Cresting the Hill, No Descent in Sight

I’ve always liked the name of Leanne’s blog–Cresting the Hill. To crest means to reach the top, the highest point. For some midlife women, those who imagine their lives to be glasses half empty, cresting the hill might suggest that it’s all downhill from here. A gradual or precipitous decline into old age. But that’s not how Leanne or her many dedicated readers see it. Instead, to crest the hill is to inhabit midlife with vitality; to be free to make new decisions and new life choices.

If you haven’t met Leanne before, her responses to a dozen of our Slightly Scary Deep Questions Worth Asking Yourself  will introduce you to this warm, authentic woman. Next, I hope you’ll check out her blog. Cresting the Hill is a great resource if you need inspiration or help with your own climb to the summit.

What would you do if you could not fail?

Quit my job, work from home and be an ‘influencer’ in the Midlife world. I’d love to have more impact on women in their 50’s and 60’s–encouraging them to believe in themselves, and to seize this stage of life with both hands.

What is your body telling you?

That I can’t get away with what I used to be able to! I can eat what I like, but my waistline will expand rapidly–so now I have to choose healthy foods (90% of the time) and I need to move more. Walking is now my best friend. You will never get me to cross the threshold of a gym–all those sweating, heaving bodies turn me off. Give me fresh air and sunshine any time!

What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty, humour, similar values, the ability to hold a conversation that’s engaging, like-mindedness, and having plenty of things in common. Just ‘getting’ each other is so important. There’s nothing worse than being misunderstood and having someone take offence where none was meant.

What life advice do you give to your friends?

I steer away from specifics. Life has taught me that people really don’t want your advice, even when they ask for it. So I tend to give general advice to my friends about living in the ‘now’ and appreciating how great our lives are. I share my journey and how content I am, and I try to steer them towards seeing how blessed they are in their lives too.

Leanne of Cresting the Hill with granddaughter
Sophia and Me

What do you want that you can’t have?

Probably the only wish of my heart would be to have our children and grandchildren living nearby. They are only a couple of hours drive away, but I miss being able to have unplanned coffee visits and seeing them more than once every month or two.

If you could choose to live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Australia, no question. I’ve seen a bit of the Asian countries, a bit of Europe, a snippet of the Middle East. All were nice to visit but not where I’d want to live. Several other countries you couldn’t pay me to live in (I won’t go into which ones.)

What have you collected?

I come from a family of avid collectors–war memorabilia, cars, toys, Australiana, Royal Doulton–you name it, they’ve collected it. I wrote a post about it here. I’m the exception to the rule because I collect very little–some blue glass and perfume bottles. However, the collector gene came through when I found Pinterest. I have thousands of pins of pretty things, all safely online and I don’t have to dust them!

When are you most yourself?

I’m not a fake person. What you see is what you get with me, but we all have to wear a social face. When I’m home with my husband or having coffee with a close friend, I can let that face go and just be me. I think I’m also myself on my blog, Cresting the Hill. People who know me well say it’s like I’m having a conversation with them, so I guess it reflects the real me.

What is most important to you at this time in your life?

Oh… so many things! My husband, my children, my grandbabies, my blog, having a great work/life balance, being debt free after all those years of mortgage payments, having the freedom to do things on my own terms without worrying about others so much.

Leanne of Cresting the Hill with husband
Ross and Me

I love that Midlife has turned out to be such a fun and rewarding time for me. So much brings me joy and there are so few things that bother me nowadays.

Which culture, other than your own, speaks to you?

I thought I’d go a bit left field with this one. The Christian culture speaks to me. I have a strong faith and the concept of eternity and living with purpose speaks very strongly. For me, this life is about preparing us for eternity–not about living, dying, and becoming worm food.

Who is your favourite character in fiction?

I’m a huge Nora Roberts fan and I particularly love her J.D. Robb In Death series. Her main characters, Eve and Roake, would rate close to the top of my favourites list. Also Claire and Jamie from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

What smells give you a sense of well-being?

Warm babies, roast dinners, hot chips, my favourite perfume, my husband (he says it’s important to smell nice and I agree!), coffee, the air after a sun shower.

Leanne and I invite your thoughts and questions. We will both always reply. 

Join the tribe:

89 comments

  1. Hi Karen – thanks so much for having me on your blog today. I love that we’ve met and are becoming such great friends! Hopefully my answers to your “probing” questions will resonate with a few of your readers – I’m always looking for ways I can say or write to encourage others to enjoy this fabulous Midlife journey. xx

    1. Thank YOU for your tribe story, Leanne – for your openness and for your poet’s soul. The smells that give you a sense of well-being are achingly beautiful. By the way, I think you already are a midlife influencer. You could become a bigger one, sure, but it’s worth noticing that maybe you’re already at the goal post.

  2. Leanne, I didn’t realise you were a fellow Aussie (albeit the other side of the country. That’s the cool things about blogging, you connect with people everywhere 🙂 waving

    1. Hi AJ – sometimes I feel like I’m on the wrong side of the country – so many bloggers seem to live in Qld and one day I’m going to head over East and try to catch up with a few of them! Maybe the air is more conducive to writing on the East coast??

    2. Hi AJ,
      I’m laughing at myself after reading your comment because my first thought was – all you Australian bloggers should get together. Laughing because that’s the same as saying that all Canadian bloggers should get together. We live in awfully big countries.

  3. ha ,, aussie corner going on here with a strong canadian influence – I cant believe my good fortune in meeting you all – Leanne your blogs are inspirational and a great point of reflection for us mature women. You come across as a Real person sincere steadfast passionate about purpose and being the best possible You – I feel that you value everyone that turns up to chat and the calibre of women that respond here is a testimony to your grace of Being.
    Oh and P.S. you could not fail so …
    as always Karen Keeper of the Profound Journey – good on You
    kind regards all

    1. Hi Sandra – isn’t it a great group of women? I love that I discovered new people through the AtoZ to add to my blogging list of friends. Your words were very kind and I want to say awww shucks – but thank you and I’m glad we found each other (and Karen!) We might make her an honourary Aussie!

    2. Hi Sandra and Leanne,

      I’d love to be an honourary Aussie! Is there an initiation rite? A glass of Australian wine to celebrate with? I’m up for anything!
      Sandra, you like Leanne, are a woman I’m very happy to have met. I hope your days right now are excellent ones.

  4. I’m very impressed with all the honest sharing going on here, and have found several additional blogs I plan to check out (including yours, Leanne!) through reading the answers. Thanks!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Yes, it’s a great community and I’m really happy that you are one of the tribe. Speaking of honest sharing, your blog is a model of it.
      I’m glad you’ll check out Leanne’s blog. I think you’ll find that it’s quite terrific.

  5. I love it that a Canadian blogger has a column by an Australian blogger which is read and enjoyed by an American blogger. One of my favorite things about blogging is connecting with people around the world. The more we connect with others in different places and different cultures the more we realize that we are far more similar than we are different. The world would be a better and safer place if we all did that.

    1. I completely agree Michele – I love the world wide connections and also that you pop into a blog and meet people who you know through a different blog and it all intertwines. I also really enjoy the Q&A type posts like this because it gives you a little bit of a behind the scenes view of bloggers that you don’t necessarily get from their blogs x

  6. Hi Leanne! How great to learn more about you through your answers to Karen’s questions. And hmmm…further evidence that great minds think alike because you’ll be my guest blogger next month! I agree with some of the other comments that you are already an influencer of those of us in the 50-60s and that you do it in the best way possible–sharing what works for you, what you’ve learned along the path and ideas you come across that make lives happier and more meaningful. And like you said, we can’t really “tell” people what they should be doing anyway. I think our actions are far more powerful and influencing than many of our words. So us bloggers just keep blogging away and the right “tribe” shows up! I think it is also wonderful to know that other women, no matter where they live in the world and how different our lives may be, deep down inside experience the world and life in similar ways…AND most of all, we all crave much of the same things. Thanks for a little window into YOU! ~Kathy

    1. Eloquent and thoughtful as always, Kathy. I learn much and am always inspired by your comments. And I so agree that our similarities outweigh our differences.

    2. Hi Kathy – your blog was one of the first I discovered when I started and had no idea what I was doing (or what a tribe was, or a niche was, or what anything was actually) I remember asking you if I could write about something you’d triggered a thought in my head about from one of your posts and you most graciously agreed. And here we are – nearly four years later and still connecting and I have the honour of guest posting for you and for Karen – my life is pretty darn sweet!

  7. Very interesting. I found so many points of commonality with you, Leanne. I loved what you said about who you like for friends–like-minded was one characteristic and is the reason I really must move. I might throw in non-judgmental for those of us around the non-like-minded.

        1. Oh that’s exciting, Jacqui! I love new beginnings. That perfect home is out there for you. Now that you’re looking for it and open to it, you’ll find it. Please keep me posted.

    1. It’s hard when you are surrounded by people who aren’t on the same wavelength and who don’t make you feel comfortable voicing your opinions or feelings Jacqui. I hope you find a tribe IRL who have your back. I’m finding my friendship circle is getting smaller but they are worth their weight in gold!

  8. I’m so happy that you featured Leanne this week, Karen. I read and enjoy her blog but I am unable to leave comments on it for some reason (and, you know how I love to comment!)… very frustrating. Anyway, I loved her answers to your questions – what a great way of getting to know someone better.

    1. Hi Janis,
      Oh… that must be very frustrating. I had trouble leaving comments on Leanne’s blog at one point and I found out what was wrong – a box in google that I had checked that needed to be unchecked. If you want to email me with the message you get when you try to leave a comment for Leanne, I’ll see if I can dig back through my memory to find the fix for you.

      1. Unfortunately, it has to do with the Blogger platform (although I can comment on most of them just fine… after jumping through a few hoops). Her drop-down only allows me to comment with a Google Account, not with my Name/URL like the others do. Oh well… but thanks for offering to help!

    2. Blogger blogs can sometimes be a real pain for certain people trying to comment Janis. You need to have a Google account (which most people with a gmail address have) For those who don’t it’s a nuisance. I had to create a WordPress acct to comment on the WP blogs and then Squarespace one and I think I have another as well – then I have to remember my passwords for them and so it goes…… Thanks for reading (even if you can’t comment – I can feel the love xx)

  9. Hi Leanne, thank you so much for your tribe story. It was great getting to know you a little better. I have seen you around the comment sections here on PJ but I found out we have some things in common; wishing our children and grandchildren lived closer, loyalty in friends is important, having a strong faith, that this life is about preparing us for eternity and not as worm food, and above all not being a fake person. I opened another browser tab and hopped over to your blog. I just read your post that you put up today and subscribed too. Although my life is busy and I can’t promise to read every post I will be checking in as often as I can. I love your tagline by the way…I am all for replacing crisis with connection and contentment!

    Hi Karen, do you have any more lists of questions? The three lists you have come up with sure seem to be a great jumping off point for writing tribe stories. I think it helps to have questions to answer, some kind of direction instead of a wide-open page with one question “Tell us about yourself.” I am thoroughly enjoying reading the tribe stories and being able to connect with real people, not just names and pictures/icons. Besides, I think the more we share with each other we can get a sense of community going.

    1. Hi Susan – I saw your comment on my blog (and your lovely little cat name that came with it) Did I mention I love cats too? I’m so glad to have connected with you properly and I’m happy whenever anyone pops over to my blog for a read (I never expect that every post will be read – or even that they’ll all resonate). I tend to float around all the blogs I love and leave my comments here there and everywhere (like fairy dust!) I’m also pleased to find someone who marches to the same drumbeat as me – this blogging adventure brings with it new friends and connections all the time – that’s the biggest joy of it for me (now you’re one of them!) xx

      1. Thanks, Leanne, I wish (sometimes) that I could have a cat here but our landlady and landlord live right above us in the house and she is really allergic. 🙁 I say I wish sometimes because I am so busy these days that I am afraid I wouldn’t be able to give a cat the attention I usually do. I am glad to have connected with you properly as well and to have found your blog. The graphics you choose are amazing and are a treat for the eye almost as much as reading the words is. Hahaha…fairy dust – I like that! Consider me an honorary fairy then and I will sprinkle my dust here and there on your blog too. 😉 Thanks for the friendship and connection too. I love that the internet allows us all to connect and make friends all over the world.

  10. I was privileged to meet Leanne through a small, closed blogging group a few years ago, but have to admit I have not kept in touch with her regularly. Reading her answers reminded me of her positivity and how much we have in common. I hate the gym, I’m not a collector of things, and no one wants to hear my advice, so I’ve started keeping my hard won wisdom to myself! Wonderful answers to all the questions, Leanne, and so nice to see you here on Karen’s blog. Isn’t Karen awesome?

    1. Hi Molly!!! Long time no see (although I did follow along with your book launch etc and applauded in the background!) I’m glad I’m not alone in the things you mentioned – especially the advice (my adult kids just roll their eyes and ignore me these days). And yes Karen has been one of my favourite discoveries through the AtoZ this year – I love meeting like minded Midlifers and the connections continue (even when we lose touch for a while!)

    2. I want to hear your advice, Molly – always. I think you’re wise as well as witty. Of course I do recognize that I might feel quite differently if I were a family member 🙂
      Thanks for the compliment, Molly – truly appreciated. And I’m really glad you’ve reconnected with Leanne via her tribe story.

  11. Oh Leanne, we are so alike. I love your description of the gym…I couldn’t articulate why the thought of joining one horrifies me. I’m OK with sweating outdoors though… OK, maybe TMI! I’m also a lover of good conversation and your love on Eve & Roarke seals it! We are kindred spirits for sure. (I just began the Outlander series..book 4 to start reading next.) It’s great to see you on Karen’s tribe space sharing more of yourself.

    1. Hi Pat – nice to see that someone else isn’t a lover of stale sweat and shared air! And Eve and Roarke are just the best aren’t they? Have you checked out the Outlander TV series – they’ve done two seasons and I’ve seen chunks of both (missed the really gruesome ones – it was hard enough reading them!) Isn’t it amazing how we can have so many commonalities and yet live so far apart? I can’t wait until Karen wins Lotto and flies us all over for a get together 🙂

    2. Hi Pat and Leanne,
      With all of these kindred spirits, I really MUST win a lottery and soon. Then we’re going to choose a great location – maybe Hawaii? – and I’ll fly our blogging community there (first class of course) so we can enjoy a week or two of connecting in person. Such a great and vivid dream – it seems only right that it has to become a reality.

      1. Karen, perhaps if all of us start asking the Universe for guidance on how we can all meet-up something will happen. Because I am very envious of your recent gathering of 3! Nice of you to connect this post on MLSTL again!

  12. Great to see you here, Leanne, and learn more about you even though I’ve been following your blog and Karen’s. Thank you both for the Q and As. Have a beautiful weekend!

  13. Hi Karen great to see my BBB (best blogging buddy) Leanne her sharing her thoughts. We started blogging around the same time and I’m sure we were sisters in another life. Great to see you in the tribe, Leanne and keeping the Aussie flag flying. xx

    1. Hi Sue – yes BBB’s 4EVER! Don’t we sound like teenage girls (I don’t think that’s a bad thing 🙂 ) I love that we both discovered Karen through the AtoZ – I told you it would have benefits didn’t I? Look at the lovely people we connected with this year to add to our little Midlife group of friends!

    2. Hi Sue,
      As sisters in another life, you could probably anticipate Leanne’s answers . Many of them were new to me even though I’ve been reading her blog for a few months. I loved reading Leanne’s thoughts and am so happy that the Aussie flag is flying strong with both her tribe story and yours.

  14. Hi Leanne – nice to ‘meet’ you here at Karen’s place. These questions posed by Karen are a brilliant way to not only start a conversation, but also to get us to think about some very basic things of what’s important to us as we plan out this next phase of our lives. Thanks for sharing your responses.

  15. Leanne, I really appreciate your focus on the positive experiences of being a midlife woman. It counteracts the negative media images of aging that we have all been fed for so many years.

    Jude

  16. Loved your answers to these questions Leanne. Having met you in real life I know that your online persona is the same as your offline persona, and that you are warm, witty, caring, content and living your life with purpose.

    1. Awww shucks – thanks for your lovely words Jo. I love that we’ve met IRL as well as on our blogs – to live in the deep south of Western Australia and to find a fellow blogger as lovely as you living in the same area was such a blessing! Here’s to lots of coffees and catching ups!

    2. Hi Jo,
      The warmth and openness of Leanne’s answers had me convinced that she is the real deal, but still, always nice to have that confirmed by someone who has met her in person.

  17. Leanne it’s always fun getting to know you a little bit more. I have to say, I’m with you on the dustibles. What’s the point? Good for someone else, I guess, but I don’t need any more work.

    1. I’m with both you and Leanne on that one, Jennifer. Creating more work for ourselves definitely feels like the absolute opposite of what we should be doing at this wonderful stage of life.

  18. Hi Leanne and nice to meet you, Karen! Greetings from the GTA. 🙂 (Greater Toronto Area). Always fun to meet another Canadian blogger.

    You’re so right about having a good work/life balance. I used to be a corporate workaholic and suffered a bad case of burnout in the 1990s. Life is so much better now. And great idea about putting stuff on Pinterest instead of your shelves. We sorely need to declutter around here. Cheers!

    1. Hi Debbie,
      Great to meet you here. If you’re in the GTA, I’m only about an hour east of you. Small world.
      So you know all about burnout. How long did it take you to recover? Is that when you changed careers and started working with dogs? I looked for these answers on your blog but couldn’t find them and am curious about the life changes of another victim of burnout. Thanks for being here, Debbie.

      1. It is a small world! 🙂 I was actually “downsized” during the recession of 1992. It was a devastating blow, tempered by a sense of relief. My biggest regret is wasting two subsequent years of my life trying to find a comparable position. Finally, I started the pet care business in self-defence, amid financial chaos. (My husband had lost his job the same year.) It took years to recover from the burnout and It’s still difficult for me to cope with multiple demands at once, but life is certainly more pleasant, now. I haven’t written a lot about that period, but here’s a fictionalized account of what my life was like back then: https://thedogladysden.com/the-vacation/ Thanks for your interest!

        1. I’m glad the car crash was fiction, Deb! Although that is indeed how burnout feels. On my site, in the Start Here section, I have a video I had made about my burnout. It’s titled “Joining the Club of the Living Dead” because that’s exactly how it felt.
          You’re so right that multiple demands at one time are really, really challenging. I’m glad, though, that otherwise you’re well and happy.

          1. I wrote that ending for emphasis. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and we need to seize every moment we can in this life. 🙂 Your video struck several chords: “stress on steroids”, wanting to be perfect and in control, desperately trying to find the energy to keep going……All spot on and told so cleverly with the illustrations. Kudos!

    2. Hi Debbie – I’m so glad you’ve popped into #MLSTL and it gave you the chance to meet up with another Canadian – you guys are a great bunch (second only to the Aussie contingent!) I’ve decided to make you all honorary Aussies so I don’t have divided loyalties!

      1. I think Canadians and Australians have a lot in common, Leanne. 🙂 We’ve always hit it off with those we met on our travels. Honoured to be considered an honorary Aussie! And I love this link party! Hope to join up again when time permits. Cheers!

  19. Great answers Leanne. I do enjoy reading your blog though things have been a little crazy here at home so I am behind on some. I don’t collect anything but I have plenty of things that need to be dusted. lol

    1. Hi Victoria,
      So many of us are feeling behind on blogs – you’re in good company. Thanks for taking the time and being here, Victoria. Hopefully blogging is still a relaxing alternative to dusting all your stuff 🙂

  20. I particularly loved this post because the questions were original, and Leanne’s answers are genuine. She’s the real deal. Now that I’ve read it once, I’m going to reread it and savor each answer. Thanks so much, Brenda

    1. Hi Brenda! What a lovely comment – thanks so much for saying that you thought it was worth re-reading 🙂 I don’t think I could be anything other than myself – I tend to bang out my answers from the heart, rather than over-thinking them to death or worrying if they’re “right” or politically correct – they’re just me and I’m glad you liked them x

  21. Nice to learn more about you, Leanne! A lot of answers relate to me – I especially like how you prefer to be outdoors for walks instead of indoors to exercise, and how you can be who you want and are. Kindred spirits! 🙂

    You wear your age and the current time of your life with a smile. I find it interesting how people in their fifties or sixties, especially when they are retired and a whole new world opens with less financial and other restraints and burdens cannot see this as an exciting and fun time of their life. Keep setting the example and I hope that you can move to Australia one day. Such a diverse and fantastic country. But… even further away from your children and grandchildren…

    1. Hi Liesbet – I’m actually an Aussie born and bred. I think my answers might seem a little misleading because not many people answer a question to state that they prefer to live in the country they were born in, rather than choosing somewhere more exotic or with more culture. I love being away from all the upheavals of the world – tucked away Down Under suits me just fine 🙂

  22. Hi Leanne,
    Greetings from Cobourg Ontario. I really enjoyed reading your answers. It seems we have many things in common and I believe that my mid life is my best life. The only thing that is different is that I must be in the gym….let me explain. I am doing a 90 day challenge to get into the best shape of my life and walk across the stage with the other challengers. Who knows? I just might win! lol Then the next step is training for a body building competition in May of 2019. I am motivated and inspired by many amazing women. I believe they are all in this tribe and many others. And dusting…..yuck! I’m with you on that!

    1. Hi Glennis,
      You are going to rock that 90 day challenge. You are determined and I’m pretty sure you’re a woman who does exactly what she puts her mind to. Power on my friend!

    2. Glennis I am a little in awe of anyone who tackles a 90 day fitness challenge – I start fainting at the very thought of all those exercises and all the sweating involved. That being said, I REALLY need to lift my own game when it comes to fitness, my darn metabolism has left the building when I turned 50 and I need to do something about re-booting it before I end up looking like a couch potato!

      1. Hi Leanne,
        I hear you on that one! When I turned 50 that’s when my body decided to not cooperate with me anymore. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle since I was eating pretty healthy, but not really working out much but staying active. When I came back from Jamaica in April of this year I did not like the way I was looking and did not like what I saw in the mirror. I decided that this was it! Time to take some action and get my body back in shape and get healthy again.

  23. Leanne – so wonderful to learn more about you! From what little I do know from your blogging, I think you could really become an influencer in the Midlife arena. I encourage you in that – when you are ready — but I hope soon!

    1. Thanks for your lovely words Janet – I’m not sure I’ll last through this blogging journey long enough to figure out how to do more in the field of influencing women to embrace this age instead of fighting it or being resigned to it. Whenever I see someone start in that area they either fade away or over-do it (Fierce 50!). So stay tuned for further updates 🙂

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