The 2021 Wise Women Project features interviews and portraits of women over 50 with the goal of recognizing the many ways women contribute and provide inspiration to our community. These are their stories. Want to participate? Learn more here.
How old are you? 74
What is something you are exploring with passion today?
Quilting and travel photography
How did you decide to follow this path?
It started with my photography interest and then I wanted to make a landscape quilt from a place I had visited. I am now enjoying more modern quilting which incorporates non-traditional colors (often brilliant colors/ vivid stripes and prints) and contemporary designs often made up by the quilter. These are mostly machine pieced and machine quilted. I often design my own quilts especially baby (youth) quilts. Traditional quilts typically are hand-pieced and hand quilted use muted colors and traditional quilting patterns.
How has your voice and ability to explore changed as you have become older?
I have learned how to listen carefully and respond with wisdom, kindness, and insightful observations when asked, especially with friends and family. I have also taken more risks financially (moving to Colorado, retiring, trusting myself to success and finding new friends), traveling, flying to foreign countries alone or with friends, and learning it is okay to “JUST BE”.
What does the way you spend your time today mean to you especially at this stage of life?
It’s precious. I take time to enjoy my family and friends and to explore new activities. I have started seriously practicing my flute and hope to someday join a local orchestra or band.
What is/has been the biggest roadblock to you in your life?
Probably fear of taking risks and missing out on some of life’s adventures. As I have aged, I have developed more self confidence and am willing to become more adventurous. I have grown to love change.
How did you/are you pushing past that roadblock?
Yoga, self reflection, counseling when needed, talking with friends and laughing at myself.
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~Oscar Wilde
Advice to anyone wanting to try something new who is over the age of 50 or to a woman who is dreading getting older?
Expand your horizons….LIFE IS SHORT AND WE ONLY GO AROUND ONCE! Delve into your soul and find out what really makes you happy. Try new activities, look at things that used to bring joy and add them back into your life. Take a risk … meet new people, create new adventures and learn that failing or not liking something is okay,
Anything you want to add?
I enjoy building and organizing new systems and having new adventures and experiences. Change does not scare me…I thrive in it!
I am educated as a dietitian.
- At age 32, I pursued a Master’s degree in Nutrition while a raising a young family.
- I have been divorced twice (but enjoyed the happily married half of my life).
- I took on unknown challenges (while recently divorced) by accepting the first position of Executive Director of an autonomous Ohio State Licensing Board following passage of state licensure for dietitians—implementing and administrating the law, organizing this agency and licensing Ohio’s first dietitians.
- I recreated myself when I began working as administrator for a large national fraternity with responsibilities for handling scholarships, donor bequests and managing data.
- I enjoy success in my own executive consulting business working with small legal ﬁrms and executives.
I love the freedom of being 75. To just be yourself and enjoy each day.
Why did you want to participate in this project?
At nearly 75, I continue to feel vibrant, creative and willing to learn and plan new adventures. I thought other women my age might like to hear my story and know that growing older, is simply growing better! I am more compassionate, thoughtful, kind, and less driven by the need for perfection. I am content.
Samples of Judy’s quilt work:
I love this story! Judy, you are an inspiration! Do you happen to give quilting classes? I’d love to learn, and will surely be looking for something new to do in the coming cold months of winter 🙂