Updated: Jun 2
Living Life Fully. This episode is telling a story of how retirement can be a well-rounded and exciting adventure that is fun and keeps you busy at the same time.
You can READ the interview transcript HERE
10 Facts About Anne-Lill
(at the time of the project)
1. 60 years old.
2. Anne-Lill is from Norway where she lived right next to famous fjords.
3. She met her husband in 2006. But she didn't move to Sydney until 2018.
4. Anne-Lill is a relatively fresh Aussie. She’s got her citizenship last October
5. She lives with her husband and his daughter Bianca in Alexandria. She also has a son who lives in Norway.
6. Anne-Lill has a cat. She's almost 16 years old now. Beautiful ginger Siberian that came over from Norway with Anne-Lill. And a fun fact is that cat’s ticket was more than Anne-Lill’s.
7. Both Anne-Lill’s husband and her, have been in IT for many years. They're not anymore. They are both retired. They sold their companies.
8. Now they are keen renovators. When they stopped working, they bought an apartment and spent a year fixing that one up, then they bought another one and spent the last eight months fixing that one up.
9. Also Anne-Lill and her husband have a sailboat, a catamaran which they sail on occasionally and call it a floating holiday house.
10. They do some charity work. So Anne-Lill’s husband works for a charity that does mental health for men, and Anne-Lill helps charities for free with everything from project management to technological stuff.
Hi, you're listening to the My Body, My Story podcast.
If you want to make it work, you just have to accept yourself. If you don't accept yourself, whatever you do shopping, surgical procedures, Botox, it doesn't matter, it will, you will still feel like it doesn't work.
This is the 45 over 45 chapter 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. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and we listened to the stories about participants. If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at email@example.com That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website aleksandrawalker.com
Hello, everyone, and welcome to The My Body My Story project, and today with us in the studio Anne-Lill. And while she's sitting in the makeup chair and Chitra is doing makeup for her. We will talk and I’ll asked her a few questions. Hello Anne-Lill. Welcome to the studio. Welcome to the project.
Thank you so much. Quite a little bit nervous to be on this project. Looking forward to it.
that's normal. Yeah, and let's start and tell us 10 facts about yourself.
Let's see if I can keep it to 10. First of all, as you can hear from my accent, I'm not Australian born. I'm from Norway. I met my husband in 2006. But I didn't move to Sydney until 2018. So I'm a relatively fresh Aussie. I got my citizenship last October. So I'm definitely an Aussie.
So that was fun. So we live in Alexandria. We have a Syria Yeah, it's beautiful. Actually, we have a heritage building in front of us and then there knock down the warehouse and build a beautiful building where we were lucky enough to get an apartment. So I really live there. My husband and I and his daughter Bianca, which is 22. And she works with films. Strangely enough. Oh, wow. So we have a cat. She's almost 16 years old now. Siberian beautiful ginger Siberian that came over from Norway with me. So she's a well travelled cat. And a fun fact is her ticket because more than my ticket very expensive. Both my husband and I, we've been in IT for many years. We're not anymore. We both retired. We sold our companies. It doesn't mean we're not doing anything we but keen renovators. So when we stopped working, we bought an apartment and we spent a year fixing that one up, then we bought another one and spent the last eight months fixing that one up. Yeah. So that's, that's some of the things we love to do. And we took it for yourself. So we fixed the first apartment, which is ours. And then the other one we bought was an investment apartment, which will be rented. So that will hopefully happen in a couple of weeks that it comes onto the market. And then because we thought we didn't have enough to do with renovating two apartments, we said we need a hobbyist, we bought a sailboat. Oh, so we have a sailboat, a catamaran which we sail on occasionally we don't use it enough at the moment. So we keep her up in Airlie Beach in a charter fleet. But we do cyl, we love it. And we've just done our certifications. And I just gonna do my coastal Skipper next year to be able to sell her all by myself in every waters. I'm looking forward to that little bit scary. But let's support the first one. Now it's a catamaran. So it's made for leisure. We call it our floating holiday house. Yeah. That way we can actually see whatever we want every day. Because we were lucky, we've been very lucky, my husband and I both in it, we sold to IT companies. And to give something back for how lucky we have been. We do some charity work. So my husband, he works for a charity that does mental health for men. So you volunteer for them in I'm starting volunteering to do projects for other charities that need things done that can't afford to pay for any people to do smaller project from them. For them, you know everything from project management to get a project down to maybe do some tech, you know it or technological stuff. So I will do that for them for free. Because, you know, charities are nonprofit, they don't always have the most money and especially charities for children and animals. So That's what we do. So we've been quite busy actually. I have a son he's almost 40 Because I'm I'm 60 So any but he'll still lives in Norway and he's happy with that. But I think it's busy enough having a 22 year old living with us. That's gonna be enough, I think. Got what you got 10 facts seven knots to show.
You're probably. That's very interesting. So what you said that, would you? Do you have any plans to sail? Do you sail in open sea or just somewhere in the quiet waters.
So, at the moment, we will sail the boat down the coast from Airlie to Brisbane over Christmas. But we also sailing in the Mediterranean this year, but then we are renting a boat. Our plan? Our plans is to be able to sail off to Fiji or one of our two or New Caledonia, stuff like that. So selling on the open sea. Yes. That's the future plans. Yeah.
Wow, brave you. That's so when you do the training do they teach you so in case of the shark attacks, what do you do
or everything so I can give you an example. So when I did my training to be competent crew, first you have to do a lot of writing in written examinations. Then you spend five days on the boat in Sydney Harbour living on board of it on boarded with two instructors in a couple of other people. And then you have to prove that you're ready to sail. So you have to do that. I didn't know that I actually hard. But it's fun, you learn a lot of stuff. And some of the things to learn about you is actually you know the dangers of AI to see, especially up north where we have the boat, you got the sharks, and he got those little horrible, horrible. Eerie can use those little jellyfish, which is really dangerous. Oh, really? Yes. So you learn about that. But you learn about safety on the boat, how to save people if they fall overboard, how to get them back in how to handle a boat. So you learn all of that stuff, which is very useful.
Wow. But I still I still think that it's quite a brave thing to do to sail in the open ocean or open sea and you really have to be well prepared and a big fan of doing such things.
Well, absolutely. Because you can't stop with an idea of the sale. Alter, isn't it? Yeah. So selling shifts, for our sleep for are selling for asleep for I would say like,
okay, so talking about ageing, let's move to this subject of ageing. Like, for me, it looks like quite a big stress for the for the body when you have to sail in shifts and not sleep enough. And so my question, so what does ageing means to you?
Well, upset about that over the years, because when you're young, you never think you're going to get old. When you're old. You don't want to be that young again. You know, if I look back, when I was 20 ish, I'm very glad I'm not that person anymore. Because I do have a lot more life experience. But ageing is more than just your experiences. It's how your body kind of gets older doesn't work the way you want it to do anymore. That I feel the worst, you know, my body isn't as strong as I want it to be. I feel that. That's what gets me mostly the ageing. And one big thing which I bet you hear from a lot of older women. The older you get, as soon as the past 4045 You kind of become invisible. People don't see you anymore.
I heard about that. Yes. So I don't quite understand having my own business. I don't. I used to work in corporate but it was when I'm in my 30s. But I don't understand that. As somebody who works in company, so what does it mean?
you can walk into a shop and there's a lot of young people, they're standing in queue. And for some reason, they don't really acknowledge you until you actually go up and listen and need some help here. And workspace to you tend to be overlooked a little bit when it comes to promotions because you're not young and fresh anymore. Although you have all the experience needed. But because you're not that young. They kind of look past that. And you feel like whatever you do, it's not good enough, because you just happened to have a few years on Yeah. And if you're 50 is trying to get a new job, especially as a woman, it's almost impossible. Because they all want you when you're 30 or 35 or 40 with the experience you have when you're 50 or 60. So I think it's slowly changing a little bit because people are getting more there, but you still feel it and you feel it, especially when you go out. Because you are older people tend to just see straight through you.
Wow. So is it the same in Norway like, or to be different?
No, I think it's kind of a universal thing. Yeah. I think it's very unemotional Yes. But then again, you are what you make yourself to be. And if you just take it, well, then people will still look through and just ignore you. If you don't accept it, and you actually make yourself present and make yourself known, it kind of changes a little bit, but you have to be willing to do that. Yeah. So for me, ageing is also having the maturity in self confidence and self confidence to assert me into situations, which I would never have done when I was younger, and actually have the courage to speak up. And to be honest, not care what other people mean as much anymore.
Very interesting that, do you? Do you think that ageing, like what are the methods or what we can do to turn it around? Like you said that women are being invisible we doing this project? And I know, like few other people who are doing project for women over 45, and the really good ones? And so it's like raising awareness. But do you feel like it's changing a bit with all that model agencies that's attract, like mature age models, or, like, it's a wait way to go?
Well, I think it's way to go. But the problem is, I've heard about this modelling agencies with, you know, more mature models. But there are they, when you look at the ads, I don't see them. You see them as mothers or grandmothers in some ads. But you know, I'm 60, I got money, I want to buy clothes, I want to be seen. I want to see myself in a fashion ad. I want to see myself doing fun things. Not looking at the ad of the lady that had bad knees and has to use will turn on her knees, and then suddenly she can walk out. That's when you see the old, the more mature women in us, I think it's certainly wrong. We want to dress nicely, we want to have nice hair, we want to have nice makeup, we want to do fun things. It doesn't matter if you're 60 or 80, or 40, you still want to do those things, but you don't see it.
Yeah, so your brain is still in your like fresh state and you still want to get fun.
Obviously, the ages, bottom number is only a body that betrays you, but your mind usually is quite fresh and eager to learn and eager to be part of things. I can't think of anything more annoying going into a shop. And you look at the clothes. And you notice as a shopper, you know, it's supposed to have a good variety of clothes in, I want to buy a dress, and it's got 15 copies in it. You know, I can't feel that I won't even have room off of my boobs or whatever. Because it's caught ads here and there. I just want to have a nice dress that fits me not fits the 20 something. But it's difficult.
For that I think like old days people would go to her. To call it the person who makes clothing. Yeah, the designers Yeah, and do their own stuff and like go and bring the material and they will do. Like it's I think it's about media also sorry, mass production, which is easy for companies to produce. That's why they’re pushing this look of being slim. So they're not fitting clothes for you. They want you to fit into their clothes.
And the thing is the common size for women in Australia is size 14. You can go into any shop, what sizes are the ones that sells at 12 and 1416. And they have like size eights in the abundance. Shouldn't that tell them anything? You know, that's just annoys me.
So you kind of answered this question. But still, I would ask that that if you could go back to any age, what it would be? Why And What advice would you give yourself at this age?
Well, I think if there's any age of a good actor is probably my early 40s. Because you still relatively young, but you have the experience that you can actually be more mature and self secure and more self conscious. And what I'm telling myself, exactly one thing I thought about is listen to your gut, listen to yourself, don't push forward because other people tell you to listen to yourself in believing what you think is right. Don't do things because everybody else tells you it's the right thing to do. But I think that's the one advice I would give myself and try to live by.
So moving to the body image questions. My first question is, what do you think are the main causes for body image issues like we will get again, we touched a bit on that. But I want to develop that question a bit more.
I just think one thing we didn't have if I go back in time, one thing we didn't have and I grew up was mobile phones and social media. And I do remember we, you know, we bickered and you know, if somebody was too skinny, or a little bit too chubby, you know, they got bullied a little bit or picked on little bit, as you always do, because there's always a normal and there's always been outside of normal. But what's happening now is that the new normal is totally unrealistic. It's airbrushed. It is changed picture for anybody looks like they don't have a waist, four metre long legs, they don't have blemishes on their skin, their eyelashes are four metres long. And it looks like that's the new normal. And that's what's been pushed everywhere. By very, very young people. They call themselves influencers. I'm not sure what I want to call them, but definitely not an influencer. And it creates such an unrealistic image and how not only for women, but for men as well. But for young girls, it creates such an unrealistic picture of how and what you should look like, we got a 22 year old girl in the house, she is tall, she is normally slim. She doesn't have too much on top. But she's sporty, she's smart. And everyday, she doubts herself and how she looks. Every day, she talks about body issues. Because everybody looks like this, this looks like that. I can't wear just like this, because I don't look at it like this when I varied. So all the social media. And I think that's a main driver, actually, to social media gives young people a very distorted view, and how your body should look. And that follows them and translate into what they try to do. And then hence you got all you know, 1515 1617 year olds, asking them parents to do surgical procedures. They're not even 20 years old, they want to do Botox, because they got a tiny little wrinkle in the forehead. Because the image they see everywhere on social media of what they surmise is their peers. They see these airbrush beautiful made of pictures of somebody that isn't even real that filters. And because of that, I think we could get a whole generation with young people. I include boys in this as well, because it happens to them too. With a totally distorted image and how you should look and behave. That's my opinion is one of my little particularly
five pens. Yeah, whatever.
Five cents cents. Yeah.
Your five cents.
That's my five cents. Yes.
So, like, yeah, million comes from different five cents? Yes. So how do you think that body image issues or negative body image view on yourself can affect relationships, I'm talking about all sorts of relationships at work.
I think if you're not happy in your own body, you kind of projects that everybody around you to around you, too. So for example, if you are married, and then you're happy, or you don't think you looked at why you should do, you could take away the intimacy in the connection with your husband, because you feel like you can't show yourself or be yourself. If you frames and you're always unhappy with how you look, they will, you know, tend to look at you as a very negative person. And it just it just spirals on from there isn't having a possibility to actually think that body body shouldn't be a fashion item. To be honest. A body is a body and we're all different. And we can't fit into one mould like one year you have to have no vase and long legs and next year we have to be small and curvy. You just can't change yourself like that. So as long as we treat the body as a fashion item, I don't think you're going to resolve this issue at all. But I remember when I was younger I had a lot of problems because I was when I was very young. I was a very very skinny and it kind of affected everybody around me because all I did was complaining how skinny I was clothes didn't fit. I didn't think about people having more relevant issues than being skinny. Now that I'm 60 I got the opposite Although if you don't wait when you get older, it's very hard to get off. But I decided, You know what? I got the right, I just have to live with it and do the best I can with it. I don't want it to define me anymore. Sorry.
So what do you think? Yeah, so we're talking about problems coming from within? Yeah. But do you think that other people also change your change the perception of your
When you have this negative body image?
Absolutely. If somebody comes over to you and say, oh, yeah, I love that dress is beautiful, but look like you put on white. Mean, have a deck that person? Because I think it's so rude. And if that person happens to be insecure already, he just actually adding to the insecurity and issues on the body, you should never do that you should always go over and say, I love your dress, you look absolutely gorgeous. And stop there. If you don't do that, I don't think it's possible to change. Because if you get your notions about yourself, constantly reinforced by people around you, how can you change?
You can't that's true. So you will need support from our relatives or close others,
especially your close ones. Yeah, you need their support. And, you know, they can help you but did have to be supportive and positive.
So if you have any insecurities creeping in, from time to time, so how is your what's your go to method to deal with that?
Well, I go shopping,
go shopping, and nobody noticed you and then you feel even worse (laughing)
I've learned a couple of tricks over the time over the years is one of those things is to actually look at or listen to what they said, and look at yourself and say, Is this really true? And then actually try to understand why they did so because the very many times is because other people are insecure themselves. And they try to put other people down. And we need as women, we need also to learn to be a little bit more thick skinned. Because if we don't learn to be a little bit more thick skinned, everything that everyone tells us will go straight into our hearts and brains and make it difficult. So actually be able to take two steps back and consider what I said. And then tell you then just tell yourself, you know, I don't think that's right at all. And try to enforce that positivity yourself. Because nobody else will do it for you.
Yeah. And at the end of the day, it's the question of perception.
Yes. Whoever perceives, you know, and I know looking myself in the mirror, I've got a few killers here now too much. But my husband loves me, no matter what. And that counts for a lot.
has it changed this method, as you say, I'm gonna go shopping, with age,
it has changed a little bit because earlier, I would go into a fit and cry and be generally miserable for a couple of days. And then I will try to dye it or do anything bad to try to fix that problem. Or, you know, but I realised it doesn't work. If you're going to make it work, you just have to accept yourself. If you don't accept yourself, whatever you do shopping, surgical procedures, Botox, it doesn't matter. It will you will still hear like it doesn't hurt.
I will ask you a provocative question here. Like, don't you think it's someone can call it giving up on yourself? Like not accepting yourself but giving up on trying to bring yourself in the nice shape?
Oh, yeah, yeah, but I don't do that. I've trained 334 times a week I go to the gym. I walk. I have some health issues that doesn't prevent it from running. But yes, I know I can't eat because I got a condition called psoriatic arthritis. If I don't move, I stiffen. I can't walk. I can't move. So for me moving is living living. And yes, but when you're 60 you in just past menopause in. You can't run it's very difficult to lose weight I can tell you but yes, I look at my food. I eat healthy. I exercise. So you do everything you can I do everything I can but within the limits I have. But in the limits I have. I don't go seven days a week to the gym. I go to three to four days. I walk in and I can I have a bike which I love to use.
So you cannot say that you gave up on because no I know.
Yeah, but I don't want to let it get to me mentally. Yep. And that's why I'm saying I'm good enough. And what do you ever use? It doesn't really matter as long as I'm happy with myself. Because if I take it in, I'll get depressed. Yeah, yeah. And that's not a good thing. But it doesn't stop me from doing things I want to do to try to keep my body in shape. By going to the gym, go biking. I love swimming. So I tried to swim when I can. I'm a strong swimmer. So and I used to dance for many, many years, hence my bad knees and everything or you cannot dance around on my knees are absolutely shot.
So, last question, is if you have any favourite saying or quote about being a woman, or if you don't, maybe your own thoughts?
Well, there is, um, you might have heard this one, but never apologise about being a powerful woman and being yourself. Never apologise for that.
Thank you very much. Thank you for your answers. I really enjoyed the conversation. I hope you will have a beautiful rest of the day.
I hope so too. Thank you very much. Thank you so much.
If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website aleksandrawalker.com
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