I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a work’n farmgirl over 50 lately. Probably because I’m closing in on 60 in a few short years and I’m finding it hard to believe. Some of our peers have already retired or, are about to. But lately, I have met so many women 50 and over who are launching new businesses, building new dreams and growing in new ways and I just find that so inspiring and interesting. Let’s discuss shall we? I’ve never been one to think about my age or be limited by it in any way. Have you? I’ve been fortunate to have good health and be surrounded by people who humor/support me when I have the itch to try something new. And try new things, I have! Most of them fall into the hobby category, I suppose because none of them ever became full-fledged income producing businesses, but each experience taught me something about myself along the way and I think that’s true for most women. But what drives us to continue to keep trying new things?
For me, it’s always been about following the creative muse where it leads me. Whether it was sewing, painting, gardening, teaching, ( homeschooling) or writing. I know that’s why I connect so strongly with MaryJanesFarm. It’s such a warm and supportive place for creative women of all ages.
When I started growing flowers in 2012 in our backyard I never dreamed I’d be operating a full service wedding floral design business from our home. I can finally call it a business because it is an income producer and I’m not in the red this year! Yahoo!
I’ve been able to hire a wonderfully talented freelance farmer/florist to work with me on larger events. We even have the same middle name! You can find Tara Riggs and her beautiful creations on Instagram @raisingbloom.
Several of my friends ( in the over 50 age group) have taken off in new directions now that their children are grown. One friend loves teaching and education. Over the last 5 years she’s picked away at courses and student teaching gigs until she finally completed her second masters degree this year. We home schooled our kids together and I saw her love for academia way back then. We used to joke about what books were on our night stands. The authors of her books always had PhD attached to their names, while my books were mostly hobby related and tended to be about whatever creative passion I was exploring at the time.
Another friend ( in her 50’s ) left the security of a top position as a dance and exercise instructor and supervisor to open her own Pilates Studio. She’s been going strong for almost 5 years now. And, she looks amazing of course! She’s an inspiration to her students to get healthy and keep moving.
Several of my flower farming friends are in the ” work’n farmgirls over 50 and 60’s ” club. One is retired already, another is partially retired and one is about to retire. All are passionate flower growers with some health issues but continue to pursue what they love. Even if it means not getting to those weeds as soon as they’d like, or asking for help when they need it.
One of the reasons I believe women over 50 seem to take off so quickly in new directions is because we realize time is a tick’n! By now most of us know what we don’t want to be doing and more about what brings us joy and those around us joy. We want to do meaningful and purposeful work. Something that feeds our own souls while making a difference in other people’s lives too. We want to live a life that fully expresses the gifts we’ve been given and share that with others.
We have the confidence to be leaders and the wisdom to know how. Is it possible to be a newbie at something and a leader at the same time? I think when you’re over 50 you’re a leader no matter what.
I can still recall a dream I had the year I turned 50. I was sitting on top of a horse at the edge of a deep canyon looking out onto an endless horizon. My interpretation of that dream was that the possibilities were endless! I remember waking up feeling so exhilarated! I still feel that way today. Maybe even more so than I did then. Life is still so very busy at this age. I hope it stays that way. I can do it as long as I schedule in plenty of naps!
One of my favorite quotes these days is from good old, Abe Lincoln.
” The best way to predict your future, is to create it.”
Think about that for a long minute or two. The possibilities are infinite.
Are you still a work’n farmgirl over 50? How are you spending your time?
Are you doing your time until retirement age? Are you working part-time? Still caring for children or an aging parent, or a spouse? Are you taking risks and trying new things while kicking back enjoying the fruits of your labor? Do you have grandchildren yet? Have you relocated, downsized, moved to your dream farm, ran for office ( and won or lost)? Written a book, started a blog about your latest passion? There’s just so much you can do!
It’s an interesting and challenging time of life isn’t it?
What ever you do, please don’t turn into a grumpy old farmgirl! At this age, we’ve all suffered great loss, ups and downs, illness, the wrath of enemies, financial woes, etc. Don’t let these isolated events define you. Keep moving forward and leave the sadness in the dust, behind you where it belongs.
Try new things if your able and willing and rejoice in the gifts you have to share. That’s why you have them. Name em and share em!
Until our next shoreline visit~ Get out and have some summer fun. Try a local craft beer,
( this one’s from Mayflower Brewery made in American’s Hometown) eat some good food and laugh a little or A LOT. You’ll just feel better, I promise!
Blessings from the Beach!
Deb # 1199
I am over 50,still working in surgery.I am looking forward to retiring and having time for my interests.
Thank you, I needed to read this today!
You always have and still do inspire me. Thank you for reminding me to “share the gifts we’ve been given”
Ok farmgirl friend! That one hit home!! I am 57 and looking to start an event venue on our farm because over the years of trying to find my niche I have taught myself calligraphy, cake decorating, photography and have started growing flowers! It’s taken quite a few years but looking back I now see why. Retirement is not a word in my vocabulary and if I’m very blessed I’ll keep moving until I die! Thank you for a great post! And your work is beautiful by the way!!
I am 73 and still going strong! I hiked about 12 miles in the mountains with a friend about a month ago! Yes, I was very tired and sore but felt good. Next went with two friend to Santa Fe and on North to Georgia O’Keffee’s Ghost Ranch and museum.
I live in the cool mountains of NM and quilt ,read, walk my friends here!!
I love been retired and never feel bored!!
I don’t enjoy cooking as it gets in the way of what I want to be doing!! Ha, but with a husband around, there is cooking to be done.!!!
I am planning on being around for many more years!!
I love your article!! I am 51 and feel like the possibilities are endless! I’m trying new things and dreaming new dreams. Love it!!
Actually ended a career as Certified Group Fitness Instructor & Health Coach at close of 2017 (age 67). Just heard that “still small voice” that kept whispering it is time to be done, even though health/ability to do still very much there. Had/have a long DIY list that includes LOTS of gardening. Spent 2018 caring for an elderly pet (named Pilates, one of 2 doggies) & prepping our in-town home for sale. Sadly Pilates did pass away in October-Happily house sold this last February & now my husband & I are nearly done building a new farm home on the 10 acres we purchased 3 years ago. The veggie garden is plotted out so ready to begin in 2020 & “visions of flowers dance in my head”! A small fruit orchard also. Most of our friends are retiring-we are reFIRING !!! Your post is an inspiration-we need to encourage each other to keep doing & going: the best is yet to come . . ..
Thank You for this inspiring post. I am teaching myself Latin and sign language. I also want to learn to sew.
After taking care of my Dad and then being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I did a 360 and left office work and computers behind and now work at a nursing home in the dementia and Alzheimer’s unit. I luv connecting to the residents. It’s not always easy but it’s very special. Each day is unique and when someone smiles or has fun with the actives I provide I feel like I have done a good job. Farm girls are all about connection whether in the workplace or socially- it’s just our nature to nurture one another.
Great advice, Deb! We have to keep looking forward and focusing on doing what we love.
Have a great rest of the summer!
Thank you for your inspirational comments. I am 67 and a newly retired nurse. My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 17 years ago. I am no longer able to care for him at home and he was admitted into a nursing home this past June. This is a very difficult time for me and my family, however what you wrote has inspired me to value the special times that we have experienced and to create a new life for myself through my interest in sewing. I have signed up for 3 sewing classes at Sew Green work shop. We will see where that takes me. I have also started lifting weights, walk and this has helped aleviate the stress. Thank you again for your inspirational comments. ENJOY! Life to the fullest, as Cher once said. Life is not a dress rehersal! So not to waste our precious time and to contribute in a positive way. To value ourselves and all of the special people in our lives and who we encounter along the way. Sincerely, Linda
So enjoyed reading your post and the comments. I am 74+, work 2 days/week but spend the rest of my time on my 80 acre “retreat” with many vegetable, fruit, herb, and medicinal gardens – am a certified way station for butterflies. Love working with the plants and providing our beneficial insects with food and shelter. And love sharing this retreat with family and friends. We never stop learning and should never stop living life to the fullest. Be grateful for every minute of every day and the beauty and resources our Mother Earth provides us.
I am enjoying being 59 immensely (year I was born), but have to say the big 6-0 feels a bit daunting, but like you, I am looking forward to new beginnings and following my creativity to where it leads me. Retirement isn’t always an option for those without a real pension, so I look forward to making my own way, balancing work and play, and being sort of a vagabond, living seasonally in different locations. And not ‘retiring’ from my life! Thank you for your inspiration !!
Loved your bog…hurray for you!
Im 72 (almost 73), still working in my Industry of 30 years, gardening, creating, being a
mom and and grandma. Life is good. Being 72 has it’s challenges, but it’s all good.
Appreciate the inspiration from sharing our experiences!