Discover Yourself Over 50s Lifestyle

Are you living life YOUR way? (or trying too hard to Please)

July 18, 2021

I’ve just finished a book by Cathy Kelly, ‘The Family Gift’ as well as Jane Eyre which I’ve been reading with my book club.  Two totally different books but I enjoyed both.  I’ll be writing more about my review in my monthly ‘What’s on my bookshelf?’ post at the end of July.  In the meantime I’m always interested in what others are reading so feel free to drop me a comment or reply to this email with any books you recommend.

Okay, so back to The Family Gift.  Cathy Kelly, is an author that I enjoy when I don’t have to think too deeply.  Her books are usually thought provoking but don’t give me a headache.  The Family Gift was not what I expected and it actually gave me pause several times as I bookmarked pages with ideas and quotes I wanted to remember or to ruminate on.  Spoiler alert some baring of the soul might be contained in this email 

Treat yourself to the heartwarming, hilarious new novel from Sunday Times bestseller Cathy Kelly!  

This was how Goodreads described the book, yet when I read it I actually didn’t find it hilarious.  It was real life, although at times I thought the main character Freya was a little annoying.  But then I realised some of her actions and way of thinking was how I think!  When I finished the book I felt the questions I needed to ask myself were:

Am I living life my way, authentically and honestly?  or Am I living my life projecting a different persona to the world?  Am I holding back asking for help or pushing my fears and anxieties deep inside because those around me have enough to deal with and I feel guilty dumping my problems onto them?  Am I trying to please everyone but not pleasing myself?

Now I like to think, I’m a ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ and generally positive type of person and mostly I am.  But being human, yes human there are times when I feel the need to perhaps ‘smooth over the lows’ because most people only want to hear about the highs. 

Can you relate to this?  I’m saying that life for me is normal with all the highs and lows that go with living. What I’m saying is that sometimes we feel we can’t show our vulnerability because others ‘need’ us to be strong or we feel showing that side is a sign of weakness.  But as the quote a little further down reminds us that showing our vulnerable side shows strength.

The question I would like us all to ponder this week is:

Are you living life YOUR way?

This was the question I posed in my weekly Living Well Letter to my subscribers. I’m encouraging others as well as myself to take a dose of reality and honesty and looking at how we are living our lives. It is so easy to get caught up trying to be there for others. Perhaps pushing your own problems or fears deep inside because you think that everyone else needs you and you can’t burden them.You feel you need to push through. You need to be the sunshine for others all of the time. This is how Freya in the Family Gift was misguidedly living her life and I’ll let you read the book to see how it affected her and those around her.

I was reminded that life isn’t always the way we see it portrayed particularly in social media. That life is not a ‘one-size fits all’. Sure we all want to put up positive posts about the good things in our life, who doesn’t? But that’s not reality 100% of the time. Is it?  Life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns for anyone. 

I was reminded yet again, that:

  • It is definitely OK to feel the bad times, the bad hair days, the feeling frumpy, the more serious issues where you feel you just aren’t coping with life. 
  • It is definitely OK to feel vulnerable and admit it to others – to reach out and ask for help. 
  • It is definitely OK to not automatically answer the question ‘how are you?’ with ‘I’m fine’ and to remember you aren’t Super Woman, the world doesn’t rely on you taking all the burden.
  • It is definitely OK to make your own decisions on what is right for you.
  • It is definitely OK to accept that you can’t please everyone all of the time and you need to please yourself most of the time.
  • It is definitely OK to accept that you can’t keep juggling all the balls and not drop one.

Conversely, I still believe that we need gratitude and acceptance in our lives to provide some balance because life is good and we definitely should acknowledge the good times.  In the book Freya learns that ‘sh…t happens and sometimes you just have to accept that, you can overcome but sometimes you need help from others.

I’ve changed the tagline on my website to Living Life Your Way because we all need to feel comfortable with living a  life that suits us.  With being comfortable to be ourselves, without comparison, without feeling as if we have to be a persona which just isn’t us, because for whatever reason, we feel we have to.

Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know your answer. I’d love to hear your thoughts and your experience so feel free to reply to this email.

P.S. In tomorrow’s Micro Mondays Podcast I’m discussing Friendship, Connection and How a small gesture can make someone’s day

Women Living Well After 50

You Might Also Like

16 Comments

  • Reply Donna Connolly July 18, 2021 at 15:39

    ‘Living Life Your Way’ is such a great tagline.
    It is Definitely OK to be ourselves. And it is Definitely OK not to be perfect.
    We all need to hear this reminder.
    Great post!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 29, 2021 at 13:16

      Yes I love it too Donna and I’m learning to lower the bar, although not giving up.

  • Reply Toni Pike July 18, 2021 at 16:28

    I really love that tagline, Sue – I really try to live life my way, and something I want to keep thinking about. Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 29, 2021 at 13:17

      Thanks Toni, it was so good you could get up to see your grandchildren. xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris July 18, 2021 at 17:21

    So much to love in this post Sue! Showing our vulnerable side, living life our way, accepting it’s OK to acknowledge the good days as well as the bad days…thanks so much for sharing these thoughts as we all need to be reminded that it’s our life to live, without comparisons. I try to live my life on similar terms but it’s not always easy as you quite rightly point out.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 29, 2021 at 13:17

      Thank you Deb for always being my cheerleader! I value your friendship so much. xx

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee July 19, 2021 at 09:38

    I like the juggling balls one. We need to learn to cut ourselves some slack, especially in these times

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 29, 2021 at 13:19

      Yes Lydia, I find myself doing this juggling act more often than I would like at the moment.

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle July 19, 2021 at 11:32

    Great new tagline Sue! I’m trying my best to live my life my way. I’m letting go of things that bring me stress or overwhelm and embracing things that make me happy or more relaxed. You’re right though in saying that what we see on social media is usually just the highlight reel of someone’s life. You never do really know the whole picture, and people (including myself) are less likely to share the lowlights as they don’t want to appear weak or whingy or burden others with those things. We all want to be liked and happy, positive people are more likely to be liked! These are difficult times we’re living in so I think we should all do whatever we need to do to look after ourselves and always be kind to others. Have a great week!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 29, 2021 at 13:20

      Hi Min, I’ve been loving your new direction and it really is the path you should follow. Your artwork is beautiful. x

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au July 19, 2021 at 11:48

    Hi Sue – this is kind of what I was trying to get at in my post last Monday on retirement not being a competition. I feel like a lot of us are still struggling with trying to be the ‘all singing, all dancing’ person we were through the previous decades, and for some it’s easy – for others it’s time to take a breath and figure out what is “real” for us. Doing life in our own way is the perfect way to say it. I’ve stopped waiting for others to validate my choices, and I’m doing my best to tune out those who don’t.

    I hope life isn’t too difficult for you atm – and I know you do have people who listen, but if you ever want to unload, you know where to find me. In the meantime, be kind to yourself and give your “inner Sue” the grace she needs x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 29, 2021 at 13:21

      Life will sort itself out sooner or later. I think we just have to let go when things are out of our control and we can’t change them. Otherwise we are stressing out and that’s not good. x

  • Reply Deborah Cook July 19, 2021 at 18:26

    I always struggle with this as I actually shy away from those who do nothing but moan but – like you – realise it’s important to share the bad with the good and not ‘lie’ by omission.

    I feel I whinge and complain too much but try to do it in a light self-deprecating way. I read your friendship post first and that’s a reminder that it’s important to have people we can share the worst stuff with. (I have my mum.)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 29, 2021 at 13:25

      Hi Deb, it really isn’t easy to just live our way but I suppose we only get one shot, so we need to make the best of what we have. It is tricky as sometimes I feel as if I have to always show a strong, resilient side but I’m human and have my down moments too. x

  • Reply Leigh Roberson July 20, 2021 at 04:21

    Lovely post! I am learning to live life my way in this empty nest season. And yes, I agree, we can’t please everyone and finding balance between self and serving is key.
    Best Wishes!
    Leigh

  • Reply Denyse Whelan July 21, 2021 at 19:34

    Interesting thoughts Sue and I see the changes you have made here. Taking care of ourselves in tough times as well as those that go well is interesting. It had never occurred to me until recently that both positive and negative experiences can stir up sensitivities within that can feel overwhelming. I had such a day on 6 July when I was so full of appreciation and gratitude for my cancer surgery anniversary (4 years) and all the wellness I had as a result, that i felt like bursting! I came down to earth soon enough. Thanks so much for linking up this week for #LifeThisWeek. Your blog posts are welcome contributions when you share. I appreciate that a great deal. Next week is #ShareYourSnaps. It’s an optional prompt of course. Hope to see you then. Denyse

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: