I am 53 yrs. old. I was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and lived there till I moved to Texas at age 21. In Texas, I went to the University of Houston, where I majored in Chemistry, married my love and had my first daughter at age 25. Then 4 years later had daughter number 2. Moving away to Texas had to be the hardest thing I ever did by myself. Leaving my Dad and siblings was not easy. While living in the suburb of Houston, becoming a wife and mom in a town that had a CVS and Subway as the downtown was definitely eye-opening. Talk about a small town coming from Perth Amboy. I have to say I met some wonderful, giving, friendly people that took us under their wings and became my family. We lived in Houston for 9 years then moved to Augusta Georgia. Living in Augusta Georgia was amazing too. The neighborhood we moved to was wonderful. Most of my neighbors were not from Georgia at all. I had a house full of people every holiday and loved the fact that none of us was related but we all became a family. No one was ever alone or left out. I also met my forever family, the Pope's, They are the family I know I was blessed with. We blended together like as if we were born family. I can't thank them enough for all the love they have given my family. Our families still get together and act as if we never left Georgia. And to top that, my best friend since I was 5 yrs. old moved to Atlanta, which was 2 hours away but still close enough have weekends and holidays together. We got together as much as we could since we have been apart for so long. After living in Georgia for 6 years, we moved to Lancaster, PA, where he have been now 16 years.
What is amazing about moving here is seeing the different cultures of the Amish and English, working side by side. I live in the suburbs of Lancaster, so I am surrounded by Amish farmlands and 5 miles down the road is the very Hipster City of Lancaster. In Lancaster, I work as the Administrator for Chrishelle Inc. and just celebrated my third year with the company. What is so great about moving all over the country, is that with every move, we always met loving, wonderful people that touched our hearts and we know that we have built strong friendships that lasts years and miles.
What's your guilty pleasure? Eating ice cream with rainbow sprinkles! It's all about the sprinkles!!
What's your favorite place on earth? With my family at the beach.. any beach.
What's your secret talent? I have been boxing for 2 years.
When in your life had you needed courage? When I was 12 years old. My mother passed away. I needed to be there for my sister who is handicapped and my brother who just broke inside and my dad, who seemed lost with 3 children. Till this day I can close my eyes and replay that awful day like it was yesterday.
What movie could you watch over and over again? The Wizard of Oz
What's your worst habit? I sleep in my make up. Yes, I know it is bad but it is what it is.
If you choose any magical power, what would it be? The ability to heal.
What's something you love unapologetically? Prince music :)
What is the most beloved thing you own? My mom's cookbook which has her handwriting in it. Sometimes I look at it and wish she was still here helping me cook.
What's the greatest gift we can give ourselves? Knowledge. Never stop being curious, never stop learning about things.
What small change has made a big impact on your life? Eating healthy and exercising every day has helped me and my family stay healthy.
ON TURNING 50.
What age did you think was old when you were twenty? 70 years.
Did you have any fears about getting old when you were young, if so what were they? That I would die young like my mother. She was 38 yrs old.
Tell us a little about turning 50. Did you celebrate? Was it a big moment for you? I had a wonderful surprise 50th birthday. My husband planned a spa day for 3 friends and I while he was home cleaning and decorating my house for a surprise party that I knew nothing about. I was so surprised I cried. He also took me on a trip to Sweden, England, France, and Italy!!! The best Birthday EVER!!!
Was personal attractiveness and/or a change in your physical appearance an issue for you at 50 (or in your 50's)? Actually not really. I have always tried to work out and eat right. I think I still look the same today as I did when I turned 50. Well, maybe a few more wrinkles.
What burning question are you asking yourself right now? Since I turned 50, my thinking has changed to more of now that my children are on their own how do I step back and watch them experience adult life and not interfere. How do I let go without really letting go? It's hard watching your child move far away and in your heart that is truly breaking, that this is what will make her happy. I guess I will never stop questioning myself. I am not perfect by all means, I need to try to understand "ME" not MOM ME, not WIFE ME.....I got those down I hope.. Just ME.. the over 50 ME.. and accept the blessings that I have with being a wife of 30 years and a mom to 2 amazing, beautiful daughters.
What advice would you give a woman about to turn 50? Now is the time to ENJOY life!! Give yourself a break and dance in the rain and smell the flowers and relax and breathe. Life can be so overwhelming, sometimes we forget about ourselves because we are taking care of everyone else. Now is your time to pamper and make yourself feel beautiful inside and out. Go on that trip, take a class, grasp life with a happy attitude.
If anything, what has surprised you about the experience of aging? I feel more confident. Surprisingly... I am not as shy as I was.
What do you enjoy the least about your age? PRE-MENOPAUSE..... !!!!!!!!!! You will hear all about it and think hmmmm...That can't be true!!! No way is that happening to me.. then boom!
What do you enjoy the most about your age? What I enjoy most about being 53 is being 53 years young. I have my health, my family, my friends and I thank God every day for all those blessings. I am smarter and stronger, wiser and accepting, and I look forward to every morning because that means I am given another day to be ME.