Mel Greenberg is a best-selling author and publisher, cancer survivor, prominent midlife advocate, and all around badass.
Taking on life at its fullest after emptying her nest, she’ll be the first to tell you that moving forward – from then to now has been a wildly unexpected and beautiful journey. This time is hers and she’s making it count. With a second book in the works, she’s incredibly busy. We are grateful Mel took the time to participate in our Share Your Story series. Better yet, she joins our Kuel Life roster of experts this month. Stay tuned for more from Mel!
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?
MEL: I’m a work in progress, so I don’t know that anything I do would completely surprise those who know me. But, at this very moment in time, I am writing the sequel to Running With Our Eyes Closed and working on a screenplay development of book one.
KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
MEL: HA! Well, pandemic typical has been interesting, and anything BUT typical! I am super active and love to travel. With that suspended just now, at least internationally, I am embracing the time at home to both reflect and grow. I’ve come to really enjoy the quiet, slower pace. My voice has clarity and an opportunity to be heard in ways that I had never expected. I’m really LOVING these new days…
“a sense of vulnerability creeping in, and processing its presence”
KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?
MEL: Oh Lord, that’s a loaded question. With all that’s going on in the world right now, I struggle to both stay informed and stay at peace. I have felt a sense of vulnerability creeping in, and processing its presence is by far my biggest struggle.
KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
MEL: I make lists – big picture and step-by-steps to get there. Daily, weekly, monthly and so on. This and a lot of self-talk. That little voice in our heads is powerful.
KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
MEL: Be patient and flexible. There are plenty of unexpected twists and turns that show up with each passing year, so give yourself, and those you love a break. You are perfectly imperfect – embracing and enjoying that is half the battle.
KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
MEL: Ah, well as I mentioned earlier, these times have revealed a tremendous sense of vulnerability for me. I find myself unsure of what to believe with regard to my health in ways I’ve never quite experienced. It’s a bit daunting, to be a free, strong-willed spirit suddenly looking fear right in the eye. I am determined to conquer those feelings, but in the midst of so much uncertainty in our world – it’s no easy task.
KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
- My mother’s death from breast cancer one week before her fiftieth birthday – when I was seventeen.
- My breast cancer diagnosis six months before my fiftieth birthday.
- Leaving my SOCAL roots to attend college in Maryland.
“My mother. I am the woman I am today because of how she lived and died.”
KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
MEL: My mother. I am the woman I am today because of how she lived and died. Her loss at my young age changed everything. Yet, it is my memory of her personal strength and passion for life that drives me still.
KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
MEL: There have been many mentors throughout my life. One message weaves its way through all those relationships – “You are a precious, talented soul, believe that the power to survive and thrive in this world is within you.”
KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
MEL: There isn’t just one! I am inspired by women, those I know dearly and those I admire from afar, who don’t settle. Those women who are not dealt the ideal hand and yet play what they have with grace and determination. Those who still, no matter what life tosses their way, do everything within their power to leave their world – our world a kinder, better place.
KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?
MEL: Oh hell no! I don’t see that ever happening. At least I hope not!
KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?
MEL: I allow myself the space to be. Whether it’s working out, playing golf, the piano, reading, time with family, friends, or alone, laughing or having a good cry. I’m finally okay to truly “Let It Be”…
KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
- See the top of Mount Kilimanjaro
- Get to Israel
- Own a vineyard in Tuscany