As I near the end of this wonderful Share Your Story series, it only makes sense to go back to the beginning. When I first began Kuel Life and this Sunday woman’s share, it was my childhood friends from my alma matter, Pine Crest, that stepped up to encourage and help.
This Sunday, I bring you Manya Lowry Lynch who is living life her way…..finally. She is a wonderful reminder that it is never too late to meet “The One”. There is more than one way to experience motherhood. And, that looking forward is a key to happiness.
Manya Lowry Lynch, as told to Kuel Life.
KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now, at this stage of your life, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it comes out of left field?
MANYA: Being a grandmother and being retired is totally out of left field. I met Ron seven years ago, after the Election, and three months later, I retired; became a step mother to his three adult children and a grandmom to our beautiful grand daughter Farrah. It was totally unexpected, not planned, and yet it is the most fulfilling and best time of my life.
“One of the keys to happiness: have activities to look forward to”
KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
MANYA: Morning news shows and coffee with belvita. Walk with husband on the beach or in our neighborhood (On trips we go on hikes); some projects/errands/cooking then reading, sports or movies at night with a night time stroll to see the Moon and planets and stars and “Spot the Space Station”. If it’s going by. At the end of each day, I love recapping the good and making a plan for fun the next day. Daily, I make plans for us to have something to look forward to: playdates and video chats with Farrah, trip plans, etc. One of the keys to happiness, I have found, is to have activities to look forward to!
KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?
MANYA: I have struggled, like many people, with the amount of people who are cruel and selfish in this world. That’s about it. Hopefully, with the new US President and MVP Harris, we can get rid of some of the horrendous actions we have had to witness. My husband and I were active in the campaign and although we are thrilled, there is much work to do to help this big beautiful world.
KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
MANYA: Walking outside most mornings has helped me stay positive the past 20 years, I believe. Yoga taught me how to quiet my mind; now I control my mind instead if it controlling me. I don’t even attend yoga classes anymore but the lessons have stayed with me, life changing really. Letting go, realizing what you can and can’t do for others is incredibly important for me as the older sister who wanted to “fix it all”. Enlightenment is an important process and it really has “lightened my load”.
KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
MANYA: Bio identical hormones! Yoga/meditation for quieting the mind. Walk in nature. Hydrate and take a good multivitamin (omegas and magnesium, etc)
KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
MANYA: Feeling and caring is vulnerability to me. Anyone and anything I love has the ability to make me feel vulnerable. Most of the time my vulnerabilities have made me a more powerful advocate, a stronger person, and a source for great inspiration. My best work professionally and personally has been accomplished because I cared and had personal pride and a sense of responsibility.
KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
MANYA: 1. Moving to new towns and succeeding 2. First yoga class at age 35 and 3. Meeting Ron, my husband and having the courage to say “yes”
KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
MANYA: My Mother for sure influenced me the most. I liked her world view and I loved her seemingly effortless energy and positivity. My life could not have been more opposite on paper than hers. I have had many short marriages, no biological children, and an assortment of professional successes in various states across the country. However, I know that I am just like her in so many ways in my personality, my mind, and my soul. Life has turned out better than either Mom or me could have expected. She told me so before she died and I wholeheartedly agree. You know what else happened? Some of Mom and I’s favorite parts of me are just like my Father! Yes, since I turned 21, that development has probably been one of the biggest surprises.
KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
MANYA: Build a life from which you don’t need a vacation.
KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
MANYA: Hillary Clinton inspires me. The Hell she’s been put through in public and handled with humor and grace. Her intelligence, strength, work ethic, success, authenticity, comfortability in her own skin have inspired me most of my life. She has always had the heart of a public servant since her college days when she pretended to be a Mom new to a school district in Alabama in order to see the segregation situation there.
“Grown ups handle situations, make decisions, and take responsibility for their actions”
KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?
MANYA: Yes without a doubt. Grown ups handle situations, make decisions, and take responsibility for their actions. Self discipline and self control are important keys for adulthood. Self determination and self actualization are what adults can teach young people so they can grow up too.
KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?
MANYA: Healthy lifestyle: sleep seven-plus hours, hydrate, stretch, and recharge. Rat-racing through life is so unfulfilling. When I learned to control my thoughts, positivity and relaxation followed. From those, this source of self love, like a fountain, has been a constant source of strength for me. I have always felt the reward of giving in my life … as a daughter, big sister and friend, professional and partner. Giving and thinking of others will always be my key to self-satisfaction. As long as it is balanced and comes from a strong foundation in myself.
KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
MANYA: Collect more seaglass with Ron and Farrah. West Coast road trip from Northern Cal to Vancouver. Outlive Ron. He’s lost enough loved ones.