Article by Jill Shaw Ruddock
Turning 50 has been great according to Greta Scacchi when she was interviewed by Jill Shaw Ruddock, along with other inspirational women over 50 including Ruby Wax and Dame Harriet Walter. Here’s what they had to say:
“Turning 50 has been great! After feeling so gloomy and doomy about the prospect on my 49th birthday, it has been a surprisingly uplifting experience for me. The new-found lightness and joy is mainly, I think, that I feel I am finally living in the present. Hurray!
‘I have suspected for decades that in the struggle to find happiness, confidence and serenity – “living in the moment” – is the key, but how to realise this simple yet highly elusive concept? It seemed ever to escape me.
‘I believe it took turning 50 for me to confront the brutal reality that I am well over halfway through my adult life and that unless I start to “do it now” (whatever “it” might be), it is probably never going to happen. Being 50 is a great boost to clarity, spirit and drive!”
Greta Scacchi, Actress and Activist
Befriend your Older Appearance
“The first piece of advice without which the other bits become irrelevant, is to look after your health. Make sure your body is cared for and serviced like a car, for as long and as comfortable an onward journey as possible.
Break old habits. The good ones will stay with you, the bad ones haven’t worked. Discard them. New habits bring new perceptions.
Open up to people of all ages. Unlike young people, you know what it is like to be young , middle-aged and old. You can relate to everyone.
Befriend your older appearance. Don’t deny it, or try to re-capture your young looks with surgery. There is a way of being beautiful at every age.
Imagine every year is your last and try to do as many of the things that, on your deathbed, you would regret never having done.”
Dame Harriet Walter, Actress
The only person you have to answer to is yourself
“My advice would be to get over yourself. Whatever you’ve achieved, everyone’s forgotten about it already, so the only person you have to answer to is yourself. And if you can look in the mirror and say, ‘Boy, am I getting more interesting!’ then you’ve accomplished something. I always wanted to show my parents that I was really smart and to be able to say I went to Oxford. So that’s what I’m doing now. It’s really nothing to do with the second half of life; it has to do with there being things I need to finish before they put me in the ground. I would like to be a model too, but I think that’s probably first half material. Going to Oxford will feel like I’m being taken seriously and that I’m covering the whole range. My epitaph won’t just be, ‘She was a funny girl, she was a comedienne, she was an alcoholic.’ I’d like to cover the whole spectrum. ‘She was an alcoholic, she was a comedienne and she went to Oxford’ – that would be nice on my grave.”
Ruby Wax, Comedienne, Author and Facilitator
The Second Half of Your Life by Jill Shaw Ruddock is a groundbreaking book that focuses on the key issues women face after menopause.