50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2022
#18
Kimlin McDaniel Keith

Age: 63

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"Keep showing up, including for yourself!"

age: 63

 

profession:  Nurse and caregiver, retired.

 

What is the best thing about being your age?

3 months into retirement the view from here is great! I had an amazing career full of dislocations and rebounds, but never boredom. I have had a life of caregiving for those I love. Today I get to make a choice about what I do, and I love it!

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

Before our second child was launched, my husband began to falter and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at age 58. The following 8 years were constant “new normals,” but I would not trade them for anything- much of who I am was forged in that time.

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

Getting to be a grandmother! Having a career in nursing focused on birth, bonding, and breastfeeding, it is a thrill to witness and be part of this in my family.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being with five friends paddling as one out into the ocean – my good medicine place.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

Completing nursing school with a baby and serving my community as a nurse for 35 years.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I wish that my insight that much of “self care” is capitalist marketing – and not what the world needs  – had not led me to discount the need for deep grounding. In 2009 I undertook the Camino de Santiago, starting as a walker and becoming a pilgrim in the process. The timing was fortuitous as later that year my husband’s diagnosis came and the world turned sideways for us. I am so glad that I had my walkabout to anchor me.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

Keep showing up, including for yourself! 
 

Words of wisdom for younger women

Find your walkabout.

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