WASHINGTON (December 4, 2013) — As a fourth-generation Kennedy, Peabody & Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, and a mother of four, Maria Shriver has experienced countless spectacular achievements, but certainly more than her share of painful losses. Now, as she returns to the news desk and prepares for the release of her third “Shriver Report” on the evolving needs of modern women, she sits down for an intimate interview with AARP The Magazine. After enduring a few of the toughest years of her life in the public eye, the former First Lady of California reveals her proudest moments, lowest points and why she’ll still just be “Maria” until the end.
The following are excerpts from the December/January issue of the AARP The Magazine cover story featuring Maria Shriver, available in homes today and online NOW at www.aarp.org/magazine.
On reinventing herself in the face of adversity:
“That’s certainly been a struggle for me…[In 2011], I was trying to reimagine my life. You have to be willing to let go of the life you planned in order to make the life you’re meant to live.”
On finding love again:
“I’ve been blessed by my parents’ love, by the love I had with Arnold, by the love of my children and my friends. I think that carries you through. We’re so consumed as a society with ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’ or ‘Are you married?’ We miss the love that is staring you right in the face. I feel surrounded by love.”
“I think that you can only know happy if you know sad, and if you don’t lie to yourself. The other day a mother at my son’s water polo tournament said, ‘Contentment is so underrated.’ I said, ‘Wow, that’s true. I’m content. I have it good.’”
“I don’t think about it that much. I try to surround myself with lots of young people who are full of life and energy and ideas…I’ve been loved, and I’ve loved. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s.”
On dealing with grief:
“…we don’t have a culture for handling grief. Understanding that there’s not something wrong with you, and that you will get through it, is probably one of the most important things you do.”
On her late father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease:
“Alzheimer’s is a boomers’ disease…It rattles your whole family dynamic, and it’s not something that going to happen some other time. It’s happening now.”
On building self-esteem:
“I was not brought up to put myself first, but you have to…It’s your job to know who you are. What do you value? What’s your mission? What makes you happy?”
On her upcoming “Shriver Report”:
“At The Women’s Conference we had these power women discussing “Can I have it all?” I started to think about the women who are left out that discussion. They’re not invited to the power conferences – they barely have time to wash their hair! I wanted to find out what those women need, what we could do differently.”
On raising her children:
“I feel that it’s my job on a daily basis to love my four children unconditionally and to focus on them…I’m really big on elevating people. I always say to my kids, “Our job here is to elevate each other. The world knocks you down.’”
On being a member of the sandwich generation:
“It’s emotionally challenging trying to raise your kids—and parent your parents at the same time. But not a day goes by that I don’t miss my parents. If I had a choice to have them here, I’d do that all again.”
On what she’s still working on:
“I’d like to get really good at meditation. I’d like to get really good at accepting love. I’d like to get really good at unconditional love.”
For the complete interview, along with behind the scenes video, check out http://www.aarp.org/magazine/.
About AARP The Magazine
With more than 35.2 million readers, AARP The Magazine is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through health and fitness features, financial guidance, consumer interest information and tips, celebrity interviews, and book and movie reviews. AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is published bimonthly in print and continually online. Learn more at www.aarpmagazine.org.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more atwww.aarp.org.
Michelle Alvarez, AARP, 202.434.2555, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelsea Sanders, Coburn Communication, 212.382.4451, Chelsea.Sanders@coburnww.com