Today, Silver Disobedience sits down with Judy Holland who has been a journalist for more than 30 years, having spent 13 years in the Washington Bureau of Hearst Newspapers, where she was national editor, preparing stories for 600 newspapers over The New York Times wire. She also served as Capitol Hill Correspondent and was elected president of the Washington Press Club Foundation, a nonprofit celebrating female pioneers in journalism and providing scholarships for women and minorities. She has been a Capitol Hill commentator for C-Span and won the Hearst Eagle Award for excellence in journalism. Judy’s stories have appeared in dozens of publications, including the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Tampa Tribune, and Washingtonian magazine. Her work includes hundreds of stories about teens, including a piece for Washingtonian about the pressures that teenagers face. She also was founder and editor-in-chief of Parentinsider.com, an online magazine for parents of teens, for which she wrote stories, edited columns, and co-produced videos. She lives in Washington, D.C., and is married to orthopedic spine surgeon John Starr. They have three children: Lindsay, Maddie, and Jack Starr who left their Great Dane Hudson at home to fill the empty nest.
What inspires you to create?
Creating written material helps me find flow and joy. It is for me, an end within itself. I create for myself but also to serve others by informing and entertaining them.
How has your career influenced your passions (or vice versa)?
My passions include interviewing people, writing, editing and photography. I have been fortunate enough to use them all of them while writing articles, columns and my new book: HappiNest: Finding Fulfillment When Your Kids Leave Home.
What is something that you must do every day (by choice)?
I must exercise! I do Barre 3 every morning and also add an aerobic activity like running, using a stationary bike or an elliptical. I always include music!
What are some things that you would tell your younger self, if you had the opportunity to offer advice retrospectively?
I would tell my younger self not to fret so much about our three kids (who are now wonderful young adults) and I would have offered myself self-compassion. I learned too late not to punish myself for falling short of self-imposed standards.
If you could be answering these questions from another location, anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Santorini, Greece is one of my favorite places in the world because it has such natural beauty, amazing sunsets and welcoming inhabitants.
Who are some role models in your life?
Oriana Fallaci: I have always admired this famous Italian journalist, political interviewer and author. She covered war, revolution and interviewed many world leaders with style!
Edna Buchanan: I adore the writing and chutzpah of Edna Buchanan, a novelist, non-fiction writer and Pulitzer-prize winning journalist. Her coverage of the police beat was always arrestingly creative and read like a novel: “The Corpse had a familiar face….”
What are some common misconceptions about getting older that you’d like to change?
That we must slow down and stop striving or reaching for new goals. At age 60, I work out daily, and just launched a new career as an author, speaker and podcaster (the HappiNest podcast accompanies my new book!) I also know that being mindful of good, or great, nutrition is the best antidote to aging!
I believe in focused and disciplined work toward a passion, glamour, fun, comradery and the Aristotelian concept of “eudaimonia,” striving to become your best self and overlapping that with what the world needs.
What is something you appreciate now that you hadn’t before?
Ssubtle interactions between strangers in my daily travels. I have a section in my HappiNest book in which I interview Mario Luis Small, a brilliant young Harvard sociologist who has researched how powerful kind and casual interactions are daily in lifting your mood and spreading joy and enlightenment.
What’s a lesson you learned within the last year that you’d like to share?
I’ve learned to sleep an extra hour or two when I’m tired rather than pushing myself to the wall all the time!
What kinds of relationships are important to your work?
I interview new people almost daily. I find I can learn something from everyone, even if it’s what not to do! My immediate family relationships also are critical as I am devoted to my kids and the next generation.
What would you like to be doing exactly five years from today? Ten years?
I would like to keep interviewing people and writing. I would like to travel more and continue to spend time with my family and close friends, who I continue to meet!
What one idea would you like to share with the Silver Disobedience community?
Take disciplined care of yourself physically, intellectually and emotionally.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can find all my information on judyhollandauthor.com. Please send me a note!
Where can people go for more information?
Amazon! To buy my book!
Instagram: @judyhollandauthor, Twitter: JudyHauthor, Facebook: Judy Holland, YouTube: Judy Holland