Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Waking Up in Winter by Cheryl Richardson

I'll admit I picked up Cheryl Richardson's personal development book, Waking Up in Winter because of the subtitle. She calls it "In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife." I always discover something when I read a self-development book. In this case, I learned I'm much further along than the author is. To be fair, I'm ten years older than she is, too.

Richardson is a personal coach and author, known for working with Oprah. She works in the self-help field, working in the mind-body-spirit field as a private practitioner. When she turned fifty, she had a hard time with the realization that her life is over half over. How would she cope with the changes she's experiencing in her life? She was struggling, but it was May Sarton's journals that showed her the direction she wanted to go.

Richardson had journaled since she was a girl, and she admires May Sarton's books, especially her journals. It was Richardson's husband who suggested she might want to look at journaling to find her direction. For the next six months, Richardson looked for her journal to determine the direction of her life.

I'll admit I'm skeptical about quite a bit of Richardson's beliefs and practices. She discusses past-life regressions and dreams that determine her direction. She discusses her therapy and the direction of her life as it connects with her relationships with her husband, her parents, her friends, her cat, people she lets go of in her life. She discusses how sensitive she is when it comes to animals. Perhaps all of these feelings and ideas actually do determine her way in life.

However, as I said, there's always something to be picked up from a book, even if you don't buy into the author's ideas. In my case, there were two points that hit home, but they were both lessons I had already learned. Richardson discusses the awareness that time with her parents is limited and precious, and she needs to recognize that. That message leads right to the most important point, "Be present."

If Cheryl Richardson can discuss how she's working on her life in Waking Up in Winter, I can say that  what I really try to do, with every place I visit, and every person I value in my life, is try to be present. Or, as I say, live in the moment, and appreciate what you're doing right now. You might not have tomorrow.

Cheryl Richardson's website is

Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife by Cheryl Richardson. HarperOne, 2017. ISBN 9780062681669 (hardcover), 226p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

She lost me at 'Oprah' but her "philosophy" definitely is a turn-off. Believe what you want but leave the rest of us out of it.

Lesa said...

Some of her philosophy lost me as well, Jeff.

Gram said...

I'm way ahead of both of you - almost 20 years older than Lesa. Be here now is a very good idea for us all no matter what age. I enjoy this blog so very much.

Grandma Cootie said...

I always enjoy your posts. They are insightful and honest and have helped me make choices about books that intrigued me because of their covers or titles or blurbs. With so much concern this time of year about resolutions and goals and the word of the year, Be Present pretty much covers it. Enjoy the good and work through the bad, but be there for all of it.

And, nope, don't think I'll be buying this one. Thanks.