UNDER CONSTRUCTION

You wake up each morning as a new person.  Yesterday's "you" is no more.  This has exciting connotations.  We can continue to change, evolve, and grow throughout our lives.  However, at times, we feel stuck, as though our feet are in mud.  Then the mud dries, it hardens, and weighs down our movement.  And we trudge through our days as though we have no say in the matter.

Today, imagine what you could do if you weren't...tired, afraid, stuck.  There are many visions that go unnourished because...

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New Interview: Award-Winning Canadian Website: FemmeSansEnfant

Catherine-Emmanuelle Delisle honored my book, The Female Assumption, with an interview on her award-winning website. Based near Montreal, most of her interviews are in French; this one is in English. She endeavors to, "Rally childless women by life circumstance or choice." There are many women who need understanding on this topic. When a women expects motherhood but doesn't find it, such as Catherine-Emmanuelle, it is hard when those close to her use words that assume...

Who's Minding the Earth while We're Geocaching?

Taking a walk can connect you to the Earth if you’re mindful of your surroundings.  There are invisible (unreal) things to pursue while walking in the woods, such as geocache and Pokemon.  There’s also a cache of experiences available to those whose eyes turn to the splendor of the natural world.  On a recent walk, my cell phone chirped with a new text.  A goldfinch called out for my attention as well.  The goldfinch won.  As I silenced my phone, I noticed a turtle sunning itself in a pond.  Walking past wildflowers, I had a Remembrance of Things Past moment.  I was plunged back to my youth; a time when...

From Lonely Hearts Ads to On-Line Dating Sites

My widowed grandfather wrote a Lonely Hearts newspaper ad in the 1950s that helped him meet his 2nd wife. One of my good friends met her husband of 15 years through a dating service. New ways to meet people continue to crop up in the form of on-line dating services; some cater to bicycling aficionadosStar Trek fans, even...interestingly...salad lovers. That's right, you can find your Salad Soulmate!  I was recently contacted by the creator of a new dating website called YesChildfree.  Meeting people who are not interested in having kids is a niche market, and a dating site like this puts the topic on the table from the start.  I was allowed a peek at the site and their membership is worldwide. Since I know 2 people who met...

My Mom, Women's History Month, Advancing Social Justice

If you want firsthand knowledge about what it was like to live before the 2nd Women’s Movement, ask a woman who lived through it.  I asked my mom. During childhood, we get bits and pieces of our parents’ stories, and the significance of the details increase as we age; perhaps because we imagine what they were like as we reach certain thresholds of adult life.  Drastic changes in our lives are like demarcation lines.  On one side of the line is “before,” and on the other side is “after.”  Perhaps “before” for you is before you landed your great first job, or before your heart was broken the first time.  Perhaps “after” for you is the accomplishment of a life goal, or after the loss of a loved one.  The “befores” and “afters” are moments in time that we remember, forever.  “Before” for my mom was the moment she was told she couldn’t work in her job anymore because she was pregnant.  The company said...

Please, Watch Your Assumptions

The practice of holding assumptions extends to many areas of our lives. Someone hurts us and we assume they don't care. Someone gets in our way on the roadway and we assume they're careless. Please, be cautious of your assumptions, because "that person" could be suffering in ways you cannot see. Perhaps they are the main caretaker for a chronically-ill loved one. Perhaps they're in fear of losing their job or the love from ....

Wrapping up 2015--Global Media Award, Inaugural Women's Summit & More

2015 kicked off with me in Washington DC in January to accept a Global Media Award for my first book, The Female Assumption, from the Population Institute, because of my message of equality and education for females. The Female Assumption has been featured in Psychology Today blog, Boston Women’s Health Collective Our Bodies Ourselves Blog, Huffington Post, and made the blog world tour with interviews by Michelle McGrath, Sydney, Australia, Unclassified Woman podcast , Lesley Pyne’s blog  based in the United Kingdom, and...

Inaugural International Summit

I had the honor of participating in the first summit of its kind, designed to bring women without kids together, whether by circumstance or choice.  Karen Malone Wright, Founder of TheNotMom website, seeks to unite women.  Full stop.  Her site’s disclaimer that “some of our best friends are moms,” makes it clear that respectful dialogue is expected.  And that’s what happened last month, when women without kids came from all over the U.S., from Iceland, the U.K., Canada, and China for a 2-day summit to discuss issues common to...

Melanie interviewed by Michelle McGrath, Sydney, Australia

I was honored to be interviewed by Michelle Marie McGrath, who hosts the Unclassified Woman podcast out of Sydney, Australia.  Her mission is to give voice to women without children, for whatever reason, and promote the view that women shouldn't be judged according to whether they are able or want to have children. She departed from her normal interviews to include me because of my award-winning book, which amplifies....

1st-Ever International "NotMom Summit"

Karen Malone Wright created a resource for women without children, a website called, TheNotMom.com, which supports women without children, by chance or by choice.  Karen and her team organized the FIRST-EVER Summit of its kind to be held Oct. 9-10, 2015, in Cleveland, Ohio, with experts from the US and UK.  Topics of discussion will include Body & Spirit, Legacy, and Relationships.  A few sample program titles will be:  "Expecting Acceptance, Post-Choice or After Grief," ...

The Importance of Our Stories

When we tell our stories, we share in a way that is different from giving advice.  When we share our experiences, we offer others the opportunity to view what’s inside us, the vulnerable parts, the parts we keep hidden because we want to protect ourselves from judgment.  We think our layers of protection keep us safe—rather, it is by sharing our stories that we shatter the assumptions that others hold about us.  Telling our stories is also a process of self-reflection.  The way in which we describe our experiences says...

Viewing Ourselves/Each Other--Past, Present, Future

How we view our past is important. Do we hold onto expectations that didn’t pan out, causing us pain?  In the present, do we have people to turn to for support? People who will lend an ear when we need it?  Some people amass tons of friends, but all you really need is a few caring people who “get” you.  As we look to the future, do we see the brightness that dawns with each new day?  Do we respect the integrity of the person we’ve become (or are becoming), no matter if it fits with what others assume about us?  As long as we try to be true to...

Join in Honoring Women's History Month

I'm more active on my Author's Facebook than here on The Blog, so I wanted to let you know that I'm posting once per day about women during Women's History Month. When an entire month is set aside to recognize the contributions of a group, this signifies that this group has a history of being marginalized. History reflects just how maligned females have been when they sought something different than what society assumed they wanted, the roles they...

Women's History Month & a Word about Legacy

March is Women's History Month; I'm honored to speak at Oak Lawn Library on March 16 (click my FB Link below to view details). All of us leave a lasting legacy, sometimes we don't realize the lives we touch. I was honored to be interviewed recently by Lisa Haisha for her Legacy Series; Lisa is blazing trails as a Women's Advocate, Life Coach, and her Whispers foundation. If you'd like to know what I have in common with Angelina Jolie and Kathy Bates, it would be...

Indie Bookstores Stocking The Female Assumption

Besides Amazon, Libraries, and Barnes and Nobles (on-line or special order thru their brick/mortar stores), several independent bookstores stock my new book, The Female Assumption. 

Women & Children First is a Chicago bookstore located in the heart of Andersonville neighborhood, 5233 N. Clark.  Also, Unabridged Bookstore in the heart of Chicago's East Lakeview neighborhood, 3251 N. Broadway.  Please note that both these bookstores promote diversity, and...

Author Available for Book Club Discussions

I've added a tab on my website "Contact/Book Clubs" that includes suggested topics/questions to consider for book club discussions.  Although I welcome opportunities to speak with larger groups (as I'm doing throughout 2015), I'm also very interested in smaller settings. I am available to...

The Female Assumption named Best Book of 2014; Global Media Awards hosted by The Population Institute

I am honored that my 1st book, The Female Assumption, will be awarded Best Book of 2014 in the Global Media Awards hosted by The Population Institute in Washington DC next month. The Population Institute was founded in 1969 by a Methodist minister whose mission was to educate legislatures about reproductive health and to work to prevent teen pregnancies. My book amplifies the discussion of motherhood as a choice rather than a foregone conclusion, and the need to contemplate the long journey that consumes lots of the "Big 3" (time, energy, financial resources). 

The Earth's resources are finite, and it's prudent for each generation to look into the future to examine what today's decisions mean for the future. 

Women opt in or out of motherhood for various reasons; they make decisions about how many children to have (if any)--none of these decisions are fodder for dinner party conversation.  These are excursions into bedroom territory. Treading into the personal lives of women is what society tends to do (just ask Jennifer Aniston).  I, for one, don't condone this.  I have friends, coworkers, nieces, and a daughter, and I support their right to choose the path that feels authentic.  Love, meaning, family, fulfillment--these are subjective terms. To believe otherwise is ethnocentric--not everyone wants the same thing. 

Our words matter; use them to protect and support, rather than judge.  

Peace.

Link to The Population Institute's announcement of 35th Annual Global Media Awards http://www.populationinstitute.org/newsroom/news/view/65/

Follow me on Facebook, where I post daily musings and links to the many articles/essays I publish, including a recent one in Psychology Today.

Newspaper coverage of Book Launch, Nov 1st

A reporter from the daily Southtown Star (subsidiary of Chicago Tribune) covered my book launch event.  We had great attendance; women and men, various walks of life, those with and without kids.  The discussion was deeply thought-provoking.  There was constant flow of ...