Friday, October 31, 2008

What do Facebook and Peru have in common?

I recently created a Facebook page for myself. My kids were mortified, and I was reluctant at first, but I’ve been having the best time with it. I’ve heard from former colleagues I haven’t seen in a decade and friends I see all the time. Now I’m aware of their every move: “Frederica is watching TV and eating twinkies, wondering how much snow we’re going to get this winter . . . ”

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with the women in the The List, too, to keep them posted about events and to thank them again for sharing their stories with me. I heard back from a lot of the women within a day or two, but not Liz Becker. Come to find out she was in Peru, leading a group of women on a hike to Machu Picchu. She was planning this excursion, a “women’s leadership journey,” when I interviewed her for The List. She wrote me the other day to say:

We had 10 women, plus me. Age range 40-58. There were also 2 local guides who just went with the flow as we met each day to discuss our "big projects" and our individual and group strengths. I was in my sweet spot. There were so many "can only be described as grace" moments. . . . And then the amazing and totally doable trek. 38 miles over 5 days with luxury lodges to hold us each night. Spectacular mountain vistas and CONDORS! THIS is something that I must keep doing!

She’s already set two dates for 2009: July 15 and Sept 29. Further confirmation that travel (especially with a group of interesting, passionate women) will indeed shake up your life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sharing The List

I just did my first magazine interview to promote The List! I was nervous beforehand . . . don’t ask me why. I’ve spent the last year talking to anyone who’ll listen about the stories I’ve heard while writing the book. But faced with a formal interview, I wasn’t sure I could express it all. As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry; the minute we started, I couldn’t stop. At one point, the interviewer asked what kept women from doing the things they want to—and that answer was easy: fear, lack of time, insecurity, a sense that things are set in stone. When it came to talking about ways women might motivate to shake up their lives, something tumbled out of my mouth that I’d never thought about until then, amazingly enough: The power of sharing our own lists—the things we’ve done and the things we want to do.

Women are such great motivators. When I think of the stories in The List, so many of them involve friends or mother/daughter teams taking the plunge together. Brazilian waxes, bike riding across the country, swimming with manatees, going topless. The interviewer naturally asked what was next for me on my own list. When I said glass blowing, she said she’d always wanted to try it, too. So I said we should do it together. We haven’t set a date, and maybe we’ll end up doing it on our own, but it was fun and energizing just to talk about it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Welcome to The List blog!

I’m thrilled to be writing the inaugural post on The List blog today. Now I can finally share the amazing stories of the women who talked with me about the daring, daunting, silly, sexy, thrilling, and sometimes life-changing things they’ve done to shake up their lives. Things like biking across the country, doing a Polar Bear swim, and kissing total strangers.

In addition to being insightful and empowering, these women have something else going for them: they’re all middle aged. (Go figure!) They were in their 40s and 50s, some even in their 60s, when they jumped out of planes, learned to surf, and rode in a fire truck with young hotties straight from the pages of a calendar. (That last one, I’m happy to say, was me.)

The List is proof that it’s never too late to try new things and change the course of your life. I was 46 when I wrote my first book—and this is it! Writing The List has been a total shake-up for me. Aside from the fact that I’ve become a published author, I’ve also met 80 incredible women along the way, and gotten enough inspiration to last me a lifetime. When you read about their adventures, you’ll be inspired, too—maybe not to jump off a cliff, but to do whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do.

I’d like to hear about it, too. Post The List items you’ve done, or let us know about something that didn’t make it into the book, but definitely could have. That’s what the site is for—to create a community where you can share your own lists and experiences . . . and cheer each other on. Women everywhere are shaking up their lives. How about you?