Lorraine Ladish, bilingual and bicultural Latina editor, writer, speaker, online influencer and mom talks to Hiplatina about her new book Tu Mejor Edad (Your Best Age) on how to feel powerful in the face of aging.
Recently released, Tu Mejor Edad/Your Best Age encourages Latinas to embrace their life regardless of age. This comprehensive handbook for women explains why the years we have at this time are always the best age. It is never too soon and never too late to enjoy the here and now, to learn to love yourself and make the most out of life.
HL: What inspired you to write this book?
LL: I was well into my 50’s and I asked myself – ‘What can I do for the next 5 to 10 years that I could be really passionate about?’ I wanted to break the taboos that come with aging.
Lorraine, after starting Viva Fifty, saw a natural evolution in her work to focus on the positivity of aging and become the Midlife Reinvention Maven.
HL: What were your intentions when writing Tu Mejor Edad? How did your personal experiences influence your work?
LL: I wanted to empower women about the real issues that affect them. Aging is just one of them. I know what it’s like for most. At one point, I was a mother of two daughters, unemployed after a divorce, and needed a greater purpose in my life. At 45, I didn’t have anything, but I never had time to think I’m too old. I have always worked for myself. I adapted to change. If you have the ability to keep up with any kind of change, technology, business, you can succeed.
By middle age, I found love again. I married a man who really respects me, and became an even more successful writer and influencer. I wasn’t afraid to put myself out there.
My enthusiasm and strength are ageless. At 54 I get a kick out of disrupting the mainstream image of a woman in her fifties. Going against the grain is something I´ve always done since I was very young. I´ve always thought my age is a part of me, just like my ethnicity, my gender, and the fact that I´m a mom, a writer and a yogini. If I don´t hide any of my other qualities, why hide my age? I tell my daughters they should never let age – younger or older – limit what they can do. What image comes to mind when someone tells you a woman is in her fifties? Is she crocheting on a rocking chair or is she doing a crazy yoga pose, running a marathon or climbing a mountain? Of course the strength does not have to be physical, it can be mental, emotional and spiritual. I aspire to all of those and then some. How do you disrupt aging at ANY age? Join me by sharing how YOU do it, by adding a photo with the hashtag #DisruptAging, tagging @aarpphoto and @amypoehlersmartgirls. This post is made possible by support from #DisruptAging – an AARP initiative. All opinions are my own. #AD
HL: What topics do you cover in Tu Mejor Edad?
LL: The book is based mainly on my own life. I chose topics that I personally tackled: issues such as self-esteem, ways to care for your health, and how to look beautiful when time has taken its toll on mind and body. I talk about healthy personal and family relationships, and even what happens with our female hormones that no one wants to talk about. I wrote a chapter on how to raise and mentor younger women. How to help them deal with aging.
I even devote an entire chapter to social media and explain the different platforms. I want Latinas to know how important this is when reinventing. I rebuilt my writing career on-line and it took off, this can be true for anyone at any age.
HL: On social ,media, you posted inspiring photos about you and your active life.
LL: Yes, when I posted my “Over 50” photos of me doing yoga, or whatever on social media, women reached out to thank me for having the courage to do so. I discovered a lot of my followers were a lot younger, and were afraid of getting older. After talking to women about the fears around aging and how to deal with those fears, I realized that for many ageism happens way earlier. A lot of women in South America who are grandmothers at 41 think they are already over the hill.
Only 2 more days until my 54th birthday!!!!! Since it's in summer I've usually practiced this ritual. I would do a strenuous physical activity the same number of times as years I was turning. Swam 30 laps, ran 40 loops around a track … etc. Now that I'm heavy into asana and yoga should I do 54 sun salutations on Friday? One thing that keeps me feeling vital, and which I hope to continue for many years to come is to challenge myself to do something that is hard for me and that, when accomplished, makes me feel like I can do ANYTHING! Wondering what that will be. 🙂 I aspire to embody strength and grace at any age. Practice and all is coming. Jumpsuit purchased from @aerialclothingsrq @spiderlilyfinery #yogaeverydamnday #over50 #disruptaging
HL: From your personal life experiences, what words of wisdom do you want to share with Latinas?
LL: I have a little trick. “Whenever I feel old, I think of myself in ten more years, and it puts everything in perspective. I think hey, I’m really young. I have a 100-year-old grandmother who is alive and well and with a better mind than mine!
As long as you have passion for life, or find your life’s purpose, you are ageless. I learned this from my grandfather. He read and he wrote until the day he died. My father-in-law is also a writer [at] 91.
5 Tu Mejor Edad Tips for Women:
- Look beyond age for friendships and relationships. You’re missing out on so many points of view if you hang out with people your age.
- Stay fit. Exercise. Make it a part of you. 3 x a week for a half an hour.
- Start taking care of yourself from a young age.
- It’s never too late to do something with your life.
- If you have enthusiasm, if you laugh, are truthful, people don’t remember what you wore. Or see your wrinkles. They see the spark in your eye.
Keep up with Lorraine on her site.
Monica L. Dashwood is freelance writer and lifestyle blogger.