ask women to tighten their muscles. This determines muscle tone, which is rated on a scale of weak, moderate or strong. She also conducts personal training workouts to help women strengthen their vaginas. Kegel exercises for women, for example, are a particular workout that targets vaginal muscles.

In addition to her Kegels program, the doctor is offering other vaginal rejuvenation services designed to tighten, strengthen and beautify the vagina.

Vaginal Rejuvenation

Vaginal rejuvenation is a relatively new trend, but vaginal strengthening is not. Kegel exercises for women were developed decades ago to help women maintain muscle strength as they age. The same muscles that surround the vagina also support the bladder. Stronger muscles prevent leaks in addition to helping with your sex life.

A stronger vagina is a healthier vagina. Kegel exercises for women stimulate blood flow to the area, and that stimulates lubrication. Strong vaginal muscles help prevent the vaginal thinning that many women experience during menopause, and that lessens your chances of experiencing dyspareunia (painful sex).

Special Treatment

You don’t need to go to a special spa in order to learn how to do Kegel exercises for women. This is something you can do on your own, and in fact there are many programs and devices that can help you to that end.

However, a spa like this is a good idea. Many women feel uncomfortable speaking to their physicians about sexual health. Studies show that female dryness and dyspareunia are the most common female sexual problems, yet women hardly ever bring the topic up with their doctors. The relaxed spa setting invites more intimate conversation, and some women may find it a lot easier to open up in this welcoming environment.

If you feel like treating your vagina and you deserve a little pampering, why not visit the spa?

On the Verge
Other Topics
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I was speaking with my sister recently after she had a very exasperating experience. She stated she was on the verge….

Well she was so exasperated that fill in the blank was easy.

I realized we are all often on the verge of something good or bad.
Here is a list that may appear in your conversation:

On the verge of something big
On the verge of losing it
On the verge of a nervous breakdown
On the verge of falling asleep
On the verge of hitting it big
On the verge of discovering a breakthrough
On the verge of hysteria
On the verge of enlightenment
On the verge of a big break
On the verge of extinction
On the verge of exhaustion
On the verge of recovery
On the verge of making it
On the verge of acceptance
On the verge of going Postal

Being on the verge can be very dramatic. It can be a full of exasperation or full of hope. It might take someone a lifetime to be on the verge of some attribute or a split second. Some of us may never act on what we are on the verge of or be the recipient of what is just out of reach.

What are you on the verge?

Stephen Reily - VN Founder
If Great Marketing to Women is Simple, Why is it so Rare?
Other Topics
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Fast Company recently published a great story called “What the Leaders Who Get it Right Know About Marketing to Women.”

The article was great – but why does the world still need Marketing 101 stories about how to reach 50% of the marketplace?  And what does it mean we got right at Vibrant Nation?

Read more …

Ideas for decreasing isolation at work?
Work & Money
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I work at a think tank with a group of very introverted people. I talk to people I don’t know in kitchen, hall, restroom … but I can go a whole day without speaking to anyone. The people in my group go into their offices and close the door. When I do say “hello”, they keep looking at their computer screens or smartphones. Any suggestions?

Stephen Reily - VN Founder
If The Boomerang Kid Never Leaves, Is The Parent Ever An Empty Nester?
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A recent New York Times story clarified the brave new age of young adulthood: It looks a lot like childhood.

According to the Times’ Adam Davidson, “One in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60% of all young adults receive financial support from them. That’s a significant increase from a generation ago, when only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support.”

While this information is consistent with what Vibrant Nation has been researching for years, I thought that some of these trends would change as we climbed our way slowly out of the Recession. Surely, these children would do everything possible to move out on their own; surely, parents would begin weaning these “grown-ups” (and that’s what I call someone in his early 30s) from the economic teat.

But the Times tells us not to expect this result, and defines a new life stage: early adulthood. Affected by trends that include the Recession, together with longer-term trends like globalization, student debt, technology, and later marriage ages (and non-marriage), psychologists now say we should simply expect childhood to last longer.

Who knew that the Boomers would leave this kind of legacy, and not just in the children themselves but even the name (“boomer-angers”) of the new generation they spawned?

Marketing to the Boomeranger Parent

Since the Recession began, I have been surprised at the swift pace of change in parent-adult child relations. Three years ago I wrote here about the expanded role the Boomer mom is playing in paying for her adult children’s bills, up to and past age 30. And we documented the unexpected degree of influence she has over adult children who grew up with a generation gap.

In the 1970s, the last person a Boomer turned to for advice was her mother or father. Today, the first person a 20-something turns to for advice may be that special BFF: her Mom.

Marketers need to stop speaking to these two generations not just as though they lived apart, but with messages and offerings that recognize how their budgets and decision-making are intermingled.

She’s Still an Empty Nester – in her Dreams

After reviewing some of these statistics, a smart marketer might ask whether they should think of Boomers as anything other than innkeepers, running an open house and open checkbook for their ailing parents, unemployed children, and helpless grandchildren as well.

Wrong. A majority of Boomers are still achieving that desirable state of empty-nestedness, and even those who don’t live there in reality probably do so in their minds.

Even a Boomer who is unexpectedly entwined with her boomeranger child has gone through some important changes in her own life. She is no longer a full-time mother; she has survived menopause and finds herself with a new surge of energy to devote to her own future and disposable income to spend on herself. She has spent decades juggling the needs of others against her own and she does not want to give up this great chance to invest in herself.

Marketers who recognize this desire, even if her boomeranging children make it more elusive, will win her heart and dollars.

Even if she can’t fit her household in it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a Mini Cooper and the freedom it represents. If her house is full again, travel may represent even more than adventure to her; it may represent a new way to be alone (or have quiet time with her spouse). And even if she is covering an unexpected range of expenses for her 27 year old, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a financial advisor who can speak to her alone.

At every age, the things we want the most may also be the hardest to obtain. Good marketers help us understand that these goals may be easier to achieve than we think. For mothers and fathers whose overachieving children have suddenly become non-paying tenants in their own homes, marketers may be the only ones left who can offer them all the things that an empty nest represents: independence, freedom and themselves.