We recently heard from one woman who hasn’t slowed down … and doesn’t sound like she ever will. She’s a television personality in Philadelphia named Lynn Doyle, and for her, every new stage of life as a baby boomer only means more work to do, more milestones to achieve. Because for her, age is just a number!
Life after 50 definitely has taken on new meaning, in part because I became a grandmother … TWICE … in the very same week that I celebrated the big 5-0.
Knowing I’ve helped create the next generation is an amazing feeling — and wanting to be a part of it for as long as possible motivates me to stay active and healthy. It helps me realize what’s really important in life, so I’m enjoying every moment with my new grandchildren and not sweating the small stuff.
I have always stayed active. I exercise daily, including weightlifting, walking, cycling, yoga, and gardening. I oversee three households while being a wife, mother, and now, grandmother. I exercise to feel healthy; it helps me deal with the stresses associated with live television and executive producing.
I feel obligated to be a role model to women, particularly those above 50. Perhaps they will be inspired if they see me find time to remain fit with all I have on my plate. If I can do it, so can they.
Exercising is so important to me that I would like someday to become a certified fitness instructor and personal trainer, focusing on boomers. We are going to stay active and fit more than prior generations, but we’ll need guidance in doing it appropriately. That’s been on my “bucket list.”
Entering More magazine’s “Over 40 Model Search” also was on the list, even though I procrastinated at first. I saw the annual contest for several years, but put it off until after my 50th birthday, when I told myself, “Just do it!”
I’m glad I did. It was a great experience, finishing fourth out of 14,000 entrants. I hope it opens additional doors for me career-wise, since boomers prefer to see themselves, not their children’s generation, in advertising and commercials.
Professionally, I am the executive producer of a nightly, live, primetime television program and responsible for all production elements — from overseeing topic selection and research to creating segments and series and developing and mentoring younger associates. Additionally, I am political director for CN8, on the Comcast Network in Philadelphia. That in itself is a chore during an election year.
I am a perfectionist, so I am hands on. I often start at 7:30 a.m. and am still working right before the live show at 9 p.m. And I take my mentor role seriously; it’s our responsibility to create a better, more talented generation that succeeds us.
I make many personal appearances for charitable organizations and speak to professional groups, giving back to the community. Sometimes, though, the demands are overwhelming; one concession to age is that I can’t do as much as before without feeling the consequences or sacrificing my own needs. So, I commit to a bit less than I did ten years ago.
We’ve been rewarded with nine Emmys. That’s satisfying, but it’s most rewarding when viewers tell me how much they enjoyed a show, how much they learned from it or, better yet, how it positively affected them. I’ve even had people tell me how something from another show I host, “It’s Your Call,” helped save a life. That’s worth more than any Emmy.
Working in news since I was 17 has exposed me to some of life’s best things — and some of its worst. I have witnessed historic moments and horrific ones. I still learn something new every day, which is how I stay motivated. I can never say I am bored.
Take NASCAR, for example. I was inspired to create a series called Trackside 101 after reading that NASCAR is the nation’s largest spectator sport. Since I love sports and knew little about NASCAR, it was a natural fit. When I got the opportunity to learn how to drive a race car, I jumped at the chance! Once I got past the initial jitters, it was quite the thrill.
My next series will be along the lines of “Firsts After 50.” Viewers and I will partake in challenges or experiences that we’ve never done before. It might be skydiving, rock climbing, parasailing, or something like line dancing or ballroom dancing. We’ll record my experiences and encourage viewers to share theirs.
This is a great fit for both me and all boomers. Let’s set the achievement bar so high that the next generation has to stand on its toes just to see it!