I have collected a wealth of experiences during my 70 years. Two traumatic experiences—my 10-year-old son was killed by a distracted driver, and my 20-year-old son died of head injuries from a skateboard accident—taught me to become strong and resilient. And through my journey of grief, I discovered that life still surprises and delights. Phenomenal situations, people, and opportunities continue to lift and inspire me. I revel in time spent with my living son, Paul, my daughter-in-law, Tara, and my two grandkids, Addy and Zac. My life moves forward, just differently. And I have so much more living to do.
In my late 50’s I needed a job, any job I could find. The “any job” I found had me working alongside a bully co-worker who made me her designated target. I quit three months later because of health challenges—a result of constant abuse by this horrid, pathetic woman. Who knew this woman would become the inspiration and seed for a joyous, creative journey?
I decided to create a humorous, ugly caricature of this person. She was hunched over, angry, ugly, cranky—you get the picture. I called her Laracelli—I bet you can guess who inspired the name—and then I ceremoniously shredded and deleted her image. That simple act helped to move me from victim to a victor! I was healed. This person’s hurtfulness was just the motivation I needed to create a source of income that would bring joy, laughter, and success to me, and turn my passion into my pension. The four, well-seasoned ladies of Old Women, Wine and Wisdom were born.
Allow me to introduce you to these ladies: Chardonnay Noway is authority challenged. ChaCha Chablis is a “pole-fessional” dancer. Zin E. Fandel “zsins” every chance she gets. And Petite Sarah is not petite in body, mind, spirit, or soul. They, and I, have no interest in aging out, rusting out, or tiring out. Each has a little bit of my personality in them. I have them say and do outrageous acts of absurdity, and secretly think how much fun I would have by becoming more like them—a little to the left of disobedient. I’ve launched a line of cards, bookmarks, jewelry, kitchen accessories, and a blog that can all be found on my website, www.oldwomenwineandwisdom.com.
Next, I hope to manifest ongoing illustrations and captions of my humorous ladies in magazines and newspapers, create an animated sitcom, an “Ask Zel Duh” opinion column, and whatever hasn’t come to mind, yet.
I am in awe of what life has to offer me at this age. Inspiration showers upon me frequently and has brought unlimited moments of laughter, humorous insights, creativity, “oh my goodness!” moments, and profound wisdom. I am inspired by life’s serendipity and how perfect situations just seem to show up in the right place, at the right time, and with the right people. My “Tiara Tart” friends and I have been together, through thick and thin, for more than 25 years. Wearing a tiara and scarf or feather boa when we gather is encouraged, and there’s always a lot of laughter, support, chocolate, food, and wine. My friends are important to me and provide immeasurable inspiration for my “ladies.” I am so grateful to have these fun-loving, positive people in my life.
I love being 70! I live my life at full throttle. I continue to mature gracefully and look forward to new adventures. All of my past experiences have made me who I am today. As one of my greeting cards declares, “When You Dance with God, You Don’t Get to Lead.” If our dreams don’t scare us, we aren’t dreaming big enough. Let our mantra be, “This, or something better.”
Read more “My Third Act” stories here.