50 Over 50 Project for 2020


Carol H. Turley

Age: 58


"Find your voice and use it. Never settle – set goals and work towards the goal and don’t allow yourself to get off track by settling for anything or anyone less than what you desire."

Age: 58
Profession: Community Manager and Chief Problem Solver.

What is the best thing about being your age?
The most amazing thing happened when I hit the 50’s: I cared much less what people thought of me and much more about what I wanted from life. I started taking care of myself: eating right, exercising, traveling, camping, dancing, spending time with friends.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish new languages came easier.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My two daughters, although I am sure they have become amazing women not because of me, but rather in spite of me.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Dancing to live music with friends.

What is your most treasured possession?
My grandmother passed on to me a 1906 Singer sewing machine, the kind with a treadle. Her mother was given the machine by my great-grandfather soon after my grandmother was born. The table is worn from more than 100 years of the women from my past resting their left arms while guiding fabric past the needle. When I use it, I think of these strong, creative women and the garments they lovingly made for me.

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
I worked through a debilitating fear of driving on freeways.

What is your greatest extravagance?

What is a trait you are most proud of?
Compassion and the ability to listen.

What is your greatest fear?
Not having sufficient resources for a long life.

What do you most value in your friends?
I have been blessed with incredible friends, with whom I most value honesty, laughter, and creativity.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Be yourself and you will find joy, and your tribe will find you. Say yes much more often; look for opportunities. Don’t waste time; make each moment count. Don’t have a television in your house. Worry less, smile more.

What is your favorite motto or quote?
When you’re through learning, you’re through living.

Advice to younger women...
• Never settle – set goals and work towards the goal and don’t allow yourself to get off track by settling for anything or anyone less than what you desire.
• When you recognize that a situation is not right for you, let it go. Trying to force it to work does not serve anyone.
• Why be normal, average, ordinary when you can be extraordinary, brilliant, and unique.
• Find your voice and use it. Accept opportunities to speak in front of others. I know it’s uncomfortable, but do it anyway. Start with a smile, a long, drawn-out, I-know-something-you-don’t-know kind of a smile. Most people will respond positively to a smile and they will want you to succeed. It’s ok if it doesn’t go well, you will get better with practice. Recognize that, unless you are speaking in front of an actor’s guild, about half of the people present are afraid to speak publicly, and they will be in awe of you and your bravery.
• Develop outstanding study, eating, and exercise habits in your youth.
• Above all, be your genuine self.