50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2021

#5
M'Liss Keesling

Age: 64

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"Life is too short to spend countless hours, weeks, years beating yourself up or rejecting yourself.  Embrace and love yourself now."

age: 64  profession:  Health Education/Counseling

 

What is the best thing about being your age?

Being retired, not giving a fuck.

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

Soooo many: sexual assault, abuse, alcoholism, codependency, narcissism, DV, Alzheimer’s, eating disorder, death.  They have all made me stronger, but at a cost – having lived most of my life from an angry, defensive posture.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My daughter. I have lots of professional achievements but she is the biggest miracle in my life.

What is your most treasured possession?

I don’t know if I have one.  I am a collector, so I have lots of treasures and favorites.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I am happier now than I have ever been.  If i could improve on it, I would love a guarantee from the great spirit that all those I love would be safe, secure, and nurtured forever...and maybe a vacation home in Mexico.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

My ability to keep growing and be available to others.

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

I have spent virtually all of my life insisting that if I could just change "x" I would be good enough. I am not willing to do it any longer.  I am however willing to improve in all areas of my life.

what is your greatest extravagance?

Shopping.

What do you most value in your friends?

Humor and compassion. The ability to connect easily.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t take yourself so seriously, you are not flawed, you are perfect as you are. You are important and do not need to change to be valuable.

Words of wisdom for younger women

You are perfect, you don’t need to try so hard.  Life is too short to spend countless hours, weeks, years beating yourself up or rejecting yourself.  Embrace and love yourself now.

 

Additional thoughts about aging...

The only thing I think about now is I wish I had more time to fully embrace and express who I really am.

 

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