Fierce, Fearless, Fabulous, Forty…. Meet Lisa-Marie

It is such an honour for me to share Lisa-Marie’s story with you all. Her story is truly one of a survivor who came out on top. Lisa-Marie, is a personal friend of mine. She’s a close friend. Even though we don’t talk often, when we see each other, she’s the one person in the world that 100% get’s me.

I feel like a failure as a friend.

For the longest time, I didn’t get her. I worried about her. I had sleepless nights over her. You see, a couple a years ago, Lisa-Marie’s husband, our friend, Travis, passed away suddenly and without warning in his mid forties. It was a SHOCK to all of us. And for the longest time I worried about Lisa-Marie in the midst of her grief. They had the true fairy tale romance, the kind after almost 20 years together seemed perfect, until one day, Travis was just gone. 

But life goes on….

And Lisa-Marie has taught me that we can never judge anothers grief. That we can in the midst of immeasurable tragedy, do so much more than just eek out an existence. That we an create a beautiful life for ourselves and we can grab life by the balls and live each moment to the fullest, in the face of tragedy, we can pick up the pieces, find love and live!  This is Travis’s legacy. This is Lisa-Marie’s life and it’s a truly beautiful thing.

Name and age

Lisa-Marie, 42

Blog address and social media handles (if applicable)

Instagram :


How do you feel now that you’re in your forties?


Liberated.  Wise. Strong, mighty and powerful.  I can do anything! 


What has been your greatest achievement since turning forty?


I have come to realise that I am not everybody’s cup of tea – and that’s okay.  I’ve always been a people pleaser and I’m tired of it – I’m happy to say that my greatest achievement is slowly but surely changing my mindset about this one thing that ruled (and sometimes ruined) my life.


Now, as a mature woman, do you have any regrets? Anything you wish you could go back and do differently?

No.  Everything that has happened, has changed me in ways that I never imagined.  I believe that life is too short for regrets; to regret is a terrible waste of negative energy.


If you could talk to your 20 or 30 something self, what would be one piece of advice you’d give yourself.

Live.  Don’t be scared.  Follow your heart.  You are STRONG.   You are IMPORTANT!  You are loved.


What has been one/some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed within yourself since turning forty?


I’ve found my essence.  I know who I am and I know what I want.  And I am living and doing that every single day.

Lisa-Marie, she loves with EVERYTHING she has. Her emotions, which she wears on her sleeve, are powerful!


What do you still hope to achieve in your forties?


Obvious things like travel aside; I’d really like to continue growing as an artist; I want to put my name out there.


What advice would you give to women who are fearful about approaching forty?


The thing with this question is that I have been in the same position – as I dreaded the approach of turning 40, friends would tell me how much their lives have changed; how they feel liberated – it’s something you cannot describe, you have to feel it.  So my ‘advice’ – at the risk of sounding “I told you so” –  is “wait and see!”


What is one of societies stereotypes about women in their forties that you wish you could change?


My personal experience is that it seems that we are now ‘set’… i.e. married (or not), kids, school runs, mommy coffee shop catch ups, grocery shopping, cooking, tuck shop duty, etc.  But it doesn’t have to be like that – you have the power within yourself to make a change, if you feel stuck.  Go out and find new things.  Don’t be complacent.  Don’t just accept or become resigned to it.  Find YOU.  YOU are the only one who can change that.  It’s completely okay to look out for number one!  I see this all the time… we put ourselves last in the food chain that is our everyday life.  It doesn’t have to be like that!  Don’t settle for less than what you are worth!


Any parting thoughts or comments?


Life is incredibly short and in the blink of an eye your life can come crashing down around you.  Live!  Take that yoga or zumba or pottery or art class!  Or take a couch day and watch Friends or SATC reruns.  Put yourself first as often as you can.  You damnwell deserve it.  You owe it to yourself.

At the risk of sounding condescending, I just want to say, I am proud to call you my friend Lisa-Marie. To have stood on the side lines and watched as your life got ripped apart and how you chose to rebuild it, authentically and purposefully, living each day to the max is a beautiful tribute to Travis.

Love you so much! xxxx

Would you like to be featured in this series? Click this link to find the questions and how to submit your interview to me.



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  • Julia Webber
    Reply Julia Webber

    Love you Miss Lisa-Marie Watling!!

    September 8, 2017 at 7:13 am
  • Anusha Naidoo
    Reply Anusha Naidoo

    Thank you for sharing this , I was widowed at a young age ….never expected to be single mommy. But here I am stronger , over forty and feeling proud of how I overcame the darkest period in my life. Proudly single mom of a precious daughter.

    September 8, 2017 at 7:17 am
  • Reply Stephanie

    Wow strong women

    September 8, 2017 at 7:23 am
  • Lisa-Marie Watling
    Reply Lisa-Marie Watling

    I am sitting here positively sobbing. Thanks my beautiful and most treasured friend! I LOVE you, Sharon Van Wyk!

    September 8, 2017 at 7:28 am
    • Anusha Naidoo
      Reply Anusha Naidoo

      As I read the tears flowed, you are beautiful and so strong. Will keep you in my prayers for always.

      September 8, 2017 at 7:33 am
  • Daryl Faure
    Reply Daryl Faure

    Lisa-Marie Watling, you have taught me so much and I have watched, wept and celebrated your amazingness. Wishing you only beautiful things.

    September 8, 2017 at 7:59 am
  • Susan Tozer
    Reply Susan Tozer

    What an amazing, inspirational woman! I’m turning 40 in October and, oddly, not dreading it. This has already been a big year for me of making huge personal changes. I feel like I am starting to figure out who I actually am. Reading that interview really made me look forward to my forties.

    September 8, 2017 at 8:07 am
  • Elzette Du Preez
    Reply Elzette Du Preez

    You are such an inspiration. I think you are a great role model for girls of all ages.

    September 8, 2017 at 8:19 am
  • Pamela Yvonne Mesecke
    Reply Pamela Yvonne Mesecke

    Yes, you could have curled up and died but you chose to live and I salute you. You are doing a marvelous job with Isobella.

    September 8, 2017 at 12:54 pm
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