Disconnected in a Connected World

I have been thinking a lot about connections recently.

In todays world, we have the tools to connect on a scale that was considered science fiction when I was born, forty some odd years ago. Generation X started their journey in the dark ages and grew with a world that became more digitally connected and more isolating.

I remember watching a news broadcast, years ago, about Faith Popcorn and her theory on how our culture was going to disconnect through cocooning. It sounded like an odd idea at the time. How could we, as individuals, isolate ourselves from each other?

Well We Did

Video arcades, a teen social hang out, no longer exist because we bought our own game consoles.

Cinemas used to be a weekly treat, but they made way for video stores and ticket costs sky rocketed. Gone are the dinner and movie dates, they’ve been replaced with Netflix and chill.

Drive through options have extended our isolation into our cars where we pick up food, coffee, and groceries. Amazon and Online Shopping  keeps us out of stores and malls so we can shop from the comfort of our homes without ever chatting with a salesperson.

We have slowly been removing social hang outs for teenagers and they in turn, have no where to go. Most helicopter parents won’t let their kids ‘hang out’ anywhere because they might get into trouble. So, our children are learning how to stay home.

We Are Home Alone

1795684_666542126736269_214740821_n-2My bank account dictates whether or not I can hang out in coffee shops. With the skyrocketing cost of living in the city, my time in these establishments has started to dwindle. Even when I am in these places for long periods of time, I hardly meet anyone new. Everyone, including myself, is behind a laptop or looking at their phone, the two items that tell those around you – I’m busy, buzz off.

Not to mention I live in a city known for it’s isolation.  Dating in this city is near impossible, let alone finding people willing to invest in a friendship, especially with someone who is overweight. This city isn’t a fan of fat people. 

Work has even become more isolating as many people, like me, work from home. To save money, companies are opting for more remote arrangements for their employees. Making it even harder for people to connect with others and network.

Connected Online

Social media and online tools have grown over the last ten years to improve personal connections, to keep in touch, share our experiences with those we know and love. Are we really connecting though? 

I spend a lot of time online. Taking online courses, writing, posting on social media, tweaking my website, watching Netflix, dating and applying for work. I am chatting with people, virtually meeting new people, learning about people and telling people about myself.

Does this mean I’m connected though? 

What are your thoughts? Which generation do you think was more connected to friends and family in their forties, us or our parents? 

What to do

what-you-seek-is-seeking-you_fotorGetting out into the real world and saying “hello” to people on transit and coffee shops, is a start, which risks the one thing people fear – Rejection.

Volunteer for a charity or cause.

Text friends to see if they want to do something.

Go out into the world for a mini staycation adventure with your kids to build stronger connections with them. The bonus is getting acquainted with the city you live in.

Use Online Tools

Attend events advertised on Facebook.

Go to free seminars promoted on LinkedIn.

Attend meetups to get out of the house, and more importantly, out of your comfort zone. Learn something new while meeting new people.

Use dating sites to make real world meet and greets in a public place. This is really hard because most men seem to think a date is meeting them in private, but that’s for a different post.

Which online connecting tools do you use to help you get out and make connections in the real world? 

Make it a goal to smile more, get out more, and live more. Maybe you meet someone new, maybe you don’t. At least you lived.

 


Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website. www.shannonpeel.com

 

 

 

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Fallout of Feminism

If you are a member of the X generation, in your forties and early fifties, you are experiencing the fall out of feminism. The generations before us fought hard so that women of our generation and our daughters would be equal in this world.

Someone forgot to write the manual

Our generation is defining what equality looks like, what it means and how we can be truly equal, however, we are victims of our upbringing. The girls of our generation grew up being told that we could have both a career and a family. We were given a torch that had no manual and few models to show us the way. The boys grew up watching their fathers and learning what it was to be a man. Their message didn’t change, stereotypically, mom did the house work, dad did the work outside. Mom took care of the kids and dad drank beer.

The result?

We have a generation of women trying to have it all and not enough time or energy. They are tired, stressed, and have little left to give to their husbands, who still need their attention. Men feel the demands of having to help out, do more of what they were taught was woman’s work. They changed a few diapers, made a few meals, and took care of the kids a little more than their fathers ever had. For that, parents patted them on the backs, congratulated them on a job well done, and told the women, see you have equality.

As women, we picked up the slack. We strived to be everything. We felt the guilt of not being there full time with our children. We felt the pressure of not giving enough time to careers. We felt our husbands slip from our grasps and move away from us.

Is it no wonder the divorce rate is so high?

Will gender roles change?

Society has a long way to go before we are truly equal and the ideology of what is men’s work and what is women’s work in the home changes.

I applaud the men who stayed home to raise the children and care for the family. It is not a choice society embraces, yet as equal partners, men should be able to make the choice to stay home.

There is hope that men and women will figure out how to work together in this new reality. A world where what it means to be a man includes childcare, housework, and laundry.  Until men and women can truly break free of traditional gender stereotypes and models, relationships will continue to strain to the breaking point.

 

A letter from a father to a daughter about what lessons she learned from him regarding woman’s work and how sorry he was.

 

Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcome any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email me today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com

Am I a Man Hater?

Is it better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all? 

My friends love men and find themselves hurt by them on a regular basis. Almost daily my phone rings with stories of betrayal, insecurity, and miscommunication. I listen, offer comfort, and give advice. Some of their stories about the selfish men they date make me furious and I encourage them to move on.

I know, dating is hard and loneliness can hurt, but it’s better
to be alone than with a selfish, uncaring, person man or woman. 

I have seen love. 

I know good men, men who love the woman in their lives. They protect, provide, and care for their woman. They support, champion, and scream out to the world about how wonderful she is. And she is. The women I know who are loved by a man, are amazing women. They are supportive, caring, and respectful of their man. They are his cheerleader, his confident, and his best friend.

I have seen love modelled my whole life, in my grandparents’, my parents’, my uncle’s, my aunt’s, my cousins’, and my brother’s relationships. They have a partnership, which makes both people stronger.

Am I a man hater?

I am scared of men hurting me. I’ll admit that.

I am angry at how some single men behave and how they don’t care about whom they hurt. Their bad behaviour is how the idea for the series 40 Something came about.

Do I hate all men?
No, just the single middle aged ones. 😉

No, I do not hate them. I struggle to understand them. I know there are some  who don’t care about women beyond the physical and don’t care whom they hurt as long as they get what they are after.

There are plenty of women who behave badly too.

There are very few single middle aged men who treat a woman like a lady. However, many weren’t brought up to and women have punished them if they even tried to be chivalrous. The sexual revolution and feminism have freed women to behave like men and now men find what they want so easily, they don’t have to behave, love, or even commit.

I get it. Doesn’t mean I have to put up with it. After all, online dating sites have lots of men and maybe one will know how to treat a lady properly. Until them …

I chose to be single.

Does that make me a man hater?


The Man Hater in 40 Something 

copy-of-40something-6The character Charlie, in my series 40 Something, is a man hater. She’s been hurt and overlooked because she believes she doesn’t fit the young, good looking, image media says successful men are drawn to and she blames men for her plight. Is it the fault of men or her own insecurities?

Men Suck, I hate them All

I’ve paired her with Lindsay, a woman who loves men for who they are, short comings and all.

I’ve created male characters who love their wives and are ‘good’ to woman. Gus is the perfect husband, the provider, and protector. His brother Gary is in touch with women’s pain and offers his help whenever it is needed, however, he does not see his wife who is too introverted to voice her needs.

I want 40 Something to be a reflection of being a 40 something person in the 21st Century and that includes man haters, man lovers, and men themselves.

Read Excerpts of 40 Something

Ebooks

 

Paperback – Includes Ebooks 1-5

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Shannon Peel (6)

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of 40 Something, Captive, and  THIRTEEN. For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com

Pain, Fatigue, and Acupuncture

I live on Canada’s West Coast, where Chinese culture permeates through our culture, merging with it.

I also live with muscle pain, weakness, and fatigue.

A classmate told me about acupuncture and how a China trained master helped her with her health issues, so, I thought I’d give it a try.

Diagnosis & Treatment

The oddest part of the experience was the diagnosis. My wind heat was stuck and I have too much damp cold. I need to wear socks, shoes, and a longer sleeve shirt. I am not supposed to eat salad, frozen food, ice, or drink cold drinks. I was given a ginger tea to boil with herbs and drink three times a day.

How can the cause of all my muscle pain have something to do with cold, damp, and wind heat? What is wind heat? And why does it have to move? It doesn’t sound like a diagnosis to me.

To the touch my body always feels cold, however, I always feel too warm. Add to that I don’t like being warm, it makes me tired, nauseous, and sick. I hate the feeling of socks on my feet and I always feel hot when others are cold.

The only time I feel cold is when I sit still on the couch in the evening. I don’t produce much heat and sometimes need an external heat source to get warm enough to sleep.

Acupuncture

This part of the experience was surreal.

I was asked to lie on the table / bed with my knees supported by a pillow, which elevated my knees and my hands on my stomach. I was then stuck with needles, which I barely felt: Three on each arm and some on the tops of my feet.

She covered me with a blanket, turned off the light and left me there for an hour. I was so tired I almost fell asleep and I might have, if it wasn’t for the ropes of pain running through my legs.

It was weird, I closed my eyes, and concentrated on the painful sensation of a white rope of energy moving back and forth through my legs, like a skipping rope moving in a wave pattern, then, it would pull taunt and disappear. At one point I felt the rope above my leg, outside of my body.

To see if this sensation was due to the needles or due to the position she had me in, I went home and lied down in the exact same position before focusing on my legs and the pain. All I felt was the normal muscle weakness and ache. No rope moving through at an increased level of pain.

 

I am drinking the tea. I haven’t put on socks yet or warmer clothes. I’m still tired, but not as tired as I was yesterday, though my muscles still hurt with a feeling of both weakness and pain.

I go back tomorrow to shovel more money, which I can’t really afford, at this lady who doesn’t speak very much English, to see if my heat wind has moved any and to get pricked with needles again. I’m trying to keep an open mind, it’s not easy for me. I would prefer she told me what her diagnosis means in western medical terms.

 

Update

After three sessions the pain in my muscles was gone and I had more energy. This lasted for three months and even then the pain that came back was less and intermittent. Not sure why it works or how, but it does.

 

Click for the Book: Shannon Peel (6)

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of 40 Something, Captive, and  THIRTEEN. For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com

Online Dating Scam Red Flags

You’ve heard the stories.

You know there are people on online dating sites who are only there to get your money, with no intention of meeting you, dating you, or loving you. I’ve talked with a few, and played the game, to find out what tricks they had up their sleeves.

What are the Red Flags?

Most of the time they have a sob story that their wife died in some horrible accident, or from cancer, leaving him a widower and single dad. It’s always a story that will pull at your heart strings.

One guy told me his wife and son died in a horrible car accident on her way to church. He was a soldier in the US army, stationed in Syria, and his daughter was at boarding school in Canada.

What made me suspicious?

He was not in my area. He was in Syria, a war zone, and a US soldier. I realize that the US did send soldiers to train the rebels, however, at the time of this conversation, it was not public knowledge.

He would Skype with me, but the sound never worked and we were still IMing, though we could ‘see’ each other. He had lots of time to talk to me, too much time, he could spend all day on the computer chatting with me.

The photo he sent me of his daughter was an obvious stock photo and not a pic of his teenaged daughter, whom he hadn’t seen in 2 years. According to him, she lived at a Canadian Boarding School all year round.

I Googled to check and boarding schools in Canada cost over $50 K a year. I’m not positive, but I found it hard to believe that a US soldier made enough to pay for a private boarding school.

What I did to verify my suspicions:

I read a bunch about Syria, the climate, the people, the towns, the news, etc. Then asked him general vague questions, like what did you do today? Or what’s it like in Syria now? Or How’s the weather?

He’d take a long time to answer compared to other parts of our conversation. Then he’d send me a link to a news story, a weather update. He Googled the answer instead of telling me about his own experiences.

At one point, I asked him what time it was and he gave me the wrong time. I’d checked to see what the time difference was, so when he told me 10:00, I knew that he couldn’t be in Syria. He was in Russia.

The nail on his coffin was when he told me that his ‘son’ needed a mother. Remember, he had a teenage daughter and his son had died in a car accident.

How to Identify a Scammer:

Scammers have gotten more sophisticated over time. They now have fake Facebook profiles with few friends, none of whom are connected to each other, and were just opened. They have phone numbers registered to actual places in the US. They have addresses of a place near you. They have businesses with simple websites. They will call you and talk to you on the phone.

So, how can you know if that great guy, who wants to get to know you online, is real or a scammer? I don’t have a fool proof formula, all I can do is offer some points to help you.

  1. Keep a written record of the details he gives you, ie, age, location, kids, job.
  2. Keep all messages to look back and compare to new information he is giving you
  3. Ask vague open ended questions to encourage him to give you details
  4. Ask yourself, does his voice, accent, etc, match the photo
  5. Research the information he gives you. Google has lots of information
  6. Keep a written record of the times he contacts you & what time it would be there
  7. Ask yourself, does the information provided make sense?
  8. Do not give him too many details about your life, keep talking about him

Go with your gut. Don’t take anything he says at face value, always question. For example, you’ve kept a record of the times he contacts you and the times he claims he needs to be working. Considering the time difference, do they make sense?

Keep asking yourself questions, without asking him to explain why the information he is giving you isn’t making sense. Keep a record of everything and compare it. If you see a pattern of lies and things that don’t make sense, save yourself time and block him.

I have talked with a few online dating scammers to get a good idea of how they sound, what they promise, what they say. They have a system and if something sounds too good to be true, chances are they are empty promises designed to get you to trust and open up to them.

When a Scammer asked me for money:

Most times I talk to scammers, I shut them down way before they get to the request for money, one time, I didn’t. This scammer was good, at first, then he started triggering red flags, so I went all in. I pretended to be in love, crazy do anything for him love. Planning a future together, everything.

It took a week for him to ask me for money to get home from Taiwan, $50 000 – he had a shipment in customs and needed the cash to bribe officials to get it out. I told him, I didn’t have that kind of money. He asked for $25 000. I told him, I didn’t have that kind of money. He asked me to get a loan. I told him, I wouldn’t. He told me love is about helping each other out.

Yeah, no.

Bottom Line:

No matter how wonderful he sounds, the minute he asks you for money, it’s a scam. Close your computer and run. Run fast. Block him from everything and look for someone who lives close to you.

If he says he can only turn to you to ask for help, do you really want to be dating a guy with that few real world people who care about him? If he’s that alone in this world, chances are, there is a good reason for it. – RUN!

Talk to your friends, trust what they say, and know that there are men out there, close to you, who are not scammers, willing to love you. I know that sounds hollow and sometimes even I have a hard time believing that, however, what’s better? Being alone or getting taken by a scammer?

40 Something

In my novel series 40 Something, someone is gonna get scammed, I’m just not too sure whom yet. Who do you think would most likely fall for a scammer? Charlie, Lindsay, or Sophie? 

More information:

Online Dating Scams, Forensic Magazine. 

How Online Dating Scammers are Making $$ Infographic

Carol’s Story about an online dating scammer


Read Excerpts of the Series

Ebooks                                             Paperback

copy-of-40something-2 copy-of-40something-7 copy-of-40something-5                           copy-of-40something-6


Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com

Cleaning the House or Not

Justine is one of the character’s in the novella series, 40 Something. She is a work from home mother of 2 married to a wonderful, loving, perfect man.

Justine’s house

The house is a mess. I’m not exaggerating. There are piles of dirt up against the walls on the floor, food, dust, dirt. The kitchen is piled to the top with dishes and there is no food in the kitchen. I have laundry in various stages piled around me. It’s been weeks since I cleaned.

I look at the piles of crap on the counter, on the desk, in the living room, family room and do you know what, I don’t care. I just don’t.

Instead of cleaning and sorting through the mess I’m working. I write. I create content. I market for my clients to increase the traffic to their websites so they can make money. I am a lead generator. It challenges me. It uses my mind. I have to analyze data. Figure out how people interact with content. I have to engage others on my client’s behalf. This all takes time. Lots and lots of time.

I get lost in the work.

You know how people have junk drawers? Well I have a junk room. When someone is coming over for a visit I’ll run around the house at full speed, completely stressed out, in a panic of epic proportions. I’ll grab everything that’s lying around and throw it into the junk room, then I’ll shut the door. Once that’s done I’ll do a quick superficial clean so the house looks perfect. It’s not. If someone looked close enough they’d see the dust, the dirt, the grim.

My mother looks close and I’ve stopped even trying to get the house perfect for her visits, she is coming over tomorrow and will yell at me. How could I live like this? She’ll go on,

“This is how your aunt Meridith started out, with a house cluttered and messy like yours.  Now it’s so bad she has so much stuff piled everywhere there is no room in her house, no one will visit.”

My aunt Meridith is a first class hoarder, I don’t think she’s ever thrown out anything. I don’t know how she got so bad, mom seems to think it’s because she’s just lazy and there is no reason for it. I’m not so sure. There has to be more to why people end up like that. A deep sadness? Loneliness? A hole so deep that only stuff can fill it?

I don’t shop. I work.

No I don’t think I’m a hoarder.

My mom will come tomorrow, muttering about this and that. She will start cleaning and I’ll start feeling guilty because I didn’t get it done. I will feel inadequate because I chose to work instead of clean the house. I will feel like a bad wife, mother, daughter. I will feel like the failure that I am. All because I couldn’t keep the place clean.

How does one keep up a house with a family running it amuck? When I do clean up, two minutes later the kids have gone through and the place is a disaster again. What was the point? Where is the data that shows me I’m doing something right? That I’m getting somewhere? That each brick I put into the plans is building something?

I have two kids. Do you think they can help out? Clean their rooms? Change over the dishwasher? Pick up their toys? Nope. No way. No how. They just add to the mess. When it’s already a mess why bother?

I give them a list of chores. When I raise my head up out of my work I yell at them to get it done. They never do. The place stays a disaster and I somehow just don’t care enough to make them do it. How does one make a preteen and teenager do anything? When they were little I’d say do this, they’d either do it or went on time out. Now what?

Friends and family tell me to take their phones away, their video games, anything. I just don’t care enough to do it. I mean really. Is having a clean house that important that I have to punish them for not doing it? Where is free will?

I go back to working.

My husband, Gary, he does what he can. He either cooks dinner or brings home take out. He helps the kids with their homework and gets them settled while I work. I work all the time. I start first thing in the morning and I don’t look up until it’s time for bed. I work everyday.

I’m not looking forward to my mother’s visit. She’ll lecture me on how I have to have dinner ready for Gary when he gets home and how I need to focus more on keeping a clean house, an organized house, a perfect house. I know that I’m supposed to. I know that. I just can’t seem to care.

I tried cleaning up this morning. I started in the living room and all I could do was think of work. How to get more traffic to the contractor’s website. What should my next blog post be and exactly how could I motivate someone to stop looking and pick up the phone. That when the ideas came to me and I stopped cleaning.

I started working.

You’d think Gary would get mad. He doesn’t. He brings me coffee in the morning. He asks me how my latest campaign is going. He tidies up on the weekends. Once, he offered to hire a cleaning lady. The thought of it loaded me down with so much guilt, I cleaned for a week. The house was perfect and I barely slept, as I still had to work.

After a week, I got tired. So tired I couldn’t get out of bed for two days. I was sick. Not sick as in cough, cough, puke, puke, but sick in a different way. I didn’t care about anything. Not even work. Every muscle on my body ached and my brain was shutting down. I couldn’t hold a thought, I couldn’t string a sentence together without loosing words and going blank. I couldn’t focus. I just couldn’t move.

Two days later, I woke up and went back to work. Sitting on my ass, at my computer, never moving. I should be the size of Rose by now, but I’m not. Thank you mom for a fabulous metabolism. I am completely out of shape, you just can’t tell that from looking at me.

One day I’ll get it together. One day I’ll be able to do everything. Work, keep a clean house, take care of my self and my family. One day. Just not today. I just don’t care enough to.

Rose is a doer, a stay at home mom, wearing herself out

chicklit novel bedroom sm

Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcomes any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email her today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com

Shame on us for Shaming

Author

Shame. Now there is a loaded word that no one wants to talk about.

Prisoners of Shame

Our shame starts at a young age and is carried with us throughout our lives. We are judged from birth. Did Sally crawl before Sarah? Did Joey walk at the right age? Why won’t Sally talk? Milestones were established to ensure babies were healthy and progressing. Parents made a competition of these milestones, feeling shame for the children who didn’t make the grade and having unjustified pride in those who excelled.

Parenting Mistakes 101

We are shamed into good behaviour by our parents, siblings, peers, friends, boy/girlfriends, teachers, employers, partners, and children. We feel guilt and remorse. We have regrets and hate ourselves for the decisions we’ve made, even if those decision were not mistakes.

Women shame each other more than men shame us. We shame men for being men. We shame women for the attention they get from men. We shame out of jealousy and fear.

We want to be right as mothers. We want to know that the decisions we are making for our children are the right ones, so, we shame those who do it differently, to justify our choices. “I breastfeed” says one mother, “I work” says another, and ‘the battle of the perfect mother’ is on.

dont-try-to-understand-women

Shaming tactics we learned in high school are taken with us into adulthood. We talk about teenagers cyber-bullying, shaming others into suicide, and mean girls. Yet adults are worse. We post our opinions on Facebook or on blogs. We reward bullies in the corporate world, we shame the bullied, and we sit in judgement. We shame others hoping to deflect attention away from us, make us look better, and move up the corporate ladder.

Getting drunk at the Christmas Party, making a mistake, talking too much about one’s personal life, a work romance goes bad. All these can cause shame and ruin our careers within a company, an industry, or our lives. Monica Lewinsky’s office romance changed the course of her life making employment impossible because of her public shame.

Monica Lewinsky

On the internet and in our mainstream news shaming has become a public past time. It is not just teenagers who are guilty of public shaming, we all are.

Monica_Lewinsky_2014_IDA_Awards_(cropped)In researching about women and shame for my 40 Something series, I googled shame and came across Monica Lewinsky. My first thought, which I’m not proud of, was, ‘I wonder if she ever found some guy to love her considering her past because what man could be proud of marrying Monica Lewinsky? Can a woman like her even have a life, career, marriage, children after that large of a scandal?’

What a terrible thing to think. I mean the woman deserves to find love. A man who could face the world and be proud to be by her side would be a confident, successful, loving, and amazing man. Isn’t that who we all are looking for? A man who can see past our mistakes, our shame, our labels and love us anyway?

I am ashamed that my first thought was not, I hope she found someone amazing and wonderful to love her and had a great life. From what I can tell from a google search, there is yet to be a man amazing and wonderful enough to be by her side.

Take a moment to click the link and watch Monica Lewinsky as she shares her thoughts and story by talking about  public shaming at a Ted Talk in Vancouver 2015.

Read Vanity Fair’s Article, Shame and Survival about Monica Lewinsky and what life was like for her after the scandal. Hard to get a job when the interviewer cracks blow job jokes:

It was hard – is hard – not to feel a kinship with Monica because (straight) women are intimately familiar with the idea that, if we make one wrong decision about a guy, it could mean the end of our dreams for ourselves. Pick up the wrong stranger at a bar and wind up dead. Trust the wrong frat boy to walk you back to your dorm, and wind up raped. Have sex once without birth control, and wind up pregnant, or with HIV or “that girl” filling her Valtrex prescription for the rest of her forever-alone life.

Give the wrong man a blow job, and find yourself unable to ever find an actual job.

 On Being 40 Something

 

Shaming our Daughters

We want our daughters to behave properly because we fear society’s judgements upon them, so we use shame, even if they’ve never done a shameful thing. We don’t mean to. We do it instinctively because it’s what we’ve learned works. To keep them safe, we make their bodies, sex, and bad choices shameful things. We say things without thinking and even if we apologize, the damage has already been done.

What shameful messages have you given your daughter trying to keep her on the straight and narrow? Have you told her she’s gonna get fat eating certain foods? What about how she looks in certain clothes? Have you told her that girls who have sex are sluts, whores or worse, unloveable? Have you labelled her peers and verbally judged them in front of her?

What if in her life she gains some weight, makes the choice to have sex with a boyfriend, dresses in something a little shorter? If she has heard from you that shameful women are the ones behaving certain ways, how is she going to feel afterwards about herself? Does her making these choices make her unloveable in your eyes? Then why tell her that they might?

Rose shames her daughter out of fear

 

Ask Yourself

Brene Browne is a social scientist who studies shame and vulnerability. She is an interesting speaker and her insights will open your mind. Watch Brene Browne’s Ted Talk on Vulnerability and Shame.  Then ask yourself:
shame tears

How do you use shame in your life?

How are you motivated by shame?

How do you judge and embarrass others?

We all do it. Be honest with yourself in order to be better next time.


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 Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new series about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. This novel takes from real life, stories women have shared, stories men have shared, books I have read, movies I have watched. It takes all the information and merges it, mixes, it, embellishes it. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel.

I welcome any 40 Something stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point for the characters as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened.

Email me today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com