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Episode

103

CINDILO INSPIRES WOMEN

OVER 50 TO EMBRACE MIDLIFE

After 25 years in law and academia assisting women during life transitions, such as divorce and reentering the workforce, CinDiLo created her own second act of writing and workshops for fellow Generation X women seeking to live their midlife with purpose and clarity through whentheclockstrikesmidlife.com. She recently published the easy-to-use weekly journal "When the Clock Strikes Midlife, It's Your Time to Shine," to inspire women to cultivate their midlife awakening with its interactive guided prompts and witty yet truthful perspective. CinDiLo has also started a new movement: #myfirsttimeover50, where she encourages women over 50 to try a new activity and ask the question: when was the last time you did something for the first time?

IN THIS EPISODE

[01:21] On what she’s most passionate about

 

[01:46] Why her passions are so important

 

[02:12] On her childhood and what it was like

 

[04:22] How her childhood impacts who she is today

 

[05:04] What inspired her to go into law and academia

 

[06:30] How she came to focus in women’s issues and her work today

 

[07:50] On her midlife crash and the changes she made after it

 

[11:24] On the adjustments she made and how she takes care of herself today

 

[17:16] On “The Midlife on Purpose” planner and why she created it

 

[19:29] On whentheclockstrikesmidlife.com and why she started it

 

[23:39] On what she hopes women take away from her blog

 

[24:44] On the workshops she does with Gen X women

 

[27:36] On her Facebook group “Let’s Destress Gen X”

 

[29:37] What inspired her to write “When the Clock Strikes Midlife, It’s Your Time to Shine”

 

[34:42] On the lesson she has learned throughout her journey

RESOURCES

Website

Instagram

Facebook

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

Passionistas: Hi, and welcome to The Passionistas Project Podcast, where we talk with women who are following their passions to inspire you to do the same. We're Amy and Nancy Harrington. And today we're talking with CinDiLo.

After 25 years in law and academia assisting women during life transitions, such as divorce and reentering the workforce, CinDi created her own second act of writing and workshops for fellow Generation X women seeking to live their midlife with purpose and clarity through whentheclockstrikesmidlife.com. She recently published the easy to use weekly journal "When the Clock Strikes Midlife, It's Your Time to Shine", to inspire women to cultivate their midlife awakening with its interactive guided prompts and witty yet truthful perspective.

CinDi has also started a new movement: #myfirsttimeover50, where she encourages women over 50 to try a new activity and ask the question: when was the last time you did something for the first time? So please welcome to the show, CinDiLo.

CinDi: Hello! Thank you for having me.

Passionistas: Oh, we're really excited to have you on the show. We've been using our guide and we love it, so we wanted to talk to you about it and your journey. What we want to start with is, what's the one thing you're most passionate about?

CinDi: I think overall it's growth. Not only growth myself, but others. Whether it's myself, my children, my loved ones, my friends, my BFFs on the internet, which I call my Cyber BFFs, and strangers. I always believe in growth and encouraging people to grow and learn about themselves in the world.

Passionistas: Why is that so important to you?

CinDi: Everything stems from childhood. Probably stagnant people around me, people that, you know, just don't have that mindset. They don't, you know, immediately you say, "here, try this..." "No!" You know, it's just an automatic shut down, shut themselves down and don't ever try anything.

Passionistas: Let's take a step back. You mentioned your childhood. Tell us a little bit about your childhood and what it was like.

CinDi: I was born with something called a TE fistula, which I like to mention the name because most people don't know about it, but people that do know about us saying, "oh." It's a birth defect where your esophagus isn't connected to your stomach.

I was lucky in the fact that that was my only birth defect. Many babies are born with a lot more issues that are a lot more severe along with that. And I was repaired in the hospital for the first year of my life back in the 1960s. I won't tell you when in the 1960s. But I was in a bed. And they would put injections in my thighs because I would get pneumonia laying in a hospital bed.

So they would treat that back then with penicillin shots or antibiotic shots in your muscles, which they don't do any more because it causes atrophy of the muscles. And so by the time I was a toddler, I pretty much couldn't bend either of my legs. And when I was four, I had my right leg operated on and I spent a whole summer in a cast. But I still had my left leg that didn't bend. Then I went through that way all through elementary school up until eighth grade. The summer between eighth grade and high school, I got my left leg opreated on. Again, spent the whole summer in a cast.

But I did everything. My parents never told me that I couldn't do anything, even though I had so many issues. I think I was their third spirited child. And because of what I went through, they kind of let me do whatever I want, as long as it wasn't too dangerous. So I rode a bike. I ran in gym, you know, I never sat out of gym or anything like that. I played dodgeball and got whacked in the head like everyone else.

So, you know, that didn't come without issues. You know, I was teased, especially in middle school. Some of the boys would tease me and were mean, but for the most part, I would say it wasn't on a regular basis and it was one or two boys. But in the meantime, again, it never deterred me from doing anything. I continued actually to go on, to be president of the school when I was in eighth grade.

Passionistas: Do you feel like that still impacts... these experiences you had as a child still impact the person you are today?

CinDi: Oh, of course. I think everything that happens to us now makes us who we are in this present moment. Yeah. I think it makes me more sympathetic and empathetic to a wide array of people. And maybe that is one of the reasons I'm more open-minded. And maybe that also is one of the reasons that I never let anything stop me and weren't really worried about what people think, because that seems to be a big thing with some people around. You know, just sometimes even the silliest things like, you know, make sure your hair is perfect for whatever it might be, make your bedroom, you know, like somebody is going to judge you if you don't make your bed that day.

Passionistas: So what inspired you to get into law and academia?

CinDi: I found myself, graduated high school, and I didn't have an idea in mind of what I wanted to do. I was the first person to go to college as far as my sisters and I. So long story short, I worked for a year in retail. I went to a seminar of a woman who did a little thing about being a paralegal and it really intrigued me.

I went on to become a paralegal and get my degree, which back then, in the 1990s, mid nineties, nobody had... not that nobody had paralegal degree, but it wasn't needed really. You know, all you have to do is have some experience working in a law office and they'll throw you to the trenches and teach you what they want to teach you.

So I did that. And then of course, me being me, by the year 2000, I created a website called njparalegal.com because, at the time, there was legislation going on in my state of what was going to happen with paralegals. Were we going to be licensed or not licensed? And many of us wanted and want to be licensed. It's still not licensed anywhere in any state in the United States, but it is more regulated. And education is more of a priority for employers now, which elevates the industry.

Passionistas: And how did you come to focus kind of on women's issues and helping women through transitions?

CinDi: That's another thing that in hindsight, I don't know if you ever got to a place and I think midlife might be this place where you kind of look back on all of the things you did and you start noticing a thread or a pattern. And one thing I even noticed, again, going back to childhood is I was a connector and a networker back then. I created clubs, when I was like eight years old. I had like a cat club. Then I told you I was president in eighth grade.

That continued, you know, when I became a paralegal. I always have, whether it was school or work or even mommyhood, I've always gotten involved in groups of women. We still have a group of women... we're friends for 26 years. We were all new moms. We started with 10 moms and grew to 30 children. And we still try to get together once a year, even though we're in different states. Maybe it's from growing up with all, you know, all girls, but I always thrived in women's circles. Ironically, I have two sons, so I've learned a lot about living with all men. For some reason, that's something I've always been drawn to. And again, I noticed that pattern later in life.

Passionistas: So you've told us that you had a midlife crash when you were around 45. So tell us what happened and what personal changes you made during that time period.

CinDi: Like I said, I don't consider it a crisis. For whatever reason, I don't like the word crisis, but the word crash. Because it was just what I call again, that Jerry Maguire moment where I was just like, enough is enough. Something's gotta give. And I think I just named three movies all in... One in a row.

I was just at a point in my life where my children were probably the most active they were and couldn't drive themselves yet anywhere. So they were at an active stage in school and probably at some point starting to work. And my mother had just passed, I believe. And soon after that, my father became ill.

And on top of it, as luck would have it, I worked for a woman who was really worst employer I ever had. She was just, you know, a very difficult personality and everything just kind of... Oh, and by the way, at this time too, I decided to go back and complete my bachelor's degree because I never finished that back in my twenties. So anyhow, that was all going on. And it was just a really, really difficult moment.

And... I apologize, my mom did not pass away yet. This was the crash. The crash was my mom was actually dying and I had to leave. And they all knew this, but in the meantime, I drafted an email telling them what I was working on, I had it covered. I covered all the bases and my boss's reply back was "I need it now." And she claims she didn't mean that for me, but whatever. It was just one of those aha moments where I was like, nothing is worth this. And I didn't quit my job that day, obviously.

But soon after it, you know, once I got back into the swing of things, I eventually found a new job and, you know, and I never, knock on wood, I never worked for anybody like again. And I've been very fortunate since. And I've been trying to, uh, I guess, make better choices and just... you know, sometimes we're all just stuck in certain places that we didn't mean to be in, but we just got there. So that was, it was just a terrible, terrible time. It was really difficult.

And when I look back the entire time from when my mom was sick, until then she passed and my dad was sick and then he passed. That was a decade. And that was hard. I mean, it was, again, my sisters and I still talk about that and it's, again, one of those things where you turn around, and you're like, "I have no idea how I did that. I have no idea how I got through it, how I still took care of everyone."

So that's the other thing. I realized I'm taking care of everyone and not taking care of myself, which I think women do in general. And I also think at this point in life, you get to the stage where I can't do this anymore. You know, I took care of everyone all this time.

So it was just all around. One of those aha moments I needed. Something needed to change and it had to start with me because everybody else is just continuing to do what they did and I allowed it. You know, so everybody else had to kind of step up and realize what I was doing and they did. But you know, sometimes everybody needs an adjustment, including you.

Passionistas: So what adjustments did you make besides getting a new job and how do you today take care of yourself?

CinDi: I had to have a serious conversation with my husband, who's great and helps a lot and does a lot. But again, it was a really busy time and he is also a glutton for punishment, like me. And he always did coaching. And he couldn't just coach. He had to be like president of the football team... of the football organization. So we're both like that, which can be commendable, but it's typical. And you know, I also always wanted to be involved in my child's education and the community and the school things. And, you know, it was hard. I tried my best and that's all we can do.

So my husband got on board. You know, my kids were pretty good again as well, but I had to just remind them of everything I was doing and everything. And, you know, when you can, you need to try to help yourself or call dad. And it got to the point, before my dad passed, the last two years especially, where my sisters and I all were just running ragged. And we tried to balance that out as well, too, especially with one sister out of state.

It's communication with yourself and everybody else in your life of what you need. And sometimes you don't even know what you need and that evolves too. But the biggest thing at that moment was really, I think, making everybody aware of what's going on. Because I don't think they see it and nor maybe do I see it either. You know, we're sometimes consumed in our own lives and everything we have to do when we don't know what somebody else is doing or going through internally or all the things that they juggle on a day.

So now the way I care for myself is easier. So we moved after my youngest son went to college. We were in the Northeast and my youngest son went to college that came down to South Carolina and we knew we were eventually coming down here. So he knew the area. And I think even though initially he was far from home, he felt comfortable because he knew the area already. And also knowing we would eventually be down here.

So lo and behold, after the real estate market opened up, finally, we got down here about a year later than we expected, but that's fine. I think everything happens for a reason. And here we are. So we are 600 miles south. And so that has afforded me to live a little bit of an easier life, as far as I don't have to work full time. I do have a part-time job that I really enjoy. Ironically, pretty much all of us in the office have New Jersey roots, so that was fortunate there as far as, you know, feeling comfortable and feeling at home.

I will also confess I'm not a morning person. So I picked my hours, which are 12 to 5. So, you know, I still get up in the morning. I have a puppy now. Well, she's not a puppy anymore, but I have a dog and we go to the beach and take walks in the morning or we go for coffee and she's my little buddy. And I'm just that type of person: I need at least an hour where nobody talks to me in the morning. Honestly, it might sound silly, but that makes me a much happier person and not that rushing, rushing, rushing.

And you know, in between mornings and nights and weekends, I fill in with my blog and my book and my... all the other things that I do. That to me is still a --luckily-- a passion of mine. So I don't look at that as working. I enjoy doing it. You know, some people don't get that. They're like, "oh, you're working on your blog again." Or, "oh, it's Saturday." I don't look at it that way. I look forward to doing it, believe it or not.

So my life has really improved where I was able to create more of what I love in my life. And then sharing that and encouraging other women to do that was really important to me because it's true. I feel like I needed, and a lot of other women need, basically a free pass to tell them that they can do what they want or that they can create the life that they want. And granted it's much easier for some than others, but to a certain extent, we need to try to do that for ourselves, even if it's just feeling a little bit of time here and there.

Oh, I forgot. The biggest thing I went back to and what I changed in my life was I went back to writing. I went back to my first love and I never realized what an outlet that was for me, because I stopped my personal writing. I still did some writing as a paralegal and also on my paralegal blog, but that was more technical and industry related and it wasn't personal writing. So that is really what I think got me out of my midlife crash slump at the time. It was definitely one of the things that really, really helped me. And again, going back to things I loved as a child.

Passionistas: We're Amy and Nancy Harrington, and you're listening to The Passionistas Project Podcast and our interview with CinDiLo. To read her blog, find out about her workshops for Gen X women and get a copy of the weekly journal "When the Clock Strikes Midlife, It's Your Time to Shine", visit whentheclockstrikesmidlife.com. And follow CinDi on Instagram @whentheclockstrikesmidlife to share your hashtag #forthefirsttimeover50 adventures.

If you're enjoying this interview and would like to help us to continue creating inspiring content, please consider becoming a patron by visiting thepassionistasproject.com/podcast and clicking on the patron button. Even $5 a month can help us continue our mission of inspiring women to follow their passions.

 

Now here's more of our interview with CinDi.

Let's talk about you going out and sharing this with other women. You started The Midlife on Purpose planner. So tell us what that is and why you created it.

CinDi: Okay. Yeah. So again, it's a tool to encourage women to do different things, to think outside the box, and actually even plan what you're going to do. I'm not saying that you need to plan every moment of your life, but sometimes, and I'm still a perfect example of this, I forget to have fun and to plan things that I've been meaning to do for the past three years.

You know, I live here and there was, of course you have so many things you're going to do when you do something new. And I've done some, but there are still, you know, some things that aren't even, you know, far away. Or I just say, oh, I'm going to do a day trip here, or I'm going to go to the zoo or a museum and, you know, some things I still haven't gotten to. And that's okay, but it's just a little bit of encouragement.

And then I found that women really loved it during 2020, as you can imagine. And then we all had to, and I tried to get a little bit more creative in the calendar because okay, now we have to rethink things a little bit. And even though most of the time, the things I suggest are a lot of outdoors-y things, which hopefully a lot of us were able to do during 2020. Since we couldn't do much of anything else, you're either indoors or outdoors. But I tried to get a little bit more creative with doing things or suggesting, you know, a zoom party or... you know, we were all trying new things back then. Which was actually great in certain ways. We really had to rethink a lot of things. And I also think that was a halt for the universe well, the planet, I should say for all of us to step back.

Again, and I know this has been said before, about what's really important. Creating the life that we want, many people are finding working from home is a much better quality of life. My sister had that one hour commute each way in New Jersey traffic. And I know California is the same way and they're really enjoying working from home and have a better quality of life. So I think that's something we all need to rethink as, as a planet.

Passionistas: So tell us about whentheclockstrikesmidlife.com and what inspired you to start that?

CinDi: So I was turning 50 in 2018 and I just, I don't know, I'm always sort of researching and even on social media, certain things catch my eye. And I noticed this woman wrote, I think she eventually wrote a book about it, but she did 50 things for turning 50. So that got my wheels turning, and I didn't necessarily want to do that, but I also, again, went back to something from my childhood, which is, "my name is Cindy, not Cynthia." But I have a cousin and sometimes my sisters would call me Cinderella or CinDi-lla.

So I started jotting-- I still have my notes somewhere-- "Cinderella Turns 50." And I was trying to think, and I'm not really a Disney princess person, but first I just want to parlay it into something like that. And then I don't even know how my brain works. I was trying to think of themes for Cinderella. And then "When the Clock Strikes Midlife" just came to my brain, and of course the first thing I did was Google it and see if anybody had it and all that.

So that got me going and that got me excited. I knew I wanted to start a blog. So that's kind of why I was brainstorming. And I had the name and I had already jotted some things down. The first thing I wrote about was my mid-life crash because I wanted to talk about that. And I knew I couldn't have been the only one that felt that way at that age.

A lot of people don't think of 50 as midlife or middle aged, but I think we do as Generation X or it's, I think, more of a stage than anything. So if your children are leaving the nest, when you're 42 or they're leaving when you're 62, that's one of the times you, I think, feel that. As well as a lot of other life changes, you know, losing your parents or going through a relationship change or career change, whatever it might be. We get to that point somewhere between 40 and 60, where we have to make a shift, or we feel like whether we wanted the shift or not, something happened to kind of make that change.

And I think that it's amazing that I feel that our generation is really changing the changes. Not only all the women we see at the political arena and celebrities and the corporate arena, authors and you two wonderful women, you know, in entertainment and everything. I mean, you name it. We really are shining these past few years and I think that's only going to become more, I know that women entrepreneurs are starting more businesses than any other group combined over the past two years.

So I just feel that it's just a thing. And somehow I feel sort of the proudest altogether, but it's almost like build it and they will come. And I feel like that happened with our generation and this point in our life because a few years ago I had somebody tell me, also another entrepreneurial woman, but in a completely different industry. And she was like, first of all, I don't like the name midlife. Second, I don't see that many midlife women doing anything. And I'm like, "well, where have you been?" You know, I don't know what you do. But perhaps, because that is my quote unquote industry or my genre or my arena, I feel like we're everywhere and, and we're doing it.

We are changing careers. We are excelling our careers. We are starting new adventures, getting degrees, going back to school, you name it, you know, more and more of us are doing it. I'm not saying it hasn't been done in the past, but I feel like there's definitely a larger percentage of us doing it and really, you know, not making any excuses and leaning on each other and getting encouragement from each other. Even if you don't necessarily know someone, you would just be inspired by someone who has done something and you think, "Hey, I can do that." Or "That's really cool." You know?

Passionistas: So what do you help women take away from reading your blog?

CinDi: Well, first and foremost, that they're not alone. And some of the thoughts that they have had, or the things that they have gone through, you know, other people have gone through. Well, at least I know I've gone through. And again, little bits of encouragement. That's how I started with my quotes. In my blog, I would always input little pieces of encouragement, which actually many I pulled out of my old writings from when I was young.

They're not alone, encouragement ,and just finding ways to create a life that you want, even though, you know, nobody's life is ever going to be ideal. But if you can imagine certain things in your life that really bring you joy, doesn't have to be a lot of things. It doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, but whatever they are, it really, really fulfills you. And it makes such a difference in your life and bringing some of your joy, fulfillment and power back.

Passionistas: So tell us a bit about the workshops that you do with Gen X women.

CinDi: Okay, well, thanks to 2020, I haven't done one in a while. Actually, right before COVID I did a vision board workshop, in-person and then I did a virtual one. So yeah. So one of the things that I do is a vision board workshop, and I've always loved vision boards. When I first learned about them, probably close to 10 years ago, and again, this was all part of my midlife awakening and learning new things and doing things to grow. And at the time I was going to yoga, which I'm limited with my physical abilities, but I always just do what I can. And I still love yoga more for the relaxation part of it.

So, they were having a vision board, you know, class one day. And I went to the vision board class and I fell in love with that. And I've been doing them ever since. The other thing that I really loved and I haven't done a course on yet, but I'm working on a few things is... For the beginning of the year, I love Word of the Year. And I've been doing that since 2018, as well, when I started my blog and I really, really loved that idea. I haven't done, as I said, any workshops in a few years, and I do want to get back into that. And there are a few things I'm thinking of and need to work on that and hone in on topics.

I want to take survey topics. And the few surveys I have done, the number one topic women our age always want is stress busters. Their biggest thing is stress. So that is something that I definitely would like to work on, but I need to structure.

When I first moved here, it was almost like a honeymoon, you know. Neither one of us worked or did anything for six weeks. And we were still an empty nest at that point before the 2020 hit and we had one back in the nest. So, you know, we first moved down here... you know, I just felt so free and relaxed. You know, we were going to the beach, going out to dinner and it was lovely. And now that, you know, life happens again and you just start getting involved in life again. And just recently, I was like, okay, we're here two and a half years, I think I need a vacation.

So somehow it creeps back in, but you have to try to do the best you can to manage it. But I also think it's part of living life. For most women like us, I think that we are blessed to be busy and stress with things, for the most part, that we're creating. And we are hopefully enjoying and doing work that we love and with people that we love. So, it's a catch 22.

And you know how sometimes they say change your language. You know, don't say I have to go to work, I get to go to work. So a lot of that is mindset as well.

Passionistas: So while we're on the subject of stress, tell us about your Facebook group Let's Distress, Gen X.

CinDi: Funny that you said that because just a few days ago, I actually closed that group, but I'm doing everything on the main page now. Because I was trying to post them to many places, as you can imagine. It was just, I was trying to do social media, and there wasn't actually that much interaction. So I decided to just put it on the main page. Which I knew that at least there was some interaction there and I had the decent amount of followers involved.

So yeah. So what I'm working on in 2020, as far as the mission of whentheclockstrikesmidlife.com and its platform is midlife, wellness, mind, body, and soul. So every day during the week, I try to post something, it might be a blog, or it just might be, you know, an inspirational quote or a product or a book, um, something that is going to help us. Mind, body or soul, it's going to nourish you in one way or the other and hopefully get some value out of it.

I know if I recommend certain things like a book or, um, even something as silly as a water bottle sometimes. I'm not saying I'm becoming the new Oprah, but, you know, I do feel that people respond to that. And once they get to know you and like you and your work, they are more responsive to that. So I enjoy doing that. Again, I've always been a connector. And I found too, you know, my friends are that way with me. I, you know, I think for whatever reason, people believe what I say or they appreciate my point of view, I guess.

So. Yeah. So that's a work in progress, but that's what I'm focusing on for 2022. And you know how it is. You're always pivoting and figuring out what works, and on top of that, what you're enjoying doing. Sometimes you try something and it's not working, or you're not really enjoying it. So you have to pivot the other way.

Passionistas: So what inspired you to pivot and write your weekly journal When the Clock Strikes Midlife, It's Your Time to Shine?

CinDi: Over time, you know, more recently, of course, some of my friends were like, "when are you going to put these quotes in a book?" So what I started to do was... Actually before I even started the blog, and you two know this because I did The Passionistas Summit and did a recording, but I've always been secretive about my work. So I didn't write for 25 years. And then when I did, I was still wanting to be secretive about it.

So the way I encouraged myself to do it was I went back to my writings from 20, 25 years ago, some of them even longer. I wrote some short stories and things, or even poems. And some of the things I just, I thought to myself, well, I'm not going to write a book or a novel today. So let me just take some of these lines and make them into quotes because I think some of them are cute and they're good. And they're inspiring.

And again, I was starting to think along the lines of eventually starting a blog. So what I did was I took some of the quotes and I took some of my nature photos. And I put an app on my phone and I took the quotes and I put them on the photo and I created what they call quota-graphs, which I did not create that word, but it is a word.

And that's how I started. And I started posting them on my personal Facebook page and, you know, friends and family were like, "oh my God, you wrote this," you know, and that kind of thing. So that gives you a little bit of encouragement. And then eventually, within that year, less than a year by November, I started the blog, but that was kind of how I came out to my writing career and decided to share it.

Then when I started the blog, I started putting these little quotes, original quotes, in my blog that had to do with whatever my blog post was about at that time. And people seem to really appreciate them. And I also use the quotes on social media to promote the blog post and things like that. So people got to really like them. And 2020 was really, of course, one of the years where I was like, okay. And as many of us have said, the universe all gave us a stop sign and it's like, okay, are you going to do this now? Or when are you going to do this? So I decided to try to figure it out. And I put it all together. I hired someone through Fiverr to format it and put all the information together. I sent it to her. After a few back and forths in editing, we had a format.

The other thing is I used to meet friends through my children. Now I meet them through my dog. So I made a friend at the dog park. And we were talking one day and I was telling her that I was putting... actually, I think she showed me. And it's just funny how sometimes you don't know people that well. And we started talking and I think she must've told me or showed me something that she drew. And I was like, wow. I said, I need a cover. I'm writing a journal. And all I said was, I like the work, the art of Henri Matisse, a French artist from probably close to 100 years ago.

And you know, one of my quotes that is somewhat famous that people really like is, "Be a starfish and find a way to regrow." And that's kind of like my motto, again, through growth, and for my life and midlife is always try to grow no matter what life throws at you. So she didn't say anything. And about a week later, she showed me the cover that you're looking at, that you have now, just the way it is, except for I had her add by CinDiLo at the bottom.

I'm like, oh, my God. She's like, "well, I don't know if you'll like it." So I absolutely loved it. And she's the one actually who suggested the black background, which I wasn't sure about at first, because you read all these things on the internet, like no black books or no white books. And anyway, long story short, it was a hit. People really love it. And I really love it, for the most part. It really... you know, if you notice her hair is actually ocean waves and she has a starfish earring on. And, you know, but simple and we just have the little gold bling just to schnazz it up a little bit. It was just one of those things. And I love when that happens, you know, serendipity and something just came together.

And we've actually become good friends since then. And she was there for launch and I just loved the way it just seemed to all come together. Even though there was a lot of frustrations with formatting and you know how that stuff goes. It's sometimes more frustrating than you think. And then getting it on Amazon is another challenge, but it all got done. It all got done by November of 2021. Then I was able to launch it on 11/11. So yeah. So there we are. So I'm really happy with that.

And the feedback that I'm getting is, you know, they really love it. As you've mentioned before, too, is, whether it's the 30 seconds or the 30 minutes, I kind of give you quick prompts. And you can do with it what you like without it being too daunting, because I know some people think," oh my God, I don't have time to color and write and all this stuff." So people make it what they want.

Passionistas: So is there one particular lesson that you've learned along your journey that really sticks with you?

CinDi: The word that's coming to me is flexibility. But that word, sometimes it has a negative connotation, and I don't mean it in that way. And I think it's served me well. And I think because of what I've been through in my childhood, and I think also being the third child, I just learned that. And while I think it may at times, and when I was younger, I used to think that that was not a good trait to have. I think now that I'm older, it's my sanity.

Because as you know, when we talk... go back to talking about stress, a lot of stress, and I do this to myself, you know. As I say, a lot of stress, all stress is really in our minds, and we are always thinking about it or getting anxious about the stress. So flexibility, especially at this stage is allowing me to say, "okay, this didn't work this way, so we're going to go this way." Or I'm really feeling now that things happen for a reason and that life will guide. You know, you can't control everything. So life will guide you. If you have some faith, be flexible.

Passionistas: Thanks for listening to The Passionistas Project Podcast and our interview with CinDiLo. To read her blog, find out about her workshops for Gen X women and get a copy of the weekly journal "When the Clock Strikes Midlife, It's Your Time to Shine," visit whentheclockstrikesmidlife.com, and follow her on Instagram @whentheclockstrikesmidlife to share your #myfirsttimeover50 adventure.

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