50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2021
Mary Jo Blazek
"Be kind to yourself as you are to others.
It’s hard to have complete compassion for others unless you have it for yourself too."
age: 68 profession: Children’s Ministry Coordinator
Have worked with children in different jobs for 40 years!
What is the best thing about being your age?
Not second guessing myself. No time for that.
What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
We were a family of five kids. My older brother had down syndrome. We moved from Nebraska to California to obtain more opportunities for him, and my mother accomplished her goals. He was in various group activities, went to school and worked as an adult. He was kind and loving and cherished by all. He was an inspiration for us, which lead all three of my daughters to go into careers that worked with special needs individuals. This really wasn’t a hardship, but a blessing.
What is your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
Grandchildren. They are my heart. I had cared and loved so many children in my life, I was ready to enjoy some of my own.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Strong body, kind heart, loved ones around me, laughing children, close friends, comfortable lifestyle.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Not to be so hard on myself.
what is your greatest extravagance?
Taking care of myself. For years I have always said yes to everyone but myself, but now it is YES to me.
what do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being able to adapt. Did many things that I wasn’t trained to do, but everyone had belief in my ability, so I tried. I’m so thankful to all who pushed me along who had more confidence than I had in myself.
What is a trait you are most proud of?
Ability to make conversation with everyone. Usually I am the one in the crowd that makes sure all feel welcome and comfortable. I also have a pretty good sense of humor.
What do you most value in your friends?
Understanding and the capability to listen. Countless friends agree that we have spent years in therapy listening to each other without judgement.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
“You’re never too old to be young.” – Happy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be kind to yourself as you are to others – it’s hard to have complete compassion for others unless you have it for yourself too.
Words of wisdom for younger women
There is only one you. Take care of it.
Additional Thoughts on aging...
The alternative sucks.