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Welcome to WomanPause … And … Contests Are Overrated

Diane Gottlieb

Me 1965

My mom never would have won a Mother of the Year Contest.

Mom was obsessed with being thin, with dressing well, and with beauty.
Whenever I came home from a party, it was never, “Diane, did you have fun?” It was always, “Were you the prettiest one there?”

I’m not so sure that I ever met that criterion.
I’m certainly not thin, and I’m most comfortable in yoga pants and sweats.

I can, though, at 57, finally say “I am beautiful” and embrace the beautiful woman that I am! That’s a wonderful thing about me—and you—we all have our own unique beauty—even if we don’t see it—yet.

My Mom Is with Me

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother lately. (She died five years ago in June.) As I launch my blog, her spirit seems to have taken up residence in my brain, pushing me, challenging me, and cheering me on.

It feels nice.

My mom’s truly valuable lessons have stuck, and they’ve proven more useful with each passing year: lessons about grit, about getting up when you’ve fallen or been knocked down, and about the importance of learning—foremost and forever—learning.

She taught those lessons by example.

My mom grew up in the 1930s in an orphanage in the Old City of Jerusalem. She was “adopted” at the age of 14—and abused by her adoptive father. Mom met my dad a few years later; she had been working in a library, when my dad came in to borrow a book and fell in love with the “pretty girl behind the desk.” They married, had my two sisters, and moved to the U.S., travelling across the ocean to start a new life. I was born shortly after.

Diane Gottlieb

Mom and Dad

It was the era of the stay-at-home mom, so my mom stayed at home—and started a sewing business. She had cards made: “Alterations by Hanna.” The business failed. She got back up. Mom went to school for nursing when she was in her late 40s but discovered the field wasn’t for her. She kept going. Mom took up oil painting in her 50s. She worked in a travel agency. She read voraciously. She wrote. Nothing stood in the way of Mom’s exploration; she always kept growing.

One of my mom’s oil paintings


Mom introduced me to TED Talks long before they were “a thing”; she studied philosophy, well into her 80s, and traveled cross-country with my cousin and his boyfriend in their “rock star” bus. She was 85 at the time.
Mom was always—always—intent on “becoming.”
It is never too late to become.

I’ve Become (and am still becoming)

Diane Gottlieb

I am a writer.
At 57, I am finally ready to claim it.

I, too, am a forever learner, and, also like my mom, a woman who loves to share what she’s learned, to discuss and connect and develop community. I’ve decided, at 57, to write a blog that would do just that.

So … here we are: WomanPause: Women Over 50 Rediscovering Ourselves

What Will You Find in WomanPause, Anyway?

WomenPause, will ask you to pause: Look back, look present, and look to the future—the future you want to create for yourself, for your family, for the world.

We will discuss practical issues. How to keep up with our ever-changing planet and our ever-changing relationships.

  • Changes in relationships—with our kids, our partners, our friends.
  • Changes in technology and culture.
  • Changes in our bodies and our health, our roles and identities.

We will tackle the hard questions: Who am I? Who are you?
Whom do we want to become?

I will post on WomanPause on Fridays. Every Friday:

  • One Friday a month, I’ll highlight an amazing woman and share her rediscovery journey.
  • One Friday a month, I’ll share inspiring poems, books, articles written by women or about women.
  • One Friday a month, I’ll tackle an issue particularly relevant to women on the rediscovery path.
  • And one Friday a month, I’ll respond directly to you—to your comments, emails, questions.

So … Pause. Think. Share. I want to hear from you. Post a comment. Shoot me an email. If you like what you’ve read, spread the word! Let’s build community. Support each other in rediscovering ourselves.

Contests Are Overrated

It’s true. My mother would never have won a Mother of the Year Contest. (I’ll let you in on a secret—neither would I.)

But as I launch this blog, I promise to honor her wild and wonderful spirit—to be fearless when I can or to rise up in spite of my fear.

Come join me on the rediscovery path!

See you next Friday!

P.S. If you’d like to read a piece I wrote about my mom that was first published in Panoply, here’s the link: https://panoplyzine.com/mother-inspired-by-grace-paley-diane-gottlieb/


  1. Dorothy on October 17, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Diane how wonderful to share this testimony of your Moms tenacity and love of living through experience. Most of us realize there is no true testimony without first passing a test…perhaps your mom does receive “mother of the year” award… look how much her legacy left in you!

    • Diane Gottlieb on October 18, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks, Dorothy! You have a point there! Yay for my mom–I officially name her “Mother of the Year!”

  2. Greta Holt on October 5, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    What a lovely beginning, with your mother at the beginning and at the end. I’m so looking forward to reading further. Your mission statement and your list of explorations are compelling.

    • Diane Gottlieb on October 5, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      Thank you, Greta! I am so happy to welcome you aboard!!

  3. Sarita K Sid on September 27, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Diane! What an inspiration you are :))
    Your writing shines with honesty, wisdom, & humility.
    I’m feel honored to be asked to join this community, at just the right time- almost 55 years old. I look forward to learning and sharing & growing with everyone.
    Meeting you on the MFA program has been an unexpected gift, my friend. I love you.

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 28, 2018 at 4:33 am

      Thank you, Sarita! I feel honored to have you on board, and I hope you will continue to share your thoughts here. Meeting you was a gift to me–and I love you too!!

  4. Frannie K on September 27, 2018 at 2:36 am

    You continue to amaze and inspire me. ❤️❤️❤️ learning more about your mom, what a beautiful tribute you gave her. Your pearls of wisdom are eloquent, witty and fun! Excited for this Friday!

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 27, 2018 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks so much Francine!! My mom was all that and more!! I’m excited for this Friday too–excited to be sharing this rediscovery journey with you!

  5. Adriane Schorr on September 24, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I love this- it truly resonated with me! WONDERFUL! I can’t wait to read the next one on Friday!

  6. patty theo on September 24, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Diane
    Thank you for sharing your stories!!
    This is a great idea I love talking to you and look forward to reading your blog!!!

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 24, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks, Patty! Love our chats too! I’d love to hear more of your story!!

  7. Sue Mangot on September 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    I love you, Diane????

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 24, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      Love you too, Sue!!! Thanks for reading!! Brings back memories of the old days …

  8. Patty Theodoropoulos on September 24, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Hi Diane
    I always enjoy talking to you and thank you for sharing your story with us looking forward to reading more about your journey!!!

  9. Janet on September 23, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I want more!

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 24, 2018 at 1:57 am

      Thanks, Janet!! You got it!!! Every Friday!!!

  10. Kathy Richardson on September 23, 2018 at 2:17 am

    So happy to connect,I feel your mom may have overvalued beauty since her adopted dad made her feel like a object.
    I’m 58 and ever changing too..finding myself and parenting my parent.

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 23, 2018 at 3:04 am

      Happy to connect too! I think we all have had experiences of objectification. So glad you’re finding yourself. I hope this blog will be a resource to you. We will definitely talk about feeling like objects and parenting parents! Thanks for starting the conversation!

  11. Julie Savitt on September 23, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Hi Diane,
    I really enjoyed reading about what an interesting life your mother had.

    I hope you’re doing well!

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 23, 2018 at 3:02 am

      Thanks, Julie! My mom definitely led an interesting life! Hope all is good with you too!

  12. Tamra Postiglione on September 22, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    So happy to join you on this journey! Wonderful to hear about your mom and upbringing. We all have a story and it’s interesting to reflect on where we came from and where we are going. You have always been a voice of comfort and knowledge for me and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts each week. Congrats! Love you!

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 23, 2018 at 3:01 am

      Thank you, Tamra! Love you too! Would love to hear your story!!

  13. Doreen Horowitz on September 22, 2018 at 1:54 pm


    • Diane Gottlieb on September 22, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks, Doreen!!! Welcome aboard!!

  14. Nicky Mendenhall on September 21, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Diane – I love your post and how you described your mother’s life. Born in the Old City of Jerusalem – wow – what a long way from her birth place she ended up! I am picturing the Old City as I write this – I visited there in 1997.

    I am happy that I will hear from you weekly – I look forward to all you described offering. Congrats on claiming your writer identity!

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 21, 2018 at 11:35 pm

      Thank you Nicky!! Yes, my mom travelled a long way–she covered lots of ground in her life.
      Yay for both of us for claiming our writer identities! Rediscovering after 50!

  15. Deborah Roth on September 21, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    What a beautiful article… a testimony to your mom, and to her legacy for you as a woman! Can’t wait to read more…

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 21, 2018 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks, Deborah! My mom was something special! Can’t wait to share the interview we did together–next Friday!!!

  16. Paula LaGreca on September 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    This made my day!!! First of all hearing from you and then reading about you and your family touched my heart!!! I always love your writing and look forward to reading every Friday!!!

    • Diane Gottlieb on September 21, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      Paula! So great to hear from you! I am so happy to have you on board, and thanks for opening your heart to my family!

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