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The year contains many fun and unusual holidays and celebrations. I know because I check frequently as I create my monthly blog and social media posts schedule.
Somehow though I’ve missed this one for February 1, Spunky Old Broads Day. In fact, the whole month of February celebrates outrageously fun older women with Spunky Old Broads Month.
The wild woman within stirred as I read about this unique holiday. I’m grateful we get more than one day to relish it.
Origins of Spunky Old Broads Day
This day, and the whole month, celebrates women aged 50 and older who refuse to grow old quietly. They enjoy living a full, authentic, “no regrets” life.
The founder of the holiday, Dr. Gayle Carson, serves as a life coach and advisor to entrepreneurs around the world. Check out her podcasts HERE. She primarily focuses on helping older women. Dr. Carson felt that the words “spunky”, “old” and “broad” presented negative images about aging. She chose to string the words together, creating Spunky Old Broads Day, also known as SOB Day.
This fun holiday encourages others to show appreciation to the older women in their lives. And for those of us who ARE the older women in others’ lives, Spunky Old Broads Day and Month gives us opportunity…and dare I say permission…to shine as our quirky, beautiful, outrageous selves.
Defining Those Words
I love the study of words so of course I looked up spunky and broad, as they relate to women.
Spunky is an adjective that means “courageous, spirited, feisty and determined”. And I LOVE this next bit. The word originates from the 1530s Scottish word spong, meaning “a spark”. It was first used in the sense of courage and mettle in 1773.
Someone who displays spunkiness is spirited and brave and not afraid to try new things or set off on an adventure. It takes a spunky traveler to cheerfully explore a city without a map.
And broad is a dated word used to describe a woman in an informal way. It’s an Old English word with Germanic origins. The term came to mean a woman in the 1930s. It’s derived from the fact that one of the most defining characteristics of a woman is her hips, which are proportionally broader than the hips of a man.
Women Who Are Wonderfully Spunky Old Broads
Over the last couple of days, I’ve thought about well known older women who exemplify spunkiness. I came up with quite a list. Here are several and words of wisdom from them:
Alice Walker – American Author and Social Activist
This amazing writer published The Color Purple in 1982, winning the National Book Award for Hardcover Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
” I think writing really helps you heal yourself. I think if you write long enough, you will be a healthy person. That is, if you write what you need to write, as opposed to what will make money or what will make fame.”
Helen Mirren – British Actress, Model and Naturalist
Helen excels on the stage and on the big screen. She’s considered a Triple Crown of Acting winner in the US for winning an Oscar for Best Actress in The Queen, a Tony for The Audience and four Emmys for television limited series and movies.
“It’s ridiculous to pretend we can stay young forever.”
Lyn Slater – Accidental Icon, Blogger and Professor
At the age of 64, Lyn became an “accidental” style icon. When she started a blog and Instagram page, she had no intention of creating an age busting agenda, hence the accidental part. However, she is now known for her oft times eclectic fashion sense and her empowering promotion of women over 50. Check out her fun Instagram page.
“This project is me saying: ‘I’m not twenty, and I don’t want to be twenty. But I’m pretty cool, and here I am.'”
Maya Angelou – American Poet, Memoirist and Civil Rights Activist
This talented woman, who passed away in 2014, published seven autobiographies, three books of essays and several books of poetry in addition to appearing in plays, movies and television shows. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.
“We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.”
My Spunky Legacy
I have an amazing legacy of spunkiness in my family, woman who live out loud, who pursue their dreams, who travel and explore the world.
Great Grandma Cynthia
My great-grandmother, whose first name I share, traveled the US until she was well up in years. I remember her amusing stories and her cackle of laughter as she told them. She possessed a penchant for getting lost or going beyond and loved the experiences. Grandma Cynthia once insisted on walking down into the Grand Canyon, against the advice of guides. When she couldn’t get back out of the canyon, a ranger went in after her. She rode out on a donkey. And telling the story, she remarked on how cute the ranger was!
Great Aunt Pearl
Aunt Pearl was actually Greg’s great aunt, however I adored her as well. This accomplished, beautiful woman traveled the world. She went on safari, rode a camel across the desert and enjoyed a hot air balloon ride…in her 80s. She possessed boundless energy and once literally raced Greg across a parking lot, to get to the Wichita Zoo entrance ahead of him so she could pay!
Aunt Pearl’s home featured intriguing items from her adventures and the dear woman always brought home souvenirs for me and my children. I’ve often said I want to be just like Aunt Pearl when I grow up.
My Mom, Pat
I couldn’t write about Spunky Old Broads without including my incredible mom. No one has better shown me how to live a big, authentic, adventurous life.
Mom is an author, with several published children’s books. She’s creative and artistic, owned and operated businesses and traveled extensively around the US and the world. Mom continues to join me and my sisters in new experiences. One of our greatest shared adventures was a trip to Ireland, Scotland and England in 2017. I’ll never forget it.
Celebrating Spunky Old Broads Day and Month
I’m thrilled to discover this month long holiday. It perfectly meshes with my desire to release my inner wild woman and live as my most authentic, spunky self. I’m old enough and I’m brave enough to embrace it all. Plus the Scottish root word for spunk, meaning “a spark” connects to my song for the year, Girl on Fire. This feels like an invitation to go deep and go far.
Are you a spunky old broad? How can we celebrate?
I have some suggestions.
Try new experiences. Go beyond fears, limiting beliefs and comfort zones. Do something we’ve always wanted to do. Dress the way we want. Or don’t dress up at all. Get out into nature. Unleash creativity. Play. Explore. Shake things up. Speak up. Plan a trip and when restrictions ease, GO.
And finally, a thought of my own:
“With age comes confidence and freedom and strength. I no longer concern myself with what others think about what I’m doing. I’ve worked hard to become who I’m supposed to be. I’m not shrinking back now.”
Sisters over 50, join me in this Spunky Old Broads Sisterhood. Share your thoughts below. Find me on social media and share your photos.
And tell me about your favorite spunky old broads.
Fun Spunky Finds from Amazon:
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