In high school, two of my elective courses were accounting and commercial art. Yes – two very opposite spectrums. My teenage girlfriends would quickly tell you we would spend hours looking through fashion magazines. I had the dream of becoming a fashion designer (hence commercial art). I applied to fashion school during graduation year and was accepted. However, I became drawn to the language of debits, credits, spreadsheets and reconciliations and made the decision to head down the business path (no regrets!) and received my accounting designation. I have had the privilege of a fabulous career in industry as a Controller and CFO, followed by my own business in strategy and leadership development. All of it – rewarding and so much fun!
As I embraced turning 50 last June, I began to reflect. What next? I was still not sure what I wanted to be when I grew up – do we ever have to figure that out? One continuous thought kept pulling at me and created a new level of excitement: it was the modern world of lifestyle and fashion.
I began to research blogs, Instagram, and Pinterest, and soon found there was little to no focus on the “modern professional woman” – those 45-65 years of age in the prime of their lives – the stage I am now occupying! This cohort of women are trying to balance (with very few “mastering”) the complex world of motherhood, professional careers, aging parents, a healthy love and sex life with our partners and soul mates, relationships with our sisterhood, travel for business and fun, and holistic wellness (what ever that may mean) while embracing (or God knows trying to manage) the peri and post menopause stage and the changes in our bodies and skin. We are “middle aged”! But that doesn’t mean our sense of confidence, fitness, and feeling sexy should be any less exciting.
In fact, this stage – of being a modern middle aged woman – has given me some of the best and most gratifying years of my life. I have embraced my uniqueness, my flaws, my laugh lines, and the things I’m most passionate about. I’ve let go of insecurities, judgment, and fitting into someone else’s version of perfect. I have learned to settle into what is authentically me – and I love it. I know I’m not alone in this – which is why I choose to write about it. Because I can!
I shared my thoughts (over a glass of wine) late last fall with my talented, young friend Lindy. She provided inspiration and encouraged me to think through it – a few weeks later: D by denise was born.
D by denise is about celebrating modern middle aged women (yes – we can say middle aged and be proud of it!). We no longer give a shit about the things we may have during our twenties, thirties, and early forties. We have arrived!
So what does this all look like now? How do we move through our day while loving this time of our life? This is what D by denise is for. It’s everything from work and career, family life, relationships, sisterhood, fashion, to home style, and navigating each stage and change with some semblance of grace. Maybe I’ll make you laugh, maybe I’ll make you cry, but one thing I know for sure is that we’re all in this together. So please, tell me your stories, tell me what you want to hear about, and tell me if you’ve been there too. Why? Because we can.
……open up your sunroof and let your hair fly!
Photos: Scotch & Coffee