Be Brave & Be Open

In my MIdlife Matters series, I introduced you to Terri Webster -Schrandt from Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, an active midlife woman, passionate about us all having a healthy leisure time.

This week I am delighted to introduce our next guest, Cathy Lawdanski from My Side of 50.  I met Cathy through blogging and we share the same values and ideas of experiencing midlife.  Cathy has a great attitude to life and her motto is ‘BE BRAVE’. Details of Cathy’s website and social media are listed at the end of this post.

In her article, Cathy writes about Being Brave and Being Open after a year that was extremely difficult.  She shares how she turned this around by being brave enough to try new things and open to ideas.

Be Brave

Cathy writes…..

I used to work for a man who, when things would go wrong, would always say to me “When is bad news, good news?” I think he meant, things look bad now, but where can we find good news in this situation?

2015 was a year of bad news. Both of my parents got sick and died. After my mom died, I had to quit my job as the Executive Director of a non-profit to care for my dad.  After dad died, my plan was to take a bit of a break and rest before finding another job in the non-profit arena.

But during those months of grief and recovery, I realized that even though 2015 had definitely been the year of bad news, I had now been given the gift of time. The time to think and reflect and decide what the next half of my life would look like. I didn’t know EXACTLY what that would entail, but I DID KNOW that I wanted to be OPEN and BRAVE. Open to new experiences and brave enough to not let fear of what others would think hold me back.


Being Brave

  • I started a blog,, where I write about the life thoughts and adventures of a woman on the other side of 50 (that’s me). I never read many blogs and I had no idea how to do it, but I decided to BE BRAVE, challenge myself and put it all out there. I have been challenged as I learn all the technical, marketing and writing skills needed to manage a blog. I’ve been able to use this whole creative side that I never even knew I had and I’ve made friends with bloggers from all over the world (like Sue!)
  • I signed up to attend the Bloggers at Midlife Conference in Las Vegas before I even wrote a blog post! I would go by myself without knowing a soul. Ok…that was a little impulsive, but I went and it was the most marvelous experience. Just being in a room with women in midlife who were daring to dream of trying something new at this stage was inspiring. So glad I went. Read about BAM here.
  • I competed in my first Crossfit Competition at age 57. I have done Crossfit for 5 years. Before I started, I was not the least bit athletic! And while my skills and strength have improved, I am definitely not what you see if you watch the Crossfit Games on ESPN! However, I decided to give it a try, even though I was the oldest woman in that competition and almost let my fear get the better of me! I’m so glad I didn’t. You can read about the whole experience here.

Crossfit Clean Cathy Lawdanski

Being Open

Some things don’t really require a lot of courage, they just require being open.

I’ve been open to several new experiences:

  • A Photography Class (loved)
  • Aerial yoga where you do yoga with these big, silk hammocks that hang from the ceiling (Did NOT love – it was hard & it hurt)
  • A lecture a friend invited me to (meh)

Were they all the most life transforming experiences? No. But I don’t regret doing any of them.  If we are going to continue to grow in midlife, we have to be willing to try new things.

Being a woman in midlife is a great thing. Be Open and Brave!Click To Tweet

Some things have changed – we may be empty nesters or about to retire. We have probably lost some people we love. But there is a big world out there with so much to learn and do.

Keep learning. Keep growing. Be OPEN AND BRAVE!

Meet Cathy

Cathy Lawdanski HeadshotCathy is a 50-something wife, mother and grandmother who is embracing new challenges and adventures at

Her motto is “BE BRAVE”. And that means putting herself out there, trying things that are fun, challenging and that may terrify her!

On MySideof50, she writes about new adventures and challenges on this side of 50. Things like caring for aging parents, relationships with adult children and grandchildren, health issues and retirement. Cathy also writes about new adventures – like travelling, learning to do something new, experimenting with new recipes and whatever else life throws her way.

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Other guest posts in the Midlife Matters series:

Why Play is Important: Connecting the Dots with Leisure  – Terri Webster Schrandt











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45 thoughts on “Be Brave & Be Open

  1. Jennifer

    Glad to get to know you Cathy. I completely agree that trying new things, especially in midlife, can lead you down an interesting path of knowledge.

  2. Leanne

    Lovely learning a bit more about Cathy and her story – it’s amazing how life’s circumstances can be awful and yet good things can still come from them.

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      thanks Leanne. Yes life is always full of suprises especially if we have the right attitude.

  3. Terri Webster Schrandt

    Cathy you are strong and resilient! So much fun meeting you at BAM in LV! I admire you for taking up CrossFit at “over 50,” (my impulse to start windsurfing at 49)…if we don’t try something that challenges us, especially in our choices of leisure and fitness activities, the choices will be made for us–and bad ones at that. Great guest post Sue!

  4. Cathy Lawdanski

    Same here, Terri! I remember reading your windsurfing post shortly after I started blogging before we met and I thought we were kindred spirits! Thanks for reading my post and commenting! Cathy

  5. Michelle

    One of my favorite gals here! I’ll be featuring her this Sunday on my Connect With post for June so you can catch her there too. She inspires us all Sue! As do you!

  6. Lisa at Grandma's Briefs

    Great to meet you, Cathy! And kudos to you for going to BAM by yourself and before posting a single post! THAT was brave… and surely a fabulous time. I was not there, but do hope to go to one in the future. See ya there!

  7. Toni McCloe

    Hi Cathy,
    Good for you. You look great and I think you’re right – being open to new experiences can be oh so rewarding. Good for you and good luck.look

  8. Rena McDaniel

    I love meeting new bloggers and finding out what and they why of their writing. It’s a big wide world out there full of exciting opportunities if one is brave enough to search them out. I’ve got skydiving on my radar.

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  10. Roz Warren

    Coming out of a year like that with the wisdom to recognize that you’d been “given the gift of time” is brilliant. Looking forward to reading about all of your new adventures.

    1. Cathy Lawdanski

      Roz, if I had never had to go through what I did with my parents, I would not have quit my job. I would still be there, doing the same thing, with the same stresses, just because it was comfortable. I would never have chosen to quit. So thankful that I did – mostly because I got to spend time with my Dad during his last 2 months. But then I realized that having that gift of time really allowed me to think about what I wanted to do.

  11. Michele

    Kudos to your for embracing the brave philosophy. I have been able to change many things in my life, but I am still working on being more brave.

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      HI Michele, yes Cathy is an inspiration. It is hard to be brave sometimes but when we are we feel like we have overcome so much and our confidence soars.

    1. Cathy Lawdanski

      Debbie – it’s a pleasure to meet another “Crossfitter”. During that rough year, I made it a point to get to the Box 3 x a week. It was my therapy and my community!

  12. Sandy Sandmeyer

    Great post ladies! I’m happy to see you collaborate on a post. I think midlife is all about how you approach it. I’m excited and don’t dread getting older. I see each milestone as another step toward freedom from my own mind.

    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      That is the perfect attitude Sandy but I can tell by your beautiful smile that you make the most of life. It was great having Cathy as part of my series.


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