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 40 Over 40 for 2024
Robin Somers



"Grab the ring. When opportunity presents itself, get a move on.

If you want something, footwork will get you there or someplace better. Forge a lens of magical glass and miracles."

AGE: 75

PROFESSION: Author/Teacher

What advice would you give your younger self?

Grab the ring. When opportunity presents itself, get a move on. If you want something, footwork will get you there or someplace better.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I have to skirt this question because perfection scares me. But happiness includes healthy husband, kids, and grandkids, my dog and a horse or two nearby, and time. Time to write in a room with an expansive view.

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

In my late twenties, a mom of two small children., I went through a major nervous breakdown. My subsequent roommate called it a Saturnalia. My doctor didn't have a clue, and therapists in retrospect have called it a few things: panic attack, severe anxiety, dissociation, and, most recently, psychotic depression. I roughed it out and got through it many, many years ago, declaring if I went through this again, I’d start drinking again. It came on and I didn't drink. But I suffered. And I shared with trusted friends. And I prayed. And waited. And it lifted when I passed a road sign that said “Pinecrest 11 miles” because 11 held and still holds spiritual significance to me. This spiritual belief sustains me.

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

‘Owning’ my own horse!

What is your most treasured possession?

We can't possess others, including animals, land even, so I get to choose a material possession, and that would be my modest home near the beach, full of a half century's worth of new creations and memorabilia from my mother's pearl ring to my sister's artwork and the farm table my husband made by hand. (PS: this house was old to begin with).

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Raising two amazing children. Publishing a book. And being in recovery for 33 years.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I do buy a lot of clothes.

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

When I was young, the line "people don't change" was an oft-repeated belief, which we now know is untrue. Transformation is the new normal. If I could change one thing about myself it would be to banish negativity (so toxic and contagious). Writing this must be a good first step.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

Kindness. As the French woman on the train to Paris said many years ago, ‘Tu es tres gentile.’ I'd taken four years of French in high school. Felt good to hear someone call me kind. Feels good to be kind.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

Here’s an important one when you’re in a hard place: “This, too, shall pass." Here's one I've been seeing recently: “Those who wander are not lost."

Words of wisdom to younger women…

Forge a lens of magical glass and miracles.

Don't let anyone give you shit.

Know that strolling down the sidewalk with love in your heart is the solution.

Additional thoughts...

I believe in trying to age well. Some days and weeks I age better than others. I have a baseline for self care, which begins with good food, mostly organic, exercise (no longer jogging and aerobics but walking, pilates, biking, hiking), satisfying work, mindfully being part of community. And a good face cleansing and moisturizing regime. The thing about aging that surprises me at 75 is discovering I'm not doing it alone. That said, beauty is ageless and radiance comes from within.


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