50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2021

30

Julia Pinsky

Age: 59

Psychotherapist, Artist.

"Your focus becomes your reality, so turn your gaze to whatever brings you happiness and peace."

Julia Pinsky

What is the best thing about being your age?

I put a whole lot less weight on what other people think of me. How I look, what I say, what I do—as long as I feel right with me, I’m ok.

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

When I was 22, my boyfriend of just a few weeks died. My grief led me to make art, making art helped me to define my sense of self and eventually led to a career. I changed careers about 10 years ago, but artmaking is still tied to my emotional well-being and self-expression, like gold filling the cracks of a broken vessel.

What is your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?

Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day with my family.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Nowhere to go, nothing to do, nobody to please, nothing needed to say—resting, eating, playing, having sex, laughing.

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

I wish I were clairvoyant.

what is your greatest extravagance?

Naps.

What is your most treasured possession?

It’s a long list, but everyone who knows me knows I’m obsessive about my Parker Sonnet Cisele pen. If I lose it, I pretty much freak out.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

Staying married.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

Empathy.

What do you most value in your friends?

Continuity. I love being able to call Carol and not have to tell her a whole backstory, because she already knows. Or to have months go by without talking to Marcy or Judith and trust that we’re good. And when I get on a Zoom call with the Stevie Chicks (friends from Stevenson College at UCSC from the early 80s), I know they’ve known me since I was an unformed, pretty messed up kid—and they still like me! I’ve lost a couple of dear friends recently and I’m realizing that I lost the shared history, that feeling of continuity that comes with being known for a loooonnnng time.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

“Turn soft and lovely any time you have the chance.” –Jenny Holzer What advice would you give your younger self?

Buy real estate.

Words of wisdom for younger women

Your focus becomes your reality, so turn your gaze to whatever brings you happiness and peace.

Additional Thoughts on aging...

As my mom used to say: “Aging—it beats the alternative.”

Julia Pinsky
Julia Pinsky