Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


Home · Articles · News · Features · Sara Brokaw
. . . .

Sara Brokaw

- February 28th, 2011
Feeling 40 & Beyond: Author Sarah Brokaw comes to TC
Following in the footsteps of her eloquent father, therapist Sarah Brokaw
will appear at the Traverse City Opera House this Thursday, March 3 to
talk about her new book, Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years
of Your Life—through the 40s, 50s, and Beyond.
 In her newly released book, Brokaw gives the reader a revealing glimpse
of feeling like the not  “good enough” daughter of Tom Brokaw, the
legendary news anchor who appeared in Traverse last summer. Her mother,
Meredith Brokaw, a lovely woman who sets the standard for aging
gracefully, is a success in her own right as a former author, teacher,
equestrian, and businesswoman.
Sarah Brokaw, a licensed therapist, writes honestly about her struggle
with panic attacks and not living up to her family’s accomplishments.
“Still, to this day, I can struggle with the feeling of not being good
enough, especially at moments when I’m feeling vulnerable from having
suffered a blow to my ego. I worry that I’m not living up to my extremely
accomplished family’s standards. None of them has ever seen a therapist,
so I can find myself devaluing my choice of career at times. I haven’t had
a family of my own yet, whereas both Andie and Jen have, so I can feel as
though I’m falling short in my personal life, as well. At my lowest
moments, I become self-critical and think, “What have I been doing with my
life?”

CORE QUALITIES
Brokaw draws heavily on the compelling stories of women to illustrate how
to authentically enjoy midlife by honing five core qualities:  grace,
connectedness, accomplishment, adventure and spirituality. But even Brokaw
admits that grace doesn’t come easy in a world where women are expected to
“effortlessly jam 48 to 72 hours of living into every 24-hour day.”
“Ironically, our values can, at the same time that they serve to ground
us, also provide a more freeing way to define ourselves. Instead of
saying, ‘This is what I do,’ we say, ‘This is what I am about.’ Nothing is
more attractive than a 40-plus woman who has focused on what matters most
to her, as opposed to blindly following a prescribed path, and who
therefore exudes confidence in herself and enthusiasm for her life,” she
writes in the closing challenge.
Brokaw,  a single woman now in her early 40s, talks about her own
challenge several years ago with the ticking baby clock. Well aware of the
pitfalls of settling for almost the right man or too desperately seeking
out a husband, she decided to see a fertility specialist who advised her
to freeze her eggs. She took his advice immediately, forgoing her
scheduled training for a triathlon.

KEEPING UP
Brokaw tackles many of the concerns that are on the minds of those hitting
their mid-life years—the option of plastic surgery, keeping your sex life
vital, dealing with feelings as a stay-at-home mom, coping with the death
of parents, and reigniting the love with your long-time spouse. Brokaw
draws on a multitude of women’s stories that not only offer some really
useful and down-to-earth  advice,  but leave you oddly thankful for making
it to your fifth decade.
Brokaw’s March 3 appearance is the second act in the National Writers
Series 2011 season that will include an announcement of two very high
profile authors just added to an already impressive line-up of writers,
including humorist David Sedaris, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford, and
Paula McLain, author of the anticipated new novel The Paris Wife, which
book industry insiders predict will explode as the nation’s next
bestseller. Tom Brokaw appeared in the Writer’s Series at the Opera House
last summer to a sell-out crowd.
Megan Raphael, author of the Courage Code, a personal coach specializing
in women’s issues, and the director of the National Writers Series, will
interview Brokaw.


Excerpts from Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your
Life—through the 40s, 50s, and Beyond.

• The first step in my spiritual journey with surfing was letting go of my
harsh judgments about myself. My surf instructor pointed out that
naturally I wouldn’t become an expert overnight. I would enjoy myself a
lot more if I consciously embraced being a beginner, and with it the
wonder, thrill, and anticipation of trying something new.

• The acclaimed analyst Carl Jung wrote that people don’t complete the
process of individuation—or psychologically separating from their family
of origin—until they hit 40. With this perspective in mind, there’s yet
another reason for us to look forward to our fifth decade. The fact that
we are establishing our unique identity as we age, and honing in on what
really makes us tick, is likely one reason why people tend to experience a
surge in self-confidence after 40.

• While Beth’s cancer initially was designated as stage zero, the
classification kept escalating. It ended up at stage two because the
breast cancer had invaded a lymph node. Beth asked her doctor, “Why do you
keep upgrading me? Is there a sale on?” Her husband told her to get
serious, but Beth said, “I have to laugh at this in order to get through
it.”
The doctor recommended a mastectomy with the option of reconstruction.
Beth chose to have her new breast made with tissue from her own body. “I
got a tummy tuck and a boob job out of it!” she cried with glee. “My body
may be over 40, but this here is the 2008 model.”


 
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