It’s Sunday and time for our third installment of ‘Share Your Story; the Women the WSJ Missed!‘ I have been so fortunate to have many of you amazing women reach out and agree to share your life with the rest of us.
Andi Abad is excited to be furthering her learning at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco early next year. There she will earn her Certificate in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy and Research. She looks forward to helping her clients in their quest for personal/spiritual growth.
This is her story:
KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now, at this stage of your life, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it’s come out of left field?
ANDI: The physical challenges I have undertaken in the past couple of years i.e. hiking the Camino de Santiago across Northern Spain at 68; and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro at 70 have surprised others as well as myself.
KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
ANDI: My days are gloriously unstructured. But, there is a flow. When not traveling, I exercise 3X/week at a gym, and hike or kayak 3X/week. During the regular school year, I have recently begun teaching a couple of classes at the Community College. Working with clay fulfills a desire for creativity, and I volunteer 1X/week with a group that builds and maintains the trail system in and around Prescott. I enjoy cooking and movies.
KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?
ANDI: There is a bit of guilt that I am not a “storybook” grandmother.
KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
ANDI: Little at this time in my life is done if I don’t want to do it, so motivation is not usually an issue. In the past, I wrote down goals and shared them with others for accountability.
KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
ANDI: Because aging shows up so often physically, it has been important for me to listen to my body as well as make peace with the aging process. That doesn’t mean that I have “given in” to aging, it is equally important to have fitness goals, and stay active. The same is true with my mind, continuing to learn and grow is vital throughout our lives.
KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
ANDI: To me, vulnerability means letting yourself be seen. So, relationships are what can make one vulnerable, opening one’s heart.
KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
ANDI: Becoming a mother, divorce, getting sober.
KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
ANDI: My father taught me to love animals and nature, my greatest healers. My mother showed me strength and courage when she turned 50, was widowed, and started a career in the same year – more than survive, she thrived.
KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
ANDI: When life knocks you down, get up AND be sure to get the lesson.
KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
ANDI: I am inspired by all women who have lived, learned, and grown through challenging times and continue to be kind, hopeful, excited creators of their future.
KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?
ANDI: Ooooooh! I am not sure what that looks like.
KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?
ANDI: I practice gratitude, eat fairly well, exercise, spend time in nature and with important people in my life, love on my cats, apologize when I have done something wrong, sing, cry when I must, and laugh a lot – often at myself.
KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
ANDI: Hike the other World Heritage Trail, the Kumano Kodo in Japan, kiss the love of my life at the top of the Eiffel Tower, tour New Zealand.