You Gotta Have Girlfriends!

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Feisty Side of Fifty

Feisty Side of Fifty

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As women over 50, we know that our girlfriends are a meaningful and enriching component to our lives. But did you know that having a circle of women friends is critical to your health as well?

Join Suzanne Braun Levine as she shares all about her new book, YOU GOTTA HAVE GIRLFREINDS, which launches on April 16th. Using her well-honed powers of observation, her keen insights, and recent findings from the medical community, Suzanne brings to light the multi-layers of friendship with honesty, warmth, and humor. In fact, you’ll want to be certain you grab a copy of her new book for yourself so that you can recognize and relish the ways your girlfriends have enriched your own life… and your health.

So share the good news with your friends. Tune in, spread the word, and celebrate the women of your life with author, activist, and chronicler of our lives past fifty, Suzanne Braun Levine!

Transcript

0:04 Mary Eileen Williams

Hi there! I'm Mary Eileen Williams at Feisty Side of Fifty radio, and this show is a celebration of baby boomer women who are embracing life as we grow older. No invisible shrinking violence here. We're an amazing and bodacious group of women who are revolutionizing and reinventing the spirit and style of aging. Well today is going to be a very special show. We are welcoming back our friend, of course, the ever bodacious Suzanne Braun Levine and Suzanne is going to be sharing some big news with us. Of course you know her as the founding editor of Ms. Magazine, but Suzanne has continued to inspire us and enrich our lives through her books on living fully after 50. Today, Suzanne is launching her latest book and we are honored here at Feisty Side of Fifty radio to help spread the word. Welcome back Suzanne.

1:06 Suzanne Braun Levine

Oh, its -- I am so happy to be here on this important day.

1:11 Mary Eileen Williams

Absolutely, and I wanna start by saying congratulations. Your newest book is fabulous like your others with regard of wonderful, wonderful title and a wonderful subject You Gotta Have Girlfriends. I did wanna also mention that the subtitle of the book is a post-fifty posse is good for your health. So why don't we start up by you telling us a little bit about the book in general and why those friendships are so critical to our well-being after 50?

1:41 Suzanne Braun Levine

Well we all know that it's important to cherish our friends. We all know that we don't left with anybody else, the way we left with our friends. We all know that the people we call our friends are the people we trust the most in the world, but we don't know that there is good reasons for this not just because that they make us feel good and we have fun, but because as you age, your girlfriends become increasingly important for the success of your aging as they say. For example, did you know that having a circle of trust as I call it, your girlfriends, is more important to healthy aging than quitting smoking? Did you know that the fact that a circle of girlfriends regularly reduces your stress maybe one of the explanations for why women lived longer than men. Did you know that women who have a circle of girlfriends are less likely to get dementia than women who are solitary, and that all that laughter that we so enjoy actually increases your immune system. So, need I say more?

3:18 Mary Eileen Williams

Yes, you do have to say more, but that is unbelievable -- I mean that is amazing -- the information you gathered. I am and it is a health factor, it goes into so many different aspects of our health.

3:33 Suzanne Braun Levine

It does. It absolutely does and one of the important things about aging as we all know is that you need to be out there, you need to be exploring new things, you need to be exercising your mind and your body and your spirits and all of these things are connected to our -- as you pointed out in the subtitle our post-50 posse. And there is no way -- the sad news is there is no way that a woman can go aging alone. Without the support and the healthy support and the encouragement and the trust of a group of girlfriend it is not possible really to have an exciting time in your second adulthood.

4:38 Mary Eileen Williams

And one of the things that we have brought out, I think, many times on this program and in other shows that talking with you Suzanne, is that our generation is really redefining second adulthood and I was particularly fascinated by one of the first points you bring out in the book that friendships among mature women today are very different than our mother's generation.

5:02 Suzanne Braun Levine

Yes, and very different from the feelings that we may have picked up about other women when we were growing up, because I certainly remember and I know my mother lived by this idea that most women or any women were competition and that mainly, they were competition for any man that you might have your eye on, but they were competitions for just about everything that it was sort of a zero some game, its one girl got something the others lost it and I remember very clearly when I was a teenager that everybody understood that if you had a date with a girlfriend and a boy called that you drop the girl immediately. I have a 26-year-old daughter who wouldn't dream of dropping her girlfriends. I think it has been largely due to all the things that happened in the women's movement and how we learned to respect each other and ourselves, how we learn to fight the system together, how we learned that a critical mass is important that a queen bee, as we used to call her in a corporation or a business, did not do so well in the long run and that women in businesses, in institutions who banded together with other women and not just women at their level, both secretaries and the support staff were able to change the system for all of them. The most important experiences that we have had in our first adulthood go back to learning to trust women.

7:12 Mary Eileen Williams

Wow Suzanne that, I mean that, when you talk about a circle of trust and then the zero some game those are really polar opposites so you are right we have come a tremendously long way of having relationships with other women and in reaching relationship and trusting relationships.

7:32 Suzanne Braun Levine

Absolutely and for that reason and also for our good health, it's very important that we learn to divest ourselves of relationships that don't feel healthy or that we have outgrown and it does not need to be something cruel. You can kind of easier way out of friendship that isn't working anymore, but one of the things that women are telling me is that as we get older, we become more selective and we'd become much more aware of how we spend our time and who we spend our time with. So our circle of trust is smaller than any circles of friends we've had in the past and we are more invested in those friends and learning to be selective is one important step. The other important step which was sort of made me smile was making new friends and how hard it is, just like it was in the old days to go up to somebody at a party or a meeting and strike up a conversation and lots of women have described to me how awkward they felt, but how important it was to make some new friends as we change the friends we want to have in our life, the categories may change. So we're always and this is again you know you shed your skin every seven years. You are bringing new friends and you may have to shed some old friends.

9:33 Mary Eileen Williams

And that is -- one of the things I wanted to complement you on about the book is that you go into friendship on a variety of different levels and even some uncomfortable aspects of it like unfriending, as you term it and we were just talking about that, but you also write about how making new friends, how the internet actually comes into play.

9:55 Suzanne Braun Levine

It was interesting then internet is good news, bad news. I think the good news is that it makes it possible to find like minded people outside of your universe and it makes it possible to find projects and things to do and organizations that will certainly produce relationship. The bad news is that relating to people on the internet is especially detrimental to our way of relating one on one. One of our most important characteristics and this is very different from men, as we know, is that we need to look each other in the eye that so much is communicated by you know with a cup of coffee in your hand across the table, looking at the face of a friend, reading the facial expressions, judging the voice, listening closely to the content and these are things that you really cannot do on the internet. So I think the lesson is you may find people to meet and things to do on the internet, but to really nurture those relationships, it has to be one on one.

11:29 Mary Eileen Williams

Well speaking of one on one and as I say you go into all source of different types of friendship and the implications in the book, but one of the things we have not talked about and we've "only have a couple of minute", but its about befriending ourselves what a concept.

11:46 Suzanne Braun Levine

Well it's part of what we've been learning all along is that as I said before, respect for other women that we have achieved is also respect for ourselves and a lot of the hospital we used to call it horizontal hostility, a lot of this suspicion towards other woman that we may have grown up with was due to insecurity and there is nothing more important at this stage of life, than to celebrate who we are and explore our authentic self and share that authentic self with the people we love, but the first step towards as we have heard countless times, loving others is to love yourself.

12:44 Mary Eileen Williams

Well speaking of sharing, I want to underscore the fact that this book is a little bit of a departure for you because it's an eBook, but it is a great -- there is great benefit for your readers and your fans. So tell us what people can go to find out more about You Gotta Have Girlfriends and I think the pricing is part of the __13:07__ because it's affordable for every budget.

13:10 Suzanne Braun Levine

Absolutely, and I am very excited about this whole process of eBooks. First of all, this is a book you can really read in one sitting it's called an eBook short and it's priced like a birthday card. It's $1.99 and it's available on Amazon and it also has despite the fact that it only exist in cyberspace, it has a wonderful cover. So I am extremely excited about it and very much looking forward to people sharing it with their girlfriends and because that is the only way this book is going to be circulated is it people tell each other about it and order for themselves.

14:07 Mary Eileen Williams

Well, I have to say Suzanne of course time has flown by, but I am particularly excited because today is launch day of the book, you shared it with us at Feisty Side of Fifty radio and I wanna also thank you. You always give us enlightening and wonderful insights. Once again, congratulations on You Gotta Have Girlfriends. I do encourage everyone other there go to Amazon or go the link on Suzanne's website which is...

14:35 Suzanne Braun Levine

Or I have to add go to the Open Road Home Page. They are my publishers.

14:41 Mary Eileen Williams

Open Road Home Page and check it out the book is truly a fabulous read, I have been lucky enough to read it myself and just like a good friend like Suzanne is enlightening, inspiring and fun. And for all you listeners out there, I believe this is the time we broom must take pride and all of our accomplishments, our glorious maturity and remember to take a little time to connect with those wonderful women friends who have enriched our life and our health, but like our friend Suzanne suggest we do. So go out there and show the world just how feisty a woman of her 50 can be. This is Mary Eileen Williams at Feisty Side of Fifty radio saying catch you next time. Bye, bye.

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