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. Continue reading

7 Quotes to Inspire You in Midlife

Quotes on midlife

This is one of my favorite quotes on midlife. Pic taken by me at a store.

Midlife is just one of those roller-coaster times in life. Although for women, perhaps life is just one long hormonal ride, with a lot of joy in it but also plenty of tunnels, curves and overpasses, to keep us on our toes.

If you reach midlife in half decent shape, you can finally look in the mirror and love yourself for who you are, more than you ever did in your teens and young adulthood, flabby thighs, failing memory and all. Except … you´re still a woman, so even if you´re in the throes of menopause or past it … you´re also a bit bipolar. So occasionally, you doubt yourself.

Some days I feel on top of the world, as in, “I´ve got this whole 50 year-old thing, I´m kicking butt,” and others I´m more along the lines of … “Oh, man, who am I kidding, my back is killing me, I´m exhausted and by age, I could really be a grandmother!”

Also Read: 5 Lifelong Habits to Feel Happy in Midlife

I´m pretty sure I´m not alone with this going back and forth feeling of being some sort of midlife goddess one day and the next suspecting that I´m just a batty lady on her way to old age … the kind that gets all the side stares because she´s wearing bright blue eye-shadow, a beehive hairdo and Spandex at 80. Continue reading

When Missed Periods may Mean Menopause

My preteen and I at different ends of the fertility spectrum

My preteen and I are bookending the fertility spectrum

Lately I’ve been researching menopause a lot online. And it’s not because I’m having hot flashes – at fifty I’m not quite sure I’ve ever experienced one – but because I haven’t had a period for close to four months now, and I’m definitely not pregnant. According to Health Central and other reputable sites, it’s not officially menopause until you’ve missed periods for a whole year so I’m not there yet, but menopause could be looming …

Menopause can happen as early as 36 and as late as 60, with the average age being 51, which I’m pretty close to. Of all the menopause symptoms listed on Medicine Net, so far I can identify with occasional night sweats, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, feeling bloated, mood swings and after a good year of irregular periods, they are now absent. From what I’ve read, they could come back (I wish they would because, strangely perhaps, I miss them!) and continue their irregular pattern, or simply be gone forever.

Also Read: 5 Lifelong Tips To Feel Happy in Midlife

Since I turned 50 in August of 2014, I’ve felt like celebrating it. Heck, that’s the reason for launching this blog! I wanted to let younger and older women alike know that midlife is not the end; it’s the beginning of a different and possibly even more fulfilling phase of life than ever before. And yet, while blowing out my fifty candles was no cause for a midlife crisis, I realize not having to deal with PMS, periods and tampons for a few months now has triggered a sense of loss I’m only now beginning to acknowledge and voice here. Continue reading

7 tips de belleza para llegar a los 50 y verte estupenda

Trucos para verte estupenda a los cincuenta

Giselle Blondet (49) y yo (50) en Orlando, Sept. 2013. Foto: Blanca Stella Mejía

Tu aspecto y nivel de energía en la década de los cincuenta suele ser el resultado de hábitos adquiridos en tu juventud. Yo misma he cometido un montón de pecados como prescindir del protector solar (las ampollas en los hombros y la nariz pelada era lo normal cada verano cuando era niña), tomar algunas copas de más y embarcarme en dietas extremas, que desembocaron en un trastorno alimentario con el que lidié durante años.

Afortunadamente, mirándome al espejo a mis 50 años de hoy – arruguitas y canas aparte – también veo los resultados de buenas costumbres que adopté siendo muy joven. Afortunadamente son cosas sencillas que cualquiera puede hacer para llegar a la mediana edad en buenas condiciones. Si tienes 15, 20 ó 30 años, no escuches a nadie que te diga que es demasiado temprano para empezar a cuidarte. ¡Nunca es demasiado pronto! Un día cuando apagues tus propias 50 velas, me darás las gracias por este post.

Read the post in English: 7 Lifetime Beauty Habits to Look Fabulous at 50

A continuación, siete hábitos que puedes adquirir a cualquier edad (cuanto antes, mejor) para verte y sentirte estupenda cuando llegues a la mediana edad.    Continue reading

5 Lifelong Tips to Feel Happy in Midlife

One lifetime habit to be happy at midlife: have a hobby!

A sketch of mine. I´ve been drawing since I was a kid, only for fun. It still makes me happy!

I believe that how you look is in direct correlation with how you feel. No amount of anti-aging creams, Botox or tummy tucks are going to counteract a bitter attitude. And no matter how much plastic surgery you get, if you aren’t feeling good about yourself, you’ll become one of those angry old ladies who scares the heck out of her grandkids. Do you want to become that witch? If you do, stop reading right now. Otherwise, find out what you can do to reach midlife with a jolly good attitude, well on your way to becoming a sassy and fun golden girl, no matter what your age is now.

1.- Learn to recognize your faults.
This has to be one of the hardest things to learn. But once you get used to it, it’s a breeze. Plus, it makes life way easier to navigate and dramatically improves your social interactions and relationships. Don’t feel you’re too young or too old to start doing this. You may be surprised at how empathetic others can be towards you when instead of becoming defensive, you admit to having messed up. Realizing  you have a problem will make it easier to overcome an addiction or bad habits, and ‘fessing up to a mistake will free your ego. I forget when I started doing this, maybe when I published my first book about my eating disorder at 30. I certainly wish I’d figured that one out earlier! Continue reading

You Don’t Look Your Age & Other Myths

Lorraine C. Ladish - You Don't Look Your Age

Here I am at 26, that is 24 years ago. Back then I didn’t like myself much. That surprises me now!

This business about “you don’t look your age” … What does it mean exactly? And mind you, I’m guilty of saying it too! I intend it as a compliment of course, and I know that when people tell me I don’t look fifty they are saying I look younger. But, is that a good thing? Looking younger when you’re older, I mean. The compliment I enjoy the best at my age is: “you wear fifty well.” It seems more fitting to how I’m trying to portray mature women: as very capable, sassy, creative, hopeful and joyful human beings.

When I was fifteen, teaching English to adults at a language school, they often thought I was eighteen or twenty. Of course back then I loved that. I wanted to be “grown up.” But the comments weren’t entirely about my looks … I was mature for my age. Life made me so.

Read Related: 7 Lifetime Beauty Habits to Look Fabulous at 50

On the other hand, now when someone tells me I don’t look fifty, I also know it’s not about looks. It has a lot more to do with my attitude. There’s something about overcoming an eating disorder, depression, panic attacks, a terrible self-image, extreme shyness, dysfunctional relationships, divorce, unemployment and poverty that either tears you down or builds you up. I guess I -perhaps inadvertently- choose the latter.

So going back to my first thought, what is fifty supposed to look like? What is forty supposed to look like? Thirty? Twenty? Well, I think it’s really up to you! Continue reading

Siete ventajas de tener 50 años

Ventajas de tener 50 años

Estos son los pantalones cortos que menciono en el post. La foto hecha ayer por mi nena de 9 años.

Creo que no hay persona que no tema envejecer, lo admita abiertamente o no. El propósito de este blog es, por un lado, confirmar a los lectores más jóvenes que cumplir años tiene sus ventajas y, por otro, animar a quienes a la mediana edad aún no han encontrado su norte, a seguir buscándolo porque la vida es un camino que sólo termina con la muerte …

Use Google Translate To Read in English

En este post se me ha ocurrido contar siete ventajas que tengo ahora, a los cincuenta, comparado con mi juventud. Espero animarte a contarme en los comentarios qué temores te produce el cumplir años o por el contrario, qué ventajas sientes que tienes ahora.  Continue reading

7 Lifetime Beauty Habits to Look Fabulous at 50

Lorraine C. Ladish

Two months after I turned 50. Photo by my 9-yr old while we jumped around waiting for her 12-year old sister do her soccer practice.

How you look and feel in your fifties is usually the result of how you’ve been treating yourself since you were a young girl. I´ve committed my fair share of sins such as sunbathing without sunscreen (blisters on my shoulders and a peeled nose were to be expected every single summer as a kid), indulging in too much Happy Hour and extreme dieting, which led to an eating disorder I battled for years.

But, looking at my 50-year old self in the mirror today – age-related fine lines, wrinkles and gray hairs aside – I also see the results of good habits I picked up early in life. Fortunately they´re simple things that any young woman can do to reach midlife in half decent shape. If you’re 15, 20, 30 … don´t let anyone tell you it´s too early to start taking care of yourself. It´s never too soon! If you do as I say and as I did, one day, when you blow out your own 50 candles, you´ll thank me for this post!

Here are my 7 things you can do starting in your teens, to look and feel fabulous when you reach fifty. Continue reading

Why Fifty is the New Fifty!

Lorraine C Ladish

A few days after my 50th Birthday

When I made it known to my social media community that I was proudly turning half a century, I was showered with all kinds of well-meant happy returns for the day. I also got many comments that were well-intended but not so well-received: “You look great for your age,” or, “Don´t worry, 50 is the new 30.”

I reflected on those statements and realized they didn´t ring true for me. No offense, as my tween kids would say, but I think I look pretty damn good for any age! Of course this is something I say because at this point in life I feel more confident than ever before. I had heard that about midlife women – they really speak their mind – and it´s true! Fifty is not the new 30, or the new 40. It´s the new 50, and that´s a great thing! If it really were the new 30 or 40, I´d probably be pining to have another baby. And then when my mid-life kid turned 20, I´d be a good old 70. Now please don´t tell me that life starts at 70! Continue reading