Year’s end is a natural time to stop and look where I’ve been. I started my blog because I needed a place to express my creative voice, which is why I call it My Creative Journey. All journeys have twists and turns that lead us to unexpected places. My blogging journey is no exception.
It was last year on Huffington Post that I stumbled on a bloghop by a group of midlife women. I then found this group on Facebook, and in what was a bold move by me, asked to join. It was through this warm and accepting group of fabulous women that I became comfortable calling myself a writer.
More importantly, I developed new friends over the last year and I want to introduce you to some of them. Each has a unique and authentic voice that I admire.
Midlife Boulevard is a great group of women with a great website. It’s is run by friends, Sharon Greenthal of Empty House Full Mind and Anne “Not a Super Mom” Parris. I’m thrilled to be a part of this group and their monthly bloghops have both pushed and challenged my writing.
Generation Fabulous is now organized by Chloe Jeffreys, an OB/GYN nurse. My day job is at a woman’s specialty hospital; the challenges in today’s healthcare market are something we both care about. Her journey has taken her to Haiti this year and she brings her readers on her life journey at Chloe of the Mountain.
Another group that I discovered and now write for is Better After 50 (BA50). This is yet another group of powerful women writers. Their tagline is real women, real stories.
It was because of the connections to these groups that I went to BlogHer in Chicago this summer to meet my new friends IRL. I roomed with someone I had never met and only knew through blogging. Virginia Sullivan and I became instant BFFs. Virginia can be found at First Class Woman. She writes from the point of view of being a professional woman in corporate world. I know we have something that we are going to do together in the future; we’re not sure what it’s going to be, but look out when it happens!!
I have several friends who have health blogs and the following three have all been nominated for a prestigious award, the Wego Health Activist Award. Check them out (the award link is on their name) and give them a vote.
Cathy Chester is one of the kindest women I’ve ever met. An Empowered Spirit is about life and about living with MS. Her sweet spirit shines through her words in every post.
Ruth Curran writes Cranium Crunches. It’s about keeping your brain active and in shape. She was inspired by my post on New Orleans as a way to keep your senses fully engaged.
Walker Thornton is another fascinating writer I’ve come to know who writes about sex at The Diva of Dating. I admire how she puts her life’s experience out to the world over a subject she believes all women should embrace and enjoy fully.
Lois Alter Mark is another new friend. She just won Blogger Idol, Woot! Midlife at the Oasis always brings a smile to my face. (She also went with Oprah to Australia—how cool is that.)
I’ve become friends with women who live far away from my little Louisiana world. I enjoy the words of Karen and Wendy Irving, sisters who share writing duties at After the Kids Leave. One sister lives in Canada and the other one in England.
Amanda Fox of The Fur Flies is another Canadian with whom I’ve connected through the blogosphere. While we live miles apart, we share a similar sense of humor and have discovered unexpected similarities.
I made an instant friend at BlogHer from New Orleans, Cheryl at A Pleasant House. I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting Cheryl’s beautiful and very pleasant house. I know my love of New Orleans and cocktails will bring us on adventures in the near future.
I love when synchronicity happens. While I’ve developed friends near and far from blogging, it’s the two women in my own backyard that have been the best gifts this year.
Lisa Froman and Melinda Walsh and I have all had similar career paths, are close to the same age, live in the same town—where all of us advertising types know each other. And even though we have many of the same friends, we somehow didn’t know each other. It was the blogosphere that connected us in a way that our careers never did. We now don’t let many weeks go by without getting together (and we are overdue).
Lisa has written an insightful book, Tao Flashes. Her blog is a continuation of the book’s insights. She looks at the Tao through the eyes of midlife and writes of how to bring the Tao’s age-old lessons into our lives. We even guest blogged on each other’s sites.
Melinda is a storyteller and her blog is how we are in charge of our own story. It’s called Love Applied and if you go to her blog you can see the pictures from her recent wedding!
I’ve made so many blog friends this year that this post would go on for days if I listed them all. I look forward to where this journey will take me in the New Year. One thing for sure is that there will be unexpected twists in this journey that will lead to new adventures that will lead to new stories to tell.
If you like My Creative Journey, I’d love for you to follow me. My posts will then arrive in your email and I promise no spam.
This is such a beautiful post, and it’s no surprise to me how many new friends you’ve made, Connie. Your spirit comes through your words, and meeting you IRL at BlogHer was one of my highlights this year. You are a true gem.
I thank you for including me in this post and am humbled by your words about me. Thank you.
May your new year be filled with more magic and good health, and all of life’s great joys.
Big bear hugs to you!
Cathy, getting to know you has been a real gift this year. I also send you wishes for a healthy and happy new year. Big hugs back at you.
My friend…..you have been such a bright light for me this year. I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately….am looking forward to spending more time with you this coming year. I have a feeling we’re gonna cook up something together. Love your story telling and your spicy personality….so glad you’re in my life and on my journey.
Lisa, I think we could start a new blog just to record the adventures we’re going to have.
It’s pretty impressive to read this list of really dynamic and exciting bloggers! I love it that you and Lisa and Melinda are in the same town and have become such good friends – the power of social media and connecting online cannot be denied. So glad you’re part of my online community.
Sharon, this list exists because of you and Anne. Thank you! You have created such a dynamic community that it is changing how the works views midlife. That’s remarkable.
Beautiful post Connie, commemorating the wonderful women of midlife.
Thanks Estelle! We are changing the world, one blog post at a time!
Connie, if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t also be connected with the amazing women at GenFab–thank you for bringing me into this wonderful online community. I have so enjoyed the rich conversations with you and Lisa, and I look forward to many more as we continue to share our creative journeys together.
Melinda, I look forward to new adventures with you in the new year.
Connie, meeting you was definitely a highlight of this year for me and hope to see you again in 2014. Thank you for including me in this beautiful, generous post. Bless your heart. (Wink.) xoxo
Big hug and bless your heart too, Lois!
Thank you. I’m honored to be among this wonderful list.
Walker, it has been amazing to follow along your journey this year. What a year of growth and accomplishment you’ve had. Thanks for sharing.
It’s been a great year, Connie, and it’s my pleasure to be part of it. I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store!
Anne, thanks for all you do! It’s going to be a great 2014.
It’s been a great year! I can’t wait to see everyone again in 2014.
It has been a great year Janie. I’m so glad to have gotten to know you!
What a lovely community you’ve built. I’m looking forward to getting to know you better, Connie~
Thanks Sheryl,I’m looking forward to knowing you better too!
What a year it’s been, Connie! Wendy and I are so happy to have met you online, and we can’t wait for a chance to give you a hug in person!
Karen, I look forward to that hug in real life!
Love this post — nothing like the blog sisterhood! Happy Healthy 2014!
Ellen, it has been great getting to know you!I love the sisterhood that we have all created.
Wow, you really made inroads into the blogging community in such a short time! Good for you. I’m very intermittent in my approach to connecting with other bloggers. Maybe I should re-think that! 🙂
Pam, it all happened very naturally. As I was pondering the end of the year I realized I have created some very real friendships because of my blog. It’s proven to be one of the highlights of my year.
It’s been a blessing this year to be connected through these communities to these amazing women.
Lori, you are right! I’m glad to have you in the blogging sisterhood too!
I am new to these groups and couldn’t agree with you more. Every one is so talented and just lovely.
My depression over my age is evaporating..
Us midlife ladies are changing the world!