40 over 40 Photo Shoot with Elaine Camilleri
40 Over 40
Q: What`s the absolute best thing about being your age?
I had just turned 50 two days ago and to be honest, I had been dreading this day for ages.. but to my surprise, as the day approached, I found myself looking forward to celebrating this milestone birthday and found myself telling my friends and colleagues “it’s my 50th”. I realized that the most important thing is how I feel, and thank God; I feel very good!! I appreciate all my blessings… my health, my hubby and son whom I love, close family, true friends, my career, lots of treasured memories created over these years … so much to thank God for… I look back and ponder on a number of such memories – meeting my husband, our wedding day, the birth of my son, various chapters of his life… I do my best to keep fit…I go to the gym, and I love dancing… in fact, I started off my birthday with a session at the gym. I lost weight in the past years by eating healthier, and that makes me feel good too, as metabolism is slowing down with age..
Thus, all in all, being 50 is a time for celebration and acceptance… fortunate enough to have lived quite an enjoyable life! I seem to feel more at peace, enjoy being settled in life, more confident, better able to let go, easier to speak my mind… sense of freedom.
As they say, age is just a number… I like to say, “I’m 50 years young” 😉
Q: What have been the significant points of change in your life so far? How did these significant points in your life change you?
Looking back at my life, I can recall a number of events that have changed my outlook on life. But if I had to pick the main two significant points of change, I would mention a break-up of a long relationship in my early 20s and the passing away of my dearest mum.
Following the break-up, it seemed as if it was the end of the world for me. I was heartbroken and was afraid of being alone. I was still studying at University at that time and found it very difficult to concentrate and continue on my thesis at first. However, I realised how dependent I had been on my ex-boyfriend and had seemed to have lost my identity in the process. This break-up shook me at first but then I started to build myself again with the support of true friends, and regained confidence in myself to continue my studies successfully. I felt stronger and more in control of my life – it was what I needed to actually feel good about myself. Looking back, I realize that I had to pass through this setback to be able to start another relationship a couple of years later with someone who is now actually my hubby.
However, the main event that changed my outlook to life was the passing away of my dearest mum when I was 44 years old. She was diagnosed with cancer again, but this time it had spread to a number of organs. The first reaction after the shock were the questions “Why her?” “Why us?” but then you start thinking, “Why not us?” We are not special that were sheltered from any disease/condition that other people have been through. The two-year journey until her death got us closer as a family and we learned to appreciate every little thing, to appreciate each family gathering even more… my outlook towards life changed in that I realised how much energy I spent in worrying over trivial things when the most important thing was the state and health of your dearest.. you experience a change in perspective…
I don’t want to sound morbid, but experiencing the actual passing of my mum to the other life has helped me face another fear – death. This experience has made me stronger as I try to take life more in its stride. I tend to worry less and always try to find the positive in every situation.
Q: What is the one piece of advice would you give to your 20 something self?
I would tell myself to believe more in myself, worry less, and keep in mind that everything happens for a reason… so when things don’t go as planned, I would not stress myself so much, and I would be able to enjoy life more fully. Make time to follow your passions as this gets more difficult once your commitments increase as years roll by. Take the plunge and not be afraid to take opportunities to work abroad in student exchanges. I would tell myself to find a balanced diet as part of my lifestyle so that weight management would have been easier as one grows older. To always appreciate the present moment and embrace it even if it is painful as it would not last long.
Q: What advice would you give to yourself when you were a young mother?
I would tell this young mother to take it one step at a time and not to over-worry – mums are not superwomen and are allowed to make mistakes..also, not to feel bad and incompetent if things do not turn out as planned.. to relax a bit more when it comes to feeding time as I used to get overworked when my son was not so keen on eating. In the end, they still grow up. On the other hand, I would tell her that she did well in giving priority to quality time with her son and to create memories with him, to give him cuddles, and not to worry that it will spoil him. However, I would have told her to find some space for herself, to have some “me” time, even if it was for once a week without feeling guilty.
Q: What gets you up in the morning? What are your motivations?
The alarm! ☺ joking apart, in the past, actually, I used to wake up with an anxious outlook towards the day but then I calm down as the day goes by. Now, I realised that as I am getting older, I wake up calmer looking forward to achieving what I plan to do either at work or at home, depending on which day it is. My main motivation is to make each day special in its own way and try to live it in the best possible way by being present physically and mentally, by managing to achieve and complete what I had planned for the day and to create memories. I also learned to be more realistic in planning the day. Before I used to over plan and then felt a lack of accomplishment when I do not manage to tick most of the boxes.
40 Over 40
Q: How would you like people to describe you or see you?
I would like people to describe me as a bubbly friend, a thoughtful person who cares for her true friends by keeping them in her thoughts in a variety of ways – sending Whatsapp messages and encouraging quotes or by giving them a call. A person who is young at heart, someone who is still “a child” who stands in awe in front of beautiful scenes of nature, a person who makes you feel at ease with a smile – for me, a happy moment is when I manage to establish contact with a stranger, and a smile is exchanged…(unfortunately, the mask does not really help in such cases)
I also would like people to see me as the friend who loves to dance the night away at a party and being a sport – love it.
Q: When in your life, so far, have you felt most confident and why?
To be honest, I am not the most confident of people. However, I can truly say that as I am getting older, my confidence is increasing and I am finding myself challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone in both my personal and professional life. So I can safely say that I am feeling the most confident in the present moment…now… and this interview is proof of it ☺ The reason being is that most probably I have moved past the previous trap that I need to know that I am pleasing those around me… growing older has given me the push I needed to move away from thinking what others are thinking.. that I don’t need their approval anymore as when I was still young.. it certainly gives you a sense of freedom.
Q: What is your favourite trait?
I believe that my favourite trait is loyalty – this embraces all aspects of any relationship – in my marriage and family, friendships, workplace, etc. I believe I can truly support those around me by showing that I care, by thinking about them and sending them a message as often as needed, or giving them a call. I also have this knack for remembering special dates and occasions that my family or friends would be celebrating… and by showing I remembered it, it is truly appreciated. I firmly believe in respect and trust as these are the basis of every sincere relationship. And so these values must be safeguarded no matter what… As once they are broken, it is difficult to regain the same bond and friendship…
40 Over 40
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