Tag Archives: advice to younger women

what younger women need to know – part three

23 Mar

continuing the blog post series on me talking with some older women, i introduce kay johnson!

kay was gracious to answer all my questions and i’m all the more enriched by getting to know her a little more!


Kay Johnson, age 70
I stayed home with my kids until they were old enough to be involved in activities that kept them for after- school practice.  When I did return to the workforce I was an administrative assistant and human resources person.

The best thing about growing older is you finally realize you can be your own person and not be concerned with being who your friends want you to be or saying what you think they want to hear.  You finally realize you are fine just the way you are.  We all have different childhood experiences and different personalities but now we embrace those differences.  (A far different attitude from my 20 year old self.)  <amen, kay!>

The decade I like most was the 50s. I loved the music and the innocence of the times.  My grandchildren will never be able to attend a Halloween carnival at their elementary school and trick-or-treat all the way home after dark with just the other neighborhood kids.

One of the best decisions I ever made was never to act shocked at anything my teen-aged daughters ever told me.  I figured they would feel free to talk to me about anything and never be afraid to come to me with whatever might be bothering them.  It worked just as I had hoped but with one little glitch.  I heard way more than I wanted to hear.

One of the worst decisions I ever made….  oh, how could I forget!  Once I let a door-to-door salesman into my house when my husband was gone.  Just two little girls, a dumb Cocker Spaniel, and me huddled together listening to his spiel about a water softener.  It was fine but believe me I knew it could have worked out differently.  (Looking back I think it was his first call and he was more terrified than I was.)  It taught me a lesson though.  I don’t have any problem turning people away or hanging up on the solicitors.

Advice to a younger woman would be don’t fail to recognize your worth.  Wake up every morning and look in the mirror and tell yourself one thing you like about yourself.  Educate yourself so you will never HAVE to depend on a husband or significant other to support you.  Position yourself so that you have choices.

The person I admire most has to be my mother.  She was always so wise.  She is 92 now and still has her moments.  She has very high morals and a strong work ethic that she passed on to my sister and me not by preaching but by the way she lived her life.  I love some of her sayings . . . She was widowed at age 58 and never remarried.  She always said, “I’d rather be single than wish I was.” You gotta love that!

The most famous person I ever met was Fats Domino.  We were on the same flight to Oklahoma City in 1965 and was I ever impressed!  Seriously, Blueberry Hill, I’m Walkin’, Blue Monday, Walking To New Orleans!!!  I loved rock and roll and Fats Domino was one of the best.

thanks kay!  that was wonderful!

to read others click here or here!

what younger women need to know.

21 Feb

I love older women!  

older than me, that is.  i think about all i’ve been through in my 44 years – the things i’ve done, seen, loved + cried over and, well, it’s a long list.  that’s why i appreciate hearing from other women that are even older than me.  they are in their 60’s or above and willing to mentor + share with me their wisdom.  

so today, i will share with you my notes from shirley.  Shirley is my dad’s cousin and one of the neatest people that i know!  she and her husband jerry, surprised my mom for her 70th birthday party along with my aunt annette.  ROF and i got to know shirley and jerry even more and i love this lady!  thanks shirley for the great insight!

name:  Shirley Gasvoda


occupation before and after marriage:  Assistant Counselor at Indiana University

1.  The best thing about growing older:  The peace and contentment of a life well lived, the joy of helping to create a happy family, the time to do what you want and not what you have to do and, most of all, not having to look like a raving beauty to impress people knowing you’ve earned every wrinkle and grey hair!

2.   My favorite (age) decade was the 50’s because our children were raised and mostly on their own, we had enough money to do things we enjoyed and we were still healthy and energetic enough to kick up our heels and look forward to grandchildren!

3.   The meal I cooked the most was pot roast which was the favorite of my three men and I must have baked pies a hundred times over.  I was and am the designated pie maker for all the Gasvoda holidays and that usually calls for five or six each time.

(i think we need both recipes, right?  will you share, shirley?)

4.    The best decision I ever made was to marry young to my wonderful husband.  We had our two boys at an early age which may not be as easy today but we were lucky to be surrounded by family to help and a strong love to depend on.  One advantage for us was that we were still young and healthy enough to be active after the kids were grown and we can enjoy our retirement years together.

5.    The worst decision I made was not pursuing a college education after being awarded a scholarship to Indiana University.  I was in love with my husband and decided to work at I.U. at home to be close to him while he attended Purdue University. Fortunately it worked out well but I would have benefited from not only the knowledge but the social advantages college would have offered.

6.     The advice I would give to a young woman is be yourself and not be influenced by social media if it contradicts what you want in life.  Think before you make a decision and if it’s the life you want badly give it all you can and go pursue your dreams.  If a husband is one of your goals, make sure he treats you with respect and love and wants your happiness as well as his own and you both have the same desires in life.

7.     I had two very strong women in my life and I admired them greatly.  My Grandmother came to the USA alone via Ellis Island when she was sixteen years old.  She spoke only German and didn’t know a word of English.  She was sponsored by a Dr. in Chicago and found work as a Nanny and supported herself until she married my Grandfather at twenty one years of age.  She had eight children and lived a happy life until age 76.

My Mother was also very strong and raised two children on a tenth grade education with little financial assistance.  She was a very hard worker and was always ready to take more than one job to supply our needs.  She had no help from the government which would probably be unheard of today! I like to hope that both these ladies shared some of their strength with me.

8.    Who is the most famous person you’ve met?  I’ve met some wonderful people along the way and impressed by their love of country and humanity but to categorize them as movie stars, politicians etc. would not top my list though I’ve met several.  I’ve had the pleasure of being guided by two Christian ministers who mentored and blessed me with their deep and abiding faith and have the love of fantastic friends and family that have provided unending inspiration.   Friends and Family make my world go around and a God that supports my every move….What more is there???

thanks, shirley.  i appreciate you.

and people – look for more of these to come in the future!

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