50 Over 50 Project for 2020


Helene Simkin Jara

Age: 73


"The best thing about being my age is that I don't give a shit what people think of me. I've learned enough lessons to appreciate who I am and who other people are."

Age: 73
Profession: Writer/Actor/Director, retired instructor.

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
I've written 4 books, had short stories, plays, and poems published, went to Europe and other countries..took my kids.

What is your most treasured possession?
My eyesight, hearing, ability to dance.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being healthy and surrounded by loved ones including family, extended family and pets.

What is a trait you are most proud of?
Same as above about being published and performing and directing. Also, having brought up two wonderful sons. Ability to respect and care about people and have a sense of humor.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing people close to me, especially my family and best friends.

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

What is your greatest extravagance?
Paying for editors and other help publishing my books.

What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and sense of humor.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't give a shit what other people think of you.

What is your motto or favorite quote?
I don't have a favorite one...but, "To dwell on the past can cause depression, to imagine the future can cause anxiety. The best place to live is in the present moment."

Here's a poem I wrote:

When I say I'm 73
you're supposed to say,

No, you're not!
You're shittin' me!

I see you scanning my face
for wrinkles,
then moving
to my chicken neck
and further down
to my ropy hands.

​You say nothing.

​You're forgetting your lines.