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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Millie our ‘Funny’ Puggly

 

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Have a great day! 😍

 

 

 

73 thoughts on “Amazing Over 50’s – Brigid Gallagher

  1. Another interesting post, Brigid sounds like she has life sorted out. Quite a determined lady and obviously not letting any health issues impact her busy life.

  2. I can’t begin to tell you how much I needed to read this today! I dreamed last night that i had an infant and I wasn’t caring for it, not feeding it or seeing to its needs, indeed, leaving it at home. In the dream, when i realized my error, I tried to run home to take care of the baby, hoping it was still alive. I woke up in a sweat, and realized that it was just a dream. But, then, as I prayed, I knew that the dream was meant to remind me that i am not caring for myself, thus, depression and feeling a victim. So, I bought the bool by Ms. Gallagher, and I am looking forward to reading it, but her advice to eat healthy and a gratitude diary touched my heart so strongly. As older women, we have taken care of everyone around us, but sometimes fail to care for ourselves. I am thankful for this post.

    1. Hi nice to meet you 😊 thank you for reading and I’m so glad you feel Brigid’s book will help you x you are right, after years of caring for others it is now time to take care of your self x

  3. I’ve been absent for a very long time – what a gift to find this interview with one of my favourite bloggers as I dip into the pool for the first time. This is an excellent and revealing, not to mention inspiring interview and I feel all the better for reading it. My very best to you! 💫

    1. Oh Osyth I’m so glad to hear from you, I was wondering if you were ok 😊 thank you for reading & lovely to have you back 😊

      1. It’s lovely to be back. FDR said there’s nothing to fear but fear itself but he failed to define how fear manifests itself and causes a literal crippling of the mechanisms that have always been natural. The good bit is that the healed self feels stronger than ever x

      1. How lovely to ‘see’ you Suzanne! I’m definitely ready to get on my metaphorical horse and ride with the wind in my hair – or is that ‘write with the wind in my hair’?!

  4. Hi Brigid and Sam, yes you would be an inspiration for those with health problems or not to search out a lifestyle that enables them to keep going in a positive way. As I love gardens it is always wonderful to see yours.

  5. I am beyond the pale of over 50, as I am over 70, and enjoying life. At 78, I published my memoir, which has received great Amazon reviews. I admire Brigid’s devotion to gardening, a great way to stay in shape. I walk daily in the preserve and try to do Pilates twice a week. Though I’m plagued with some of the incapacities listed, I focus on the positive and fill my Gratitude book each morning.

    Yay, Brigid! Thank you, Sam!

  6. Brigid, great to see your story being told on another platform…I’m sure it will inspire yet more people! Love your newest photo…you look so happy.
    Sam, great interview with a wonderful lady.
    🙂

  7. Thank you Sam for featuring Brigid, lovely interview. Brigid you inspire me all the time and I love your garden. Great to get to know a little more about you. <3

    1. Thank you Jacquie. Gardening suits me very well as it is a bit akin to yoga with plenty of stretching. I get help with the heavy tasks, like digging. Then I can enjoy watching the results from my pink chair.

  8. It is only after turning 50 I really felt like I was starting to live my life, after raising a family and concentrating on others. Brigid is inspirational and it was a pleasure to read her story.

    1. I can relate to that. I spent many years looking out for everyone. Our mum died when I was 14, and with three younger sisters, I had a lot of responsibility. It took a long time to wake up to self care…

      1. I have two close friends that lost their mum around the same age as you. They are close to 60 and the grief for them is still present. My own mother never knew her mother as she had passed away when my Mum wasn’t even 3 years old. She says her Mum to her, is a mere faceless person. Mothers are such a critical figure for everyone, that I can only imagine their loss would be felt so deeply. All the more reason for loving kindness towards yourself.

  9. Turning youth into wisdom, that’s a fantastic way to look at it. If ever there was a model for self-care, holistic therapies and appreciating nature, it would be you. You know the importance and you value it. And I adore your garden posts. Lovely to see you featured on here, Brigid – great interview!
    Caz xx

  10. I read your book and know how amazing your life was before 50. Inspirational, how much you accomplished and how you pursued your goals. But it hasn’t stopped at all. Changed but we all do. Love having you for an efriend.

  11. Bought paperback version of’ watching the Daisies’ for a friend and downloaded the book on I books. A wonderful read and some good ideas and links at the end on self care.

  12. A lovely interview, ladies. Five years to get a diagnosis, Brigid, what tenacity you have. I love your garden, it’s a creative work of art and love. I will be reading your book too. Hugs <3

  13. I love reading Brigid’s blog and became a HUGE fan after I read her book Watching the Daisies. Her message of self-healing, of listening to our bodies and changing what we can so we CAN be all we want to be, to never stop learning – all valuable lessons.

    1. Thank you so much. Brigid’s book is on my ‘to read’ list. It sounds wonderful 😊

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