Discover Yourself Over 50 & Thriving Series

Thriving with the four ‘L’s – Living, Laughing, Learning, Loving

February 15, 2018
Thriving with the 4 L's

Over 50 & Thriving with Living, Laughing, Learning, Loving


My next guest in the ‘Over 50 and Thriving Series’ is Christie from ‘So What? Now What?.  I met Christie through the Blogging Grandmothers Link Party as we are both co-hosts.  Christie and I have many things in common including our love of keeping fit and healthy.

I’m delighted to introduce Christie to you with her thoughts on Thriving.  Today, Christie discusses Thriving with the four ‘L’s – Living, Learning, Laughing and Loving.

Over 50 & Thriving with Living, Laughing, Learning, Loving

When Sue invited me to share my thoughts about what “Over 50 & Thriving” means to me, a million things went through my head. I thought a million points might be too much for one post, so I decided to narrow the focus to the four points of my life mission statement: live, laugh, learn, love.

Live: health and fitness

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.  ~ Edward Stanley

When I first became interested in fitness (back in my 20s), my motivation was looking good. Let’s be honest, I wanted to look like the models in the magazines. I’d try really hard for a day or two and then decide that I was never going to be that thin anyway, so what did it matter? Then I’d plop down on the couch with a bag of tortilla chips; feel guilty; and start the cycle over.

Now that I’m in my 50s, and much more mature (no giggling please), I’m less interested in striving for the ideal body shape and more interested in the long-term health of my body. I want to be strong and flexible with good balance for as long as possible. Plus eating right and being active feels good. Okay—not necessarily in that moment when you’re running the last mile of a long run or declining that decadent chocolate cake because you had french fries at lunch, but certainly afterward. For me, realistic fitness goals are essential to thriving.

Laugh: joy

The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into shadows.” ~Brene Brown

Joy is a big one. After all, isn’t striving for happiness (for ourself and others) at the core of everything else we do? I don’t know how you can thrive without joy. Sadly, in my 50-plus years I haven’t found a magic pill for a permanent state of happiness (though I understand there are several that provide a pretty good imitation). In all seriousness, I have come to accept that happiness, like sorrow, is a temporary state. Instead of trying to force myself to be joyful all of the time, I have adopted some simple strategies that help me enjoy life more, in good times and in bad.

I begin each day with meditation and a gratitude prayer, and I end each day by writing down three good things that happened during that day. In between the meditation and the journaling, I make an effort to smile—a lot…until my face hurts—and be kind to people throughout the day. Making time and energy for gratitude cultivates joy and contributes to thriving.

Learn: continuous growth

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been something of a goal-setting, list-making, self-improvement addict, so it should come as no surprise that I believe life-long learning/growth is key to thriving. But with some life experience under my belt, I have also come to realize the importance of accepting myself as I am—believing that I am good enough just the way I am. How do I reconcile those two beliefs? I am good enough; I can become more.

I like to think about it like this. A newborn baby is the most perfect creature on earth, but you still look forward with anticipation to new developments—the first smile, the first tooth, the first step. When your baby achieves one of these milestones, you clap and cheer, and probably record it on social media; but you don’t say, “Phew! That’s better! Now if only she’d learn to talk, she’d be perfect.” The baby is perfect already; the baby will grow and change and still be perfect. The same logic must be applied to all phases of our lives, if we are to thrive.

Love: human connections

When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now? ~ Max Lucado

This brings me to the final value in my mission statement: making connections and nurturing relationships. You could say I’ve saved the best for last. People are, after all, the most important thing in my life. They bring me the most joy, the most pain, the most growth. My best memories are those times I have spent with people I care about.

It’s impossible for me to truly thrive without human connection.

  • So why do I find it so difficult to work time for nurturing relationships into my schedule? Why do I agonize over spending an evening with family when I “should be” exercising or writing or cleaning house?
  • Why do I hesitate to go to lunch with my coworkers when there’s a lot on my to-do list?

Without exception, when I choose people over the other things demanding my attention, I’m happy with my choice. But the next time the situation comes up, I go through the same tormented decision-making process. The sooner I get this priority straight, the more I will thrive.

So there you have it, my thoughts on being “Over 50 & Thriving.” Thanks to Sue for inspiring me to think about what thriving means to me and how I can do more of it in the coming year. I’d love to hear your definition of thriving and what you’re doing to make it happen.


Meet Christie

Blogging Grandmothers GratitudeChristie has spent most of her life, in her own words, as a goal-setting, list-making, self-improvement addict—always pursuing the next big accomplishment in her education, career, and personal life. Then she woke up one morning and realized for the first time, she didn’t know what was next. Her family was raised, she’d reached the top of her career ladder, but wasn’t quite ready for retirement. She started the So What? Now What? blog as a way of sorting out the question of “Now what?” and connecting with other people who are making a life transition or have successfully maneuvered one. Read more About Christie here. You can connect with her in the comment section below, or via the following social media sites. She would love to hear from you.




Are you thriving with the four ‘L’s?  I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave Christie & I a comment below.


  Click here to catch up on my previous guests in Over 50 & Thriving Series

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Don’t forget to post your Instagram photos using the hashtag #over50andthriving.



Let’s Keep Sizzling & Thriving!

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  • Reply jodie filogomo February 15, 2018 at 04:04

    Gosh, this is all so perfect. I think it takes aging to realize these truths!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 15, 2018 at 07:26

      I know Jodie, if only I had realised many things year ago. However, life and aging is all about the 4 L’s, making mistakes and then learning from them, then moving foward. Have a great week. x

    • Reply Christie Hawkes February 15, 2018 at 22:14

      Thanks Jodie. I believe you are correct. One of the benefits of getting older is that we have more life experience and at least some of it starts to sink in. If I live to 90, I might have this down! 🙂

  • Reply Natalie February 15, 2018 at 04:45

    Excellent post, Christie! I’ve been on a similar thriving path with 4 F’s (Fitness, Family, Friends, and Fun). My priorities are clear to me. I don’t hesitate much these days. Have a great week! Thanks, Sue, for hosting a fabulous series.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 15, 2018 at 07:24

      Great that you have clear priorities Natalie and you always are so positive in your posts. I’m so pleased you are enjoying the Over 50 & Thriving series, because I know I am! Have a great week.

    • Reply Christie Hawkes February 15, 2018 at 22:17

      Thanks Natalie. I love your four Fs. I have found having a clear mission statement (as I refer to it) is so helpful in measuring priorities and choosing items for my seasonal bucket lists. And I have to agree–the Over 50 & Thriving series is fabulous. Thanks Sue!

  • Reply Debbie February 15, 2018 at 06:08

    So well put together Christie! You sum it all up perfectly and it all makes so much sense!! I love the continuing to learn, as a teacher I’ve always said we never stop learning. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and agree wholeheartedly with you. Thanks Sue for another fabulous guest. Thanks Christie for sharing your thoughts.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 15, 2018 at 07:23

      Hi Deb I loved Christie’s take on the 4 L’s and we all need more of them in our lives. As I keep saying, I’m loving this series myself because I am learning so much from beautiful women Over 50! We rock!

    • Reply Christie Hawkes February 15, 2018 at 22:21

      Thanks Deb. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Writing it was actually very helpful to me in collecting my thoughts and reminding myself what’s most important in my life. Lifelong learning and growth is a huge part of keeping myself energized and excited about life.

      Sue–we do rock! Thanks for helping us realize how much with this series.

  • Reply Christie Hawkes February 15, 2018 at 22:23

    Sue, thank you, once again, for allowing me to share my thoughts with your amazing readers. I am so inspired by each of them–their wisdom, their accomplishments, their humor, their kindness…the list goes on. I hope you are enjoying your impromptu trip!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2018 at 21:56

      It was my pleasure Christie and I always enjoy your thoughts on life. I hope you will give me a repeat performance in the future. We had a fabulous weekend away but now home and trying to catch up on blogging! x

  • Reply Donna February 17, 2018 at 04:24

    Hi, Sue and Christie – Thank you for another inspiring Guest Post in this series.
    Kindness, gratitude, healthy living and human connection are essentials to positive living and positive aging. I wholeheartedly agree–making time each day to truly live, laugh, learn and love does cultivates joy and contributes to thriving.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2018 at 21:54

      Hi Donna, I loved Christie’s post about the 4 L’s. It is wonderful what I’m learning through have you beautiful ladies as my guests. thank you. x

  • Reply Christie Hawkes February 17, 2018 at 06:08

    Thank you, Donna. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m always inspired by those very traits when I read your blog.

  • Reply Janis @ February 17, 2018 at 11:54

    Life just keeps getting better and better. I think the wisdom we gain over our (many 🙂 ) years of living makes us realize what is truly important and what is worth embracing. No more wasting time… live every moment, laugh every chance we get, learn everything we can, and love ourselves and those who bring us happiness.

    • Reply Christie Hawkes February 18, 2018 at 02:40

      So true Janis. Even when I find myself slipping into old habits or thought patterns, I recognize them sooner and am able to self-correct. This is a truly fabulous time of life!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2018 at 21:53

      I couldn’t agree more Janis, life does keep getting better. You have said it so perfectly = love it!

  • Reply Anna February 19, 2018 at 08:50

    I like the four L goals, they are real and quite achievable and anyone can truly benefit from following them,.thank you for sharing

    • Reply Christie Hawkes February 19, 2018 at 16:02

      Thank you Anna. I find if I focus on those four areas, I have a full balanced life.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2018 at 21:52

      Hi Anna, I loved Christie’s post and as you say they are real and achievable. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment and have a great week. x

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl February 19, 2018 at 14:15

    Christie, what beautiful and positive words. I especially believe in meaningful human interactions being some of the most precious ‘things’ I have in life.

    SSG xxx

  • Reply Christie Hawkes February 19, 2018 at 16:05

    Thanks for joining the conversation, Sydney. If I had to choose one of these as most important, it would probably be relationships.

  • Reply Denyse February 20, 2018 at 13:04

    You write beautifully Christie and it was lovely getting to know you here on Sue’s blog.

    Thank you for linking up to #lifethisweek 8/52. Next Week’s Optional Prompt is Taking Stock – the list of word prompts is on the end of my Monday post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 20, 2018 at 20:19

      Yes Denyse I love Christie’s work and her post was a great way to look at Thriving. xx

    • Reply Christie Hawkes February 22, 2018 at 02:01

      Thank you Denyse for the kind words. The best thing about blogging (for me) is getting to know other bloggers and hearing their different views on life.

  • Reply Melissa {Suger} February 21, 2018 at 12:07

    This is an amazing post! Anyone questioning the need for exercise should read it. Thanks for putting it together.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 21, 2018 at 15:26

      My pleasure Melissa I always enjoy Christie’s words of widsom! Thanks for stopping by to comment and have a great week .x

    • Reply Christie Hawkes February 22, 2018 at 02:02

      Thank you Melissa. Physical activity is huge for my well-being–physically and mentally.

  • Reply Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid February 26, 2018 at 23:22

    I love this Christie ♥ All 4 points are all so true. I just wish my health allowed me to be more fit.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 27, 2018 at 05:52

      It can be hard when your health prevents you from being fitter Dee but as long as we can include some laughter and loving in our lives then we aren’t doing too badly. xx

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