50 Over 50 Project for 2020
"I'm very grateful for my path and life experience. If I want something, I make a plan and then make it work."
Profession: Nurse - Nursing Director & retired ER nurse
What is the best thing about being your age?
My life experience – I have made a lot of good and bad choices in my life.
What hardships have you endured that have made you stronger?
Growing up/being raised by adults that had no parenting skills. I went to 16 schools before graduating from Santa Cruz High School. We were homeless part of the time and lived in a bus. I had learning disabilities and a drinking problem at 18.
At 19, I decided that if I wanted anything at all, I was going to have to do it myself. No adults in my life really knew what they were doing. I never wanted to be homeless or live in poverty again. I was willing to do whatever was needed to not have to depend on welfare. School counselors at Cabrillo told me I was not a candidate for nursing school. I decided that I was going to finish nursing school if it took me 10 years (It took me 10 years).
I'm very grateful for my path. If I want something, I make a plan and make it work.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My marriage and my business.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting on a warm beach reading and painting.
What is your most treasured possession?
My art supplies.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My Tesla and traveling to Europe for the weekend, more than once.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I was nicer – I get very impatient with lazy people.
What is a trait you are most proud of?
What is your greatest fear?
If I need help, who will help me when I am old ? Being homeless is a huge fear, as I was homeless growing up.
What do you most value in your friends?
That they make me smile/laugh and have an adventurous spirit. A friend that will fly to Iceland for the weekend is highly valued.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Work on patience and kindness.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
Be grateful and enjoy the life you built.
Advice to younger women....
I tell women that are younger then me, to start their career as a nurse. If you have no idea what you really want to do, this is a good starting place. Get a two-year nursing degree. You can do anything with a nursing licence. Work on a cruise ship, work for Apple, Google, home health, public health nurse. Telimed RN. You will always be fully self-sufficient and nursing schedules are so flex, you can pursue your dreams while making good money. If you want kids you can work as a school RN and have the same schedule. You can be a travel RN and see the world.
Getting a nursing degree was the best choice I ever med. I spent 16 years working for the San Francisco Giants as the Ball Park charge nurse. You have unlimited options.