Halfway There

Lessons at Midlife

Non-Fiction - Memoir
260 Pages
Reviewed on 08/30/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

Everyone's life is filled with memories, some pivotal, some insignificant but each one helps build the rich and unique tapestry of our existence. In this personal and inspirational memoir, Halfway There, Elizabeth C. Haynes recollects the moments in her life that have sparked the greatest life lessons. From coping with the end of her marriage, the loss of direction, home, and career to dealing with a debilitating rare disease, life seemed a never-ending uphill struggle. Throughout these experiences, discover how Elizabeth was able to turn her life around, become a successful author, and face future ordeals and obstacles with an optimistic mindset. Hopefully, her experiences can help you discover and appreciate your uniqueness and the talents you have that will bring you true inner peace and gratitude.

I absolutely loved Halfway There by Elizabeth C. Haynes. Her honesty and openness were admirable. The emotions she experienced during the breakdown of relationships, dealing with trauma, negative situations, and people were very relatable. There were so many helpful techniques on building confidence in ourselves, appreciating and celebrating our uniqueness, and following your gut instincts. I also enjoyed the sections on learning to let go of negative memories, not allowing the pressure from outside influences to cloud your judgment. The chapter on spirituality and transitioning to change was also extremely insightful and the author deals with many issues I have struggled with. Her memoir is so uplifting and will motivate many women who are facing a crossroads in their lives to believe in themselves and continue to strive towards their goals. It's never too late to get back on track and achieve anything you want. You will learn how to effectively look to the future and start making happy memories and not be inhibited by painful past experiences. This quotation is my absolute favorite: “We stay the same until doing so is more painful than changing.”

Vincent Dublado

How does life show your calling? Is it okay not to have kids? Is joy attainable? These are just some of the questions that Elizabeth C. Haynes answers in her memoir, Halfway There: Lessons at Midlife. This book turns her own midlife experiences into snippets of episodic stories that she wrote in spurts over a long period. This is a sincere attempt to share lessons based on her own realities that anyone can reflect upon, whether you are middle-aged or not. The pieces here can be downright humorous, thought-provoking, or simply uplifting. She is an insomniac who learned to let go of looking at the clock during the night, a daughter who stands up to her mother to set boundaries, and an individual who has the courage to be herself in an ocean of people who love emulating others.

Whatever the case may be, you will find a connection in these stories. In life, we have trodden similar paths, and you might find it worthwhile to lend an ear to what she has to say. Halfway There reflects Elizabeth C. Haynes’ passion for shared knowledge. To use her hardships and trauma to reach out to others reinforces that bond between storytelling and healing. A glimpse of meaning for her own existence precipitates a self-conscious awareness of our own capacity to mold our lives the way we want it to and that everything is all right with the world, even if it doesn’t always turn out in our favor. A memoir of positivity that is bound to encourage anyone to live life one day at a time, it’s a better alternative to self-help books that give false hope.

Edith Wairimu

Halfway There: Lessons at Midlife by Elizabeth C. Haynes is packed full of wisdom derived from different experiences throughout Haynes’s life. Haynes had a tough childhood growing up in a single-parent home where she was constantly blamed and yelled at. With no one to instill confidence in her, she wandered through school enduring bullying and trying to seek validation. To fill the void that had been growing in her, she married a high school boyfriend at twenty-one but some years later, the nine-year relationship ended abruptly, leaving Haynes feeling vulnerable and lost. Throughout her adult life, she has had to navigate challenging jobs and workplace environments, health issues, and other personal trials. From each experience, she brings out the powerful lessons she has learned in Halfway There.

Elizabeth C. Haynes’s tone throughout is warm and conversational. Her empathy for people in varying difficult circumstances is evident. The book is encouraging and inspires strength through life’s struggles. I loved that the work is not only conscious of life's trials but also views them as stages in life that can be overcome and that carry lessons with them. It also recognizes the beauty in everyday life experiences and discusses the need to appreciate these moments. Other lessons included are equally impactful and they relate to body positivity, self-kindness, maturity, treating other people with understanding and kindness, among others. Halfway There: Lessons at Midlife by Elizabeth C. Haynes is a thoughtful, engaging memoir that contains uplifting lessons that will resonate with any reader seeking insight and encouragement.