Women of a certain age know that every line, every wrinkle, every strand of gray hair is earned.
They would never trade 40 years of their life back for the vibrant but inexperienced years of their 20s. And if we were them, we wouldn’t either!
Here’s what these three beautiful Irish sages have to say about living life to the fullest.
Mother of 2, Grandmother of 3, Single Parent
I’ve no interest in being young again. That’s written with my blood! I do want to be 60 only because that was the last time my knees could take me dancing without a hitch. 78 is a great year but 60 will always be my best. I’ve always wanted to get to this age… I don’t worry about the shi* that I used to worry about in my twenties. I’m cozy where I am and I’m comfortable with myself.
I’d marry me!
Here’s what I have to say to all the young women out there.
If I can do it, so can YOU. I grew up in a flat with no heat. No running water. I didn’t know I was poor because everyone was. I was no different. But life took a turn when I found myself with a child at 17. My second one followed soon after. One day I came home to find my partner gone. I had to pay rent in three weeks and my paycheck barely covered my needs.
But what I did well was sew. It seemed like a crazy idea to make clothes for someone else. I wasn’t a trained seamstress. Though I knew how to work a needle. With just the equivalent of $10 at that time, I bought fabric. Turned them into four short skirts. Friends paid $20 each.
The following week, they brought friends along. It grew from there. And I made my rent.
What did I learn? I never failed. Well, at least I never considered anything a failure. It was a ridiculous concept for me because it was never an option. I had no time to mope or cry either. If I wallowed in self-pity, my tears wouldn’t bring in any money. And I had my children to think of.
It was difficult raising two kids alone. Most times, I’d skip breakfast (and dinner) so my girls could eat.
We moved from survival to comfort only in my 50s. And here’s what I think. Life is short. Do what you need to do. Get up and show up no matter how you feel. Consistency is key. And when things get better… pay it forward.
I took a different route. Wanted to see what the big deal was about New York. Stayed for 35 years.
Born and raised in a tiny village, I was the third of 11 children. My parents were hardcore farmers. We were left to figure things out on our own. We were expected to do well in school but we also weren’t limited. Nothing was off-limits so I was raised without fear.
And that was good because I was too naïve, I feared nothing. My fantasy was to live in New York only because I couldn’t get this magazine spread out of my head. I wanted to be that modern gal with a pencil in her ear. She looked like she could do just about anything.
So I did that, traveled all over Europe and Africa and became a writer. Freelance at first. I still don’t know how I managed with little money. Fell in love with a handsome Irish boy on the way. Went our different ways after a year.
If I don’t look my age, thank you. I don’t feel my age anyway. The key is to stay productive. Stay involved. I’m not one to sit and macramé my way into retirement. I never really gave a hoot about what people thought of me. I knew I didn’t belong in a small village. So that was some practice I had there. So all you young people… don’t look back. Just take the leap. And always work towards something.
What do I want to tell 20- 30- year olds? Let me do it this way…pointer style. Here goes. Put the phone down more. The life you live now isn’t a dress rehearsal. It’s the real show. Find a job you love. Something that doesn’t feel like work. If you aren’t lucky with that, then get a hobby you love. And be thankful for the opportunity to work. Quit complaining! You can’t stop aging. (Believe me I’ve tried!). Focus on aging gracefully instead. Those women are beautiful. Be true to yourself. Have something saved up.
Two months rent and a bit to tide you over for those days… I was bored for half my life. You know just stop worrying about getting older. Worry more about being boring. Do the right things… Live simply. Work hard. Take care of yourself. You know what to do. Eat right and do aerobics or that thing you girls love doing whatever you call that. Be a woman. Hate on me all you like. But make your husband feel like the man. You’re the queen. You call the shots in private. There will never be a perfect time to have children. Go have them. Learn to forgive. It’s for yourself. Use the china. Be open to new things. Keep that ego in control. Many challenges get easier with age. Do everything with love. Makes everything taste better. Believe me! And moisturize.
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d be thrilled to hear from you.
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