Yesterday I posted part of an interview with Marlo Thomas about her newly released book, “It Ain’t Over…”. In case you missed that post you can find it here – Chatting with Marlo Thomas – Part I
Here is the continuation of that interview.
Question: Coming from a busy mom, or a busy woman, who feels like she’s dragged in so many different conflicting directions with responsibilities to family and career and everything else that takes time in her life, what do you recommend that she does to find that future extra minutes for herself or prioritize to find those few extra minutes so that she can make this change in her life that she needs to make?
Marlo: It’s such an important question. It’s so important and so many women are struggling with this. I think you have to take the time to look at what you need to make what you want happen. You don’t have all the time in the world, but you might have an hour a day for a class. You might have an hour a day in the evening, or sometime in the morning, or sometime in the day when you can away and get closer to what it is you want to do. Or get together with a friend.
Then I think you have to make a priority list. That’s what I do. As you probably know, I have my own website on AOL and I create 80 pieces of content a month. I have to raise money for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. I’m doing a new play, and I’m writing blogs for Huffington Post, and I’m married with a husband who’d like to have some of my time.
I have to prioritize every single day. I start on the weekend. On the weekend, I just sit down and sit at my computer at my desk and say, okay, what is it that I want to get done this week? What do I need? What do I want to get done that doesn’t have to do with all these other jobs I have?
For example, all of a sudden I’m writing a book. When am I going to have the time to write this book? I have to pick the hour. Do I have to get up an hour earlier so that I can do it then? Do I have to stay up an hour later at night so that I can do it then? Which days do I do which thing? Which day will be my hour or my two hours? When will I get them, because you have to plan that out.
Question: For women in the mid or older generation, defining confidence and finding that confidence to chase your dreams can sometimes be daunting, especially with the media with that perception of you can do it all, and be the skinniest, be the healthiest, be the most beautiful. What advice do you have for women to find their own inner-confidence and not judge themselves based upon the outside world?
Marlo: Like I always say, never face the facts or you won’t get out of bed in the morning. If I worried about the fact that I no longer look like I did on That Girl, that I’m no longer 25, or 35, or 45, or even 55. If I want to spend my life in regret of what I no longer am, or no longer can look like, I’m just going to be miserable. I get my confidence from what is it that I have inside of me that is good that works for me?
What works for me is I have a lot of ideas and I try to act upon my ideas instead of sitting home and wishing for them to come true. I really do try to make them happen. I try to get together with other people who will help me make them happen. I take my confidence and my go-getedness from working with what I have right now, not with what I used to have. I don’t look back.
My father used to say, never hunch your back with yesterday. You can’t, because it just weighs you down. Also, the naysayers of your life, they’re useless. They have no place for you at all. On the covers of magazines there are 14-year-old girls who have been airbrushed. It’s all not truthful, so we’re never going to look like that. You wouldn’t look like that unless you were 14. It’s not even something for you to think about.
What you need to think about is what have I got that I can work on to be better at that? What do I need to put into my life that is going to make me feel more confident? I have never run in a marathon or anything because I don’t think I have the stamina for it. But a friend of mine, who is 40 years old, said to me, “Come out with me and let’s just run in one of those 5Ks, which is 3 miles, and you don’t have to run the whole time. You can walk. You can run. You can do all things. You don’t have to just run.”
I’m doing that now and it’s given me a tremendous amount of confidence that I can do that because I would never run in a 26-mile marathon, but I can run/walk in a 3-mile race. That’s given me a real sense of accomplishment. The 26-mile is too daunting. I could never do it. Maybe someday I could, but I got to do it three miles at a time. You get your confidence from doing things you haven’t done before and doing it with a friend, trying them, and seeing how much you can really do. It’s amazing how we make decisions that we can’t do something before we’ve even tried to do it.
Question: Katie Couric was asked about women over a certain age being marginalized and ignored. In relation to your book, how do you encourage women not to buy into that? Katie responded to it by saying, to hell with that. I don’t think that’s true. How do you help women in your book, or how do the women in your book, get over that, I’m being marginalized?
Marlo: I think by the things that we’ve talked about today – A) Don’t face those facts. They’re not your facts. It doesn’t matter what the polls say, and what statistics say, and what people say – you’re too old for this job. You’re not the right age for this job. Don’t listen to that. Go to the places where you can find other people who think like you, who are open to women your age, or get together with other women your age and create something that belongs to you.
I certainly would not spend my life worrying about what somebody else says about me. When I turned 50, the parts that I could play in television and movies dried up. There were not as many parts that I could play because they wanted younger women. That’s not going to be the defining moment of my life.
So I started doing more theater. I started finding other ways where I could perform as an actor. I may not be able to be That Girl, but I can be in a lot of plays and enjoy it and love it. I’m also now working on doing another television show. I keep continuing to go after what I want my way, but it certainly does exist in the world.
I met a woman who was in her 40s who wanted to a hostess at a restaurant and they only wanted 28 year olds. They wanted women under 30. Well, you can’t fight that. So move on to something else, either another restaurant, or become a manager of a restaurant. Take a course in that, but just keep figuring out what you need to do to get what you want. Forget what the world wants you to do or any other person wants you to do. This marginalization does exist. Of course it exists, but that doesn’t mean that you have to buy into it. Don’t buy into it.
Look for Marlo’s book, “It Ain’t Over . . . Till It’s Over: Reinventing Your Life and Realizing Your Dreams – Anytime, at Any Age.”
where ever books are sold.
Have you read the book yet? If not, do you think you’ll pick up a copy?
Have you reinvented your life? Do you have any tips you’d like to share with others? Feel free to share your thoughts.
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted and were not influenced in any way.