Hey everybody. Jen Hatmaker here, your host of the For the Love podcast. Welcome to the show. You guys, right now we are kicking off a brand new series that I am really excited about and it’s called For the Love of the Middle. So I know not everyone is in the middle part of life yet, but a lot of us are. I certainly am and you’ll be there soon enough too, right? Um, some of you are already there and beyond, so there’s really good takeaways for all of us.
And if you’re past the middle, bravo to you, um, you have made it through this kind of messy time and please enjoy listening to us try to get it right, <laugh>. So in this series we’re gonna talk about all this stuff in the middle of life that can, that brings us sometimes the stuff is challenging, but also some really wonderful surprises and learning more about ourselves in a new way. So I am absolutely of the mind that the middle is not the beginning of a downhill slide. I think not only is there so much to enjoy here, but there’s so much to look forward to still.
So we’re gonna try to open up some of these convos around stuff like empty nesting, um, preparing for aging our own and others by the way, caring for aging parents, obviously menopause, um, the reinvention of ourselves, all this life change we’re experiencing and more. Okay, it’s kind of, this is the nitty gritty of the middle season of our lives. That there comes a point where there’s more in the rear view mirror than ahead. And so we are gonna lean into some incredible experts for help and counsel and wisdom and advice. But also just a really robust conversation that I hope is liberating and encouraging and help us all feel a little bit seen starting with today.
Cuz today we’re talking to Mary Piper. She is a world renowned clinical psychologist and author. She’s written 11 books on a wide range of topics, but she’s most famous for her breakthrough ideas. Really an early adopter on the development of the self-image of girls, younger girls, and then how older women can age authentically and happily. She was actually one of the first psychologists to call out how culture was both shaping and harming young girls in their development. Um, and she was pointing to ideas that you and I talk about now all the time, but at, at that time, this, these weren’t, this wasn’t even language we had as she’s pointing to misogyny and sexism and, and sort of self-esteem. And, um, you know, she was a, she was a pioneer really. And so thus this provides the perfect launching pad for Mary to now approach and help us navigate the ageism and misogyny and sense of loss that occurs when we age as women.
She’s done this with young girls and now she’s applying the wisdom to us. i am noticing a phenomenon as I get older. I’m 48, that I really like getting older. And I mean that sincerely, not as a trope or as a shtick. I really like it and a lot of things about it. Now, I, there’s some stuff that’s hard and we’re gonna, we’re gonna pick through all that in the series, but I like how I feel. I like who I am. I like what my relationships look like. I like how my life is starting to return to me in terms of like time and energy because I’m about to be done with the heavy, heavy, heavy parenting lift. And so I’m, I’m wanting to look at this stage and what has to come with hopeful eyes and with excited eyes, with a mindset that says, this might just be wonderful.
So Mary Piper has a lot to say on this subject and how to address some of the challenges that we’re gonna face, as well as what is awesome about what’s next. She’s 75, she’s learned it and she has lived it and she has studied it. Um, by the way, Mary, she studied cultural anthropology at the University of California Berkeley, and then received her PhD from the University of Nebraska in Clinical Psychology in 1977. Um, I mentioned she’s authored 11 books, including four New York Times bestsellers, and her latest book is called A Life in Light Meditations on Impermanence. I, I loved this conversation. I think you’re gonna love this conversation. So let’s welcome the Wise and the Wonderful Mary Piper.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Mary Pipher’s Books
The Second Sex
by Simone De Beauvoir
Jane Jarvis – American Jazz Pianist
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XO – Team Jen