LIFE'S SHORT - LET'S CREATE OUR MIDLIFE SYMPHONY

It's time to turn our back on consumerism and step out of the rat race, Let's replace the hustle with living a meaningful life that resonates with our values and grows us into creating our best life. #midlife #bestlife

DISCOVERING MY SYMPHONY

Over the last few months (since turning the big 5-8) I've been thinking a lot about the fact that life is getting shorter - I'm definitely into the second half of my life now, and I want to live it well. I keep coming back to the idea that the first half of life was a preparation time where I figured out what was important and what I wanted to discard. And now it's all about making the years ahead real, and authentic, and worthwhile. As I mulled all this over, I wondered how I’d condense the idea of living well down to one word for my Word of the Year (WOTY) and then I realized that a quote I loved from William Henry Channing had done it for me – and it all came together in his very last word….. SYMPHONY.

This is the quote that I've had on my laptop background for the last few months:

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, to all bravely await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.”


Channing was a friend of Henry David Thoreau (a favourite writer of mine) and his words encompass exactly what I want my life to look like for 2020 and the decade that’s ahead. 

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich #Channing #quotes

REMOVING THE BACKGROUND NOISE

2020 is a fresh start for me and I no longer have time for other people's nonsense, drama or bad behaviour. I don't have time to try to fix every damaged person who walks into my life. I can offer help, advice, care, concern, and comfort.....but I can't allow myself to be drained dry in the process. I've been there and done that, and will never allow it to happen to me again.

I also don't have time for social media highlight reels, opinion pushing, argument making, or having things shoved in my face that I don't need in my head. I want to share my friends' joys, wins, triumphs, happy and sad moments, and all that goes with normal life....but please don't foist your loud agendas on me - that's not what I want when I go through my day, or open my Facebook page.

I'm also no longer prepared to be a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, or a people pleaser, or trying to live up to unreal expectations (usually my own!) Life's too short to wear a mask, or to hide behind compromise and conformity - it's well past time to be open, vulnerable, and authentic - so that's the SYMPHONY I want to create.

MAKING MY LIFE A SYMPHONY

Channing clarifies a lot of what I’ve been searching for recently and what I’m discovering is important to how I want to live my life in the years ahead. As I turn my back on consumerism and step out of the rat race, I want to replace the hustle and bustle with living a meaningful life that resonates with my values and grows me as a person. I love the concept of a Midlife SYMPHONY that brings together all the diverse areas of my life so far, and orchestrates them into a bigger picture that makes sense of it all.

His words are a great reference point to return to and build on in the year ahead. I want the second half of my life to be the best half of my life - to make the most of the moments and to live without regrets. There are so many beautiful values in his words and they all touch my heart in some way. I’m planning on breaking it down and writing about each of them as my way of developing a life that feels right for me.

THURSDAY POSTS

Every Thursday I'm going to choose a topic that relates to making a SYMPHONY of the second half of life - some will reflect a facet of Channing’s words and how that looks for me in Midlife, and I also want to look at other aspects that Channing doesn’t cover - lots of things that we don't need to do anymore, and other things we can add into our lives now we have the time and opportunity to invest into ourselves, and to make our lives authentic and meaningful.

There's such a variety of interests amongst Midlife men and women and I also want to know all about what’s engaging the hearts and minds of others as they embrace the fact that they don't want to wait, or put life on the back burner any more. Do you have a passion you're pursuing? Are you discovering new aspects of yourself? Have you found a new hobby or creative pursuit that you want to invest your time and energy into? Are you travelling? Retiring? Gaining friends or losing them? Are there lessons that the second half of life is teaching you? Alternatively, are there things you have tossed away that you don't feel obliged to hold onto anymore?

GUEST POSTS!!

I'd love to have other bloggers (or readers) share their thoughts by writing a guest post on what they're doing with this second half of life. If you'd like to be a guest here on Cresting the Hill and share your life’s SYMPHONY and the choices you're making that are growing you and expanding your life, then flick me an email (leanne.lecras@gmail.com) and we'll make it happen.

I'm really excited about sharing how Midlife is waking us up to the fact that we can't keep treading water, and that we have the opportunity to become our best selves. It's such a positive process once you embrace the journey. I hope you'll join me as we celebrate every little moment of this wonderful life we've been blessed with.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you interested in being a guest? Then jump right in, put your hand up, and send me an email (leanne.lecras@gmail.com) I hope you'll be here each Thursday as I share my thoughts on a new topic each week, interspersed with the thoughts of others who I'm sure have pearls of wisdom we'll all enjoy. It's going to be so interesting!


MY PREVIOUS WOTY's



It's time to turn our back on consumerism and step out of the rat race, Let's replace the hustle with living a meaningful life that resonates with our values and grows us into creating our best life. #midlife #bestlife
It's time to turn our back on consumerism and step out of the rat race, Let's replace the hustle with living a meaningful life that resonates with our values and grows us into creating our best life. #midlife #bestlife

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive

46 comments

  1. This is such a left of centre but totally appropriate and very fabulous word. I love it. Mostly though, I love the Channing quote. Just perfect.

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    1. I loved it to Jo - I was really struggling to put what I wanted to say into just one word - I'd settled on two - "Life's Short" but it didn't quite gel until I looked at that quote and just went..."Yes!" I hope you'll guest post for me during the year?

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  2. Love your WOTY Leanne and I totally agree with all you have said, especially about social media, agendas and opinions - everyone seems to have one! Love the quote and Symphony is such an uplifting word for me. I'm glad to be one of your guests and let's get the music happening in our lives. xx

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    1. Hi Sue - I'm so glad you agreed to start the guest post ball rolling - and yes, I'm very much over people feeling the need to push their opinions on me, or shout their beliefs all over the place. I'm more about positivity and encouragement these days - live and let live :)

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    2. Hi Leanne just popping back to say I've shared on social media and also in my Newsletter. We are almost at 100 #MLSTL can you believe it? Have a great week. xx

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  3. What a fabulous post Leanne. I love your WOTY. and really look forward to future posts on how it shows up for you. I’d love to write a guest post for you as I’m sure I could add value to this theme

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    1. Jennifer I'm so glad you want to share in the guest post love - and it would be an absolute pleasure to have you. If you could email me that would be a great start so I know how to get in touch x

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  4. Leanne... this is beautiful. There is SO much to unpack in this one little word. A symphony is at times a balanced melody - but also includes uncomfortable dissonance that eventually resolves into a harmonious chord. A symphony is also a unique blend of the basic 8-note scale - just as we all have unique voices to share with the world. Symphony is an ideal metaphor for life.

    You've given me lots to ponder here. I'm pinning to #MLSTL board for future reference throughout this new year.

    Blessing to you and your family!

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    1. Hi Molly - I'm so glad you like my choice and I loved your thoughts on it and how they line up with the idea of all things we experience coming together eventually to make a new (and beautiful) whole. I hope you'll consider doing a guest post for me at some point during the year x

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  5. What a fabulous choice of word Leanne and that quote is just perfect for so many of us. It will be great to see your symphony unfold throughout the year and I’ll join you with a guest post if you’ll have me! I like the way you plan to unpack the word too and apply it yo your new lifestyle. All the best xx #mlstl

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    1. Hi Deb - I'm so glad you like my choice of word and OF COURSE I'd love to have you guest post - I'll send you an email and we'll set something up once you're settled back home and all the horrible fire stuff is behind you xx

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    2. That sounds great Leanne! Will get back into regular reading and commenting on blogs once I'm home and settled. Have pinned for #mlstl

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    3. Thanks Deb - I've sent you an email and I hope the settling in goes well xx

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  6. I pinned that Channing quote... I really like it. What a great life metaphor word too.... there's so much you can play with!

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    1. I thought it was a great way to sum up what I'm trying to get at too Pat and I'm so pleased that you want to do a guest post - you'll pull something amazing together and I'm thrilled to see what you come up with!

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  7. Hi, Leanne - 'Symphony' is an absolutely brillant word for 2020! I look forward to reading your thoughts and experiences ahead as they tie into your WOTY. I'm also excited to read the ponderings of fellow readers/bloggers on their second-act discoveries. I'm raising my hand and am off to email you now.

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    1. Donna I'm so glad you're joining the guest post party. I love it when other bloggers generously share their writing and I think there are many of us who have great 2nd act discoveries. I'm looking forward to seeing what others write too. And thank you for putting your hand up to join in x

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  8. Hi Leanne! I too love the idea of "symphony" as your WOTY. It was especially meaningful tied to that poem by Channing. It is such an elegant way of saying that you will live what "really matters most to you" and let go of the rest. I'm looking forward to how it unfold in 2020 for you. ~Kathy

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    1. I loved the word too Kathy - I 've had that quote sitting on my screen every day for a couple of months and when it clicked I just felt like it summed it up perfectly. I really want the years ahead to be meaningful and not just a fading away. Life is so precious and we need to live it well.

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  9. Sifting out the noise and only focusing on what matters to you, is such a meaningful way to live your life, Leanne. I wish you all the best as you journey through 2020. Thank you for being an inspiration. I hope to be reading more of your posts through the year.

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    1. Hi Corinne, it's been lovely to re-connect and to have your thoughts on my blog. I'm hoping to reading more of your posts this year too x

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  10. Leanne, I am one huge goosebump reading this post. My body always reacts before my brain catches up. Symphony is a beautiful word on many levels. This is the first time I have heard it used as a WOTY. I am highlighting this quote as part of my morning meditation.

    Open, vulnerable and authentic. You are speaking my language. Also, living without regrets. I would be honoured to write a guest post and be part of this positive series. I look forward to reading the gems that will ultimately surface. A wonderful way to start the new year and the new decade, Leanne! xx


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    1. Hi Erica - you always say things so beautifully and I'm so glad you want to be part of the series. You'll definitely add some positivity and spark to it and that's what this second half of life is all about. I'm hoping to have lots of variety and a chance to cheer each other on over the year ahead - it's exciting for me and I hope for others too xx I've sent you an email!

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  11. Hi again, Leanne, I am revisiting this story and sharing on SM #MLSTL

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  12. Enjoyed your post, and love your word of the year and what it symbolizes. Visiting from MSLP

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    1. Hi - Lovely to have you at the party and visiting my post. This is such a great community of bloggers and it's always lovely to have a new member :)

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  13. That is so cool. Love this post. Will be refering to it. #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Patrick - thanks for reading and I hope it gets you thinking about how wonderful life after 50 is turning out to be. You're always welcome to share a guest post if you're so inclined :)

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  14. I thought I commented, but can't find it. But I love your WOTY. Symphony. I can almost see you directing the music. I love the quote you shared and have pinned it so I can go back to it.

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    1. I love that quote too Jennifer - it's so eloquent isn't it? I'd like to think I could conduct an orchestration of this second half of my life (aka Mr Holland's Opus always comes to mind). I want it to be a lot more intentional than the first half was!

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  15. Life is so short, and many of us don't even have a "second half of life" and are suddenly struck with illness once they're over fifty. We have to make the most of every day!

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    1. That's exactly how I feel Amy - we're so blessed if we have good health, great people around us, and a happy life - it's up to us to make the most of every minute we've been given.

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  16. Hi Leanne, the word symphony is unique and beautiful. I think it very aptly describes what you are trying to have in your life and the way you want to live. I love it that you know exactly what you are about in this phase of your life and are making that vision your reality! Happy new year!

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    1. Hi Michele - I know my choices might not be the same as a lot of people who are using their 50's to maximize their earnings before they retire, but (due to life's unexpected happenings!) this hasn't been what's panned out for me. The amazing thing is that I'm loving this symphony so much - it's like Waltz of the Flowers :)

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  17. Unexpected, but perfect, Leanne! You've had a tumultuous year but I think we don't even need to have had that to embrace your word and your goals! I love the quote too!!

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    1. Thanks Agnes - I think the recovery from last year's horrible beginning has made me value a life of quiet contentment - and when I read the word "symphony" it just sparked something within me that said "yes - this is the year I want!"

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  18. Symphony. I'm still taking it in because it's brilliant! I hope my life can resemble a symphony some day. Right now it feels like a poorly written B movie, lol.

    But seriously, I do love your WOTY and will be sending you an email to see if you'd like me to guest post. :-)

    ~Allison
    MLSTL

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    1. Hi Allison - I just loved the word too - I spent several weeks tossing around a few ideas but couldn't find that ONE word that encompassed what I wanted. Then it dawned on me and I was off and running. I loved your B grade movie comment - at least that means there'll be lots of action and drama (I'm avoiding both this year!) and I would LOVE you to guest post for me - so please send me an email and we'll talk xx

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  19. I am still considering whether I have anything to offer in terms of a guest post. The thing is, this year is the first that I can remember that I am not caught up in plans for "retiring, moving, being separated from family, getting cancer, being treated for cancer etc" and I feel a level of freedom that is amazing. However, I know I am learning to "slow down" and "accept" what is on offer each day. Not rushing around is helping me be calmer. Very thoughtful post and word Leanne. Denyse #mlstl

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    1. Hi Denyse - your comment just summed up the theme for a great post about what you're going to be doing with your next act. I'd love you to be part of my series and will be "hitting on you" if you don't volunteer xx

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  20. Hi Leanne, Love the imagery that the word "symphony" creates. In your personal essay I sense your courage, determination, and passion to live the best life you can create. Go woman go. Thanks for hosting #MLSTL and enjoy the journey.

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    1. Hi Nancy - Symphony just resonated with me as soon as I saw it and I knew it was my word. I actually had to re-write my #WOTY post when I discovered it because I couldn't not use it - and I hope it really does reflect all that I've gone through to get to this point where it feels like it's coming together x

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  21. Hi Leanne,
    I just got done typing an extensive comment to you, pushed published, and my internet went down, sending it who-knows-where, but not to you! LOL, but frustrating!
    Love symphony...creating harmony in life without the discordant notes is what it's about. I, like Erica, believe that we must live life without regrets. There are no do-overs. Making life - and ourselves - the best, most harmonious version possible is the goal. Your WOTY captures that exactly!
    #MLSTL

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    1. I'm so sorry that your comment went into cyberspace - the internet is delightful and awful at the same time isn't it? Symphony just caught my heart when I saw it because it includes all the different sounds, refines them, and brings them together to make something beautiful - isn't that just what life should be all about?

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  22. Hi Leanne,

    Midlife Symphony Thursday posts is a good idea. It's always nice to listen to one another and learn and get inspired. I would like to join you, and I shall begin by by reading your Thursday posts.

    Have a good day:-)
    Pradeep

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  23. Great post!! I am recently retired and still trying to develop a Time Management plan for me and I am also learning to slow down and not be trying to do everything in the speed of life mode....Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.