40 Over 40 for 2023
"You have one journey, make it yours.
PROFESSION: Consultant to healthcare providers. Professor of Business and Nursing. Author of two books.
What is the best thing about being your age?
Being independent; doing the things I love and always wanted to do. I have the experiences of meeting adversity head on and knowing I can handle anything that is put in front of me.
What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
In my late 50s I buried both of my parents and making many trips back East during their protracted illnesses. I played a pivotal role in my parent's business as my father's health failed. I was devastated after his death. I then had to deal with dissolving a 40 year-old business with 5 siblings and 5 different objectives. The process was was eye-opening and hurtful. When I swore to never speak to a couple of siblings, I found the ability to forgive. I have no doubt it was God's work. Now, I not only have a wonderful relationship with my siblings, but nieces and nephews and their children.
l ended a 32 year relationship at 59 . My late 50s were undoubtedly the lowest point in my life. I felt a swirling abyss was at my side waiting for me to jump in to never resurface. However, I refused to let myself dive in. Instead, I embraced my independence--determined to undertake new adventures I yearned to undertake. I had a slumber party for my 60th with my closest girlfriends and that was the beginning of my fabulous 60s.
What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
After my divorce and in my 60s I turned to the things I always wanted to do. I now take dance 1-2 hours a day. I went to San Francisco and was fitted to my first pair of point shoes at 65! I enjoy entertaining and the solace of my garden. I spent 6 months one year traveling. I continue to take at least two international trips per year. I travel solo or with an organized group. I now have the resources to give back to friends, family and those less fortunate than I.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being surrounded by friends and family!
What is your most treasured possession?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having my children!
Finishing a doctorate.
Publishing a book, Nature to Business, at 71.
Honestly, and as I reflect, I find overcoming a number of significant pursuits I undertook that were incredibly challenging. Each challenge led to another and another...at 21 I was in charge of a busy, inner-city ER; at 28 I started a business that would change the nature of nursing. Each degree was an achievement.
What is a trait you are most proud of?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Let go of worry.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't waste time worrying! Be authentic! Stay committed to your core values. Take time for reflection. This is your journey, listen to the pulls and don't ignore them. Maintain a balanced life always: health and fitness, spirituality and career. Yes, you can do it! Do a little something nice for someone every day...even if it's just a smile.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
I always told my kids, "It's easy to start something, but finishing is what is hard and sets you apart."
Words of wisdom to younger women...
You have one journey, make it yours. Be authentic. Look to God for answers not society. Don't ignore the pulls and pushes...Never stop learning and challenging yourself.
You have to work to maintain a balanced life: health, spirituality , family and career. Don't let go of making this a goal.
Being single and independent is a wonderful way to live as we age. It may not be for you but don't be afraid of being single. You do have to be prepared to face a plethora of challenges alone. The people I know who have made an effort to exercise, eat healthy and live a balance life throughout their life appear to have a better chance of remaining healthy and strong as they age. They also continue to work to remain healthy as they age--pushing themselves to stay fit.