Amazing over 50’s – Rachel Ward

Once again I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:

Amazing over 50’s

I’m inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride.

This month I introduce Rachel Ward as my tenth and Christmassy guest to this series.

Rachel is a writer and artist and although she has had to deal with quite a stressful few years, she has managed to keep going by writing and publishing novels and developing her artistic talents.

A Guest Post – The Amazing over 50’s

Welcome to Loving The Fifty Something, Rachel.  Can I start by asking you to tell us a little about yourself?

Dead-Stock-and-Author.jpgI’m a published writer and artist, aged 54, originally from Surrey and now living in Bath. I’ve been married for twenty-eight years and have two grown up children. I used to work in local government, but am now living on my wits, trying to make a living as a creative person. I’ve written five thrillers for young adults, and am now writing cosy crime. 

Do you remember what turning 50 meant to you and how you feel now in relation?

Turning fifty was a rather dark time. My husband’s health was declining and so it was difficult to plan anything or look forward more than a few days at a time. Now, though, we have come through the worst and out the other side, and I’m more optimistic than I have been for a long time and keen to make the most of the opportunities coming my way.

I’m so glad you and your family have overcome what seems to have been a really tough time, Rachel.

How do you stay fit and healthy?

I have a lovely dog, a rescue collie cross. So, I get up early with her every day and we2014-12-25 15.53.45 have a good walk in the fields overlooking Bath (part of the Bath Skyline walk), and another one in the afternoon. I also do yoga most mornings (selecting a Yoga with Adriene video on Youtube to match that day’s needs). Occasionally I try running, and I do like it, but really the walking gives me enough fresh air and exercise. Walking is beneficial in itself, but it is also an excellent time to think about my novel in progress, unsticking any blocks and solving plotting problems. I take photographs, and scope out good spots for painting outside, too. In the winter if it is too dark to walk in the fields, I enjoy walking around the city centre – Bath is especially beautiful at dawn, with streetlights reflecting on cobbled pavements or first light just filtering onto the buildings, the river at Pulteney Bridge or the canal at Sydney Gardens. 

What a gorgeous dog with unusual eyes 🙂 I agree, walking and yoga are a perfect combination to keep body and mind healthy and you are indeed lucky enough to be in a beautiful city.  

What are the things you are most proud of achieving after turning 50?

When we were both 51, my husband had a heart transplant and was seriously ill before and afterwards. He was in hospital a hundred miles from home for fourteen months and then in another a bit closer for a further four months. I was really in survival mode through that time, concentrating on visiting him and trying to support my children. He is home now and although the operation left him with some disability, we are gently continuing his rehabilitation. My way of reacting to all this has been to really appreciate life and try and make the most of every day, to learn new things and take opportunities as they come up. As a writer I have changed genres and am now writing adult crime books (currently The Ant and Bea Mysteries, a series set in and around a supermarket).

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Painted by Rachel Ward

I have also started painting and drawing and selling my work in art trails and craft fairs. This year I took a photography course to learn how to use my fancy camera and am now taking all my photos on manual settings.  I have managed to sell a range of photocards to my local garden centre and hope to find more outlets locally. Ideas for new schemes and projects seem to keep on coming and I’m determined to say ‘yes’ as much as possible and see how things work out.

You and your family really have been through a difficult time, but you sound to be incredibly resilient and determined to stay positive, striving forward with your writing and art.

Are there any messages or advice you’d like to give to people who are about to turn 50?

You never know what’s around the corner, so my advice is to make the best of things. Invest in yourself – time spent doing some exercise, chilling out or learning a new skill is valuable in itself, and will help you deal with life’s challenges, but may also lead to unexpected opportunities.

Links for Rachel and her work are as follows:

You can see Rachel’s range of greetings cards based on her photography and artwork here at, Lovefromtheartist.com

Rachel’s books from the Ant and Bea Mysteries, ‘The Cost of Living’ and ‘Dead Stock’

Rachel’s photography and art facebook page

Rachel’s Ant and Bea Mysteries facebook page

Rachel’s link to her other books, The Numbers series

Thank you Rachel, for being another great guest on my series – ‘Amazing Over 50’s’ It’s been great to learn a little more about you, I admire how you’ve tackled such difficult times and I wish your husband along with your family my best wishes 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about yet another

Amazing over 50′.  

If you’re loving your ‘Mid Life’ and would like to be a guest in my ‘Amazing over 50’s’ series please contact me Here and help me ‘Shout Out for the over 50’s’ 🙂

If you fancy keeping in touch and following Loving The Fifty Something then here’s where you can…

I’m here on Instagram

here on Twitter

or here on Face Book

And here on Pinterest

We’d love for you to follow and keep in touch 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Amazing over 50’s – Rachel Ward

      1. I know I shouldn’t wish my life away but right now I wish things were different like a few years ahead. I know when I get there I’ll wish I was back here.
        It’s a few years yet, I hope you’re still blogging when I do 😀

    1. I did thank you Simon, very busy, just the way I like it 🙂 Lot’s of bubbles, sparkly lights, games and laughs 🙂 Hope you had a fab time too x

  1. Thank you Sam for sharing the interview with Rachel Ward. I can relate to the difficult time you went through with your husband’s illness, Rachel. My husband almost died when he developed Type I diabetes, a few years ago. It was very scary when he was in a semi-conscious state, and I had to find a way to get help, since we were staying in a remote village in Scotland. He recovered nicely, though our lifestyle is a bit different, now, with this new disease. I applaud you for how you were able to cope with your husbands illness, Rachel. We never now how strong we are until we have to be for a loved one!

    1. Thank you for reading Christina and commenting about your experience. That must have been so scary especially being away in such a remote place. Glad your husband has recovered 🙂

  2. I have to admit to a massive jealousy pang about Bath at dawn; such a tremendous city, always brings a smile to my face when I visit. Nicely told both of you and very sound advice.

  3. What an inspiring piece. Isn’t funny how a brush with serious illness can provoke us to embrace life to the full. Perhaps we all need reminding of our mortality, occasionally, in order to full appreciate what we have and what we can do. Glad, your husband is recovering and best of luck with your next book.

    1. Thank you for reading George and yes everyone reacts differently to personal challenges, to be able to go forward with such positivity is commendable 😊

  4. Beautiful story, thank you for sharing. Congratulations on your writing and painting success, and best wishes for your husband’s continued health and recovery. Your positive attitude shines through!

  5. I agree with you Rachel, walking is very therapeutic. It certainly is for me. Good on you for taking the plunge and giving up your job to concentrate on what makes you smile. Another enjoyable interview Sam. Us women are strong and more capable than we give ourselves credit for when life throws us curve balls!

    1. Thank you Suzanne and yes it’s wonderful to hear about the strength of character in people which drives them to be creative in difficult times

  6. Hi Sam and Rachel

    What a beautiful post. Rachel, I love the painting of the Christmas Tree in the window. It calms me. You are very talented. I will link to your artwork page and take a visual stroll through.

    A wonderful Happy New Year to both of you
    Laura

  7. I’m nowhere near 50 but I found this so inspiring. My Dad’s just found out he needs heart surgery so health is a huge thing for us at the minute and looking forward and changing things. Age doesn’t really matter does it? We can be fit and healthy at any age. I do Yoga With Adriene too, almost every day 🙂

    1. Hi Jenny thanks for reading. I’ve had quite a number of Amazing over 50’s guests now & they all inspire me. Age certainly isn’t an issue at all when it comes to keeping fit, yes you may get a little slower, but however you choose to keep moving tends to also keep your mind active too 😊 Adriene is really good, but I tend to work out with Zoe from YogaBurn 😊

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