Happy day, reader dear!
I hope you are having a great one. I’m excited because fall is finally here, and that means I am one season closer to a reunion with the amazing women I met last year at the Influencers of Midlife Summit. I want to share a bit about what the 2019 Summit meant to me, and who knows… You might just find yourself drawn to join the tribe. (Don’t worry… There’s no hazing, and no tattoos required to join!)
Last year, I ran across a notice for something called the Influencers of Midlife Summit, the brainchild/lovechild of Robin LaMonte and Nina Bandoni. My interest was piqued. I certainly fall into the Midlife part of the event name, but Influencer? I wanted to go, but did I qualify? I aired my concerns and nerves with my biggest supporter and fan (AKA: Curtis, AKA: Mr. Closet Play). He promptly reminded me that I have been influencing people my whole life. Him (#lol), our sons, the people with whom I have worked, my students, the girls in JrHi Girls’ Prayer Group, and the list goes on. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I had been getting my brains and panties in a knot, asking “What is an Influencer? How many followers do you need on Instagram to be an Influencer? How many friends on Facebook? How many blog hits, or Pinterest followers?”
The answer? None. By virtue of your existence as a human, you are an Influencer! You interact with people every day. You influence them. Even when you have no idea. That influence may be positive or negative, but it’s there. One of my favorite quotes is from C.S. Lewis:
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
So yes, dear reader, I am an Influencer. And so are you. And as such, I wanted to meet these other women who in the middle of their lives were starting new things. Scary things. Adventuresome things. Things I do. Things I want to do. Because my children are grown and I have a fresh start. It’s my time. I get to define me. So I signed up. I went. And it was AMAZING.
I won’t kid you. I was pants-wetting nervous walking into the hotel that Friday afternoon. I may be an extrovert, but I am a shy one, and find it uncomfortable to walk into a room full of people I don’t know and start introducing myself. I should never have worried! The women I met were welcoming, gracious, and kind. I found a tribe of like-minded women, who took themselves seriously. The right kind of seriously. Seriously enough to be able to laugh at themselves and get on with what they want to do with their lives. To share their stories with others and find common ground. Some have had “easy lives;” others have faced tremendous challenges, but they all have gotten through (and continue to do so) with grace, gumption, and a good deal of laughter. That’s the Influencers of Midlife tribe I met, and can’t wait to see again in March!
The 2020 Summit looks to be even bigger and better than last year! It has been extended by a day, and there are already 27 speakers and discussion leaders lined up! Midlife isn’t an end. It’s a new beginning. We’re tired of that being some huge secret! I would like to personally invite any over 40 women out there reading to come join us at the Summit. You never know whom you will meet, or how she will change your life!
To find out more, join the Influencers of Midlife Facebook group, or if that’s too scary, lurk on Instagram. If you are thinking about coming, get into the Facebook group to take advantage of a special discount before the earlybird tickets go on sale 1 October. Goodness knows, I would love to meet you there!
How about you? Have you been to a women’s conference? What was that experience like for you? Mine was eye-opening! I left fired up and ready to take on the new challenges the year would hold with new friends with which to share the adventure! (And a profound appreciation for how social media helps us stay connected and encouraging each other throughout the year.)
Come work and play with us! It will be An. Amazing. Weekend. See you there!
PS: My comments section is playing funky right now, but feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!