Life Reimagined: My Experience – Part One




My Life Map

I’m exploring Life Reimagined, a program sponsored by AARP.

Reevaluating my life is one of my favorite projects. With a move coming up, it’s time to think about what’s new, what’s ahead. When the folks at Life Reimagined invited me to try the program and blog about it, I said yes. You’re invited to try it too!

Here’s part of the description they sent me:

 An online, subscription-based service, Life Reimagined helps millions of Americans explore, dream, and plan for what’s next in life. Fueled by a coalition of experts who are on the cutting edge of their fields, the personalized platform provides a place where people can go to discover what is meaningful to them, navigate life’s crossroads, and find new possibilities. It’s able to connect to users via multiple touch points, to keep you constantly inspired along your path.
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You can learn lots more on their website. Some of the services are free; others require a fee.

My first task was to create my LifeMap. You play a card sorting game and end up with a brief purpose statement. See mine at the very top of this post. I was surprised, when finished, that it rings so true. It’s me!

Next, the program creates a colorful visual mosaic of your purpose statement. This is your LifeMap. You can print it out, if you like, to inspire you. You can doodle on your LifeMap and add notes.


Next, dive in. There are activities,quizzes, and articles related to three areas of life: Well-being, Work, and Relationships. Here’s a chart I downloaded from the Relationships section.

Positivity Calendar

I read a lot of psychology and self-help, and I think the Life Reimagined articles are excellent. This is my favorite thus far, on decluttering as you work on emotional clutter: A Seven-Day Emotional De-clutter

And here’s a fascinating article on  psychological development in later life. Seems the thinking has changed.The old model had folks settling in, calming down, preparing to leave the world. No more. Experts are finding that many people don’t want to settle down at all. Bring on the new life!

The Life Imagined program is based around this book: Life Reimagined: Discovering Your New Life Possibilities, written by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber. A fast read with plenty of insights.

Life Reimagined

Life Reimagined offered me four hours of coaching services as part of their compensation for blogging about the program.Here’s an article that explores reasons for working with a life coach.

I looked through the list of coaches and chose to contact Christine Ryan. You can talk with your coach by a video or telephone. I picked the telephone.

Christine is friendly, encouraging, and a listener. I spent a lot of the call introducing myself and my challenges of recent years. Looking ahead, for now I want to focus on two issues.

Number One: The move from my home of thirty years to a brand new house just three blocks away. Here are some of the treasures coming with us. (Note: The TWO turntables are Cliff’s and the heavy boxes contain his collection of American Flyer trains, which I hope he’ll set up for the grandchildren. But I got to admit, plenty of the boxes in our new garage are mine.)



Number Two: I also want to talk to Christine about my writing career. Despite success in earlier years, I’m having trouble getting my children’s books published, even though I love writing for kids. Meanwhile, blogging and health writing are going well. Time to make a switch and give up the frustrations of so many rejections in the children’s book field? But do you give up something you love?


Toward the end of the call, Christine and I discussed my purpose statement and how I can use it to reimagine my years to come.

What’s so easy about working with a life coach through Life Reimagined is you speak right from your own home.


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As Christine and I talked about my purpose statement, I realized that most important to me right now is to be content. “Content” is not a word I’ve given a lot of thought to, but it was one of the options in the card game, and it ended up being one of my final selections. Official definition is “a state of peaceful happiness.” My definition of content doesn’t necessarily mean”calm” or “ease,” but in the years ahead, I want to energetically find a type of peace I may not have experienced in my earlier years. Christine suggested I begin by working through the activities on Live Reimagined under the “content” section. Will do!

I decorated a notebook to use as I talk to Christine and as I explore Life Reimagined. My mom created the giraffe and a great-aunt painted the sailboat seventy years ago. Am I sailing ahead into a breezy future spotted with happiness and creativity? Hope so!


I’m digging into Life Reimagined and having a wonderful, meaningful time. More posts to come.

Your turn: Life Reimagined is offering Friend for the Ride readers two weeks of free Life Reimagined services and thirty minutes of coaching. Follow the link here.

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From Menopause Expert Ellen Dolgen: Becoming Your Own Health Advocate




Menopause expert Ellen Dolgen kindly let me share her article on becoming your own medical advocate. I’ve learned that many doctors fail women when it comes to menopause education, especially by not warning us of what to expect as perimenopause and menopause set in. Knowledge is indeed power. Take it away, Ellen. Thanks for sharing this post and for all you do for women everywhere!

You can’t leave your perimenopause and menopause symptoms on the kitchen counter when you leave the house.

You can’t pretend to be “fine” when you are dripping wet from a hot flash, sleepless and irritable. Your family, co- workers, loved ones, and friends know when you are not feeling well.

Here are some simple tips that will help you become your own best Health Advocate:

  1. You are not alone! According to, “An estimated 6,000 U.S. women reach menopause every day.  That is over 2 million of us per year. In addition, more women are living beyond age 65. A women’s average life expectancy in the western world is estimated at 79. 7 years.”
  1. Trust How You Feel! – You know when you don’t feel well. If you go to a healthcare provider to get menopause advice and help and your provider tells you, “You’re too young to be in menopause”, don’t sit there and accept it! Do not go home and suffer in silence.
  1. Reach out and get the help you need and deserve!
  • Get the proper hormone testing to measure your levels such as DHEAS, Estradiol, Free and Total Testosterone, FSH, Progesterone, Thyroid Panel, just to name a few.
  • Chart your symptoms. I have worked with doctors to develop a helpful chart that will help you to quickly and accurately explain how you feel to your doctor.  You can download it here.
  • Understand your options – both hormonal and non-hormonal.
  • Communicate openly and honestly to your loved ones so that you can get their love and support.
  • Remember, if you do not feel better, communicate that with your menopause specialist. If they are unable to help you – find another one! No divorce attorney is needed!

You CAN get the help that you need and deserve if you educate yourself.  Be proactive about your health, rather than reactive.

For more detailed support, download Ellen’s FREE eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause. This is a comprehensive guide to all things menopause—tips on how to find a menopause specialist, the tests, the symptoms, treatments, and long-range effects on a woman’s health.

Ellen’s motto is:   Suffering silence is OUT!  Reaching out is IN!

Follow Ellen Dolgen on Twitter.

Like her menopause guide, Shmirshky, on Facebook.

Get the latest menopause news delivered to your inbox every week when you sign up  at  for Ellen’s free Menopause Mondays Newsletter!

Thank you, again, Ellen. Enjoy that adorable granddaughter!

Here’s an article that I wrote for Empowher on educating yourself about menopause. I am bonkers over this topic. It’s so darn important!


New Help for Pelvic Floor Weakness After Menopause


Dressing Table

A post with good news from PeriCoach:

At-home pelvic floor muscle exercises just got easier! PeriCoach, the “Kegel” trainer, is now available directly to women without a prescription.

As many of us know, bladder leaking is common beginning perimenopause, but it’s not normal.  Strengthening the pelvic floor is recommended as a first-line treatment. Tightening the pelvic floor also helps with sexual function.

The good news about PeriCoach is that it has been studied and clinically evaluated by women’s health physical therapists, urogynecologists, OBGYNs, and urogynecological nurses, with data and case reports published in peer-reviewed journals

“As a physical therapist, I feel confident recommending to my patients and using myself, vaginal devices that were developed and evaluated first as medical products,” says Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, founder of Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy. “PeriCoach has a well-established profile as an easy-to-use, effective, and affordable home pelvic floor trainer.”

Listen to a testimony by a PeriCoach user:

The PeriCoach app now comes with a new feature for tracking improvement.

More great news! PeriCoach has just been approved by the FDA for its benefits in improving sexual function. Here’s part of the press release:

“Studies have found that that sexual complaints, from low libido to problems with sexual arousal to inability to achieve orgasm, are common among women with pelvic floor disorders.

‘Unfortunately, many women feel that decreased sexual function is an inevitable part of aging,’ said Leslie Rickey, MPH, MD, Associate Professor of Urology and of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Fellowship Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Yale School of Medicine. ‘But women should know there are self-help strategies, and now home pelvic floor training support with PeriCoach can help improve pelvic floor muscle strength and sexual function at ANY age.'”

Find out more here at  For a limited time, the company is offering $50 off the price of the PeriCoach when purchased over the counter.

PeriCoach USA on Twitter.

PeriCoach USA on Facebook

Both Facebook and Twitter link to some excellent articles on the pelvic floor and its challenges.

Downsizing: Returned Treasures



In the midst of downsizing, comes a bit more upsizing. My childhood friend Steff and I had a wonderful reunion this winter. Steff presented me with letters and notes I wrote in Junior High. Fun!

Next, she brought out this rag doll. “You made her,” Steff said, “when we used to sew together at my house.”

I remember watching reruns of Andy of Mayberry at Steff’s and eating homemade chocolate chip cookies. I remember piano and organ lessons since Steff’s mom was my teacher. I remember sleepovers and neighborhood parties.

But I don’t remember making the doll.”She’s been in a box for years,” Steff said. “Now she’s yours.”

I brought the doll home. She smiles A LOT, so I think she’s happy.

She sat on my kitchen window ledge for a while. I would look at her and try to see the teenager I once was. The girl who loved to sew (and had better eyes for things back then like needles and stitching). I tried to conjure up that girl, but it was hard to focus past the doll’s grin.


Now the doll’s in a box again, waiting to move to the new house. There she’ll get an honored place, perhaps in the bedroom I’m fixing up for the grandchildren.

There’s lovely quote by Albert Camus: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

Here’s my version: “In the midst of downsizing, I found there was, for me, some enchanting upsizing.”

Thanks, Steff. Welcome new/old doll!