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 40 Over 40 for 2023
Laura Flanders-Roush



"Every decade of your life will carry gifts

of challenge,

power and wisdom.

Savor each one.

When we lift other women up, the world is a better place for all."

AGE: 65

PROFESSION: Registered Nurse for 35 years

What is the best thing about being your age?

My experiences.  They taught me how to pivot from a crisis to appreciate the good – To not dwell  on the losses, but recognize them, acknowledge their impact, process them and move on. My instincts are more refined as well as my knowledge base. Life and loves are incredibly fragile while also being incredibly strong and complex.

What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?

Grief takes a lot of forms. I have had to move through the fire of quite a few losses. I kept moving.

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?

Traveling has been such a gift of understanding and appreciation of different
cultures, histories and  peoples. We need to see beyond our small communities to appreciate the talents, struggles and  heart of so many different cultures areas to become even more rounded, respectful and appreciative of those who are not from the same little pond as us.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Dancing and/or listening to great music with friends who love it too!  
Alone time doing a variety of art projects and getting lost in them.
Creating art with a good friend. Getting lost in either of them.

What is your most treasured possession?

My photo albums are what have frozen time and priceless happy moments in my life and they mean the world to me. On pondering this question I keep coming back to a gift project a friend generously shared with me. Asking the question, “What do you have and cannot hold, what can you never see again? What is unique to each person?  What can you never give away?”  It is the 24 hours of each of your day. She offered a box of beautiful beads and I picked and strung my personal 24 beads/hours which hang in my window with the sunlight shining through them daily to remind me and reremind me not to waste any of these precious hours of life.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Traveling is priceless yet it does cost money!

What is a trait you are most proud of?

My loyalty to those I care about.  Also, being a fierce advocate for those who
are vulnerable. My family, friends, children, animals, and those who
are victims of any kind of abuse.
My sense of humor. I love to make people smile and laugh!


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Sometimes taking things too personally. Many times what is said and done by another person in one’s life has more to do with what they are going through rather than actually about you, but that can be easy to heart-forget even if your mind has that clarity.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Raising my beautiful, strong, talented and complicated daughter.
Making a difference to my patients, family and friends – whether it is with
my medical skills of which  I am proud (and committed to learning more daily) or with the human connection of really being there with them.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Life isn’t what you thought it would be, but it is amazing anyway. It is up to you to create, be aware and be grateful for the awesomeness of it.
Also, life will be tough, but you will be tougher and will survive and thrive.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

Challenges can give you muscles or break you down.
Choose, find and build the wisdom of the muscles you have earned and learned.

Words of wisdom to younger women…

Women are amazing. It is so important to create your own “tribe” of long term support and empowerment to each other. Every decade of your life will carry gifts of challenge, power and wisdom. Savor each one. When we lift other women up the world is a better place for all.

Additional thoughts…

As a 35-year RN working ICU, ER, Perioperative Surgery and Hospice as well as having lost many family members and friends, I have witnessed and been part of the death process many times. None of us are getting out of it, whether living to a ripe old age or it being cut short. Our lives are such gifts at all ages. Remember the 24 hours each day and make the most of every one of them!


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