More Words of Wisdom
Here are more words of wisdom from three female health care professionals at Rush University Medical Center about growing older gracefully:
CHERYL RUCKER-WHITAKER, MD
Preventive medicine specialist Age: 40
ON TURNING 40: When I turned 40 last year, I was waiting for something magical to happen. It turns out that I felt the same way I felt the day before. But now that I’m in the second half of my life, I’m asking myself, “How am I going to make it the best that it can be?”
MARY WOOD MOLO, MD
Reproductive endocrinologist Age: 51
ON EATING WELL: Cooking is one of my favorite ways to relax. My youngest daughter is addicted to the Food Network, and she and I come up with great recipes. Because I cook more, I don’t eat as much junk food as I used to. But that’s also a function of my different work hours now; I am able to leave the office early enough to stop at the store and buy fresh foods, come home and cook dinner. When I was younger, I sometimes didn’t get home until 7:30 or 8:00, so it was easier to order in or pick up fast food.
ON LEARNING TO SET LIMITS: A lot of women are driven to succeed. And sometimes professional women, moreso than men, have a hard time saying no — No, I can’t take that extra client; no, I can’t see patients on Saturdays — because we want to be well regarded by our bosses and colleagues. Part of the process of growing older is figuring out how to set limits, in a nice way, so you protect yourself and your private life from your work life. You have to learn to draw those lines so work doesn’t consume you.
LOIS HALSTEAD, PHD, RN
Vice provost and vice president, University affairs Age: 61
ON WHY SHE WOULDN’T WANT TO BE 20 AGAIN: I really like where I am, but there are some mechanics I’d like to change. But I definitely wouldn’t want to be 20 again. With that young age comes the turmoil of decision-making and the insecurity and uncertainty. The advantage of living longer is you’ve learned a few things, and you know not to be so hard on yourself.
ON LESSONS LEARNED FROM PARENTHOOD: When it’s your own child, the “small things” — like getting your child to give up his pacifier — seem so important. You get buried in the minutia when you’re younger. It’s hard to step back because you have to take care of so many things. But really, how many grown-ups still use a pacifier? Now, as a grandparent, I can say “it’s not that important” because I survived it. And with that, I can enjoy time with my granddaughter a bit differently than I did with my son.
Return to original article: “In Our Experience”
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