I have been described by my friends and family as…
A fabulous friend, fun, highly intelligent and inspirational, caring and supportive. Indescribable ( that’s an open book!)
I am most proud of…
Starting a new career at 64 and nailing it. I guess I am also proud that most of my life I have always strived to be the top performer and achieved it regularly – I accept nothing less from myself.
My favourite quotes…
“If you love your job, you will never work a day in your life” – Mark Anthony.
What advice would I give my 20-year-old self…
Stop being so self-conscious and have more confidence in yourself. Believe in yourself.
We all experience many lifetimes in this one life. What did you find were the most poignant changes as you entered your 40’s?
I think more confidence in my ability and myself in general, and finally realising that I am really good at something. A few things actually.
Thoughts on aging…
It’s inevitable – but it’s ‘but a number’. Keep fit physically and mentally and age is irrelevant. Accept the wrinkles and rejoice every day, as aging is a privilege denied to many.
A story I’d like to share…
I am a great believer in making things happen, going for what you want with passion and determination, and never giving up. I refuse to be ‘old’.
After leaving our senior corporate management jobs in our early 50s, to the horror of many of our friends who thought we were crazy, my husband and I moved to a small seaside town on the Garden Route and set about trying to make our way in life differently, with less stress and a more balanced lifestyle. In a nutshell, I cannot say that it has not been a struggle, but there have been so many good times and memories made in an area that has become our small piece of paradise. Our life is pretty idyllic in many ways – quiet, peaceful, surrounded by beauty and nature.
In other ways, it has been a tough adjustment with many pitfalls and challenges – but no regrets.
When we moved from the city, we tried many avenues workwise, and the most regular was doing freelance SETA training, for which we are both qualified, for various companies all around the country.
This was, however, not sustainable, as the work is contractual, and then along came COVID. At the age of 62, I had decided that I wanted to become an online proofreader – I felt that this was the way to go for continuity and progress in the future. I had always had a good command of the English language and this seemed an ideal opportunity.
Not knowing a single thing about how to actually proofread, I sent out five random emails to publishing companies in the UK, received two positive replies, and started working as an amender ( a lower form of proofreading) for both of them. I had no experience whatsoever, nor any clue of the relevant editing programs required.
To this day, I have no idea how I got the jobs and kept them for two years, in between our SETA training. As this was a start but not enough, I then began speaking to everyone I knew who was involved in online jobs of any nature – mostly far younger people – and through this, I came into contact with a well-known British editor who advised me to take a course and get qualified. At 64, I thought? I am too old for this.
I don’t have computer skills. I’m too stupid for this.
Through this editor, I met another British lady living in Vietnam. She and I became firm friends and did the online proofreading course together ( we both passed with merit).
Without her I would have been lost – she literally schooled me on the technology and helped me to keep going even though I would cry with frustration at times due to my lack of techno-savvy.
And that is how it all began!
So today, here I am. Sixty-six years old with a regular copyediting job ( I left proofreading behind a while back) as a freelance online academic editor with an Indian company.
I recently received my first commission to copyedit a business book by a Vietnamese author, via my Vietnam contact.
I also receive a number of children’s books to edit from a local publisher. It’s been an amazing journey and has taught me so much.
Have a read on www.deadlineediting.com This story relates so well to my thoughts on aging!
A funny story about how I met Glenda! Glenda had asked a question on a Facebook group about a certain app. I had answered her question and then got her number so I could explain it to her over Whatsapp. We ended up chatting about the work we do, and then the next moment, Glenda had signed up for the campaign! The first time she arrived at my studio for her shoot, the power had just gone off in my suburb, so we had to reschedule! So by the second time she arrived for her shoot a week later, we had a laugh and it felt like we’d been friends for years!
Hair and Makeup: Donna Hay
If you would like to know about the inspiration for the 40 Over 40 Women’s Portrait Campaign, please click HERE. The campaign will be culminating in an exhibition in early July 2022!