Updated: Jun 27, 2022
🎧 In this episode, Margaret talks about how at her 54, she finally found something that she enjoys, and that's teaching. She works as a teacher's assistant at school which can be challenging but very rewarding at the same time.
Margaret’s biggest challenge at the moment is being on her own, growing, accepting, and embracing the single life, and knowing that you don't need a partner, boyfriend, or a husband to make or complete you.
Margaret’s advice for younger women is - Don't get married young and if you want to get married, find an amazing partner. Also, make sure there's time for yourself.
10 Facts About Margaret
(at the time of the project)
1. 53 years old.
2. Margaret is Australian, and her cultural background is Croatian.
3. Margaret has got a large family. She is the eldest of five children. She’s got a younger sister and three younger brothers.
4. She also has 4 adult children, 3 daughters and 1 son, and two grandchildren.
5. Margaret has had a few various job roles. From being home full time to working in a bank working for lawyers, looking after her parents, and now going back to school to study and pursue her career in teaching.
6. Margaret has been married twice and now she’s divorced. So she’s learned from both marriages.
7. Margaret is sure that for any woman it is very important to have time for herself and to know how to say No.
8. Margaret says that everything in life is temporary, that’s why it's so important to grab an opportunity. And if it goes well, that's great. If it doesn't, you've learned from it.
9. Biggest challenge at this age – “Being on my own and to know it's okay, that you don't need a partner or a boyfriend or a husband to make or complete you.”
10. Positive change with age – “To know that I'm okay.”
Watch Margaret's VIDEO interview HERE
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (auto-generated) :
Hi, you're listening to My Body, My Story podcast.
Yeah, I would say, time for yourself going back porn experiences I never, I always felt like I needed to save people.
This is the 45 or 45 chapter where we celebrate rule breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show that sensuality, beauty, soul and true essence. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and will listen to the stories of our participants. If you have an interesting story to share, we would love you to participate, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com
Hi, Margaret, welcome to our studio, and welcome to our project. And while you're sitting in the makeup chair, and Tanya is doing makeup for you, I'll be asking you a few questions. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, Alexandra, thank you for putting all this together. I think it's exciting for all women over 45 to be doing something for themselves. But a bit about myself, I am Australian, my cultural background is Croatian. And I have four adult children and two grandchildren. There are ages seven and two. I wanted to do come today to do something for myself. And focus on what clothes to wear what makeup to put on. Do some nice style hairstyles. And just just be me. And just focus on what makes me happy and brings joy. As well as I'm ageing as well. I like to just see and accept my body change and also grow, grow and age gracefully as well.
I think you're in the right place today. So what's good, what are you most passionate about in life?
Learning and growing. And I believe I want to accept what I can’t change. And what I can't change in my past experiences of my life and my journey. I think that's really important. And to know the difference, and that's part of the serenity prayer that I try and sort of reflect back on. And remember that that's, that's, that's what life's all about. So what do you do more in work, sorry, I work I just changed my job role. I'm a teacher's assistant, or the other title is Learning Support Officer. And I've had a few various job roles. From being home full time, to working in a bank working for lawyers, looking after my parents and in going back to school to study and sort of pursue my career in teaching.
So you work at school, it's always a mystery for me how it's such a different world, you know, school and all the time with the kids and hearing this, like noise and the play. And you know, I think it's you have to be really an extrovert you know, very patient..
Yeah, it's a very rewarding role and I think I think also being a mother, you've got to have that empathy. You've got to have that understanding. And every day it's different. You can't just say, Okay, we're going to do this. I actually work with the kindy classes so every day is different so they might someone might for some of my say rude things, someone might be happy and the day will go smoothly. Other times it's it's Something that you need to sort of speak to the teacher or maybe even speak to a parent because the child's just too upset. Maybe something's happening at home. So it is it's, it's some it's, at the moment quite hard for the students because it's the the lockdown was all remote learning. So a lot have I couldn't say a lot, but I think routines important for for young children. And and with these reading levels in their spelling and sight words, things some of them have dropped in levels, so we need to sort of get back to that, to that right term stage. Yeah. So it's fun.
So everyone knows that with age we change, but what positive changes have you experienced so far?
To know that, to know that I'm okay. health in mind. And my mom keeps saying to me what you've gone through in life, hey, you're okay, you know, you can get up and do what you have to do. And you know, you're still healthy. And you've got a, you know, bright future still. And there's lots to learn. I don't think we as we get older, we don't need to ever stop growing or learning or studying. There's always something there. And I think it's important to keep learning because it's, it's good for our brain activity. So that's what I believe, I think it's important to keep going. And the sad thing is about a year ago, my father passed away and with his death, and I look at mom, and it was a life partner there. Just one minute you're here next minute, it's gone. And I'll look, I'll look at that now and think that everything in life is temporary. So it's so important to grab an opportunity. And if it goes well, that's great. If it doesn't, you've learned from it. There's good and bad and there's bad and good and, and just keep going.
So what is the biggest challenge you're experiencing at this age right now?
Being on my own actually, I think that's the acceptance because I've been married and now I'm divorced. It's happened twice. So I've learned from both marriages. I think the challenge is true to grow and accept and embrace that single life. And, and to know it's okay, that you don't need a partner or a boyfriend or a husband to make or complete you. That's what I think. I don't, I don't, it's important to be yourself. And to just and just do what you want in life. Don't listen to anybody. The younger years was listening and pleasing people all the time. All the time.
So if you could go back to 30 year old self, give her advice, what would you say?
Don't get married young. Fine. If you want to get married, find our amazing partner. And make sure you choose right. And make sure like I understand you don't know from the beginning you don't know how things will turn out but listen and look at the red flags. And don't don't do what everyone else is doing. Because everyone's different and don't compare yourself with everyone else either. I think that's important. And there will be a time where you will find the right person and have a family but then at the same time. Marriages and all you know especially your wedding days not everything about a beautiful dress or flashy car or gorgeous flowers or something like that. They're certainly life marriages. My mother would say not so sour but a time where not everything is weight, and you got to go through that. And you got to have the right partner to be there to support you. And to know that it's not always going to be happy days at the beginning, it's going to challenge you at times. And when children come along even more big time, that's what I've learned. But that's what I wouldn't. I would say, if I was 30. Again, and there's don't rush, don't rush travel, have, you know, if you've got opportunities to go places and do things, grab them, because that opportunity may not come again? Later, I think. So, if if it happens with you know, people find someone, someone special in their lives, that's great. And if it doesn't, it's I rather be alone, than then have drama or issues with some kind of addiction or, or issues, you know, I'd rather have peace and embrace life what it is, rather than having, like, I know, it's going to be a smooth travel all the time with, with relationships, but you got to have that give and take, you've got to have that understanding of life, life is meant to be joyful. And try different things, study different things, do go to different countries travel and work at different roles. Because at this age, I'm 54, I found something that I enjoy. And that's with teaching. That's what's happening with my life.
And what advice would you give younger women who will eventually reach this age and undergo the changes we're going through now?
Make sure there's time for yourself. Don't be Mr. Tom. Don't think that, oh, I can do this. And I can do that and make and, you know, a happy home and happy kids. And you know, at the end of the day, you're tired, and then you're not, you're not really doing anything. That's you look back in your day, you don't look at something that where I've done something or I've done this, this, this this and I'm tired, but you're gonna look at today and think well, I'm happy doing that, or definitely more time to travel more breaks, like, maybe even a date night with your partner, time with family. Definitely, I would say, time for yourself going back my own experiences, I never, I always felt like I needed to save people and save family and save, you know, because I want to always make sure everyone was in this. Safe, you know, the world is good. But there's, there's challenges out there. And it's not always what it seems to be. So that's what I would say I would say it's definitely time for yourself and make sure you do it. Just book it in. And don't make excuses. And don't be a yes person. Make sure you're you've got that time and it's okay to say no. Yeah. The end the difference and it's okay. And don't feel guilty about saying that said no, no, no. Yes. That's okay.
So what would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far?
My greatest accomplishment would be for great kids. They have three daughters and one son. And looking back and saying to myself, I've virtually raised him on my own. I've had two divorces. So I've kind of looked back and I think well, the VOR turned out pretty good kids. And they respect me. And obviously it's been challenging at times. But now as young adults they get it and..
..now they know what it costed you..
Yeah, they know we've got a really good relationship. And they've got their you know, we've got our boundaries. And they've got the partners. And I think that they know where they listened to me, they take my advice. And we've got to roll it that the communications key, that's for sure. That's just great. Communications very important. And with all this, you know, so many things out there with internet and things like that it does concern me. But luckily, and therefore each other they, for example, after today, I'm going to go and see my daughter, because she's moving house. So and then next weekend, I've got the other daughter helping out with babysitting, you know, we're all sort of close. And we're all sort of, you know, making sure we were working together well. Yeah, it's good - family connection, and we close, large family, very large family, I am the eldest of, there's five of us. Got a younger sister and three, three younger brothers. I'm the eldest and most wanted, I say, Oh.
So you're the one who is responsible,
I'm responsible, make sure everyone's okay. That's why I keep saying I can't, you know, I was always out for them looking at I felt like a like a little mother, you know, looking after them. And then Mom ahead, you know, my brother, Joe. And then. And then Tom came, and then my sister Mary, and then I've got auntie, my youngest brother, he came much later in life, in mom's life, and I was always just sort of being this, you know, motherly instinct, you know, and I, I guess at the, at that time, when it all happened in the 80s, early 90s, it was just the norm to get married young. And it was okay to have kids at early 20s. If it's great if it all works out, but then sometimes things don't work out, and you've got lots of challenges where, okay, you're a single parent, and you have to make ends meet. Yeah, so that's, we've got no crystal ball. There's no guarantees in life never. So do what you can and always have Plan B. That's what I say.
And C as well.
Okay, you can go to C and D.
So where do you think the idea of perfect body image comes from?
That would be a lot of the magazines, internet, photos that have been probably photo, what I call it? What do they call the advertisement advertisements? And there's no perfection. I think a lot of the photos are all what I what I call them, and they change in edit the images, photoshopped
There's no perfection. I think if you're happy within yourself, and you feel great, and you've got some nice clothes and mentally, you're, you're a good mindset. Then then we're all we're all perfect in that way, in that sense. And I think perfection would be boring. You know, when you kind of look at life, and you think you can't really nothing to say anything negative about it. So yes, a lot of its advertisements.
So, what does it mean to you feeling good and looking good? What comes first?
Feeling good. Definitely. Because if you're feeling good, within yourself, it's much better than looking good because you gotta have in. I think it complements each other actually looking and feeling good. But definitely more filling. And knowing and being aware of, you know, where we're at in life.
So what makes you feel the most beautiful?
I think getting ready to go out to a function, going to and pay pampering yourself and getting your hair done. And makeup and getting some fun photos and being around with family and friends that make you happy. And I think it's important sorry to compliment each other and complementing each other and just Just be true to yourself and be yourself. You don't need to be anyone else. I think that makes us obviously everyone's special and perfect. And beautiful.
Do you have any favourite quote, but being a woman
Favourite quote, would be Growing old gracefully. Like, that's the only one I can really think of.
But it has a big meaning.
It certainly does. And just accepting you know, imperfections. And, and I think I used to always hold back on things, and not do this or not do that and save it for a big day. I think every day is a big day. Just to wake up and say, Oh, thank you, I've got another day. Because we don't know when things will change. But that's thing. It's better not to, I know when more my children were born, but, you know, obviously, they've got an estimated time of arrival. But to depart this world, I don't want to think. I don't want to know. It's like, you need to be prepared.
But what is the saying, do what you need to do and let it be?
Yeah, you know, take in as much as you can make some changes, if you can do except what You can't all goes back to the Serenity Prayer. It's true.
Well, thank you, Margaret, for sharing your thoughts. And I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day today and your photoshoot. Thank you. And thank you again for joining the project.
Thank you, Alexandra. I'm sure we'll have a fun day today. And all the other p