As a Pro Age Woman, I strive to live a timeless existence, not focusing on my age (71), but on my faith; joy, happiness, and loving people Unconditionally!
Q: What does pro-aging mean to you?
Aging is a Blessing! For me, being 71 is a true blessing! I plan on maximizing everyday. All of the experiences I have had make me stronger, wiser and smarter. I have made some mistakes in my life, but who knew that…mistakes, used properly, can also, be Blessings! I have this saying “Mistakes are opportunities to get better!” Can you imagine how very awesome we will all be at 91?
Q: What conflicting thoughts did you battle while approaching 55 or beyond if any?
If anything the conflicts came from others! People would say to me, you’re “going over the hill” at 30, 40, 50. Most folks stopped saying that to me as I trained for my 1st marathon over 50! In some cases I listened, because I knew they cared about me. But, I have a strong God Voice (I believe it’s God telling me He’s got my back) so I keep doing what He and I know Is possible for me!
YES; in the mornings, when I first get up, I feel my bones ache. But I keep moving towards that first cup of black coffee and, Bam I’m on my way!
Q: What do you think are the positives of this stage of life?
Not having to ask permission! I have always had a strong personality. Can you imagine how much trouble I got into when, I would ask my parents, teachers or employers…WHY?
Why can’t I do it this way? It will help you to know, I had very strong willed role models; Barbara Jordon, 1st African American elected to the Texas Senate, Shirley Chisholm, 1st African American to run for President of the US, Eartha Kitt, the 1st Cat Woman in Batman TV series and Bette Davis, who was just two-times awesome! Do you remember her in “All About Eve?”
I tell myself, at this age I have the strength and character of Barbara Jordon and Shirley Chisholm. The beauty and confidence of Eartha Kitt and Bette Davis! Me as the whole package delivers; a strong, forceful, knowledgeable Pro-Age woman, dressed to kill in red 3 inch pumps on my own personal runway! And at this age, nobody gets to tell me, I can’t… when I know I can!
Q: What are the challenges?
Quite often, it is dealing with others low expectations of what is “normal” for me at this age!
Do you know that a male fitness director told me that I was classified as disabled because of my age? Well being raised with good manners, I did not tell him where to look for the sunshine! I did excuse my self to the Ladies room, and never came back!
Frankly, I will ask for the military discount before the seniors specials! But back to the challenges for me… when I am out walking, sometimes I want to breakout into a full fledged run! I have had two knee replacements, so the doctor said no more running for me… that’s a challenge! In my heart of hearts I still believe I could rock short shorts and knee boots… but… well you know that’s a challenge! I really want to ride a horse in a full gallop. But having never been on a horse… that would be a challenge! But I have a very active fantasy life, and that’s where I take some of my challenges!
Q: What strategies do you use to overcome these challenges?
I no longer engage in negative communications! I don’t have time for bad energy!
I say to myself “Yes, you like, may even love these people, but you need to be put them in the balcony; I only want those that encourage and empower me on my front row. They don’t have to leave the theater… just no longer have a front row seat!” I do keep them in prayer, because, I know prayer changes people.
Q: What words of wisdom would you have for the younger generation or your younger self!
Look for people you admire! Find how they got where they are. Look for and ask for mentors. Not only in your professional life, but in other important areas of your life. My husband Jim and I are brilliantly married for soon to be 51 years! A great joy for us is mentoring younger married couples!
Somebody said, “If you don’t know…you betta ask somebody!” I’ll share with you how I ask for mentoring! I say “ Can I ask for your guidance in this matter?” Most will hear the complement in the ask, and agree. If not, they won’t forget the positive comment. Remember, be persist-ent, consistent, prepared and READY!
Q: Why did you start your brand?
I want to remind women of a “certain age”, that they are still awesome, beautiful, incredibly intelligent, capable women! Sharing with “women of certain age” that current makeup and fashion trends can also be for them, even though the industry seems to ignore them. Soon this industry will realize that we Pro-Age Women often have the knowledge and the means to pur-chase quality products.
Q: What can you tell us about the journey to where this has taken you?
I can tell you that I was afraid to think that I had something to say about Pro-Aging! When I told a friend what I wanted to do, she said you need photos! I thought, “Well, won’t that be perceived as me having a big ego?” She said no, we are just putting YOU on visual paper!
Wow, was she right! I loved seeing me, like I see me in my heart of hearts! Beautiful! Beautiful at Seventy One! I am no longer afraid to be Beautiful!
I used to say to my daughter Desiree, as she would turn around and around in a new dress, and want to know if she was pretty? “Baby Girl, yes, you are so pretty, make sure that God knows your heart is pretty too!” When I am at my absolute very best, God and I smile because He knows my heart!
Q: What advice would you give to other women starting a business at this stage of life?
I would say, “Girl, you are smarter, wiser, stronger and more competent now than you have ever been in your life! Listen to your God, Higher Power or whatever positive voice you have in your heart and move towards your future! If I had a crystal ball to see your future, and I said “You are going to live another 30, 40, 50 years and you Can Not fail!!!” What would you DO! Girlfriend You better get moving!
Q: What else would you like our readers to know?
My young life was NOT all I wanted it to be! I had people who loved me, but wanted me to stay in a small box they designed for me.
I broke out of that box and joined the Navy in 1968! Yes, that makes me a Vietnam Era Veteran! OMG, it was the best move of my 18 year old life. Did I cry myself to sleep that first night of Boot Camp? Yes, but I got up that next morning; with determination and a belief that I was someone special, and worthy of a great life. I graduated Honor Woman of my Navy Class, serving with honor for four years. Met, and married a young Marine, continuing to serve as a military wife, going on 51years! We have lived all over the world, allowing me to experience many different people and cultures. Everywhere we were stationed I was able to find some incredible professional opportunities! (I would tell a potential employer “Do yourself a favor, hire me, you will not be disappointed!) I have never interviewed for a job that I wanted, and not been hired! That 18 year old determined me, somehow knew she had the power to choose, and create her own destiny. And at 71, she is still alive and kicking!
YOU are the parent of your older self. You can choose to stay smart… ambitious… healthy… strong and be prosperous! YOU bring about your own new beginnings. Leave behind the things that compromise your wholeness!
DON’T GROW OLD… GROW WHOLE!
Follow Linda @style_is_neverbasic
Photography by Roy Cox