[ By Irma Heuven]
Mel Greenberg is an energetic 61 years old. She has been married to Dean for 28 years – together 30. Originally from Southern California but moved across the country to attend college at the University of Maryland. Staying in the DC area after, and worked as a writer/producer in radio and television. But she found herself missing the west coast roots and headed back – or so she thought! Met her husband Dean in Tucson, Arizona and happily, never quite made it. They have 2 incredible boys (men!) and 3 dogs.
Mel her family is everything to her. Both of her sons have returned to Tucson, and she couldn’t be happier. Her oldest son and his wife have just given her her first grandchild. This is a journey she has anticipated for as long as she can remember. Her own mother passed away long before she would embrace motherhood. Being present, able to share in their joy and know her beautiful granddaughter is a gift that she will cherish forever.
Mel is an author
It’s always been a passion – became a career in her early life and once her nest emptied, became her real salvation. And along the way revealed a whole new career and life direction. Along with writing, Mel spent her youth as a competitive figure skater and she has been trained as a classical violinist. She had planned a future in music, but life – as only it can- had other plans. She did have the honor of playing for her son’s wedding last year – the most meaningful performance of her life.
Perhaps the greatest gift they have shared with their children is that of travel, from their earliest years. Locally, across their magnificent country and just about every corner of this beautiful planet. There are no greater lessons than those learned on the road, meeting people, experiencing first-hand the history, culture, and food along the way. They’ve nurtured it in their family and see it already passing on to the next generations. And once again – that passion has evolved into an added life and career opportunity for Mel, through writing about her travels.
Mel is grateful for the opportunities she has been given and welcomes the detours yet to come. It’s how she is managing her life – what she believes and strives to maintain – to be open to the possibilities – however unplanned. In fact, in accepting the vulnerability in the grand scheme of things – she has learned to appreciate the silver linings found in the most unexpected places.
How do you feel about being fifty plus?
- I am 61 and I am LOVING life! Albeit I move a bit slower, ache a bit more often, and forget why I walked into the kitchen more times than I care to admit. I can honestly say that I am happier now, more comfortable with who I am, and more importantly – who I am not. There’s a peaceful calm in reaching a point in life where you can sit back, reflect, and look forward with true joy.
At which age did you enjoy life the most? Would you like to go back?
- What a great question!! Every decade has been enjoyable and so memorable. I loved my college years. My sorority sisters and friends remain a profound part of my life today. Would I go back? Nope! Of course, there is always that “if I knew then, what I know now” question lurking about – but really NO. Every step and misstep has brought me here – today and I love where I am – who I am.
From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
- My breast cancer diagnosis, 6 months before my 50th birthday. The disease – what it took from me and ultimately what it gave back changed me forever. I detailed this experience on my blog – Two Words…
What changes have you experienced after your 50th?
- Well, it’s been a while! Navigating my fifth decade, coming to grips with my cancer journey – impending Empty Nest life as my two boys flew the coup – examining my marriage of 20 years and what I imagined the next 20 might look like, was no easy feat, to be sure. But now reflecting on it all, I appreciate that each of these life-changing moments brought me here. I’m more comfortable in my own skin. At peace with where I am, and how I got here.
What made you stronger in life?
- Every little thing. Okay, some not so little! I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was 17, one week before she turned 50. I got same cancer 6 months before my fiftieth, but I’m here to talk about it 12 years later. The anxiety that emerged through my life became overwhelming. I carried on, the best I could ~ one part faith, one part hope, one part stumble, and a lot of luck. Making my way through it all I’ve come to realize that it is in fact the little things. The stumbles, the regrets, the successes, the milestones, are all steppingstones. As you tackle each one, the business of simply living every day, it’s easy to lose sight of their profound influence. Each one brings you closer to understanding your purpose, your journey. My soul gains clarity and joy by making it through the struggles.
What is your favorite quote?
- Oh, so many! But the words and the significance behind them bring me back to this every time. What resonates is that we are all here, working to find our way. Ultimately it is up to us to take what we’ve been given, what we have, and fly.
“The measure of who you are is what you do with what you have.”
~Vince LombardiForgot to add these links to what I sent yesterday.
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