Celebrating Our J’s: How to Really Support JLaw and The Toronto Blue Jays

I recently heard somewhere that when a sports team isn’t doing so well people will refer to the team as ‘they.’ Like, “They suck this year,” “They’re not doing so well,” etc. But when a team starts to do well, the language changes to ‘we‘: “We’re doing great this year,” “We’re going to take it all!”bjteam

Of course, I really got thinking about this because of my hometown team scoring a big win this week. And although I truly am
a Boston Red Sox fan, I can’t ignore the amazing energy in the city right now and not want to be a part of it. So I am definitely guilty of this bandwagon psychology, I guess you could say. Go Jays Go!

Anyway, this ‘we’ and ‘them’ stuff also got me thinking about some other hot news this week. Jennifer Lawrence (JLaw), star of The Hunger Games, wrote an essay about her discovery of her lower wages than her male counterparts in a Sony film when Sony was hacked last year. In it she says, “I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable f— that!”

As a woman, I admit I have participated in this phenomenon as well. More than once have I stayed silent, just so no one was put out. Don’t cause a fuss is a common thing for us ‘good women’ to think because we don’t want to put anyone out. But, who exactly are these people that women are offending by asking for an equal share? Who is put out by a woman receiving the pay she deserves or what is at least the equal to a man doing the same work?

But we can only go so far to blame the show or the companies or the industry before WE all admit that WE contribute to this outdated treatment of women. Even JLaw admitted that she wasn’t mad at Sony when she found out about the pay discrepancy: “I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.” The gist of her reason was that she didn’t want to seem like a brat or spoiled for asking for more money. She writes that she also realizes now that there wouldn’t have been the same thought of a man for asking the same.jl3

Applause to all the men who support women receiving equal pay, like Bradley Cooper for Jennifer Lawrence and like the recent scandal on the Netflix series, Grace and Frankie. Martin Sheen and Tom Waterston came forward and agreed that they should receive less pay than Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, two female stars of the show.

Not to get too cheesy, but we ALL need to contribute to empowering ourselves, our team – us humans who want the world to keep progressing into a greater and greater place. This is a human problem, not an industry problem, and WE are all responsible for how we got here and how WE get out.  WE all deserve equal pay.

If you are aware of any woman earning less pay for the same work as her male counterparts, you have a responsibility to yourself and all of us to speak out and correct the error. WE all will be better for it.

And while I have your attention, and in the spirit of a great week in baseball, let’s all stop saying, “He/She throws like a girl,” in a negative way. WE need to set a better example for OUR next generation of awesome girls and support them as strong equals.

For more kick-ass thoughts to fuel your thirties or your next big life change, check out ashewoodward.com for more great articles and the down low on private coaching.

Make your first appointment!

Jennifer Lawrence and bird photo adapted from vanityfair.com/at premier from hitfix.com

Blue Jays photo from thestar.com

What To Do With The Thirtysomeone?

You may not know it but the Greek philosopher and astrologer, Claudius Ptolemy, is having a big impact on your life right now. Ptolemy was an ancient Greek-Roman astrologer and mathematician who also put forth work on the seven stages of life which are still commonly referred to even today. These are: infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adult, adulthood, and elderly. This model has been watered down a tad from the original which included ‘the soldier stage,’ but for the most part, it’s general principles have stuck.

My question is, where did ol’ Claude put the thirtysomeone? Are we adult or young adult? Personally, I feel like we’re the latter, but this might just be wishful thinking. But if it’s the former, then that puts us in the same category as someone who is almost sixty. That just can’t be right!

I may be a little biased but I think our thirtieth birthday rings in a new era and a certain focused energy. I know I can’t be imagining it because there are countless TV shows, movies, articles and kimmyblogs about turning thirty. I recently binge watched The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix and low and behold – an episode about a disaster thirtieth birthday. And how does it wrap up? SPOILER ALERT: Kimmy decides that turning 30 will be a fresh start.

I personally had quite a similar experience myself which you can check out this week in a guest post at My Thirty Spot (How I Got Revenge on Turning 30).

But back to Claude.

With all the evidence out there, I just can’t agree with Mr. Ancient Hotshot. Thirtysomeones are a group with needs all our own. We’re busy, we’re crunched for time, and we’re on a schedule. We’ve got outside pressures on us, telling us a million things we’re ‘supposed’ to do, plus dreams of our own. We’re just beginning to figure out who we are and what we truly want. We’re moving and shaking a lot faster than adults in their fifties and sixties whose careers are established or even winding down and whose children are raised and probably out of the house.  And we’re juggling a lot more than the twentysomeone who may have a full plate but is still probably only responsible for number one.

This is why I do what I do. This is why I’ve put all these thoughts and more into my latest labour of love. My new eBook, The Thirty Something’s Guide to Successful Goal-Making, takes a look at many of the thirtysomeone’s concerns and provides tips and tools for including these ideas in clear, succinct goals so that success comes sooner rather than later.  

It’s once we have a clear picture of ourselves that we can better formulate our success-plan with a special brand of balance and care.  There’s nothing worse we can do than put off success and happiness until we’re older or old! We’re not the same as sixtysomeones, people! So let’s not act like it.

Get your FREE copy HERE and start crafting goals for success in your thirties!

[And a very special thank you to all my loyal readers.  This project couldn’t have been possible without you and your support.  Let me know what you think about the eBook here in the comments or at the beingthirties Facebook page. Thanks again everyone!]

How To Make The Most Of The 2014 End Zone

It’s time for another sports-inspired, motivational message.

So this year is almost over.  Lots to do, buy, wrap. Maybe there’s a few straggling goals left on the list that didn’t get done. Sure, you can transfer them over to the 2015 list or we can take a little advice from one of my favourite sports, football.

Where does all the action happen? That’s right, the end zone.

That’s where we are right now. We’re in the game with only one more down – time’s running out. But we’re right there – where all the magic happens; dreams and goals achieved.

This is the time – only one more month to do what you said you would do this year.  Seem crazy?  Maybe.  But could you imagine a team so close to a possible victory just giving up? Never.

So let’s get fired up and ready. Huddle up and run it all the way in.  Like I said last week, think about what’s worse – lots of work now, or the feelings of guilt and shame as you put off those goals for yet another year?

So… Go Team!

Okay, no more blogging while the game’s on…

Taking Rachel’s Advice

Rachel Green’s realization that she needed a plan in the Friends episode I mentioned a few posts ago got me thinking about plans and goals. I have my new action plan for being a writer but I went in search of some old goal lists that I have around to check out what I used to want. I knew they would be strewn with rock star plans and then dreams of academia so I wanted to read them to test out how I feel about those things now. Maybe I had accomplished some of the smaller ones and the bigger goals will give me a chuckle.

Luckily, I have always been a writer and I kept goal list throughout high school and university. In my high school “lyrics” book (my rock start fantasy phase), I listed “play a gig.” There’s a pink, highlighter check mark beside this one and that made me smile.  I have played guitar and bass in front of numerous people and one show with a punk band when I was seventeen. I’ve never had a paying gig but I don’t have a desire for this anymore. I think a new goal for music is to play ukulele at an open mike night.

In my university diary I had a detailed list of how I would become a professor – a year-by-year plan. It also includes “be published before I’m thirty.” Sorry, twenty-two-year-old self, but I’m working on it.

I found it interesting that I never included get married on any list. That one was a surprise. A great surprise. I think that was the point of this for me – to remember that as much as you try to plan, there’s always a chance your goals will change, not happen for a better reason, or your achievements will be better than you could have imagined on any list.

Dare to look back, and if you don’t have lists, start a new one. I like to keep mine in my phone so I can review it when I’m bored or waiting for my dinner partner to get back to the table.

I’d love to hear your comments on new goals you’ve made or old goals you’ve changed!


The One Where They All Turn 30


Last week I finally found a used copy of Friends, Season 7 on DVD. I’ve had most of the seasons for a few years now but could never find Season 7 for a good price, or at all. I started watching it this weekend only to see that the episode, “The One Where They All Turn Thirty” is in it. What are the chances? Well, I think they’re pretty good, now that I have opened the door to this conversation everything to do with turning thirty is entering my life.

In the episode, Rachel freaks out because she feels she hasn’t accomplished enough by thirty and isn’t sure if she’s on track. She cries when Chandler’s card calls her a grandma because she isn’t married and has no children. She finally calms down when she realizes, “All I need is a plan.” This realization that takes her two minutes off-screen to figure out took me two and a half months. Ahh, the magic of television…

Luckily, the message is the same. If you are looking towards your thirties, focus on your plan. Stay the course or change it – quickly. A solid plan, goals list, and maybe an indulgent day in front of the television with your favourite thirty-somethings will all help to whip you into shape and make your thirties everything you dreamed of.

Though it’s embarrassing to admit, I watched the full season in a weekend, I will say that I found comfort in the fact that by the end, (though we don’t find out until Season 8) Rachel is pregnant – exactly what she dreamed of on her thirtieth birthday.