Q & A with Author Barbara Moses

Special guest: Barbara Moses author of Dish: Women At Mid-life Tell The Truth About What Really Matters In Work, Relationships, And The Rest Of Life

Forum Highlight:  Thursday, May 11, 2006

Special guest:  Barbara Moses author of Dish: Women At Mid-life Tell The Truth About What Really Matters In Work, Relationships, And The Rest Of Life

Based on survey results from over a thousand women, bestselling author and “career guru” Barbara Moses discovers what midlife women really think – all the untold secrets that they rarely share.

Click here for more about Dish!

What made you decide to write this book? – Julie

Many reasons, Julie. The issues in DISH are ones that I have been interested in and concerned about all of my working career. I also know how many women think there is something wrong with them because they experience certain pressures. They tell themselves, “If I were a stronger/more competent/ whatever person I would not have these difficulties with my work/children/ being single/husband/friends/etc.”

I wanted women to know they aren’t alone. At this life stage, like many other midlife women, I care deeply about how other women feel and wanted to give something back.

When can we expect it? Are you working on something now? – Mark

It is funny how many people ask me this question. But the way my process typically works is I spend about a year speaking/talking about the issues in my book and then become bored and want to move on to the next related subject, which in this case, will likely be themes that emerge as a result of the conversations that take place, such as this, about Dish. It’s also funny how we live in a society where we are always supposed to be DOING, always moving on to the next thing. I like to digest and enjoy the accomplishment before moving on.

I really enjoyed your radio session on CBC back in April. You’re a natural. Any plans for a TV or radio show of your own? I’d listen for sure! – Christa

Wow, thank you Christa. I don’t have any plans but as it happens, I really do love doing TV and radio, especially if there’s enough time to have an interesting conversation. Radio is even better – you don’t have to worry about your hair doing its weird thingy.

My Mom read your book and really enjoyed it. I’m only 19, but I read it as well and thought it was great. Currently I’m taking a year off to travel before attending university. I’m going to be taking some general courses for a year. But do you have any tips on how I can figure out what I want to do with my life? It’s so confusing! There’s so much out there! – Daria

Fist, don’t worry about what you want to be for the rest of your life. I worry more about young people who know exactly what they want to do than those who deal with all the angst of trying to figure it out. You will get there- but it takes trial and error. With so little experience of the world how can you know exactly what you want to do? I discuss my own angst-ridden and insecurity-laden 20s in DISH. Every experience you have educationally, in your casual jobs, and in your personal and cultural life provides interesting opportunities for you to reflect on what you do and don’t like, and why. The key to making effective career/life decisions is in knowing yourself and reflection.

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I REALLY would love to write a book and admire all of your fabulous works. HOW do you go about writing? Where do you write? I find it so difficult to BEGIN writing. I can brainstorm ideas and write tons of thoughts, but I find it hard to get STARTED on chapter ONE! haha. Do you have a special place or technique you use to get in the right “space”? – Joanne

This is a big question. If you are interested in writing, why don’t you check out the numerous writing courses and programs offered through continuing education university and college programs. But first, remember one’s goal should not be to “write a book,” but a desire to tell an important story which is meaningful to you, the vehicle of which is a book!

I have a great job right now and it pays VERY well. My life would appear to be “in order” from the outside. However, I’m not sure if this is what I WANT to do until I retire! I have about 25 more years to go! Do you think I’m crazy to think about going back to school? – Fran

Absolutely not. Many of the women who are profiled in DISH made this move and cite it as one of their most important accomplishment. And some didn’t who now wish they had. 25 years is a long time to do something you don’t love!

On the other hand, think about what it is that is really bothering you. Is there a way you can reconfigure your skills, or apply your profession in a fresh environment or is education the only route to professional renewal?

I’m glad you recognize that money is not the most important thing. You don’t want to wake up one day 10 years from now and say “I stayed on in my work only because of the pay!”

When you were a teen/early 20’s, what did you want to be? – Julie

Like many young people, I didn’t have a clue, and spent a lot of time obsessing about this. But ractice I didn’t have a clear career concept, I think I had a sense of some of the elements- I wanted to help people, be part of the public discourse (I didn’t know what that meant at that time but wanted to be somehow a player in terms of being known and respected), and use my thinking skills to make a difference in other people’s lives. I considered writing, psychology, producing radio shows, acting – all of it!
In this hectic world… everyone is so stressed, as you know.. I see that one woman earlier in this forum asked about depression. I also suffer from this. However, I’m just on medication. How do you feel about meditation and other “non traditional” forms of treatment, or simply relaxation? Do you practice anything like yoga or meditation? – Sarah

I am not professionally qualified to recommend alternative therapies, but everything I’ve read and know about tells me they can be highly effective for dealing with emotional issues. When I used to have a clinical practice I also found relaxation techniques to be very helpful. No I don’t meditate or do Yoga. Does Pilates count? I’ve been doing it for years.

I just finished DISH yesterday and I want to thank you for making this available to women everywhere. What a great book – a great laugh and even (once) a great cry! I wish you continued success. – Laura

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