This podcast is built on friendship
We laugh a lot (and chat a lot) together – and this podcast is an extension of the dynamic of our own friendship. We’re not trying to be highbrow, super-profesh podcasters – we want it to feel like you’re sitting around with your favourite cuppa or glass, chatting with your girlfriends. We want to fill your cup, give you a warm hug so you know you’ve got this.
We don’t skirt around the tough topics – and we never will. But we will always bring an element of lightheartedness to it – because you’ve gotta laugh, right?
We see ourselves as part of the growing movement of change in how midlife women are perceived – a small cog in a big wheel, if you like. And we aim to be role models for younger women to look ahead and see women living vibrant lives, not allowing age to be a barrier to thrive.
We’ve been friends since our high school days. Like many friendships, our paths diverged when we were living away and at different life stages, but we’ve always been good friends. When one of our besties suggested that we should do this podcast together – it just seemed so right!
I’m a born and bred Sunshine Coast girl.
I started my career as an international and domestic Flight Attendant and switched to working as a contributing writer for local Sunshine Coast magazines when my kids were very young.
At the age of 42, I decided to retrain and enrolled at University to study an undergraduate English / Creative Writing / History degree with post-graduate study in Secondary Education. This took eight years of part-time study (a better option for me while my husband started a new business and we were raising our two children.
I then worked as a Secondary English / Humanities teacher for four years.
Like many people, I was profoundly affected by COVID-19 which saw me confronted with a sudden ’empty-nest syndrome’ experience. My children were attending boarding school in New Zealand and my husband and I were unable to access them for most of 2020 due to border closures. This exposed my vulnerabilities in their truest form. To be completely honest, I was a mess. I was coping but inside I was a complete mess.
At the time, I felt unfulfilled in my teaching role as I realised my personality was far too big to exist comfortably within the confines of the classroom. I was searching for something more and even though I couldn’t quite grasp what it was, I knew beyond doubt, I needed to future-proof my life in preparation for what was to come. It was like I’d had a very rare opportunity of having a crystal-ball-like experience where I could see what my future with independent adult children might look like.
It was this experience that motivated me to re-evaluate and repurpose myself. A chance conversation with a very dear friend led to the idea of starting a podcast aimed at midlife women in this very unsettling, transitional stage of life. Trish was the only person I ever considered doing podcast with given the unique dynamic of our personalities and the very long history of our friendship. I called her, pitched the idea, and she said, “why not?” It was really that simple.
What advice would my 50ish self give my 20ish self?
My advice to my younger self would be never to change your behaviour or your thinking just to please someone else or make yourself more appealing to them. Back yourself always because you are enough just as you are and you don’t need to change a thing. Trust your gut feeling and when someone reveals their true colours to you – believe them!
Some things I love:
- The ocean – I’m a keen ocean swimmer and a very crappy surfer but my happy place is always floating in or sitting beside the ocean.
- Travel, travel, travel – there’s so much to see and so much to learn. I love places with interesting history and I’m always up for a trip that has an active or adventure component (within reason of course, don’t ask me to jump out of a plane because it’s just not my jam). Snow skiing, biking or hiking are favourites.
- Exercise – I’m a six-day-a-week girl. I exercise to look after my mental health, energise myself, promote better sleep (not a great sleeper and never have been). I don’t give two shits about being skinny, but I do like being toned and fitting into my clothes. I never weigh myself and don’t care what size I’m buying. Ah, the freedom of being in my 50s!
- Fashion – for me the ultimate vehicle of self-expression. I’m not a terribly creative person but I love working with dimensions and proportions to create outfits that see me walk out the door feeling great every day.
- Reading – I’ve been in a book club for twelve years and love it. We love a literary read – can be tough going but worth it.
- A gritty drama television series.
- My girlfriends – my lifeline.
- Without doubt, my family – my world.
- Our ‘Don’t Give A Fifty’ podcast.
I’m a Brisbane-born girl who spent my youngest years in Strathpine before heading north to grow up on the Sunshine Coast. I was an 80s beach girl – tanned, skirt just skimming my butt, long sun-bleached hair … oh the glory days!
My career started off as a bit of a mash up – modelling and working as a Modelling and Deportment School Coordinator. Then it was off to the ‘Serena Russo Business Academy’ (remember the “How to get that job (ding)” jingle?). And get jobs I did – in retail administration, hotels and then onto radio. My radio career took me from the Sunny Coast to Newcastle and back to Brisbane as Promotions & Marketing Director for Triple M.
I met and married my gorgeous ‘Gordo’ and moved my life to the farm at Hatton Vale – quite the change for this beach/city girl. Then came my favourite and cherished forever role, as mum to my gorgeous Lily & Wylie – the two greatest loves of my life. There’ve also been many other animal babies – cows, calves, dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, chooks, not to mention numerous trips to the vet with wounded birds and turtles.
How with my gorgeous teenagers at boarding school, I find myself as a part-time empty nester with time to ponder what I want to be when I grow up.
Cue the phone ringing, and Mel asking what I think about doing a podcast together. Without skipping a beat I said “I’d love to give that crack, why not?”. The Don’t Give A Fifty podcast is a perfect way to reignite my creative juices, work with one of my besties and create space for all the other fifty-ish ladies navigating their way through midlife. Journeys are always much more fun with friends!
What advice would your 50-ish self give your 20-ish self?
I think my advice to myself (as a recovering people pleaser) would be to never underestimate or compromise your self-worth. Speak up, have a voice. You are worth it, your ideas are good, your opinions are valid, your needs matter. Do not listen to the negative stories you tell yourself. You are amazing, smart and a beautiful person just the way you are. Don’t wish away your life. None of that “it’ll be better when….” bullshit. It’s awesome right now. Spend your time wisely. Go on many more adventures. Boys can be fun, love is awesome, but being in a relationship doesn’t validate your self-worth. You are always worthy because you are…well…you! Lovely, kind, perfect you. Dream big, darling girl. Be kind to yourself…it all works out in the end. Look after your health. Do not go on crash diets, nourish yourself with good, healthy, real food. Oh and buy real estate…lots of it! Mainly on the Coast. It goes through the roof, you’ll regret not buying more!
Some things I love:
- I absolutely fifty-in’ LOVE the ocean and the snow
- Snow skiing is my favourite holiday
- Movies with Melissa McCarthy always make me giggle (I adore following her and her husband on Instagram, they are so cute together)
- Laughing, funny people and having fun!
- Audio books and podcasts when I drive
- Escaping into a good holidaiy read
- Travel – I fifty-in’ love travel and going on adventures
- A good streaming series binge and losing myself in a movie (I’m actually quite fond of going to the movies by myself at times)
- Funny animal videos on Insta (the shame of it )