POST 50

This Will Be Our Year: 15 Women Over 50 Shaking Things Up In 2015

02/02/2015 06:48 am ET | Updated Feb 09, 2015

this will be our year
Huff/Post50 is proud to announce a new series "This Will Be Our Year: 15 Women Over 50 Shaking Things Up In 2015." Last month, our editor-at-large Rita Wilson issued a callout seeking women 50 and older who plan to make a radical change in their lives in 2015. The aim is to create an inspiring initiative that reminds people everywhere that it's never too late to change your life, pursue your passion or prioritize happiness and wellbeing over traditional definitions of success.

We received close to 2,000 submissions from women across the country. After a lengthy review process, we've chosen 15 remarkable women to follow throughout the year as they attempt to shake up their lives. Starting today, we'll be publishing profiles of each woman daily, Monday through Friday, for the next three weeks. To give you a taste of what's to come, here are the 15 women below, with a bit about their goals for the coming year. Just as February gets underway, and you start to lose steam when it comes to your own New Year's resolutions, let these women inspire you to keep going all year long.

Whether it's embarking on a 500-mile hike, finding love on the Internet or having a baby, we plan to follow their progress, tell their stories and become their biggest cheerleaders. Thanks to everyone who submitted an email. Almost all of you would make great bloggers for Huff/Post50!

  • Linda Anderson, 71, of Ashland, Oregon
    Linda Anderson
    "My grandmother launched the 'Highlights for Children' magazine when she was 63. So I have never seen beginning something new or being successful as things limited by age or gender. On April 11th, I am flying to Madrid, Spain to begin a spiritual pilgrimage on The Camino de Santiago. Hopefully I will find some answers to some questions in my life. I am now walking 30 to 50 miles a week to prepare my feet and my body. I return May 23rd and I’m told it takes months to really process the experience." Read Linda's full story here.
  • Anne Seidel, 58, of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
    Anne Seidel
    "I plan to change my life in 2015 by falling in love with the man of my dreams. My husband passed away exactly 5 years ago after 30 years of marriage. I have one daughter who is a junior at NYU majoring in musical theatre. I am ready to share and give all of myself to the love of my life again. Some people say it’s hard to do this at our age, but I say no, it is not. Just open your heart to your desires. I plan on being heavily involved in online dating -- for the first time! -- and advertise to all my friends and family that I’m finally ready to move on. I also would like to get a dating coach as I am completely new to all this. I want to live the rest of my life with a partner by my side and with me by his side. Life goes on -- and I am living it full steam ahead!" Read Anne's full story here.
  • Dorrie Jacobson, 80, of Las Vegas, Nevada
    Dorrie Jacobson
    "Back in the day, I was a Playboy Bunny, the first Miss Polaroid and the first Miss Dunkin' Donuts. Over the past few years, I had been living with a lovely gentleman who I had been caring for as he struggled with the early onset of Alzheimer’s. A few months ago, we finally decided that he needed more comprehensive care and he entered an assisted living facility. The experience made me take pause. Life is short. I felt like it was time to get back to my life and to make a meaningful contribution to the world. I wanted to utilize my experience in beauty and fashion to inspire women over 50 so I’ve launched a fashion blog called Senior Style Bible. This year, I want this business to take off." Read Dorrie's full story here.
  • Vivi Griffin, 54, Hawthorne, California
    Vivi Griffin
    "I got married at 17, had my first daughter at 18, and had both of my kids before I turned 20. For most of my life, my primary job was to care for my family. At age 39, I found myself divorced and having to start over. I put my girls through college and then put myself through culinary school (a life-long dream) -- all while holding down a job. Since graduating from Los Angeles Trade Tech College at the top of my class, I’ve worked as a cook, but that’s not my ultimate goal. For years, my family and friends have been telling me that I should start my own catering business. But what do I know about how to run a business? As I prepare to turn 55 this year, I am ready to launch my dream. I just got my license for my catering company, Vivi Caters, and will spend 2015 working to establish myself in the culinary world." Read Vivi's full story here.
  • Janet Rose, 60, Missoula, Montana
    Janet Rose
    "Several years ago, I started Horse Haven Montana in response to a growing crisis of homeless, abandoned, unwanted horses. An all-volunteer equine rescue and adoption organization since its inception, we have saved and placed many hundreds of equines. But I knew we could do more and had to do more. With this experience and a background in film, I developed the first all-equine film festival -- EQUUS International Film Festival® -- and will launch it this year. The festival will put a mission into action." Read Janet's full story here.
  • Jennifer C. Miller, 54, Las Vegas, Nevada
    Jennifer C. Miller
    "I became a widow in 2014. Due to my husband’s dementia, the estate was left in disarray and I have been left in hell. I also lost my dearest friend, two pets and my job. Needless to say, 2014 was the worst year of my life. And that’s why 2015 will be one of reinvention. I am selling everything and moving on -- a complete downsize. My husband left me on a ranch with seven animals and a huge collection of automotive stuff I have no use for. He also left me with all the work of the ranch. I knew nothing about a ranch. My family is all in San Francisco, which is where I plan to move and re-make myself. The move will a big one. But I have to completely reinvent this shattered -- yet hopeful -- life." Read Jennifer's full story here.
  • Mary Skinner, 50, San Francisco
    Mary Skinner
    "My life has been radically changing for the last four years, and will really change this year. My spouse is pregnant right now with our first child, which is due in the next four weeks. I will be graduating law school in May and taking the California Bar Exam in July. Every step of these journeys has been planned -- but they’ve not been without many hurdles. And I know there will be many more before I get to the finish line in July." Read Mary's full story here. Photo: Mary Skinner is on the left; her partner Janeen Smith is on the right.
  • Linda Randle, 55, of Bloomington, Illinois
    Linda Randle
    "The writer George Eliot states, 'It is never too late to be what you might have been.' First, I am preparing for weight loss surgery as I currently weigh over 300 pounds. Prior to surgery, I am changing my eating habits so that I'm eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising more as well. Second, after 9 years of waiting for the 'right' time to publish a local inspirational newsletter for women, I am going for it." Read Linda's full story here.
  • Cheryl McDonald, 51, of Leawood, Kansas
    Cheryl McDonald
    "My life is going to change dramatically during the coming year as I'm leaving bucolic Leawood for Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. I've taken a global job there and will be an ex-pat, which isn't so unusual I guess -- except that I'm a 50-plus single mom with twin 12-year-old boys. I know some of my friends think I'm certifiably crazy to venture off at this age (I don't even speak Chinese and have a southern accent so I certainly won't be 'blending in.' But I am proof that age is nothing but a way to keep score of our time on earth." Read Cheryl's full story here.
  • Meris Emory, 65, of Oakland, California
    Meris Emory
    "First, I am retiring in April 2015 after being an x-ray technician for 40 years. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in May 2013. This is not a life sentence and I have many ways to help me ward it off the best I can. What am I doing? I’ve started playing ping-pong every day in my garage. I also am learning the clarinet. Yoga for Parkinson’s is a daily activity. I want to show that you can have Parkinson's and still be healthy and happy." Read Meris' full story here. Photo: Meris Emory is on the left; her partner Liz Shepherd is on the right.
  • Tammy A. Miller, 55, of Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
    Tammy A. Miller
    "In October 2014, after working full time at Penn State University for nearly 18 years, I bid the university goodbye and started putting things in place for my launch as a professional auctioneer in 2015. And so, welcome to Tammy Miller Auctions! Since women only make up about 10 percent of all auctioneers in the world, I am sitting in the middle of good ol’ boy territory." Read Tammy's full story here.
  • Mary Shakun, 70, New York City
    Mary Shakun
    "Ever since my beautiful 32-year-old daughter Laura jumped out the window of our 11th-floor New York City apartment to her death on August 17, 2008, I have been in a fog. On Dec. 31, 2014, I set off to make 2015 the year I get out of the fog. In 2015, I plan to lose 50 pounds. But even more important, I plan to launch and market a new app for young people with suicidal thoughts." Read Mary's full story here.
  • Veronica Slater, 52, of Stone Mountain, Georgia
    Veronica Slater
    "I flew as an international flight attendant for United Airlines for 22 years. But what I always wanted to be was an actress. Last year, I got my feet wet by participating as a featured background actor in the movie 'Selma.' After that experience, I knew that I was doing what I was born to do. This year I’m going for it!" Read Veronica's full story here.
  • Susan Lyons, 62, Lakewood, Colorado
    Susan Lyons
    "I retired on Jan. 9, 2015. On Jan. 20, I started the first of five training courses to become a yoga instructor. Yes, this gray-haired out-of-shape woman with bad knees and weak wrists is going to transform herself into a lithe and limber yogini." Read Susan's full story here.
  • Mary Cate O’Malley, 58, of San Diego, California
    Mary Cate O'Malley
    "In 2007, my 30-year-old son was struck by a car. Since 2009, I have spent pretty much 12 hours a day as his primary caregiver. But this year he moves in with caregivers his own age. I’m going to get rid of my stuff, learn to sail solo and move to a sailboat. My role model is Laura Dekker, the youngest to circumnavigate the globe singlehandedly. I would like to become the oldest." Read Mary's full story here.

Earlier on HuffPost50:

5 Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs Over 50
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS