50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2021

42

Marca Stickles

Age: 75

Retired Educator

"Your heart and passion can guide you, but listen very carefully to your inner mindfulness and logical thoughts. Accept them and go forward slowly, re-evaluating as you go."

Marca Stickles

What is the best thing about being your age?

At this age, the social pressures to always be attractive, articulate, professional and a perfect parent are not missed. Being able to watch the world turn from a distance and knowing I contributed positively to that spin relaxes my soul. I captain my own ship and I am relaxed with my life's choices and who I am.

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

Being a single mom and a single grandparent while maintaining a fulltime profession and a positive home environment demanded inner strength. Making all my own life decisions has enabled me to evaluate situations and assume responsibility for my choices. There is no one to blame for my mistakes. Failures are only lessons to be learned and the learning curve can be steep. When success comes your way smile and fortify your strength.

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

Visiting Africa and falling in love with the people and animals. Volunteering at Nakavango in Victoria Falls for three months and working with students from all over the world every day. Camping in the bush, sleeping by the fire while listening to the night sounds of the animals, and gazing at the sterling African sky reign supreme on my bucket list accomplishments. Also participating in an elephant relocation project and a rhino dehorning project both with armed guards in abundance were unanticipated additions to my bucket list.

Owning a log cabin in Montana for 12 years and participating in a Grizzly bear research project still titillates my soul. Listening to the bears move about at night while I slept on the screen porch, knowing they were a few feet away still makes me smile. We had a mutual respect even in the daytime. Does a bear pop in the woods? I'll say so!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being able to be somewhere with great space around me and lots of animals to treasure.

What is your most treasured possession? My son and my granddaughter are my most treasured possessions.

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

Raising my son and granddaughter to be competent, successful, and likable people is forever my greatest achievement.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

I am able to enjoy any adventure alone including foreign travel to anywhere in the world! Another world travel is on the horizon.

what is your greatest extravagance?

My horses are my greatest extravagance at this time.

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

I would love to have, and enjoy, an enormous sense of humor and allow myself more freedom of laughter.

What do you most value in your friends?

The true test of a friend is their ability to stand by you in times of trouble and support you!

What is your motto or favorite quote?

Dance to the music of life!!! What advice would you give your younger self?

Stop and slow down! No rushing. Use your mind and ask yourself, "do I really want to take this path? Do I really want to make that choice?" Your heart and passion can guide you, but listen very carefully to your inner mindfulness and logical thoughts. Accept them and go forward slowly re-evaluating as you go.

Words of wisdom for younger women

Use your mindfulness when making decisions and be flexible enough to change if your choice is not right for you. Be not afraid of what others think; always trust your intuition!

Marca Stickles
Marca Stickles