“Embracing Life’s Second Act” is a term that refers to accepting a new stage of life with a positive mindset. It’s about recognizing that the journey isn’t over as we age — it’s a time of self-discovery, improving our quality of life, wonderful adventures, and pursuing our life-long dreams. It’s about giving your second act everything you’ve got to live a life of genuine happiness and inner peace. Let’s journey through life’s second act together!

Mission and Vision Statements for Sassy Sister Stuff

Sassy Sister Stuff image of bright pretty flowers and decor

We seek to empower awesome middle-aged and senior women to reach their fullest potential and lead lives infused with passion, positivity, and purpose. We are dedicated to nurturing a community of women that celebrates and embraces personal growth and wellbeing in midlife and beyond.

Through an array of transformative articles and resources that encompass personal growth, wellness, caregiving, mindset, happiness, self-care, and more, we pave the way for overcoming challenges and flourishing as we journey through the aging process. We also share a wide array of inspirational quotes that support a positive mindset for our readers.

With an unwavering commitment to inclusivity, we continuously strive to ensure accessibility for all individuals, honoring our responsibility to create an environment where everyone feels welcome.

As we embark on this journey together, our deepest desire is to illuminate your “second act” with rays of sunshine and everlasting smiles.

About Me

finding balance sign with purple flowers and candles

From SAHM to Distinguished Educator to Blogger

I’ve had a diverse life to say the least! However, to keep it simple, we’re going to start with my adult life!

With Sassy Sister Stuff, I have combined my years of formal education and life experiences to help women in midlife and beyond embrace the aging process through personal growth and wellness so they can reach a place of inner peace, confidence, and genuine happiness — maybe even sprinkled with a little sass.

I seek to share, support, and inspire women in my stage of life — let’s call it our second act — to embrace the wit, wisdom, and wonder that we have garnered in our lives so far. So how did I get here?

I started as a stay at home mom in my twenties and thirties, after spending a few years teaching elementary school. I mean, I did go to the University of Maryland for a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education — I should use it at some point, right? Plus, being a SAHM was the hardest job I ever had!

After 8 years as a SAHM, I returned to teaching just in time for Carol Dweck’s new mindset theories and several other new teaching philosophies. But mindset theory was here to stay! Through all my years of professional work with Carol Dweck’s mindset practices, and a number of human development personality assessments that identify strengths and weaknesses, I’ve helped thousands of young people and adults develop confidence and develop a positive mindset that supports personal growth, success, and happiness.

I taught for 20 years and then became a school administrator. I’ll share more about my years of teaching in the next section, but during these years, I won many awards and recognitions such as Teacher of the Year and the 2002 Maryland State Christa McAuliffe Fellowship. I was invited to speak at colleges, universities, and conferences around the country. I participated in national research programs, wrote state and county curriculum, became certified in Human Development, and co-wrote books. I had come a long way from my SAHM days!

On a deeply personal level, I’ve had weight issues my whole life that have impacted my confidence at various times. Fortunately, I believe in the power of mental health therapy so I’ve overcome many challenges with the help of great counselors, and self-help books and exercises. I still struggle with my weight but I strive to live a full and happy life everyday by maintaining a positive mindset and creating a comfortable, cozy lifestyle. I use affirmations and self care religiously to empower myself.

Unfortunately, in my 50’s I was assaulted at work and suffered Post Concussive Syndrome, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Concussive Vision Syndrome, and other issues. It took me years of various therapies with specialists in DC and Baltimore to overcome the physical and emotional trauma. The truth is — I will never be the same –but I will always continue to work on myself. Meanwhile, it was necessary to retire.

I continue to see a counselor and read self-help books today. It helps me maintain a sense of “keeping it together” since I can be a grown-up mess sometimes with processing challenges, and memory dysfunction from the head injury. My husband will tell you what a mess I can be! But with the right interventions and knowledge, we make it work! We’ve been married for 43 years — and he insists it’s cheaper to keep me at this point!

My husband and I absolutely LOVE to travel! We have recognized the importance of adventure and travel for our mental and physical wellbeing as we’ve gotten older. We meet new people, learn about different cultures and lifestyles, and forget about the chaos and turmoil that exists in our daily lives! As much as we LOVE our children, grandchildren, and parents, there are times when we need to spend time together to nurture our relationship and re-establish our peace.

Caregiving in Middle-Life

This is somewhat difficult to write about, but I want to make sure you understand that my CAREGIVER articles are based on personal experience as a caregiver for my mother and father, as well as several other family members.

I lost my mother in 2013. I lost my father in 2023. I was the primary caregiver for both of them in the months preceeding their deaths. (MORE TO COME ABOUT THIS)

Retirement Life

After several years of therapy from the assault, I eventually retired on disability. I needed something to do that encompassed my passions. I have always loved to write and, of course, connect with people. So it made sense for me to start a blog (website) for women around my age. I combined my passions for learning, writing, and developing relationships with my desire to help others. This is how I came up with the tagline SHARE | SUPPORT | INSPIRE.

When I began doing research for Sassy Sister Stuff, I learned there are lots of online support communities out there for younger ladies… but far fewer communities for ladies who are a little older. As we age, we have different lifestyles, interests, and needs than younger ladies and new moms. We are continuously redefining our personal growth and wellness based on significant changes and transitions — both expected and unexpected — in life. Life can be challenging, but the more we know, the better we’ll figure it all out!

Therefore, on April 1, 2020, I officially launched this website! It has undergone many transformations in appearance, structure, and organization, but the vision and mission has remained the same! It has become my passion and my purpose in retirement.

I hope we can build an online community where we support and inspire each other on our journey through our middle-age and senior years. I’m so glad you’re here and would love to hear from you!

Feel free to email me at [email protected] or find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok, too!

grandma and granddaughter dressed in yellow smiling at the camera
My granddaughter – Kaylie – and me celebrating my birthday in 2014. When Kaylie was a baby, I would often sing “You Are My Sunshine” to her and it became our “special song.” She inspires me to focus on SUNSHINE and SMILES every day.

About my Teaching Career

On a professional level, I have advanced degrees in Human Resource Development and Educational Leadership, plus National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist for Ages Preschool through Adult. As an Enneagram Type 2 and Myers-Briggs ENFP, I combine my professional education with my innate desire and passion to share, support, and inspire others. One personality test identified me as a NURTURER, but I can’t remember the name of that assessment.

I taught General Education, Grades 1-4 for ten years.  I primarily worked with special education and at-risk students in a disadvantaged community where I worked closely with parents to provide them with the resources they needed to advocate for their children.

For the next ten years, I taught Special Education, Grades K-5. I also earned my National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist Ages PreK-Adult. I began working in Professional Development, teaching educators about Special Education Laws.

I advocated for students and helped parents gain resources for their children. I became certified in more than a dozen researched-based reading programs and taught teachers how to use the programs with their at-risk students. And I helped write multiple curriculums and programs for Regular and Special Education.

student with a big smile on his face surrounded by books

And for the final nine years of my career, I was a school administrator. I continued to advocate for students and work with families in the community who needed assistance with educational resources and programs. With multiple advanced degrees, including Human Resource Development and Educational Leadership, I was often called upon to speak at conferences and special events around the country.

During my years as a Special Education Teacher and School Administrator, I advocated for ALL, and taught parents and students in the community how to advocate for their legal rights. I continue to be in touch with many of my former students and their families because we developed strong bonds during our time together.

After my retirement, I wanted to do something that kept me involved and connected with a community of like-minded people. After much research and reflection, I founded and launched Sassy Sister Stuff.

Thank you so much for visiting and taking a look around.  We are all navigating this thing called LIFE together so let’s support each other in this aging process.

Love to ALL! ~ Susan