“Bittersweet” by Susan Cain


Do you love it when you hear, read, or experience something that gives you a new way to see yourself and others? The book Bittersweet by Susan Cain has had such an impact on me. It’s given me new language to understand something fundamental about myself, and it’s reshaping how I see my work and my clients.

This midlife threshold can be a bittersweet time that involves letting go of what was, being grateful for what is and longing for more.

For people with a bittersweet orientation to life (whether that’s always been true or is new), midlife is an opportunity to embrace this side of ourselves and harness it for greater creativity, joy, and power.

Susan Cain, who you might know from her bestseller, Quiet, has developed a quiz to help you determine how bittersweet you are in this moment.

While I would have never described myself as sad or felt that melancholy plays a considerable role in my life or personality, I tested 8.5/10 on the quiz. This result surprised me but illuminated how I move through the world, the work I’ve chosen to do (and how I do it), and the type of clients that connect with me and my work so profoundly.

If you’re curious about your bittersweet score, you can take the quiz.

Please let me know your score in the comments below and share how embracing bittersweetness might help you navigate midlife more powerfully.


Hi, I'm Sara!

I'm here to reclaim the term 'midlife' and embrace the power these years offer us.


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About the author

Sara Smeaton

I help you discover the joy and power in midlife and navigate the transitions on your own terms. I am passionate about changing the narrative about aging and am trying to fill the world with profiles of real life people who are thriving and more alive after 40 than ever before. The best is yet to come and there are role models all around us. Book your free 30-minute connection call.

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