Interview with Susie
1. What does pro-aging mean to you?
Pro-aging for me is recognizing that I have reached 60+ and in doing that, I have a LOT of resilience, wisdom and maturity – evidence that I have lived life. All of this, gives me grey hair, lines and wrinkles which I’m working hard to accept!! I want to connect with like-minded and like-hearted people to continue to live a full and rich life.
2. What conflicting thoughts did you battle while approaching midlife and beyond?
The conflicts that are around for me are to do with body limitations & decreased mobility. This is in conflict with the fact that I LOVE the maturity and excitement of reaching new decades – 40’s, 50’s and now 60’s. The conflict I have around being in my 60’s is that I might be invisible!
3. What are the positives of midlife and beyond?
The positives for me are definitely a sense of freedom. And in this, deciding for myself what is “right for me”, a deep sense of creativity, empowerment, maturity, self-awareness and self-acceptance.
4. What are the challenges?
THE most challenging things is in being STILL when things are deeply challenging, isolating and painful – finding ways to be still and quiet, to enable myself to further personal learning. It has been SO easy to find things to DO, to take me away from this most challenging place of uncertainty, lack of confidence and really asking, “Who am I”? In being in this quiet place – a place where if I can afford myself the patience and trust, is the place of my greatest creativity! It is often an “alone” time but in emerging from there, I then have the courage to reach out to important people in my life.
5. What strategies do you use to overcome the challenges?
My strategies are to give myself space and to be PATIENT, particularly when I feel uncertain and self-doubting.
6. What words of wisdom would you have for the younger generations or your younger self?
Trust your gut, your creative soul, be in touch with your mentor (keep an eye out for one – they may change throughout life). Be curious, be gentle and caring to yourself. I’m learning that I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say, “I wish I had done…………”!
7. How important are your female friends and why?
I’m becoming more open in acknowledging that I have girlfriends (even in saying this word, has been a challenge!) – I have recently become aware to the openness of deep female friendships – I have found a new and refreshing playfulness where I can talk, laugh, cry, express and BE who I am becoming. Female friends are like my “FAMILY OF CHOICE”, and they hold a special place in my heart – women of my heart!
8. What attributes would you want in a romantic partner?
My partner/husband is so open to allowing me to exploring new life-styles. Up until being with him, I never understood saying, “If you love someone, let them go”. He embodies this whole-heartedly which enables me the freedom of self-exploration and personal discovery – and in this mutuality, it generates the richness in our 35 years of a healthy and loving relationship. I blossom in my relationship with him. We’re lucky!
9. What do you find most fulfilling at this stage of life?
The most fulfilling is my curiosity, self-knowledge, self-awareness and self-understanding enabling further exploration. This is SO liberating and empowering. A growing deep sense of self – knowing WHO I AM becoming! BRAVA!!
10. What fears do you have and what do you do to move past them?
My fear of being invisible. This has been the inspiration of my WOMEN60+ project. In this, I am at a point of questions, “am I invisible to myself”. An on-going life project which is revealing qualities in me that I can really know of self. I aim to be visible to myself, the woman I have ignored most of my life! To travel and connect with people outside of my realm of comfortableness. Will I be accepted? It’s a big step and perhaps in taking baby steps in my Women 60+ photographic project is the beginning of this process!
11. Style is a reflection of who you are. What style reflects you?
Casual, “tom-boyish with lippie!! Always a scarf to keep my menopausal neck warm! And for color!!
12. What place does nutrition, fitness and wellness have in your life? What do these look like for you?
Ah – nutrition! I ebb and flow with this. Having Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease – food is a necessity to maintain my life. Because of my medical conditions, food sometimes loses it’s excitement and appeal. Fitness – I know I need a trainer because I wouldn’t do much if I didn’t! I believe that this is being accountable to another. So I am thankful for these weekly sessions.