Updated: Jun 27
In this episode, Karen talks about how after 44 years of being a nurse, and of which nearly 20 years as a midwife, she started her Pregnancy, Birth and Newborn photography – Beautiful Beginnings Photography.
Her message to younger women is - “Relax, don’t worry about the small stuff, about what other people say. Don’t panic. It will all work out. Enjoy life!”
Her tattoo says - Life fails to be perfect but never fails to be beautiful
10 Facts About Karen
(at the time of the project)
1. 62 years old
2. Karen was born in England and came to Sydney Australia with her parents and two brothers when she was 13.
3. Karen started nursing when she was 17 and was hospital trained. She has been a nurse for 44 years.
4. Karen started training as a midwife in 2005 and that's what she is doing now. Still a midwife.
5. Karen is also a pregnancy, birth and newborn photographer at Beautiful Beginnings Photography.
6. Karen met her first husband when she was 16, got married at 20, and was 36 when her husband was killed. That was a difficult time to get through. Karen ended up remarrying a few years later, and still married.
7. Karen has three adult children - a son and two girls.
8. She also has a beautiful granddaughter Stella (who was nearly 9 months old at the time of the project)
9. Biggest challenge at this age – “The biggest challenge probably would be that my body doesn't quite want to do what I wanted to do. It used to run down the street, I can't run anymore. I just think I just have to learn to be 62 and not to think I'm 35”
10. Positive change with age – “I've learned to relax a little bit, and not worry too much about the small stuff, things you can't change.”
Watch Karen's VIDEO interview HERE
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (auto-generated):
Hi, you are listening to My Body My Story podcast,
Whatever you do has to make you happy. It can't just be for somebody else. You've got to do things for yourself.
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
And you let's start with tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm 62 today, and I was born in England. emigrated with my parents when I was 13. My mum or dad and two brothers to Sydney. From there, I just went to school. Start nursing when I was 17. That was when we were hospital trained. Seems like forever ago. So I've been a nurse for 44 years. I met my husband when I was 16. We got married at 20. And over the years had three children son and two girls. Probably the greatest memory from that time was my husband was killed when he was 38. I was 36 at the time and had three young children. The youngest was six. So that was a difficult time. Yeah, it was it was and very difficult to get through, I guess. Always there. I just suppose I concentrated more on the children. And they all had counselling. And they probably can't remember it. But yeah, that got lots of counselling for them. Never. I don't I feel like I didn't deal with it. Well, myself. I just sort of just Yeah, I think I tended to focus on the kids and not not on myself. But anyway, kept working. And I ended up remarrying a few years later, and still married, didn't have any children together. That was a mutual decision. He has two daughters, and I had three so we figured that was plenty. started training as a midwife in 2005. And that's what I'm doing now. Still a midwife. But I also do pregnancy, birth and newborn photography.
When did you start that?
About five years ago. And my aim is to try and get into trying to increase my photography and ease upon the midwifery.
Yeah. What inspired you to do the newborn photography?
Don't really know why I started. My, my children were thinking, well, my son was thinking about having a baby. And I thought that would be an ideal thing to get into. I'd always been interested in right from years ago with Anne Geddes, who used to put out like, baby photos and things. Yeah, I suppose that that was the first sort of look I had at newborn photography. And then I did a few courses.
I did a few courses as well.
Yeah, yeah. And just sort of slid into it. It's something I do. Part time. Yep. For the sole kind of thing more Yeah, and more of a hobby that I enjoy. but it's it's a business I want to start. I do lots more birth photography. So I've been a midwife that'll just sort of, I know what goes on and know what to expect. You in the room, hopefully nothing will be too much of a surprise.
Yeah, yeah. I'm sure it would work. If anyone wants to book a session.
My business name is beautiful beginnings photography. And that's fairly easy to find. On the internet, and also on Facebook, and Instagram.
Beautiful Beginnings Photography. Yeah.
What are you most passionate about?
My family. Yeah, I think we're very behaved. Well, actually, I do feel I say I feel lucky. But they're all I've got three wonderful children. 36, standard 32. And they're all the work. They've never been in any trouble. I don't know whether that was good luck or good management. But they've all turned into nice people. And we're very close. So I would say that's my biggest accomplishment.
Yeah. So everyone knows that with age we change. But what positive changes? Have you experienced as you're getting older?
I think I've learned to relax a little bit, and not worry too much about the small stuff. Things you can't change. There's no point in worrying about things you can't change. And I used to always be worried about what other people thought. Yeah. Which doesn't quite concern me so much these days.
Yeah. Learn to just consider yourself. And that’s it. I think we're all in the same boat. It only takes time to get to that stage in life, isn't it? Yeah.
Lots of lessons learned and mistakes made along the way, I guess.
Yeah. What is the biggest challenge you're experiencing at this age?
Right now? I guess. The bass challenge probably would be that my body doesn't quite want to do what I wanted to do. You know, it's used to sort of run down the street or I don't know, I can't run anymore. And yeah, I just think I just have to learn to be 62 and not, not think I'm 35.
but then they say you're as young as you feel you are feeling like you're 35 and you'll be 35 You'll start running.
I actually DO feel I never consider myself in my 60s. Yeah. I always think, you know, if someone's sort of said to me didn't know me. And if they were on the phone or something said to me, how old are you? I could quite easily say 38. Yeah, you know, in my head. I'm 38. But yeah, the body tells a different story.
What would be your greatest accomplishment? I know you said kids. Is there anything else that you very proud of?
Just achieving what I have. I'm a nurse. I'm a midwife. I'm a mother. I'm a grandmother. Got a beautiful granddaughter. Yep. She's nearly nine months old. Stella and she's beautiful.
You're probably on speed dial. Yes.
Yes. So I guess. And also starting a business later in life. Yeah, that's, that's been a big challenge. But I guess once the children leave home, you've got time to think about doing things for yourself.
That's right. So you get your time back. Yeah. And then grow up.
There's still always need you for something I'm sure. But still, there's more time to you. Yeah, yeah. I just work full time. So that's, that's a challenge. As a midwife, so that's a big ask sometimes.
Yeah. Yeah. What advice would you give your 30 year old self?
Don't panic. It'll all work out. And don't worry about you know, used to be a mad, got to clean the house and got to keep it tidy and got to have the meals on the table and doesn't really matter. Yeah, you know, nobody notices In the end, that's right. Whether you're clean once a week, or once a fortnight doesn't really matter. You're the only one that notices that. And if you can just sort of relax and enjoy other things, rather than, you know, I never used to be able to leave the house until the beds were made and the dishes were done. And yeah, you know, and the kids were waiting to go out and I’d say, “Well, I've got to do this first”, but really doesn't matter. Yeah, they could all be done later. That's right. So yeah, just enjoy lunch. Enjoy life. Yeah, just live for sure. do chores. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Some sort of similar. But he that's this advice is for your 30 year old self. What about other women? What advice would you give younger women who will eventually undergo these changes that you are going through right now?
Survive. Just do the best you can. That's all, that's all you can do.And don't worry about what other people think. I was always very concerned about, oh, you know, what was done? So think of what I'm doing or that doesn't matter. You've got to be happy in yourself matters what you think. Yeah. Yeah. And whatever you do has to make you happy. It can't just be for somebody else. You've got to do things for yourself. Yeah. And things have come a long way. In my 62 years, you know, women did have the vote. But women, there were no high power women, no women in executive jobs and things like that. When I when I first went nursing, you were either a nurse, a secretary or a teacher, you didn't have really didn't have that many. No, no, he didn't have a lot of options like there aren't now. That was 45 years ago. A lot happened in that time. Lots of changes. Not even any computers when I was at school, yeah. So
you think changed for the better like you?
Oh, yeah, for as far as progress for women goes, certainly changed for the better. Yeah. It's a lot of things that happen that I don't like, I guess. Yeah, that's right. That's right.
Where do you think the idea of a perfect body image comes from?
Or the idea depends whose idea it is, I guess it comes that most of people get an idea of a perfect body image from magazines and social media these days. But what's perfect? What's perfect to one person won't be perfect to another. And I guess is the perfect body image? Is you being happy with yourself? Yeah. But I don't think there's any, there's no right or wrong way of doing that.
Everyone has their own taste and flavour.
Yeah, I don't think we should be forcing people to be a size eight or 10 or whatever. But as long as you're happy with the way you are, is the main thing.
Yeah. But you think media does have a big influence?
Oh, absolutely. And particularly when I was growing up, it was there was no social media. So everything was magazines. And you never saw a larger girl in a magazine. It was always you know, skinny Elle Macpherson. Yeah, skinny skinny models. And if you were anything out of that, well, you weren't
you weren't a model.
Yeah, that's right. always felt like you had to aspire to be thinner. Yeah. Which never worked for me. I was never on the thin side.
I don't think it works for anyone
What does it mean to you feeling good and looking good. What do you think comes first?
I think feelings. Feeling good is more important. But I don't think you feel good unless you look good. Yeah, and I don't mean by putting lots of makeup on or, you know, the perfect dress or whatever it means to you just Yeah, as long as you feel well. Yeah. You'll portray that and the way you look
What makes you feel the most beautiful?
I don't know. I don't.. I never consider.. I always consider myself average, I never consider myself beautiful. I do like, I think complements are a great thing. When someone complements the way you look or, you know, the, I'll often get. I work with a lot of younger women, mostly in their 30s. And I will often get them. Someone will say to me, you don't look your age or, and that's, that's just something that makes you feel good. So I think that's a nice thing.
It's a nice thing to hear.
I do have people that, you know, family that say, you don't look good in that or you don't wear that today.
So families allowed.
That's right. If even they're allowed to tell you the truth,
if you have one, or if you heard something. So if you had to think of what's your favourite quote, about being a woman, it doesn't have to be an actual quote, but it's something you came up with, or you heard, or it's in a movie or whatever that sort of speaks to you.
I have I don't really have a favourite quote. as such. I do have a tattoo that says, “Life fails to be perfect, but never fails to be beautiful”. Which I really like. I just, it just says everything to me, I guess. But the other thing is I just think everybody can do something. If you if you see something that's not right. Do something about it. If you see someone being mistreated, do something about it. If you were not powerless, yeah, yeah. Everyone has the power to do something. Or even just tell someone? Yeah, you know, so. There's probably the biggest things. When did you get that tattoo? Probably about 10 years ago. Yeah.
Was it a significant meaning for you then like something prompted it like?
No, I just been looking for something that meant something. And, yeah, I saw it and thought. That's perfect. That's perfect. Yeah.
Thank you, Karen, thank you so much for sharing your story with us on your birthday.
If you have an interesting story to share would love for you to participate. You can email us at email@example.com or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com
This is the 45 over 45 chapter of MY BODY MY STORY podcast, where we celebrate rule breakers and role models - the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show their SENSUALITY, BEAUTY, SOUL, and TRUE ESSENCE.
For more information about the project visit: