Ruth Yunker

Ruth Yunker

Meet Ruth Yunker

Author, Champion of Women

Ruth Yunker is an author, humorist, storyteller, and traveler, championing the power and glory of the older woman. Her latest book is BABY, I’M THE BOSS OF ME.

Instagram: @ruth.yunker

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Interview with Ruth

1. What Does Pro-Aging Mean to Me?
I’ve written a book called, “Baby, I’m the Boss of Me, Embracing the Power and Joy of Getting Older.” In it, through stories and essays, I write about how I feel about getting older. It’s an on-going journey, but for me, every year gets better. I think the biggest reason is that as I get older I am able to maintain a positive attitude through so many issues that would have de-railed me in the past. I’m able to maintain my equilibrium because I have more and more practice. I now know, having gone through so many difficult (and wonderful) things, there is always a solution. There is always getting to the other side. By now I know that anger, frustration and fear are not solutions. I understand the power of stepping back and letting someone else take charge. I embrace being left alone. And I maintain my health and physical fitness with the diligence I used to use raising my children! And finally, and I think the most important, I protect my sense of humor. I laugh. I smile in the mirror at myself every morning so my brain can see what a smile looks like. So my whole being can feel what smiling feels like! I feel negative energy dissipate when I do this simple thing.

2. What are the positive aspects of mid-life and beyond?
Certainly for me, my confidence grows, on so many different levels. I can congratulate myself on more things well-done. I have time to differentiate what is a serious problem or not. No more getting tripped up by the minutiae of daily life. Now I’m able to savor the tiny miracles. I’ve lived long enough to recognize these little things, like the light turning green just in time, having the right change, finding the other sock…are indeed gifts of little miracles, given to me to nurture my soul. Like passing the sullen teen on the sidewalk and smiling. And she smiles back with a sudden smile that lights up her face, and lights up my heart. I’m simply more practiced at living. For me, my daily life, rather than my large dreams, is what nourishes me. I know that now. I have my dreams, yes. I work on them. But looking forward to a hot shower before bed, dessert for breakfast, a phone call with my son, the last rose on the bush, not needing gas when I get into the car, the grocery store having the right toilet paper, for once…these light my world. They always did. But now, at this age, when I am so much more in control of what distracts me or not, I can notice them. I can feel them. I draw joy from them.

3. What are the challenges?
For me, after years of huge amounts of serious exercise and a few minor injuries along the way, from running to ballet, to hardcore yoga, horseback riding, and having mild scoliosis, I have arthritis in my lower back which I need to deal with every day. I won’t use drugs, so it has meant constant vigilance in maintaining good posture, constant stretching out, etc. This has made it so that as I get older, I am doing more exercise and stretching on a daily basis, and I can see where it will take more and more exercise to maintain my body in an upright, strong and vigorous form. Not less. Now when I see an elderly person walking down the street who is dressed to the nines and walking with upright, strong and confident posture, I am so impressed and inspired, because I now know the hard work and determination that has gone into it.

4. What words of wisdom do I have?
‘Words of wisdom’ is a tricky concept. Because what is wisdom, afterall? I write about that in my book. In fact it’s the second to last chapter, and it’s very short. To answer this question here, I’ll say that wisdom, such that I have learned is: Deciding to breathe before screaming, to smile before swearing, to stop before crashing into that very familiar wall. Wisdom is to take the insane chance, after you have thought it through. Wisdom is nurturing a calm courage.

5. How important are my female friends and why?
My female friends are very important to me. The “and why” part is something I have always assumed is self-explanatory. I am a woman. I derive huge amounts of solace from my own kind! Kind of an “it takes one to know one”. I have three sisters (and two brothers), and my mother always told her daughters that our women friends were the most important thing we could have, and to cherish them. I have taken this very much to heart. And so saying, I also adore my relationship with my daughter.

6. What attributes do I want in a romantic partner?
Sense of humor, a passionate love life, intelligence, working in a different field from mine, someone who has lived in many places, one from a pretty large family, and now, at this age, one who has had, and raised, children. Finally, good health. Do I have persistent health issues post-menopause. I have been on HRT since my mid-fifties, and all is going well. My only health issues relate to my skeleton, in the form of arthritis and scoliosis. Pilates and my savior of a chiropractor, directly address these issues. I also do yoga and have for twenty years. I walk. A lot! And I drink a lot of water. Even when I’m not thirsty. I don’t sip either. I chug! I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs. Getting sober was the biggest cliff I ever jumped off, (second after the biggest cliff–the awe-inspiring one of raising children) and it totally change my life. I’ve been sober eighteen years and love my life today, clean and more clean. My brain thanks me every day. And because of this I know that going through that scary door, if your gut knows it’s the right thing to do, will be worth every weird change and scary uprooting incurred.

7. Thoughts regarding sex after mid-life?
Sex after mid-life is good. Sex until the day one dies is good. Sex is good, no matter with a partner or with one’s self. Orgasms are good for the health in so many ways. Google it!

8. What do I find the most fulfilling at this stage of life?
I am amazed at how happy I am at this age (late sixties). I have plans, dreams, curiosity. Anything is possible, I have finally realized, if I have a plan, and then take that first step. I’m more brave about attempting to make the possible happen. I am very fulfilled by all the amazing relationships I’ve had and still have. With the number growing as much as I want it to. I love how social media has completely expanded my life. And this has happened because I like to actually meet in person so many people I never would have met otherwise. And as I mentioned earlier, I have time now to really really really love my everyday life, from that first sip of coffee, to getting into my cozy and embracing bed at night.

9. What fears do I have, and what do I do to move past these fears?
At this very moment my fears aren’t serious. I’m planning a large move, from Los Angeles to NYC, and in between leaving LA and settling in NYC are six months of travel. The logistics are complicated. I have lists upon lists. If a vague panic starts to show its ugly face, I watch tv and eat ice cream! Then back to work. But when I am in real fear, I ask myself, what is the worst thing that could happen. The very worst. Then I figure out what I would do if the worst happened. The minute I have my solution to the worst case scenario, I relax. It’s at this point the power of positive thinking can begin to work again. I have also had therapists all through my adult years. Usually for two year bouts at a time. I believe completely in seeking therapy when the chips are down.

10. Style is a reflection of who I am. What style reflects me?
My style is eclectic elegance, cool, urban, classic, with a lot of yogi hoodies thrown into the mix! I go from androgyny to Grace Kelly and pearls in a week-end. I wear elegant casually, and casual elegantly. My yoga clothes can go in any direction. And my work/writer uniform is black blazer, white blouse and good jeans. I have more boots than everyday shoes, and I need to do something about that!

11. What place does fitness, wellness, and nutrition have in my life?
Fitness, wellness and nutrition play a huge role in my life. I believe our health, as we get older, should be our top priority. Because without health, we lose ground so much more quickly than when we’re younger. I am talking physical health and psychological health. I believe everyone’s body and psyche are different, so that one system doesn’t fit all. My exercise mainstays are yoga, Pilates and walking. I’ve done a lot of ballet in my past. I also rode (seriously) when my daughter was a horse fanatic when she was growing up. And I was a jogger for thirty years. I do some sort of exercise every day. I eat everything, but I do choose carefully. I used to hate the word moderation. I rejected it as a boring and indeed, pitiful concept. Now I see how completely brilliant it is! My favorite junk food is an In-n-Out burger…speaking of moderation! I drink a ton of water. I don’t drink soda. I hate carbonated drinks. Once in awhile, though, I’ll have a coca cola if I go out, in place of alcohol. So I can feel a touch of sin! I must have my morning coffee. I gave it up for a year one time…and never again! My favorite foods are Mexican and All-American comfort food. I have a chili dog once a year at the Shake Shack on Pacific Coast Highway in SoCal. I overeat apples and peanut butter. I’d like to cut back on sugar…but that seems to be a losing battle!

12. What I would like to see as part of your page and the pro-age concept?
I want to see whatever you want to post. I love seeing others ideas, others ways of thinking, different things that move them. You will present me with your ideas. I like that. Because, one last thing about growing older with pleasure: I have at last been able to let go of trying to control the world. I am at last able to hear someone else’s point of view. Let them do it their way. I have let go of needing to be in charge if it’s not my call to make. I have found out how pleasant it can be to simply be told what to do next. For instance, I went up to Oregon to my grown daughter’s home in Oregon for Christmas. It was a delight to not be in charge for those ten days. Life is a work in progress, someone said. Our lives continue to evolve until the end. I love that.

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Kristen Coffield

Kristen Coffield

Meet Kristen Coffield

Author, Health and Well-being

Kristen Coffield is the founder and owner of The Culinary Cure™, a consulting and informational website on health and wellness.


kristen coffield featured on the pro-age network

Articles by Kristen

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Interview with Kristen

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 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.


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