Meet Kristen @kristencoffield
1. Firstly, what conflicting thoughts did you battle while approaching midlife and beyond?
Life is a tough sport! I had a soul-sucking decade leading up to 50, and I faced real-life struggles — marriage got challenging, parents aged, pets passed away, finances got scary, and health issues emerged. My tsunami of challenges began gradually, picking up momentum right as that last kid left for college. I had no choice but to completely reboot the life I thought I was supposed to live. I had been living under the assumption that life was going to be one way, and then it turned out to be completely different. I had to decide what to save and what to let go.
2. What are the positives of midlife and beyond?
Allowing myself not to care what anyone else thinks has been a superpower.
Before I rebooted my life, I thought I was playing by my own rules. In fact, I was doing pretty much what was dictated by my community. I look at midlife and beyond as “my” time. The kids have launched, my parents are gone, I repurposed my husband, and I got out of my own way.
3. What are the challenges?
I am 60 and have a startup. Technology and social media have been significant hurdles. I like to say I am an immigrant to technology not a native. Learning new skills has been frustrating and at times, overwhelming. On the flip side, the neurological benefits of embracing so much information will probably benefit my brain for years to come.
4. What strategies do you use to overcome the challenges?
It is more cost-effective to pay someone who knows what they are doing than to waste time and money on things I am not good at. I hired an intern to help me find technologies to run my business better and help me manage them. I stepped away from trying to do everything myself. I became more efficient with my most valuable resource, me!
5. What words of wisdom would you have for the younger generations or your younger self?
It would be incredible to travel back in time with the knowledge I have now. I would tell my younger self “ Now is the time to act on those ambitious ideas, DO NOT WAIT!”
There is a massive benefit to having time. You can plant seeds, nurture them, gain momentum, and harness the power of cumulative action.
Every overnight success took ten years!
6. How important are your female friends and why?
When you go through dark days, you find out which people are going to be there for you. Surprisingly, it’s not always the people you think it will be. My female friends threw me a life preserver when I was drowning, cried their eyes out when I was scared and sad, kept my secrets, and pulled me out of pity party quicksand. My female friends are my life support system.
7. What attributes would you want in a romantic partner?
I always say the perfect partner is someone you want to drink wine with at night and coffee with in the morning. Must be funny, kind, and optimistic. Oh, wait, I just described my husband.
8.What do you find most fulfilling at this stage of life?
Helping other women navigate the challenges of midlife by harnessing the power of habit and things they can control. You can’t control everything, but you can control what is on the end of your fork.
8. What fears do you have and what do you do to move past them?
There is always that nagging inner critic telling me I am not good enough, qualified enough, or smart enough. Now I am like “bitch, that means I need to work harder and stop listening to your negative BS self-talk.”
9. Style is a reflection of who you are. What style reflects you?
Great question. I think my style could be called Timeless Casual. I like tailored pieces, with classic accessories but then add sneakers or a jean jacket. It is so important to embrace midlife with a great pair of sunglasses and clothes that make you feel confident and sexy.
10. What place does nutrition, fitness and wellness have in your life? What do these look like for you?
At my company www.theculinarycure.com I teach women to harness the power of their habits and take back their wellness destinies. There was a time when my life was not my own, and it took all my energy to get through each day. I was running around, putting out fires started by others, and I was on fire. I was a woman on fire! I spent years in crisis mode and had forgotten to put the oxygen mask on myself. Guess what? You can control what is on the end of your fork. You can get up earlier and get your fanny to the gym. You can make wellness the foundation on which you build a life of passion and purpose. I use every tool available to me to live my best life. Food is fuel for health and energy, exercise keeps me active and younger at a cellular level, sleep is the only time my body can create human growth hormone, and meditation gives me the mental strength to weather the stress storm of life. I never take my health and wellness for granted. We can all use our simple daily habits to supercharge our lives.