50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2021

49

Michelle Fleschute

Age: 54

Job: Technical Customer Support. Profession: Artist and Crafts Person.

"As soon as you embrace the things that make you unique and different, the easier life gets! There is such a grace and beauty about aging, it is like you become the woman your soul always knew you could be."

Michelle Fleschute

What is the best thing about being your age?

Being able to finally let go of ego and be completely comfortable in my own skin. And, after a certain age you realize what really matters and stop overthinking and sweating the small things.

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

Being married very young to an abusive husband. I was able to grow from that and walk away and never look back, and then I took about eight years of kickboxing (real kick boxing, not TaeBo, lol). I chose to have my first son on my own at 25. My focus completely changed after he was born and I decided to put myself through school. In four years I had two Associates Degrees and a BS in Public Relations.

But, without a doubt, it was almost dying in 2017 from Pneumonia and complications from Respiratory Arrest. Nine days in ICU with a 20% chance of survival and the subsequent recovery, changes a person forever. The most humbling experience I have ever had!

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

It is hard to name one thing, as I moved to Germany when I was 17 with my parents so probably had a lot more "bucket list" opportunities than a lot of people. In short - Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, skiing in Northern Italy, traveling in the UK, snorkeling in Maui and Jamaica (and swimming with Dolphins), Chichen Itza, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and most recently The Grand Canyon.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Living in a beautiful, quite place with my love, creating art, eating good food, traveling, helping others, and laughing all of the time with family and friends!

what do you consider your greatest achievement?

Putting myself through school with two babies, while creating art and selling at craft fairs at the same time.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

My passion and creativity, and my stubbornness definitely comes in handy at times!

what is your greatest extravagance?

I definitely buy way more crystals than I need! And art supplies. They are everywhere...

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

Become more focused and follow through on projects! ADD definitely leads me to flit from project to project like a hummingbird sometimes!

What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty, compassion, and a great sense of humor!


What is your motto or favorite quote?

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought."

– Basho What advice would you give your younger self?

Stop constantly looking for the "you complete me" person and jumping into toxic relationships. It is better to be alone and true to your self, than to be with someone because you think that is what is respected! You will not find self worth by changing yourself to make other people "happy" and THAT is a very lonely please to be.

Words of wisdom for younger women

It is OK to fail. That is how we learn! Just remember to keep trying and be kind to yourself and try again. And remember, don't worry so much about what other people are going to think! Trust me, they are all doing the same thing. Get out of your own way, be able to laugh at yourself, and life is so much more rewarding!

additional thoughts...

As a whole, women get so obsessed that they don't look 22 anymore, when in reality the majority of your life is spent over the age of thirty. Who wants to actually be in their 20's again? I was more insecure then than any other time in my life. As soon as you embrace the things that make you unique and different, the easier life gets! There is such a grace and beauty about aging, it is like you become the woman your soul always knew you could be. 


Michelle Fleschute
Michelle Fleschute