Meet Cathy Lawdanski
#FierceFriday is a weekly feature on Everything’s Coming Up Rosie (ecurosie) – celebrating all the incredibly inspiring and kick-ass women out there! With that, I am excited to share this week’s interview with midlife blogger Cathy Lawdansk of MySide of 50.
Click here to read the other #FierceFriday Interviews!
When I heard how Cathy got into blogging, I knew instantly that she was the perfect fit for this week’s #FierceFriday feature. Her story is an example of how imperative it is to share our stories. She is a 50-something wife, mother, and grandmother who is embracing new challenges and adventures that come from being on “this side” of 50.
In this week’s interview, some of the highlights are; her powerful story of going from executive director to a blogger, how she found a new perspective, a new purpose in life after losing both of her parents – and above all else, how to ‘Be Brave” and try new things. What’s the worst that can happen?
Let’s Get Started!
Share Your Story Cathy!
Tell us a little about you.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I’ve been a teacher, stay at home mom, volunteer, non-profit executive and now a blogger. I am very organized and like to take a big picture task and break it down into small manageable chunks to get it done. I am also an encourager and think that encouraging others is my greatest gift and asset.
Your blogging journey is full of struggles and onward success. How did you first get into blogging?
In January 2015, my mom went from being totally fine to having a stroke and dying in February. That was my first “total immersion” into our medical system and care of the elderly. My father was 90 when she died and started declining. I quit my job as a non-profit executive in June to help him. He broke his hip in July and died from complications in September. I lost both of my parents in a short (and in many ways long) 7 months. I say long because being a caregiver is exhausting. Your love and care of the people you are caring for doesn’t make it any less exhausting. There was SO MUCH that I didn’t know about our medical system and elder care that I had to learn on the fly.
After Dad passed away, I thought I would take a couple of months off then go back and get a job in the non-profit arena. But as I rested and recovered, I kept feeling like I had “been there/done that” and wanted to do something different. I was also thinking about how many resources there were when I was a young mom raising kids and how few there were for this new season of my life – caring for your parents.
So – I thought I would perhaps start a blog and write about that. Prior to this, I really hadn’t read many blogs. After doing some research, I found that there were a number of resources on caring for elderly parents. But while I was in the middle of it, I was too busy managing one crisis after the other to access them.
Then I started to think about all the other issues women my age face beside our aging parents. Relationships with our adult children. The joys of becoming grandparents. The empty nest and the challenges and excitement that brings. And I decided to just embrace all of that, write about it and started my blog – MySideof50.
Cathy, how is your blog “My Side of 50” different from other blogs?
There are a number of blogs written by midlife bloggers whose audience is midlife women. Some are humorous. Some are a specific niche like caregiving or travel. Mine is a little less “niched-down” as they say. I write about family, travel, entertainment, trying new things, recipes. So far – it has just been an experiment and I write about whatever I am going through or am interested in at the time and see what sticks. What is unique about it is that everything I write is from my perspective.
What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
Having the courage to publish that first post because I like to PREPARE. I wanted to know everything about blogging before I hit publish on that first post. LOL – A year later and I don’t know half of what I need to know about blogging! And then I had to face my fears. What would people think? Would they read it? Would they think I was dumb for doing this? But I was determined that at this side or 50, I would let go of perfectionism and fear of what others might think and just go for it!
Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
Favorite – The Gift of Midlife Girlfriends – It’s my favorite because it summed up one of the best parts of this time of life and it seemed to resonate with many of my readers.
Least favorite – Seriously – I just did a blog audit YESTERDAY and deleted the posts I didn’t like!
Describe your perfect Sunday.
Laying in bed drinking coffee and watching TV or reading until I feel like getting up. Doing some yoga. Seeing my grandkids. Eating something yummy!
What is the best strategy to create a blog community?
Having a Facebook group where you post articles of interest to your audience and asking questions that get people talking to each other.
Cathy, do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year?
Yes. I am enrolled in a course called Finish Big Start Strong by Kirsten Thompson at Sweet Tea, LLC that is taking us through a review of our blog and making a systematic plan for 2017. When I started in December 2015 – there was no plan. I am enjoying going through this course to evaluate what has “worked” and is of value to my readers and what I might want to change up for next year.
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
What do you consider worthwhile investment(s) when it comes to self-development ?
Fill in the blank. Happiness is…
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Where can we find you? (blog link and links to any social media)
- MySideof50 Website
- MySideof50 Facebook Page
- MySideof50 Facebook Group – Group for midlife women
Thank you for participating in this week’ sFierce Friday, Cathy!