I am thrilled to be The Cover of this issue of The Pro-Age Woman eMagazine. I so align with the vision of the pro-age community; seeking and living with positivity. I’m so darn happy that I am the age that I am. I’ve never felt more vibrant than I do now. Here’s a little secret…this is the best age. How wonderful is it to be finished with all the “have to’s” and just get to focus on the “want to’s”. What a gift! I’m so honored to be able to share with you my story and invite you to walk this beautiful path together, skipping all the way.
Q: What does Pro-Aging mean to you?
I am super grateful to be aging! I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer three years ago, and here is my alternative… NOT BEING HERE! So if you ask me about talking about my age, and what I feel about growing old, I am, in a word… THRILLED. I will never understand how people are ashamed of their age or shy away from it. I want my son and his girlfriend, and all their friends that come over, to know that turning 50 or 60 or whatever age is great. It’s exciting and holds new gifts and opportunities daily. I don’t want them to dread aging; that’s how we change the narrative… my mission is to help women be loud and proud about their age.
Q: What conflicting thoughts did you battle while approaching 50 or beyond if any?
I really didn’t. I have never been one to worry about a birthday or aging. I looked forward to each stage in my life. I always planned big birthday bashes or a special day walking on the beach with my favorite people celebrating my birthday. I have never, ever been down about it or depressed. I mean, seriously, why? You’re not going to change it. I was grateful and took each birthday as a gift from God.
Q: What do you think are the positives of this stage of life?
My 20’s were fabulous; I’m not going to lie, and so were my 30’s, but with those ages came lots of stressors, pressures and self-doubts… will I ever get my dream job? Am I going to make it in TV? Will I ever get married? Can I have a child? Will I be a good mom? The list felt never ending during that time period. When you hit your mid 50’s those pressures finally disappear. You are at a stage where you can focus much more on your personal growth, dreams, and goals. It’s very freeing. I love it.
Q: What are the challenges?
Oh boy, where to begin! Ha! There are definitely challenges. I do get fearful from time to time of my illness coming back. I am concerned about bone strength, staying fit and agile, and keeping my weight in check. That’s the reason why exercise and keeping active are so important to me. And working in a visual medium the professional challenges are there as well. It’s an adjustment to go through life being a person who attracted attention from others and then you hit 50 and to some people you become invisible. The dynamic changes and you have to work a little harder to remind people of your talent. But that’s when your own self-esteem kicks in and you have to grab it. Put on your big girl panties, know your self-worth, and use it. You have experience and wisdom in so many areas, so wield that!
Q: What strategies do you use to overcome these challenges?
Aging to me is all about what energy you give off. I have met 20 somethings who are bored, tired, and lethargic. I run from them, they hate life and work, and everything is a bummer. I have met 80-year-olds full of vitality, energy, and joy and are just so happy to be here. That’s who I gravitate to and who others will as well. I say it’s in your mind first. If you think youthfully, you will act and be youthful. I prioritize my healthy eating and movement and make sure to be around people who make me happy and laugh. I say no to things that will cause stress and strife in my life. I try to keep life interesting daily! For instance – I try out new classes and activities that feel new and exciting. I share them on my Instagram and blog to help inspire other women too!
Q: What words of wisdom would you have for the younger generations or your younger self?
Get strong roots, my darlings, while you are young. Keep your family close, your traditions strong and your friendship circle very curated. Get friends that will be there for a lifetime not a party time. The people that I have found to be the most successful in life had strong and deep roots. They knew where they came from. They had a strong sense of faith, a place to turn when the waters get choppy in life and they always will. The happy and most successful people I know had an army, small or big, of trusted and true long-term friends. I was at a gathering at Kris Jenner’s home recently and she said something I found so fascinating. She is at the pinnacle of what many term success, in family and career and finances and she said when talking about friendship and her close inner circle… “History trumps everything.” Meaning those friends that were with her at the beginning, before all the fame, money, and trappings, are the ones she still holds the dearest. You can’t put a price tag on loyalty and character. Seek that out in your family, friends and loved ones and you will be a rich person.
Q: At what age did you get into the entertainment industry?
I wanted to be a performer since I was 12 years old. I always knew I wanted to be on TV and in front of the camera. I never wavered and focused on that and only that! By age 21, I was a TV news anchor, reporting the 6:00 am and 11:00 pm nightly evening news in Michigan on camera. I’ve loved it ever since.
Q: How did you know that this was the direction you wanted to take?
I was literally drawn to it. Watching TV in my ranch-style small home in Detroit as a 12-year-old girl, I saw a newswoman named Jessica Savage on my TV delivering the news. I turned to my mom and said…. “MOM, I want to do that one day!”. She turned to look at the TV, then back at me and said …” well then you WILL.” I never doubted that I would. I think we all have an innate sense of what we are drawn to sometimes, we stifle it or ignore it or discount it but it’s always there we just have to listen for it.
Q: What advice would you give to other women starting a business at this stage of life?
I would say there had never been a better time than now. You will never be this young again. And look at your advantages… most likely, you have already raised your family and found your strong set of skills. You are in the power position now. You have the time and possibly the resources to pursue your dreams, do it now, or you never will, and you will regret it.
Q: What else do you want our readers to know?
Here is my big “take away”, aging isn’t necessarily unicorns and rainbows every day. It has its struggles and difficulties. In one short year, I recently lost my husband of 37 years, my job at Hallmark when they canceled the show I was on for ten years called Home and Family, my son moved out (he got a job and graduated), and a long term commercial contract I had ended as the world shut down due to covid. Wow, talk about dealing with LOSS. Geez, Louise. But that’s when my faith kicked in. I trust fully that all things will work in my favor.
My husband lived a fabulous, long, fruitful life. When a career door closes a new opportunity presents itself… and it already has; my son is working, happy and fulfilled and the long-term contract limited a lot of my brand sponsorships so now I am open to many more and they are pouring in. I’m writing a new book about beauty after 50, starting a new podcast and I’m working on launching two new branded products this year aimed at inspiring and celebrating women of all ages — all new experiences I would never have expected. Yes, doors close but double wide windows open to us and we have to have faith and belief that it is all in God’s hands. He knows that it’s all going to turn out in our favor. Trust that and go grab life by the horns and laugh. There’s no better time than now.
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