Amazing Over 50’s – Brigid Gallagher

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

Amazing over 50’s

I am 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 and open arms.

This month I’m happy to introduce Brigid Gallagher as my next guest on the Amazing Over 50’s’ series. Brigid has written an inspirational self help memoir and also writes a blog called Watching the Daisies.

Welcome Brigid, to Loving the fifty something and to the Amazing over 50’s series.

Can I ask you to tell us a little about yourself?

Carrickfin
Carrickfin Beach

My name is Brigid P. Gallagher, I am 64 and I live in County Donegal, an area of outstanding natural beauty on the north west corner of Ireland.

I have a passion for gardening and nature.

Although I aspired to becoming a doctor, it was not my destiny. Instead I embarked on studies to become one of the first natural medicine practitioners in Scotland, eventually becoming a tutor for community projects, a woman’s prison, and the Open Studies and Summer Schools of Stirling University from 1993 to 1999.

In 1999, I relocated to Donegal, Ireland – the home of my ancestors. Four years later I succumbed to a mystery illness that was eventually diagnosed as fibromyalgia.

“Stopping the World” forced me to reassess my life, and creative writing became a significant aid in my recovery.

I retrained in organic horticulture, worked in the glorious gardens of Glenveagh Castle,

walled garden
Gardens of Glenveagh Castle

and inspired children and teachers to create organic school gardens through The Heritage in Schools Scheme.

In the spring of 2016, I retired from teaching. 

Learning to slow down has been one of my major life lessons – hence the title of my blog Watching the daisies and my inspirational self help memoir “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow”.

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

I turned 50 in March 2005, when I was pretty incapacitated. I had a variety of symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Sore eyes with whites that were blue-grey
  • Chest pain
  • Aching over my left kidney
  • Poor memory and concentration…

 I had no medical diagnosis – that came in 2010.

In May 2005, I travelled to London for The Chelsea Flower Show, and felt truly inspired. As a lifelong gardening enthusiast, it felt amazing. In June 2006, I started retraining part time in Organic Horticulture, and never looked back.  

You’re obviously a very positive and determined person Brigid, to have written your memoir and become quite a wonderful gardener.  Gardening is a great way to stay fit and healthy.  Are there other ways you stay fit and healthy?

Absolutely. I have to practice self care to stay in balance. I am very proactive and not on any medication, bar an inhaler.

My health care regime includes daily meditation, keeping a gratitude diary, eating healthily, swimming and yoga, walking and gardening, joining others in creative classes, mutual support from family and friends…

I avoid certain foods, and cook from scratch 90% of the time. If there is a choice between organic and non organic, organic wins every time.

Natural medicines have helped me enormously, including acupuncture, Dr Bach flower essences, aromatherapy and massage…

I attend a wonderful kinesiologist twice yearly, and I have a reflexology appointment once a month.

Blogging has been incredibly therapeutic, and I have a good number of firm friends in the blogging community.

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

In 2008, I completed two years of organic horticulture training, which included working in the beautiful gardens of Glenveagh Castle. A dream come true. 

In 2010, I was accepted to teach children organic horticulture under the Heritage in Schools Scheme. A great boost. I retired in spring 2016, and shed more than a few tears.

Completing my memoir was also a very proud moment, and it has attracted very positive reviews and sales.

My blog was shortlisted for The Ireland Blog Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

garden before makeover

One of my proudest achievements is transforming my garden from a patch of long neglected grass in 2010, (as shown on the left), to its current beauty, (pictures below).

It was included in Donegal Garden Trail from 2012-2014, raising a very nice sum for my favourite local animal rescues.

My gardening posts are always well received on my blog.

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

Turning 50 is one of life’s major turning points. It is a time of reflection. The lessons we have learned in our “youth” can now be turned into wisdom. 

I feel that the best things in life are often FREE, especially the gifts of Mother Nature.

Slowing down through ill health has also been a gift. 26749-4Watching The Daisies – Life Lessons On The Importance Of Slow

Thank you Brigid, it’s been lovely to get to know you a little more and you are, besides an obviously fabulous gardener, an inspiration when it comes to staying positive through difficult times.

Brigid’s links are:
Also available from Barnes and Noble, Kobo and all good online bookstores.

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🤩 Would you like to be featured in this series? 🤩

☟☟☟

Are there any ‘Mid-lifers’ out there who are enjoying life over 50?  

Are you happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or any achievements since turning 50?  

Do you embrace this time of your life with pride and open arms?

You don’t have to be a blogger to be featured!

If so, please contact me Here and maybe you’ll be featured in this series of

❤️ ‘Amazing Over 50’s’ ❤️

 

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Me with Crazy Rose (left) and our beautiful, (late, but always remembered) Jenna 💕

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