Positively ageless

Tracy Walsh and Sarah Jackson
Tracy Walsh and Sarah Jackson. Photo by Tracy Walsh

One of the greatest blessings in my life right now is a group of friends I get together with every other month.

We all met working at a local magazine publisher. Our work — focused on cooking, gardening and home improvement — was a dream. But the camaraderie was really special, too. We all got along swimmingly.

When the business tragically closed, we didn’t want to lose our friendships.

Though our ages were all over the place — early 30s, early 40s, mid-50s and 60s — we wondered if our work chemistry could stand up outside the office.

Much to our delight, it did!

Shortly after our workplace fully dissolved, we got together and we’ve been staying close for five years now — and have seen each other through a lot.

We call the group “our tribe.” During our last gathering, as we raised our glasses in celebration, it occurred to me that whenever I’m with them — and their uniquely vibrant spirits — our ages melt away.

I feel, toward myself and them, positively ageless. It’s all about perspective — how we see ourselves and how we value all our stages of life — no kids, kids, grown kids and grandkids; single, engaged, married and divorced; working and retired.

Our youth-worshiping society likes to say “age really is just a number.”

When we say that, I think we’re supposed to be giving ourselves a confidence boost. But when you apply that mindset to everyone around you — including younger folks, those millennials and Zs — it can be even more powerful.

Take for example, this month’s amazing cover star, Suzie Marty, the founder and owner of the Everett & Charlie art gallery in Minneapolis.

Though she’s a grandmother — and named her gallery after her grandsons, ages 4 and 2 — she’s as young as ever. Her shine — her “sparkle,” as one of her featured artists put it — is vibrant and youthful, yet wise and practical.

What pushed her to make the move to start her own gallery?

In one year, she went through a divorce as well as cancer.

“It was a wake-up call,” she said. “Live life the way you want. It’s not about money; it’s about experiencing life.”

What’s more is that Marty doesn’t just say such things: You can see on her face how joyful, fearless and free she is, pursuing her later-in-life dream, despite challenges, including the realities of aging and the risks of running your own business.

She’s found her passion and she’s following it!

Maybe that’s her secret. We should all be so ageless.