I'm Michelle. I'm 59 and I'll be 60 in January. I found each decade really does get better and better. Each one has gotten substantially better as they've gone along.
My 30s, my marriage broke up. I was raising my daughter. I did get an awesome job though. I was a faculty member at a university and as a librarian for close to 30 years.
And then my 40s, I was taking care of my dad a little bit. But I was more comfortable in my job, in my friendships, and even my parenting skills. I raised my daughter by myself.
My 50s have been incredible. The most outstanding thing was I battled weight all my life. And five years ago, I had gastric bypass surgery and lost 100 pounds, and have kept it off.
I feel so much better. I look better, but I feel better. I had high blood pressure. My blood sugar was going up, high cholesterol. So that in combination with just feeling bad about the way I looked and my weight was taking up so much space in my brain. I exercised. I ate right. I just ate too much.
So I got over the thought of feeling it was the easy way out, did all my homework. As a librarian, you do your research, and realized that it does make it easier to lose the weight, but ultimately, it's up to you to keep it off. It's no different than any other diet. So that has made my 50s, the fact that suddenly I could fit into all the clothes that I had desired all my life.
I also retired in my mid-50s, which enabled me to travel. I just came back from Machu Picchu and the Galapagos and Santiago, Chile because I have friends there. I drove cross-country with one of my friends, spent a month in China. Been to Germany, been to the Middle East. I don't know.
Wherever I can go, I wanna go. And that's just the tip of that bucket list.
As far as trips where I get on a plane or get in my car and drive somewhere, either Cuba. I really want to go see Red Square. People have said that scope of what the Kremlin looks like, I wanna see it for myself.
Being engaged with life, having friends, having interests, taking interest in things that your friends and family do, even if it's not something that you actively would do.
And I'll give you a great example. One of my close friends has become a master gardener. And she's like, "Oh, you would love it." No, I wouldn't. No, I wouldn't. I mean, if somebody would come and do my yard, I would be a very happy woman. All of my planting and stuff is on my balcony. But it doesn't mean that I'm not all excited about the fact that she's found this passion, and that makes her beautiful.
What makes everybody beautiful I think is not just happiness but contentment.
0:05 Every decade gets better and better 0:13 In 30s, divorce, career and single parenthood 0:24 In 40s, more comfortable in her choices 0:36 In 50s, she lost 100 pounds (and kept it off) 1:35 Now retired and travels everywhere 2:01 Her “must-see” list: Cuba and the Kremlin 2:21 Being engaged with life makes you beautiful 2:35 Loves that her friend gardens (even if she doesn’t) 3:00 Contentment makes you beautiful