Fear of Aging

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. She was talking about how she was approaching “a certain birthday” and how hard it was to get older.  During the discussion, she shared her fear of getting older and what it now feels like to hear her age said out loud.  She explained how it seemed unbelievable that she could truly be that number on her driver’s license.


The conversation continued as she began to share all her fears of staying active and reaching the age where her health could fail. She admitted that these thoughts were consuming a lot of her time. It rattled her to hear that a friend’s mother had died at the age that she was approaching.  As I listened to her, I gave deep thought as to whether I’ve been experiencing the same feelings and beliefs about growing old.


I believe that John Glenn might have said it best when he said the following:

“Too many people, when they get old, believe that they have to live by the calendar.”


In other words, they allow the number on their birth certificate to influence the decisions that they make in life. They rationalize why it’s too late for them to go back to school or attempt a marathon. They are convinced that their days of learning and growing are over because, according to the calendar, they just can’t or shouldn’t do it anymore. They don’t check in with how they feel, emotionally and physically, in order to make their ultimate decision.  They live by the rules that have been established by their beliefs, values or culture.


I was recently taking a spinning class at the gym. There were about eight women of all ages, shapes and sizes in the class. At one point, I caught a glimpse in the mirror during the most strenuous part of the class. Every woman was sweating and working feverishly to keep on going.  Let me backtrack a bit and share that I’m one of the older ones in the class. At that moment, I realized that I was going the fastest by far and wasn’t breathing even half as hard as my teammates. A shot of adrenalin rushed through my body with this realization and I felt strong and empowered with this new knowledge. Most of all, I felt young.


I suppose if I chose to, I could just have easily taken that glimpse in the mirror and focused on the wrinkles in my face and the veins sticking out on my legs.  I could have analyzed every piece of me that looked different than it did 20 years ago. Trust me, there’s plenty. I could have gone right from that realization to lamenting the fact that I can’t run anymore because of my chronic back issues. However, I CHOSE to not focus on what I CAN’T do, but zero in on what I CAN.


Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” I’ve found that the happiest women in life live their days in this very manner. So, instead of focusing on the fact that I can’t run, I focus on the increase in stamina I have in biking. Instead of focusing on how the years are going by and I’m getting old, I put my energy into my passion— helping other women move forward in their life. I try to live out my purpose and passion in every day of my life, while being open to new experiences. Ironically, this leaves little time to focus on regrets of the past, or fears of the future.


So far, it seems to be working.

31 Days to Finding Your Inner Sass

My book,”31 days to Finding Your Inner Sass – Shortcuts to Girlfriend Happiness” is a daily journey to finding happiness and success in your personal and professional life. Each day, a different theme is introduced that I believe will enable you to live your life in a happy, healthy way. Take it slow and read one chapter daily so you can give the topic the time it deserves.

“This is hands down the most relatable, thought-provoking and helpful book I’ve ever read. Shari digs to the core of several common issues women have, and then provides the tools needed to navigate a way to the solution — all in an easily digestible, quick-to-read format. I highly recommend this book to any woman searching for a way to enrich their relationships, career, happiness and life in its entirety.” – Amy Scalia

My hope for you, girlfriend, is that you take the time to read through the questions at the end of each chapter. This is where the real work and change starts! The questions encourage you to dig a little deeper. You get to ask yourself, how does it really relate to me? And if you are on a roll, you can complete the “Your call to action” exercise and put the principles into action. I’ve made sure to include room on the page to write down your thoughts or reactions to the chapter material.

Girlfriends, don’t wait another day to change your life.

Click here to get the book “31 Days to Finding Your Inner Sass” and begin your journey to finding fabulous “YOU”!


Air Your Dirty Laundry?

My mother was known as a very wise woman.  On a regular basis, women would come to our house seeking my mother’s wisdom. I vividly recall her various friends sitting around the kitchen table, waiting for my mom to help them solve their issues and make sense of their predicament.  She somehow had a knack at understanding people and seeing through to the truth in every situation.


One of my mother’s favorite sayings was “don’t air your dirty laundry”.  She felt that you shouldn’t share all the bad stuff going on in your life. My mom believed that it was best in life to keep it quiet.  Now that I’m older, I question her wisdom.


On one hand, I agree with this principle.  People truly don’t need to know every detail of your life, nor am I sure that they are even interested. Frankly, does everyone really need to know the intimate details of your dysfunctional childhood? Being able to assess what should be shared and what needs to be kept to yourself and your most intimate friends is part of having healthy boundaries. In other words, having healthy boundaries in life means you’re able to ascertain what is too much information to share.


On Facebook, you see this concept played out time and time again.  I’m always shocked at the personal information that women are more than willing to share with others. Must you share with 400 of your “closest” friends the horrible details of your divorce?  Maybe it’s not such a great idea for you to divulge to 400 people the embarrassing personal problems that you’re having with your teenage daughter. Your “friends” have absolutely nothing to gain or learn by receiving this information and you have nothing positive to gain by sharing it.


On the other hand, there are women that make it a habit to share absolutely nothing in life that’s the least bit negative.  These are the ones that adhere to the “don’t air your dirty laundry” rule to an extreme.  They want everyone to believe that they are living the perfect life.  These women are eager to give the illusion that their careers, kids and husbands are wonderful and their life is always fabulous.  The reality is that their life is like an airbrushed picture in a magazine— at first glance it looks great, but after awhile, you get the distinct feeling that it’s way too good to be true.


Who hasn’t seen this on Facebook?  Women post the most wonderful accomplishments of their children and perfect pictures of their families.  They describe the wonderful places they’ve traveled and the fabulous guy that they married.  The problem with this way of life is that you can only go on for so long before your illusion comes crashing down around you. Living in denial and not dealing with your issues honestly catches up with you.


I believe the best approach is to take the middle of the road.  It’s healthy to be “real”, but not to the point where you have to share every intimate detail of your life.  It’s healthy to share embarrassing and upsetting pieces of your life with your closest confidantes— people that you can trust.  Friends that can help you sort through the pain and ride with you to the other side are the ones you should “air” to.  It is not healthy for your life to be an open book.  So girlfriends, find a balance.  Be real, be healthy, but be smart.


What Would YOU Do?

By now, I’m sure everyone has gotten wind of what transpired at Penn State University. You can sense the seething anger in our country. The thought of so many young, vulnerable lives affected by one toxic individual in a position of power is disturbing, to say the least. On top of that, we’re consumed with anger at the thought of people being witnesses to this horror and keeping quiet. We can’t comprehend this silence and we imagine that if we were witnesses, we would stand by and protect a child. Faced with a situation like this, what would YOU really do?

A couple of months ago on a Saturday, I was working out at my gym. By 10:30, almost all the treadmills and elliptical machines were in use. I was deeply engrossed in an episode of Bonanza and was halfway through my workout when I heard something going on in the background. I felt compelled to take off my headphones and listen.

As I scanned the front desk, I immediately noticed that no one was up there. My eyes followed the “noise” in the gym until I stopped at a man and woman standing near the vacant front desk. The man was screaming at the woman and she was begging him to stop and quiet down. I listened carefully to better understand what was going on between the two of them. The more she asked him to quiet down, the louder and more aggressive he became.

I continued to watch for the next few seconds; she was sobbing and embarrassed as his voice got louder and his face got closer and closer to hers. As the altercation escalated, I listened to the words, “ You are a horrible mother, a horrible wife, you are worthless, and I should get rid of you”. With adrenalin racing through my body and the instinctive feeling that this man was out of control and about to get physical, I jumped off the elliptical and walked toward him. I wasn’t thinking at this point—
just reacting. What did I really think I was going to do? I walked over to him and as close as possible to his face while staring into his eyes. We glared at each other, and seconds later, he walked out.

I ran to the woman to see how she was doing. I questioned whether it was safe for her to go home and gave her some options and phone numbers if she needed help. Crying, she insisted she was fine and thanked me for the help.

My point is this; not one of the fifteen people in close range of the situation moved a muscle or even acknowledged in any way that something dangerous was taking place. Each person pretended like “it just wasn’t happening.” I’m sure that all the people there were very nice people that cared about others. If they had contemplated what they would do in a situation like this, they probably would have assumed that they would take action— at least make a call on their cell phone. However, that was not the case.

So girlfriend, the next time you’re put in this type of situation, what are YOU going to do? Will you stand by and pretend that you don’t see it happening? Will you convince yourself that you shouldn’t get involved? Will you rationalize the situation, like they did at Penn State, feeling that there is too much at risk to protect someone else? My hope is that you will find your Inner Sass and do the right thing!

She Gets An F for Networking and Girlfriend Support!

I meet a lot of different people throughout my day. I try to attend every networking function that I can and connect with as many people as humanly possible. It is my belief that this approach is the key to becoming a success in your field. People need to know who you are and what makes you different from everyone else. I am also a firm believer in teamwork and supporting one another, especially my girlfriends! An incident that transpired the other day made me stop and really think about.

Two different people had given me the name of a woman they felt I should meet. She was eager to set a date to talk to me further. From the beginning of our conversation, things did not go in the direction that I anticipated. Normally, when I meet someone new, we spend the first half of our time together getting to know each other and enjoying one another’s company. I truly enjoy every minute of talking and learning more about an individual. From the beginning of the conversation, my meeting partner grilled me. When I tried to steer the conversation back to her as a person, she immediately wanted to talk business. Her style was abrupt and cold and I was a bit put off. Nevertheless, I persevered and asked her some questions.

She continued to grill me for the next 10 minutes. I rarely feel uncomfortable talking to others, but I immediately felt my “guard” go up. Although I continued to answer her questions, I felt strained and not myself while talking to her. The next statement she made really shocked me. She said, “I see how I can help you but I don’t see how you can do anything for me”. I always think on my feet and I replied in a calm confident tone, “You know, I always feel that we can help each other. For example, I know there are clients I could refer to you. It might seem like I can’t do much for you at this minute, but I am a big believer in working together and supporting each other to accomplish our goals.” Although what I said sounded good, I could sense that she just didn’t “buy it”.

The truth is that I don’t help or support people while measuring whether my investment in them will come back to me. I don’t network with people wondering only what they can do for me. I believe that every time I connect or network with someone, one more person knows who I am and what I am attempting to accomplish in the world. It is my opinion that as soon as we feel that networking and connecting with a person has to lead to some sort of immediate monetary or positive gain for us, we are doomed in our work and our life. People work with people they like, respect and trust.

The bottom line is this— maybe that woman is brilliant, but she knows very little about human nature. The world is all about relationships and as far as I am concerned, she flunked her test on people. Maybe this minute she couldn’t see how we could work as a team and help each other, but everything could change six months down the road. If I like you and see you are truly a good person, I will move mountains for you. Maybe I am just naive, but I have to believe what goes around, comes around. I think I will just continue to do things my way— it seems to have worked for me in the past!

From One of Shari’s Clients…

Five months ago, I was at my breaking point. I felt like my life was out of my control and there was nothing I could do. And it’s not that I was unemployed or frustrated with relationships. I was at the peak of my success – finishing my PhD, founding a non-profit organization, married to a great husband. Typically I just pulled through stress, but no matter how I tried my mind and body just refused. I couldn’t take the pressure anymore. Then I met Shari.

Shari has helped me not feel guilty about being happy and relaxing. Shari helped me express how I really feel to others, including relationships with my mom and boss that have been utterly toxic for years. My marriage has never been better because I feel that I can share my true feelings and my husband isn’t afraid to tell me something because I might explode. I won’t say that I’m a new woman. Instead, I feel like I have found the person that I lost along the way. I have found the person that is happy, healthy, and still successful.

Thank you Shari for giving me my life back!


I was first introduced to Shari by a colleague/friend at a women’s event in the area.  Immediately, I was drawn to her.  Her energy was infectious and the way she positioned herself as a Life Coach for Women helping to “find your inner sass” was unique and appealing- very non- clinical or threatening like a non partisan/judgmental girlfriend or mentor.  I had seen a life coach in the past (which was great) but fell off the wagon due to some changes in career. The minute we sat down for coffee, I knew this was going to be a life changing experience for me- partly because I was ready to commit and partly because Shari was brilliant and great to work with.  I initially went to discuss my career but I don’t think there was anything that we did not talk about- career, relationships, life….  The books she recommended, conversations we had and simple truths/ life lessons that she coached me through were invaluable.  She not only helped me to find my “voice” and strengthen my confidence but also helped me to find peace with issues that I have been “dealing” with silently for years.  I fully endorse Shari!

About Shari

As a Mental Health Therapist, Women’s Life Coach, International Speaker and Author, Shari works with you to identify the challenges that are standing in the way of you reaching your full potential.  After enjoying a very successful career in Business Operations and Program Development, Shari decided to go back to school to fulfill a dream of receiving her Mental Health Degree. Her vast business experience combined with her Mental Health expertise gave her the perfect combination of skills to help women discover where they belong, subsequently reinventing their lives.


Reflecting back on her career, her 30-year marriage, and raising two sons, Shari realized that there were core principles that were present in her personal and professional life that enabled her to be successful, happy and healthy. She presents these in her new book, “31 days to Finding Your Inner Sass – Shortcuts to Girlfriend Happiness.” She works daily with women to incorporate these principles from her book into their own lives so they may achieve the success, happiness and SASS that they deserve.

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