Now Then: A mid-life battle cry

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This morning, like every August 28 morning for the last 45 years, my mother tells me the story of my birth.

It was a hot San Anselmo day, and my mom’s water broke as she was hanging laundry in the backyard.  Our neighbors waved from the curb as my dad sped her to Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco.

My parents didn’t know my gender. Just before my arrival, the doctor asked my mom her names for a boy and girl.

“If it is a boy, Michael. If it is a girl, Pamela,” she said.

“Here’s Pamela!” the doctor proclaimed, before placing me in her arms.

I have been blessed to be loved and cherished my entire life by both my mom and dad, and in later years by the addition of a bonus mom and a bonus dad (we don’t believe in step-anything in my family).

With this unconditional love, I have still faltered at times.

I was confused in my teens, and I found my way.

I was afraid in my twenties, and I found my power.

I was tested in my thirties, and I found my work.

I have been growing in my forties, and I have found my purpose.

Life up to now has been rich, dramatic, painful, joyful and adventurous.

It feels like I have been testing myself, excited by the journey, but not totally comfortable claiming my own authority.

It has been the “If Then” half of my life.

Now that I sit at what most likely is the halfway point between birth and eternity, I am ready for a new age.

The Age of “Now Then.”

In this age, I will:

  • Say no. Success and happiness require choice.
  • Value myself. My time, energy, skills, experience and special gifts are worth honoring. I will stop wavering on price and commit to value.
  • Focus. Doing multiple things at the same time decreases my impact and energy.
  • Feel. Fear. Love. Grief. Joy. A life well-lived is a life well-felt.
  • Erase debt.  All outstanding obligations will be resolved.
  • Build wealth. The pleasure of building a business is building a business!  I will analyze, measure, adapt and grow so that I create a strong foundation for myself, my family, my partners and my clients.
  • Mentor.  Youth inspire me, excite me and move me. I will do all I can to be a willing ear, a source of strength and a helping hand to the next generation.
  • Speak my truth. I will worry less about being “nice” and more about saying what needs to be said.
  • Serve deeply and love unconditionally. With focus and purpose, I will build my body of work with vengeance. I will share it openly and willingly with the fierce hearts ready to receive it.
  • Move. I will attack my MMA punching bags with enthusiasm. I will breathe deeply into yoga stretches. I will walk up and down hills and through nature. I will honor my body.
  • Laugh. I will look for raucous, colorful, bold and hilarious companions. We will laugh until we cry.
  • Lead. I will evaluate. I will ask. I will reflect. And I will walk boldly in the direction of my choice.

There is no greater gift, and no amount of wealth, that compares to the love I feel from the circle of people I have around me.

Thank you Mom and Dad, for giving me life.

Thank you to my family for giving me purpose.

And thank all of you for making it a joy to live.

Now then, let’s get on with it!

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53 Responses to “Now Then: A mid-life battle cry”

  1. Teju says:

    Happy belated birthday, Pam! I have been an avid reader of your blog for years. Thank you for yet another motivational, touching, and inspirational post. I just printed this one out and hung it up in my home office 🙂 Your words continue to move me and push me to question more, work harder, and be better everyday. Thank you for being such a positive voice rising above all of the noise!

  2. Bless you! Happy belated (catching up on my reader).

    here’s to the singularity so we can celebrate our 500th.

  3. Thank you for such an honest and inspirational post, Pam. It is on my board to help me move forward when it gets a little hard. You are not alone in your Now Then vision – many are traveling this path by your side, moving forward into our Now Thens. 😉

  4. Joaquin says:

    Woaaahh!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    What an inspiring declaration of intentions. Thank you!!!



  5. It’s late, but happy birthday. And here’s hoping you continue to inspire us for forty(ish) more of them!

  6. Hi Pam,

    Happy belated birthday. I want you to know that you have deeply touched my life and I appreciate everything you do. I thank your parents for giving you life. If only they knew at the time you were born the impact you would have on the world. Wow. And maybe they did. 🙂

    Take care,

    P.S. This was the most creative article I’ve ever read.

  7. Prime says:

    Happy Birthday Pam! Thanks for giving us the gift of your wisdom.

  8. Debbie Weil says:


    You are – simply – amazing. You are INSPIRING in all caps. Your self-awareness – and how you turn this around to help others – is perhaps most awesome. I feel honored to have spent time with you at Lift Off 4! XO

  9. Happy Birthday Pam! Thank you for all that you do.

  10. Andy Pels says:

    holy moly. :] make sure you click on Willie’s “onward” link…

  11. Andy Pels says:

    I like this. At least age-wise I can borrow most of it, too. I had the same feeling this year that this could be the half way point for me, with some luck.
    Thank you for the birthday “goodie bag”.

  12. Marilyn says:

    I am completely and utterly happy that I know you. Thank you for making the world a better place to live in. Big hugs,


    Oh and this is me doing the happy birthday dance for you… boom shakalakalaka, Boom shakalaka and dip and turn and kick and wave. 🙂

  13. Kathy Sacks says:

    You are so awesome. Really–I so enjoy your mind. Thank you for your voice. Happy belated birthday. Much love.

  14. Happy Birthday Pam,

    And one thing you didn’t mention is that in doing all of these things in your “new now” … you will be an inspiration and shining light to millions.

    You are at the end of your beginning

  15. Rebekah says:

    Pam… this is fantastic. Such an inspiration, thank you. 🙂

  16. Jennifer says:

    can’t say more than all the other wonderful comments. Just want you to know that my mom, too, told me about my birth on every birthday.

    And thanks for reminding us what draws so many of us together in your circle: always yearning, always learning, always growing, always loving.

  17. Kit Brown-Hoekstra says:

    Happy Birthday, and thank you for the reminder. Sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the daily minutiae and forget the big picture. You are an inspiration! (and as a ‘bonus mom’, I love your attitude toward the whole extended family thing.)

  18. Julica says:

    Queridisima Pam,

    I have a knot in my throat after reading your post. Wow.

    I already knew you to be a super important teacher and mentor for me, but this post clarifies why you sit on my high council of Jedi knights. We are surely in the same tribe, lady, as we are working on exactly the same things! Lordy!

    Thank you. Thank you for being born, thank you for sharing your body of work. I can’t wait for what comes next.

  19. Sandy Weiner says:


    What an inspiration you are! Your now then tips so resonate with me as I enter the second half of my life. Okay, I entered it a few years back, but I am well into the age of saying no, being true to myself and my passion as a dating coach and mom, standing up for what’s right (not just what others expect of me) and so much more that you said so eloquently.

    Have a wonderful year as you keep on inspiring as you walk your talk into the second half of your life.


  20. Pam,

    As always, you are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this gorgeous post, and for sharing your gifts with all of us. I may not be young enough to be considered the “next generation,” but you have been a terrific mentor to me, and I see your “mid-life battle cry” as a beautiful example of the gift that “getting older” can be.

    Happy birthday! I am so glad you were born — you make the world a better place.

    Sending you a virtual hug from Manila!

  21. Conor Neill says:

    Now that is a powerful and inspiring list for the Age of “Now Then” 😉

  22. fas says:

    VEry well said. A very heart warming story. Stuff happens, its how you think and move it that matters the most.

  23. This written piece is so inspiring for me, you are my green candle…happy b day, cheers!

  24. Prashant says:

    Happy Birthday 🙂

  25. I absolutely love this post, Pam. Happy birthday, and thank you for a life well lived. You’ve made a difference for so many of us!

  26. Sonia Simone says:

    Thanks for giving us this gift on your birthday. 🙂 Have a wonderful one, and at least 100 more!

  27. Happy Birthday, Pam! You inspire me!

  28. Happy Birthday Pam! I feel better knowing that even people with awesome parents struggle. Whew! You are so lucky to have had such a life and to have future too! Hope it was a great birthday! Here’s to many more!

  29. Jen says:

    Happy Birthday and many many more!

  30. Happy Birthday, Pam!!!

    So excited to celebrate ushering the age of “Now, Then!” in with you!! Thanks for making us a part of your special day!

    And thanks to you, this twenty-something has also recently found her power and absolutely cannot thank you enough!!

    I think I speak for everyone who knows you when I say, “We LOVE Pam!!”


  31. Patty Lennon says:

    Simply Beautiful Pam! Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your battle cry Pam – You rock!

  32. Happy birthday Pam! Thanks for sharing yourself and encouraging us all to BE whoever we are, today and every day. You are our gift and I only hope you get something close to as valuable as you have been.

  33. Birthdays are such a powerful moment to reflect and take stock. Thanks for sharing yours with us, Pam. I have no doubt that you will achieve everything on your list with grace and style, and even more!

    Those of us watching will be inspired to achieve even greater things in our own lives and businesses. I know I am!

  34. Happy Birthday!
    That is a beautiful and inspirational list.

  35. Jeanie says:


    You are a lovely lady. A true lady, who has graciously overcome her difficult times with love and laughter, and finds poignant messages in it to share with her loyal tribe.

    I’m glad you were born time for me to meet you! *sending BIG birthday bear hugs your way*

  36. TJ List says:

    Happy Birthday!

    This blog post is a big gift to the world. I like your “new life resolutions” and I wish you one more thing to add to your list:
    People who (in your case, continue to) love, cherish, motivate, and support you in your work.

    Maybe it isn’t something you can *do*. I still think it is important to have that in place, for without it, none of the other things on your list really matter.

    Thank you for blazing a trail for others to follow. I celebrate your birth and courage this day.

  37. Happy birthday Pam! My mother also tells me the story of my birth everyday on my birthday and now I do the same with my daughter – which is especially delicious because we cuddle up in bed together (she’s 4) on Christmas eve and I narrate the whole story of her birth on Christmas morning.

    I love the Now Then list! I think I’m going to shamelessly adapt for my manifesto on my next birthday.

    Here’s to an extraordinary second half!

  38. Clay Hebert says:

    Such an amazing post, Pam. Happy, happy birthday! You’re an inspiration to so many. Keep leading!

  39. Joshua says:

    Bountiful blessings on your birthday.

    Be brave.
    Be beautiful.
    Be a blessing.

    (I’m sure you will, because you already are.)

  40. Happy Birthday Pam! I have been following you for awhile and have your “Partnership Playbook.” I think this might be the first time I have commented. What a beautiful and heartwarming post. I can feel your gratitude overflowing. As an overachiever myself, I can’t help but notice how long your “Now Then” list is. 🙂 Enjoy the next half of life and please tackle these with all of the grace and kindness you extend to others.

  41. Adam King says:

    Happy Birthday and here’s to many more as you craft your legacy.

    P.S. – If I were closer, Birthday sparring would be soooo on! 😉

  42. Ericka says:

    Dear Ms. Pamela Slim-

    You reflect all of those things right now and you are right now is the time to claim, yell, and continue giving generously. Thank you for all that you are and will be to so many of us.

    Ericka Hines

    p.s. on the laugh til you cry piece, I have more stories, so get ready for your gut to hurt. *winks*

  43. Connie Reece says:

    Happy birthday! This was great, Pam. Here’s hoping you accomplish everything on your list — and I bet you will.

  44. This is beautiful, touching, fabulous. I will repost on twitter and facebook and hope it gets read over and over again. A lovely “declaration of personal independence.” Thank you!

  45. Happy birthday Pam! Thank you for gifting us with such beautiful words to celebrate the occasion!


    (I only write in all-caps on special days.)

  47. All things are relative. When I see Pamela (nearly Michael) Slim, I see someone who already embodies almost everything on that list. The possible exception being Saying No, because your heart is about two sizes too big for that to come easy.

    But we all seek our own balance and measure in life, and on your birthday I wish you nothing but the greatest of success in finding the most happiness and contentment possible before exploding into a sparkling fountain of rainbows and lollipops.

    Cheers, Lady!

  48. Happy birthday, Pam!

    Thank you for the gift of YOU and for this beautifully moving post.

    Wishing you love, laughter, health and happiness – today, and always.


  49. Cheryl Dolan says:

    Happy Happy Birthday! I love this, I love you, I love the message you bring to the world. xoxo