Fierce and beautiful friends,
Happy “Forever Fierce Day, 2018”! What exactly is “Forever Fierce Day” and the Forever Fierce Campaign, you may be wondering. Well, do you remember in the fall of 2017, my sweet friend Danielle at Family.Love.Inspiration and I were among 198 other bloggers who participated in the “Bridging the Gap” campaign. Each mid-life participant was paired with a millennial participant. We interviewed each other, got to know one another better and blogged about our experience closing the generation gap. “Bridging the Gap” was part of the Fierce 50 Revolution. Both ideas are the brainchild of blogger and style icon Catherine Grace O’Connell. Celebrating women in midlife. Please revisit that post, here.
Fast forward to December when the Fierce 50 Revolution evolved into the Forever Fierce Campaign. The movement morphed from celebrating women in midlife to celebrating women of all ages in all stages of life. I received an email from Catherine and her Forever Fierce team inviting me to “be a part of an intimate and exclusive group of 50 bloggers in this year’s Forever Fierce Campaign launching on February 19, 2018.
The email continued by saying, “You have been hand selected as you have shown yourself to be a powerful leader with the metrics that matter most in a woman: kindness, compassion and a radiantly, beautiful heart.”
OH. MY. GOSH!
I was thrilled. Humbled. Delighted. My blog is so modest and insignificant in comparison to all of the important blogs out there. My readership and following are so small when I look at the metrics of other blogs and bloggers. But being recognized for having “metrics that matter” more than the number of page loads and unique visits is such an honor!
Forever Fierce Day, 2018
Which brings us to today! This campaign is focusing on serving midlife women in our community who aren’t currently bloggers. We believe all women have a deep desire to have their voices heard. So, we 50 bloggers are coming together today to share the voices of other strong, invincible women on our blogs. We’ve asked them to answer this question: “What does it mean to be FIERCE at midlife?”
Please welcome my friends, Elisa and Maraye.
Age: 43 years young
Location: El Paso, Texas
I chose to introduce you to my friend Elisa because she is one of the most put-together, confident, polished and powerful women I know. We worked on the same elementary campus where I was a librarian and she was a fifth grade teacher. Elisa was a leader on campus, a bridge between admin and faculty, and the BEST teacher. She is now an assistant principal on the campus where I most recently worked as a substitute librarian. Elisa is a rising star. She will continue to educate and make the difference in the lives of El Paso children for years to come.
Elisa, what does it mean to be FIERCE at midlife?
The word FIERCE has been used to describe women who emanate power and success. My perception of a fierce woman is someone with an intense, ferocious, heartfelt, and powerful intensity. A truly fierce woman uses this intensity to empower others to improve their quality of life with knowledge and support that will in turn create other fierce human beings that have positive effects on the world around us. In my opinion, true success or fierceness does not come from the digits on a paycheck or physical beauty, but on the leaders created through one’s own leadership who have the capacity to be agents of their own future, no matter their life circumstances.
Age: 44 years young
Location: Austin, Minnesota
While I don’t know Maraye, personally, I found an immediate connection to her when I learned she, too, has suffered with Lyme Disease. I would love to learn more about her experience with this life-altering health issue. Hope we will have an opportunity very soon to connect beyond today’s post.
Maraye, what does it mean to be FIERCE at midlife?
In 2010, I toured the streets of Skid Row with a ministry team. Sometimes we don’t recognize what God will use in the future to help us become fierce. I saw people who’d lost it all; homeless, ill, addicted — people who’d given up hope. I couldn’t possibly relate, but I never forgot…because that day, a homeless man came up to me and asked for prayer, but then in an instant, replied, “You aren’t ready yet,” and walked away. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I was battling Lyme Disease and was forced to give up my career, house and nearly everything I deemed important, that I understood what that man had sensed: Although it appeared that I’d had it all before, I’d been secretly living with anxiety and fear since I was 7. Finally, I was ready. It was only in my weakness that I was truly able to find the courage and faith to emerge FIERCE.
Amazing responses from two amazing women. Elisa’s definition of FIERCE brought to mind the Chinese parable, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” She empowers children to take an active interest in their education and future. In reflecting on Maraye’s struggles, I am reminded of a quote by Nelson Mandela “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, Elisa and Maraye.
What does being FIERCE at midlife mean to you? Won’t you share in a comment below? Then please, click here to visit Catherine’s blog. There you will find the links to all 50 of the bloggers who are, like I, sharing the voices of other FIERCE, wonderful women. Or begin by meeting the women Catherine interviewed in her Forever Fierce Day post, here. And take just a moment to celebrate “Forever Fierce Day” by viewing the video below.
Share the momentum and energy behind this revolution! Use the graphic at the top of this post or the video directly above to create your own social media post on “Forever Fierce Day, 2018”. And be sure to use these hashtags: #ForeverFierce and #ForeverFierceDay.
Thank YOU for coming by and thank you, Elisa and Maraye for warming my heart with your words!
Hugs and kisses,