50 Over 50 Project for 2020


Alisa Van Dissen

Age: 56


"Don’t be afraid of aging. It’s a joy to be alive!"

Age: 56
Profession: Real Estate Investment Property Owner/Manager

What is the best thing about being your age?
The wisdom I have gained from my life’s experiences. I don’t regret anything from my past. I see all of my life’s experiences as a great asset because without them I wouldn’t be who I am today.

The other thing I appreciate about being 56 is that my body for the most part still feels great, I am fit and strong and have good energy most of the time. I am grateful for everyday. The down side is that it takes longer to heal.

What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
One of the most difficult experiences of my life was losing both of my parents at a young age. My father passed suddenly and unexpectedly. My mother was diagnosed with ALS. She gave me the gift of being her caregiver until her very last breath. From her death I learned not to fear my own death.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Becoming a parent and learning to be a good Mom. And a big one, at the age of 40 deciding to become more healthy. I lost 90 pounds in one year by following a healthy diet and daily exercise. And I have continued on the path of good health and fitness and never looked back.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Skiing on a powder day making first tracks. Standing at the top of a mountain or ridge line, picking my line and skiing it fearlessly.
Waking up slowly with my Love, sipping coffee together on the couch, without talking.

What is your most treasured possession?
My family. The gift of spending each and every sacred day with my beloved wife Carolyn, and as much time as possible with our son Carson (he’s 19 and has a girlfriend, so I never get enough of him).

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
Just one? Traveling the world, being an expert skier, back country snow cat skiing in the Kootenay Rockies of British Columbia, learning to scuba dive, surf, and play tennis. Whitewater rafting the Colorado River, all 277 miles down the Grand Canyon.

What is a trait you are most proud of?
The ability to reach out to others and make friends, to make them feel valued and loved.

What do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty. Honesty. Empathy. And fun.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Spending my 50th birthday in Paris with my beloved wife dining at Le Jules Verne restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower.

What advice would you give your younger self?
• Life is meant to be lived, fully.
• Know that you are worthy of love and that you are loved.
• Everything will be ok

What is your favorite motto or quote?
“The meaning of life is to live it. Fully.”

Additional thoughts for younger women...
I promise life gets easier the older you get.
• Trust yourself and never mind what others think of you.
• Don’t be afraid of aging. It’s a joy to be alive!
• Learn to accept the things you can and cannot change and develop the wisdom to know the difference.
• Be willing to ask for help. A helping hand will always be there when you reach out for help.
• Trust that you will be shown the way.
• Develop an attitude of gratitude.