Women who rock their age: Linda Beacher

You never know where you’ll find inspiration and words of wisdom. For me recently, it was at the checkout stand at the local grocery store.

The clerk, Linda, started talking to me about an upcoming birthday. “I’m closing in on 60!” she told me happily, only to – ten seconds later – mention that she’s really only 58.

I smiled and kind of frowned at the same time. Smiled Linda Beacherbecause she was happily admitting her age – such a departure from so many women! – but frowning in a puzzled way. Didn’t she get the memo that women are supposed to abhor getting older… to avoid talking about our age… and to, good God, not bump it up?

Well, no… Linda Beacher didn’t get the memo. (Or, more accurately, she did, but she's choosing to ignore it.) She’s happy about who she is – including how old she is – and, when I interviewed her a few weeks later (you can listen below), she said this:

“Probably the most wonderful thing about my life is I do get older and I do get wiser.”

I’d already liked her in the times we chatted in the checkout line… always smiling – with great energy and a very personal style that includes beaded earrings and a hint of Patchouli oil – I got that she not only was comfortable with herself (and her age), but felt good about herself (and her age).

In talking with her at the market, I’d learn about cool things she was doing. (“I’m just throwing my pillow in the car and am gonna drive somewhere this weekend. I don’t know where, but I know I need to.”)

High up among the cool things she’s done is become literate – at age 57. As she puts it, “I marched myself” into the local literacy program where they confirmed what she’d long suspected: she wasn’t stupid, she had dyslexia. A year and a half later, she’s been asked to write stories for the program’s publications… she’s won an award… and she’s been asked to be a spokesperson for the literacy program, doing interviews and giving speeches.

This mother of four grown children – ages 27 through 39 – is looking to add to what she calls her “repertoire of adventures,” by planning to fulfill a lifelong dream: Joining the Peace Corps when she turns 60.

Linda Beacher unquestionably rocks her age. In this interview, she talks about how age has never been an issue for her (along with possible reasons why), about her life-changing journey to literacy – and offers some words of advice to those who are struggling with getting older.

Linda Beacher interview (runs 7:54)

[When you click on the link, a new window will open and the audio will start playing automatically. Depending on your connection speed, that could take anywhere from a few to several – seemingly very long – seconds.]