40 Over 40 for 2023
Don't let anyone decide for you
what you are,
what you can do,
or how you should be simply based on
PROFESSION: Executive management in local government - retired
What is the best thing about being your age?
At this age, I finally understand that we are composites of every age and stage of life that we've already passed through. I still recognize my little girl sense of wonder, the head-in-the -clouds adolescent, flirt, lover, mother, motivator, committed leader, supportive friend, irreverant rebel, and independent adventurer all blended within my soul. That's powerful. I think we should cherish ourselves for that.
What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
Life has been kind to me, but losing my father to ALS was one of the hardest things I’ve gone through. He was a big, humble, gregarious man with a heart and personality to match. He loved people and they loved him. The disease took his ability to speak, laugh, and swallow and eventually robbed him of all physical abilities, while his mind remained mentally and intellectually intact and alert. But through his struggle with ALS, he kept his faith, his love for others, and his amazing sense of humor. His ability to do so will forever be a source of strength to me.
What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
I don't really do bucket lists, but I'm most grateful that my life includes motherhood. Also, as a retirement gift to myself last year, my husband and I finally made the opportunity to travel and meet, in person, a dear friend I have known and shared experiences with online for over 30 years. It was magical and will not be our last "real life" visit.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I think if there is such a thing as perfect happiness, it is the ability to find at least one amazing moment each and every day and consciously appreciate it.
What is your most treasured possession?
I treasure my relentless sense of wonder. It keeps me curious and spontaneous. It makes me hungry and adventurous. Sometimes it fills me with indescribable joy and sometimes it makes my heart ache. It all keeps me grateful to be alive.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Motherhood is by far my proudest achievement, aided and abetted by my husband of over 40 years.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would allow myself to relax emotionally and mentally.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Art and wine retreats with friends and exploring fine wine and great meals with friends and family.
What is a trait you are most proud of? I am a kind person.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Slow down! Even when you make commitments, remember you are a unique individual with a drive for independence. Don't give that up. Give yourself as much love as you give to others.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
It's difficult to choose. Perhaps for starters,
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you." – Walt Whitman
Words of wisdom to younger women
You are always becoming. You are heading toward experiences and options that you can't yet imagine. Don't rush.
Don't let anyone decide for you what you are, what you can do, or how you should be simply based on your age.