What Really Matters In Midlife: Thriving

Quality time with family really matters!

My 9-yr old and me. A selfie at the park while watching the clouds.

The past week has found me wondering about the things that really matter, and curious as to what thriving means for me. I’m reading Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive, The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder,” which I would highly recommend to any woman who feels she may be juggling one task too many at the expense of her psychological, emotional or physical well-being. Reading it is soothing my soul and helping me reprioritize my goals in order to really thrive in my own life.

Life Bites
I have a dear friend who is battling ovarian cancer. I think of her every single day. She has two kids similar in age to mine and is a successful professional, a wonderful mom and has been a great friend to me for over twenty years. A couple of days ago, she posted on her Facebook page: “You can always make money. You can’t always make memories.”

Then there’s my social media and online colleague, Jewel, of the blog Jewel’s Fab Life, who is also battling ovarian cancer. She has been told it’s incurable. Jewel and I worked together last week during my trip to Miami for the Hispanicize 14 conference for journalists, bloggers and other media professionals. As some of us complained about our feet hurting because we insisted on wearing crazy high heels, Jewel matter-of-factly explained her paresthesia (tingling, burning sensation or loss of feeling) of her feet and her hands due to chemotherapy. She would have not only exchanged heels for flats, she said, but borrow someone else’s feet for a few hours if she could.

Also Read: 7 Quotes to Inspire You in Midlife

My own mother had a massive stroke when she was young and I‘ve been told I have a higher than average risk … And yet we cannot live in fear of falling prey to illness. As Jewel told me, in the end we’re all going to die.

Memento Mori.

Striving to Thrive
In reading “Thrive” and working on my own level of happiness and satisfaction, I’m thinking ahead, planning a lot, and letting go of some things to make room for others.

This weekend I’ve been thinking how in one week I will be married to the man whom I consider the love of my life. We met nearly five years ago, and we’re making it official for several reasons. One of them is that we both have young kids (we have three, none biologically in common, but all emotionally in common). Another is that if one of us somehow becomes incapacitated, we would want the other to have the right to order our advanced directives. Thirdly, we’re 50 (he’s actually a year younger than me) and we know this is IT. Someone’s going to have to buy Depends and help each other deal with our aging pains, so it might as well be set in stone now. We’re grateful that we’re preparing for our wedding, that our kids are healthy and that my sister is visiting. That his family, soon to be mine, is joining for our exchange of vows, and that my best friend in Florida is officiating, is icing on our wedding cake, so to speak.

In an effort to truly feel as though I will be thriving in my new, married life, I’m enriching myself with some  forgotten hobbies, including drawing and gardening, and I’m spending luxurious time with family.

I’m also here, in my own little safe space on the Internet, writing this and you’re reading it. Somehow, we’ve connected. And together, we can all thrive in the ways that really matter.

Lorraine C. Ladish

Bilingual and bicultural Latina editor, writer, speaker, online influencer, yogini and mom. Founder of Viva Fifty! Published author of 18 books. Her most recent book Your Best Age was released by HarperCollins in September of 2017.

Comments

  1. Lorraine – you make me want to reach 50 and thrive as much as you. I am not that far away… You’re an inspiration certainly. Mucho éxito en tu nueva etapa de esposita… Un abrazo y muchas bendiciones!!!!

    1. Muchísimas gracias. Besotes.

  2. Belinda says:

    I am eagerly awaiting the book that is on its way from the US. I am Lorraine’s friend that she mentioned. Yes my world was turned upside down 4 months ago but I think I am thriving. Over the years I have earnt and subsequently spent so much and work was so important to me.My life changed almost literally overnight. I don’t think I have changed but I am becoming more and more aware of what is important in my world and learning ways to thrive (not just exist). This morning my son (12) went off to his vacation job – I am so very proud of who he is and adore holding his hand and looking into his beautiful eyes – this gave my daughter (9)and I some quality time. She thought it was a perfect time (7am) for a bike ride so off we went. When she is away from her brother she doesn’t stop talking – it was wonderful listening to her. At one point she said ‘You’re the only one I trust because you know what to do and where your going’. Of course I don’t but for me being totally present when I am with my children helps me thrive.

    1. I adore you, love you … and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I am enjoying it! I think of you every.single.day. More than once. I´ve been so hard up for money at times, and that makes me want to kick butt money wise and career wise now … But maybe I´d rather make less and have more … time. XOXOXOX

  3. Lovely post…and now I will go out and buy the book. I love the word “thrive”…it really conjours up nurturing and growth, and defining our own success. And congrats on your upcoming wedding too!

    1. Thank you Kim! I love the word too. 🙂

  4. Te felicito Lorraine, you make me want to re-invent myself. You’re an awesome lady and I wish you only wonderful things! 🙂

    1. Igualmente, preciosa. Oye, no te vi en Hispanicize. ¿Fuiste?

  5. Beautifully written! Loved seeing you at Hispz14! You are such a role model to women everywhere, Lorraine!

    1. Look who´s talking! 😀 … Hugs and thank you for taking the time to read and comment!!!!

  6. I will also need help with the “depends,”! 😉
    Lovely post!

    1. Thank you! I will be there to change yours!

      1. Oh! That really is reasuring 😉 Now I can sleep tight 😉