This is the second in a monthly blog series called “Conversations,” where I will spotlight women over 50 by capturing them in photographs and providing writing prompts. I began this series to explore the many faces of women over 50 and how we experience our older years. I’m always interested in finding women willing to participate in this series. Please reach out if you would like to be considered. And sign up for our monthly newsletter to be sure you don’t miss a single Conversation!

You know the saying ‘still water runs deep?’ I kept thinking that while photographing Sandy who has so much depth and beauty. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

Age:  59

What are you up to these days?

I’m developing my website design business; thinking about how I can take it to the next level, expanding my skill set and finding new ways I can be of service to my clients.

Somehow I got lucky and have the best clients imaginable!  I love working with professionals, entrepreneurs, small businesses and others who wish to define their goals and grow their business in alignment with values that go beyond the expected.

I’m proud to be part of the Hearts In The Ice project.  I designed their site, and the experience changed my world and expanded my ideas about what I personally can do to develop and execute a personal vision. Hilde Falun Strom and Sunnniva Sorby, who are polar explorers and advocates, are raising awareness and creating a global platform for dialogue about climate change.  Their vision is so much bigger than themselves, and is intended to literally benefit the entire world.

I was also delighted to support this site, www.ourstoriestoday, by helping Robin Enright Salcido design it herself.   I love working with people who have a clear vision and the passion to share that vision with others.  I also love sharing my knowledge of how to put websites together with those willing to take the time to learn.  They are then empowered to expand and evolve their site themselves, and not have to depend on someone else for every little change.  I find it great fun empowering someone that way.

Another project in process is a website for a successful author I greatly admire, who aims to share his inspiring, practical and simple method for self-management for the benefit of others completely for free online.  Who does that?

So, I’ve been very lucky to find the kind of people who are looking to give to others and do something that is bigger than themselves.  In a world where social media has enabled so many to embrace “it’s all about me,” it is inspiring and refreshing to work with people who are emphatically saying, “It’s not about me, it’s about you!”.

This is absolutely the most fun thing I’ve ever done in my life.  I’m able to bring my design experience across multiple disciplines from previous careers together in a new medium and it’s just falling into place in the most amazing way.  Woohoo, if this is what getting older means, I can’t wait to see what the next ten years bring!

Who or where do you find inspiration and why?

Nature. It still blows my mind how lucky we are to be here on this beautiful planet. Sometimes the most profound aspects of being human are hidden in plain sight.  We have the capacity and ability to perceive the natural beauty that surrounds us.

I mean, humans could just as easily have been designed to be unaware of this beauty, right? Like, literally not see it, not know it is there.

Why do we have this capacity?  What is the evolutionary mechanism or advantage to having the ability to perceive the beauty that surrounds us?

Maybe it is to help us to love this world, and inspire us to try to care for it?

I wonder about the source of uniquely human activities that appear to serve no “practical” purpose, like a drawing or painting, writing a sonnet, playing in a jazz quartet, or cooking beautiful, delicious food.  We do these things for the joy of it and to share that joy with others.

I think that’s interesting.  What would the world be like if humans simply lacked that impulse?  Nowhere I would want to live!

Also, what would the world be like if we all liked the same thing?   I love music, but not enough to study it.  But I’m really glad OTHERS do, and when they create it, I get to enjoy it!

It’s a lovely mystery that has kept me dreaming and feeling hopeful all my life.

What do you wish you had known ten years ago?

 That being a nice person doesn’t mean I have to let people abuse my patience, my loyalty, or my time.

Words and wisdom you’d like to share with women a generation or so behind you?

There is something I wish I had learned earlier – and that is to constructively admit and deal with my mistakes.  And I don’t mean saying “I’m sorry” a lot!

I mean paying attention to the results you get in your life and being honest with yourself about how you contributed to those results, making notes to self, amends with others if warranted, and thinking about what choices you could have made for a better outcome. And making a different choice next time.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

What do you wish others knew about you that they may not know?

That I am an introvert, and it doesn’t mean I don’t like people, that I’m “shy”, or have some kind of mental disorder.

I love people!  It’s just that as I get older I am more aware that my time is limited (literally), and I am increasingly unwilling to spend my time on small talk or pretending to be interested in topics that don’t really interest me, or spending time with people I feel no affinity with.

I would rather spend that time creating something, which generally speaking tends, (for me at least), to be a fairly solitary activity.


Do you want to be featured in Conversations? Blast a hole in the stereotype and narrow focus of who women over 50 are? Reach out and let’s make it happen. If location doesn’t allow for me to do your portrait, I’ll ask for professional image and photo credits so don’t let distance stop you. Reach out here if interested.