Get What You Want By Embracing Your Age with Bettina Gordon-Wayne
Updated: Jun 10
“We can get these messages from outside but TRUE ageism is an inside job.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
Have you ever heard the adage, “Men get better with age, women just age”? That seems to be the mindset that has us limit ourselves and worry due to aging. In this episode, Shirley and Bettina Gordon-Wayne give us a fresh overview of what age and ageism really are and how shifting our mindset can get you to where you want to be. Bettina also talks about how age relates to our stories, emotions, and the consequences it brings. Tune in to see how these ladies help you understand that aging can be wonderful, empowering and something to look forward to!
02:04 Rewriting Age and Ageism
05:40 The Cover-Up
09:07 It’s NOT An Age Thing
14:00 Embrace Your Age
16:56 Your Age and Your Story, Emotion, and Consequences
22:00 Progress With Your Age
28:53 It’s Never Too Late To Live Your Dreams!
02:05“The conversation of age and ageism is endlessly fascinating because we are living now in the time where we are rewriting the script of what we are thinking about what age looks like.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
12:24 “We can get these messages from outside but TRUE ageism is an inside job.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
15:07 “This is the time for us to embrace our age and make it a super fun time of our life.” -Shirley Owens
16:56 “Age is a number that almost all of us attach a story to, an emotion to, and the consequence to.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
21:18 “The aging process is completely individual and you can literally reverse aging.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
22:11 “The most beautiful thing you can do is getting yourself to the state of looking forward to the future.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
26:50 “Focusing on our age as something negative is only going to give us more wrinkles.” -Shirley Owens
Connect With Bettina:
Bettina Gordon-Wayne is a Journalist, Author, and a Certified Mental Strenght Trainer who helps women overcome their limiting beliefs around age and create the life they dream of. After an international career in journalism and creating a new life in a foreign country, Bettina made some bold moves again- she had her first child, wrote her first best-selling book, and healed from breast cancer, all past her 40th birthday. She helps women like her, realize that nobody can dictate what a person can and cannot do at a certain age. It is her belief that every person deserves to do what they desire to do.
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Shirley Owens: My guest today is Bettina Gordon-Wayne. Bettina is a journalist, author, certified mental strength trainer who helps women overcome their limiting beliefs around age and creates the lives they dream of. Bettina lives for this topic quite literally, me too. After an international career in journalism and creating a new life in a foreign country, she's European and living in the US, in her 20's and 30's, Bettina made some bold moves, again, once she hit her 40's. Bettina had her first child, wrote her first best-selling book and beautifully healed from breast cancer all passed her 40th birthday. This year, she will turn 50 with a big bash in Mexico, and Bettina can't wait to see what's next as she convinced the best is yet to come.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Thank you so much for having me. Hi, Shirley. How are you?
Shirley Owens: I'm so good. I'm so glad that you're here. This is a great subject being a woman, still in her 40's, almost in her 50's, I'm excited to hear about all the fun that we're going to have next.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes, yes, I think it a beautiful, beautiful time.
Shirley Owens: Well, start by telling me, I know about you but my listeners don't. So tell me a little bit about your story, where you're from, how this became something so interesting to you, and then tell me about what you do.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes, thank you. I honestly think that the conversation of age and ageism is endlessly fascinating because we are living now in the time where we are rewriting the script of what we are thinking about, what age looks like? How do we move forward? Our abilities as we get older and more mature and wiser with age. So I think it's a really beautiful, beautiful time right now. I mean, granted that our current reality, we are recording this while Coronavirus is a very hot topic and other conversations, very important conversations are being brought to the forefront in politics in life and so on. But talking about ageism is still a very, very important topic, because of ageism that you and I asked women. I mean, men have it too. But for women just talking big has been prevalent for generations, for generations and generations of women. Especially since we have more than media, we are portrayed, or we are seen as beautiful, beautiful young women on TV and playing mothers and so on. And once they're pushing 30 or God forbid 40, the picture changes. I mean, this is how you and I still grew up with that. Once you get to 40's and you don't see the actresses on TV anymore, and this is completely changing. Like in the last 10, 20 years I would say, with stars like Jennifer Aniston or J. Lo. I mean, remember just a few months ago we celebrated the Super Bowl, J. Lo and Shakira. J. Lo is 50, Shakira is in her late 40's, they rock the house. So it's really, really changing. And I think for me personally, this is such an important topic. And one that I find invigorating and eliding is because I noticed how important that is to change the narrative around aging. And I noticed that you mentioned that at the beginning that I had my first child at the age of 44. So for me, that was completely normal, because I'm a third generation of women who have their children in their 40's. I know you had your children much earlier than that.
“The conversation of age and ageism is endlessly fascinating because we are living now in the time where we are rewriting the script of what we are thinking about what age looks like.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
Shirley Owens: I did.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: So for you, I mean, for me, it was totally normal. But when I say that to you, I had my first child at 44, how would that have been for you? Just bouncing off a quick question before we go.
Shirley Owens: For me, my mom had a child at 42, 41, I guess she was 41. And I remember back then it's being such a huge thing. And I feel like it was like 35 or something where they call this like you're a senior child, you know? So I remember having my son at, my last child at 32 and being just, "Oh, good. I'm not a senior having a baby." But it's not super foreign to me since my mom did. But I remember there was just so much more care and all of that put into it. And then something also that just kind of came to me was, you know how we always hear men age, they get better with age and then women just age. It's so funny because I really am seeing that, like my husband's super handsome, he's getting more handsome. His gray comes in, and you see, you hear all these, or you see men with gray hair and they look handsome, but then we're all trying to cover it all up. So there's definitely a stigma with that.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes, yes, yes. But you brought up the word that is so important. We are trained to cover it up. We are trained to think that women are getting older. We are trained, this is training. So let me just go back just a little bit to that. When you mentioned, at the age of 35, things are changing. Before that [inaudible] I have a child, it's all good and so on. And the moment a woman hits 35, she reaches that dreaded portal off the advanced maternal age.
Shirley Owens: Yes.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: And all of a sudden the narrative is very, very different. And that alone you cross 40, then your own block there's still living daylights, the fear to no end within you, because, Oh, now, every mom's counts every minute, every whatever. And I noticed that when I had my child at 44, easy pregnancy, natural pregnancy, initial birth, everything is an easy piece. And that was like, My God, this is such a beautiful experience. I have a child later in life. I don't have anything to compare it to. I'm just saying that because I had a full life before I became a mother. So my ability to really enjoy it and to be with my son and dive into this new phase of my life was so profound. As a journalist, I wanted to write a book about it. And this is when I really started my research into this topic. And I found out it's like, I made the same mistake when I decided, okay, I want to write a book about it. I did what every woman on this planet with access to a computer, she Googles. She's asking Dr. Google for advice.
Shirley Owens: Yeah.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: I put in switch terms, like, pregnancy over 35, pregnancy over 40 journey, it is mind blowing. You'll hit the return, and to get one story after the other only talking about what can go wrong will go wrong most likely, that is going to be almost impossible if you need to have assisted reproductive technology otherwise it's not working in salons once a month. And I noticed it was so odd because I already had, I was sitting next to my computer with my little baby in the crook of my arm, and with the other hand, I was doing my research and then reading all of this. And I noticed how anxiety and almost fear washed over me. I still remember this feeling of becoming totally insecure all of a sudden and thinking, Oh, my God. I know this is ridiculous. But I was reading all of this and I felt this fear coming up thinking, Oh, my God, can I even have a child at my age? And I'm sitting there with my baby. This is the power of the words.
Shirley Owens: Yes, it really is. And I know that your book is about this, right? It's about childbirth, birthing at a later age. And then you also have a program. Can you tell me a little bit about that? Usually I ask later in the show, but I know that you do other things, it's not just childbearing.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: No, no, no, no, no, Exactly, exactly. Not at all. This is just when my first brush with two ages came about. I also had a geriatric pregnancy. So the book that you're referring to, thank you very much, it's called "The Joy of Later Motherhood." And it's full of stories of women who had naturally conceived children, all healthy, all good in their 40's, the first child. So past 40 they had one, two, three children. But this is why I am so passionate about the topic, because I see how this narrative, how the constant negative stories, conversations, even our doctors, how that influences us? Not just in our minds, but also in our physiology because just thinking about it, wanting to have a child, it is so near and dear to thinking about, Oh, my God, I'm getting too old. I can't do this anymore. The stress hormones, the cortisol level that is increased in your body, your body literally gets the message, now is not the right time. We have too much stress, there's too much going on that could be dangerous and so on. And this is how it started for me. And then of course I noticed getting old and pushing 50, that these messages are more subtle in the 40's, it's not like it's very not subtle when you want to have a child, but there are so many more subtle hints. And we are so trained, as you mentioned at the beginning, we don't even see those messages. We just think, okay, this is normal. It doesn't even register. However, it does register in our minds and in our souls. And I'm telling you and everybody who is listening right now, even if you're in your 20's, you have given something up already, because you thought you were getting too old. And it doesn't have to be a child, giving up on all kinds of things, our wish to travel the world for a year, we are giving up on finding a certain kind of mate, a certain kind of partner and settling with the one that we have. We're giving up on our idea of possibly living in a different country. One day, we're giving up now that we have children in the family, that we cannot go and travel around the world anymore. We are giving up things early because we were thinking we can't do this anymore. It's an age thing.
Shirley Owens: Yeah.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: And that's why I created this, this is what you were referring to at the beginning, it's called "It's never too late to live your dream." Some of it for women, 40, 50 and up. So for 40+ designed for women, 40+ by women who are past their 40th birthday to just show each other what is really possible and how good the world gets, our world. And we're in charge of our world, how good it gets if we allow it and untrain ourselves with those thoughts, okay, now I'm turning X, Y, Z, I can't do this anymore.
Shirley Owens: Right.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: So we have messages that are coming to us from the outside. There's no denying of that. Ageism is real. And it is sometimes subtle, very often. Not however, but here's the truth. We get these messages from the outside, but true ageism, the true ageism, that one is an inside job.
“We can get these messages from outside but TRUE ageism is an inside job.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
Shirley Owens: Yes. I love that.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: True. Ageism is an inside job. We are taking those messages, or beliefs, whatever we learned already growing up as children, and what we see on TV and make it our own. And we are the ones who put it in those limits on ourselves. What can we do? How can we look? We are giving up, like what? In our 30's, 40's, we were giving up our dream of fitting a certain kind of body, or a certain kind of health, or a certain kind of strength, vitality. It is almost ingrained in us to dim our lights. And this is an inside job.
Shirley Owens: I love it. So I'm 49 this year, and most people don't believe that because I don't act like it. I don't want to act like it. I don't even know what it is actually. I don't know what a 49 year old supposedly acts like, but just in the last few years, I've gone to Africa, Costa Rica, Scotland, Ireland, traveled literally all over the world. And I have plans to continue to do that. I think that I appreciate it more now. I enjoy it more now than I possibly would have decades ago. And a lot of it does come with age. I think there are some really good things that come with age. We have wisdom, we've experienced enough of life to be able to, I don't know, just have a different perspective. And it's funny because I was at, we just moved into a new house a few months ago and we were visiting one of our neighbors last night. And each time we visit, new stories about each other come up. And last night, she's like: "I cannot believe you've done all these things in 49 years, and you're only 49 years old." And I'm like, I've never heard that ever. No one's ever said that to me, you're only 49. No one's ever said that to me. So it was funny to hear that. I want to just get up and hug her, but I thought she might think I was kind of weird, plus we're social distancing. But she was just like, how have you experienced so many things? And for nine years, and I'm thinking she has no idea. I have so many more things that I experienced in this time. So it was funny because I didn't put two and two together that today was our interview. And last night I had that said to me, but it's awesome. I love that someone looked at me and said you're only 49 years old. So I do think that this is the time for us to just embrace our age and really make it a super fun time in our life.
“This is the time for us to embrace our age and make it a super fun time of our life.” -Shirley Owens
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes, yes, yes. And she gave you one word that made all the difference, "You are ONLY 49 years old," but it changes everything. It may be just one word, but this is also the power of words. As a journalist, this is my world for decades now. One word, but it changes the energy about everything. It changes the energy of the number of 49, the way you speak about your own age, the way you speak about your future. And this is, again, just something, if you own this, now you could also have said, Oh, she just said "ONLY" it's ridiculous. But no, you're taking it, and you're embracing it, and you run with it. And just this weekend, we can unconditional ourselves from whatever we believe our age is, whatever that says about us.
Shirley Owens: I want to say everyday, "ONLY, I'm only 49." I'm only 49. Hey babe, I'm only 49. I told them it was such fun. Like you say, it's just one word and it changes our entire--
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes, yes, yes. And in a moment, let's talk about the trajectory, a trajectory with the word "I'm only 49." What can that mean for the next 10, 20, 30 years to come? But once that back here, when I speak about my fascination with age, very often people say to me, Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Age is just a number.
Shirley Owens: Right.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: And that's actually not true. Age is a number that almost all of us have, it teaches a story to, and emotion to, and the consequence to.
“Age is a number that almost all of us attach a story to, an emotion to, and the consequence to.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
Shirley Owens: When you're 40, you lose your eyesight.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yeah. Yes, yes. We all have stories. I mean, you can find a 30 years old that says, Oh, I cannot be a mom. Or if I'm not pregnant and have my child before 30, I'm going to be old. I'm going to be left behind because all my others, so there's the story, right? I'm going to be, or I'm losing my eyesight, whatever it is. Or at 40, I will never find love again. So that's the story. And it's attached to the stories and the emotion. And the emotion is usually not a positive one because getting older is not something that we look forward to in general, you were, I don't know, 12, or six is my son. He's still looking forward to getting older. So it'd be half the emotion. And then that's usually a consequence. And the consequence for, okay, I contact my child's anymore. Or to consequences, Oh, yes, of course, I need to get classes and this is it. I can never reverse my eyesight anymore, this is it. It has to be that way. And once we are aware of this, what I really would encourage our listeners today to do is make a list, just sit down and think about the next big milestone ages that are ahead of you. Either with a five at the end or a zero at the end just come up. Think about consciously. What are you thinking about a certain age? What is the story that you have come up with that you were attaching to the number, the emotion and the consequence. And once you know this, once you're aware of the stories that you were telling yourself about an age, you can detach that from a number and then it becomes a number. Then it really becomes just a number. When you take the emotions of it, when you detach the emotion that you have about 35, 40, 49, 56, 65, when you take that away, then it becomes only a number. And then your life, I believe is so much more truthful. It is so much more enjoyable because you have taken the way, something that is negative and doesn't serve anybody. We are afraid of going down hill, not realizing that maybe society tells us we were over the hill, but hell we are not. Absolutely not.
Shirley Owens: Downhill is always easier anyway.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: We go downhill on the ski slopes of Australia or somewhere else, but that's, it. It is like we always think that age means that you deteriorate in what we now know. I mean, our brains, why our new circuitry the older we get. Not that long ago, we just thought this is it. You just lose capability, brain capability. We believe this for decades, and decades, and generations. And now we know better. Now, today, we know that there's this difference between chronological age and biological age, you can take a blood test today and then take it. That compares your comment for logical ages, the one in your driver's license, but the biological one tells you how quickly or slowly your cells are aging. I mean, you, you can take a line of, I don't know, 50, or 40, 49 years old girls, and hardly any of us will look the same, and maybe don't even have to sample in a logical age, sorry, biological age. Chronologically, yes. But biologically, no. It's our health. It's our lifestyle. It's our upbringing. It's our mental capacity. And I'm talking about, not intelligence, but I'm talking about resilience. How do we deal with the adversities of life? How have we dealt with it in the past? So the aging process is completely individual and you can read, you can literally reverse aging.
“The aging process is completely individual and you can literally reverse aging.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
Shirley Owens: So wouldn't you say, so would you say along with, if we're giving our listeners some advice about taking those numbers that they have in their head, and on attaching something with those, what if we were to attach something with it? Like, okay, at 45, I'm going to go to Europe. Or at 56, I will have done this. And instead of regressing with the age, what if we were to do something like progress with it? What if we were to start to put things in place where we actually look forward to having that age come?
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes, absolutely. I think this is the most beautiful thing that you can do, getting yourself into the state of looking forward to the future of looking forward. I mean, come on, you and I, we have so much life experience, so much wisdom gathered already, so much to give. I also know, and this is what I so truly feel in my heart and in my soul that the women that are now 40, 50 and up, in times like these that we're in now, we are called to step forward and bring our feminine wisdom, knowledge, our life experience, and our business experience forward into this world to make this world a better place.
“The most beautiful thing you can do is getting yourself to the state of looking forward to the future.” -Bettina Gordon-Wayne
Shirley Owens: I agree.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yeah, we are super, super important. Important as we may have never been. And we have the ability to do this. I mean, come on, your podcast, thank you so much for having me. And we can have these conversations that are so important for other women to hear, because it's the world that needs us now in what we bring to the table. So moving forward, like also professionally, if you're in your 40's, 50's, you may have had an amazing career in a great company and you've been really, really good in your job. But now also, maybe to Corona, maybe you detained, you go thinking about this before, but now you may be looking at the last 20 years thinking, do I really want to do this for the next 20 years to come?
Shirley Owens: Yeah, for sure.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Having this conversation, okay, so if the answer is no, what can it be? What is it that I want the next 20, or 30 years to be like? Who do I want to be next? Who do I want to be? What do I want to look like at 50? What do I want to feel like at 60? How in awesome shape mentally, physically, and emotionally do I want to be at 70? Everything that we're doing now, the conversation we need to have now, because the way you and I, we look and we are today, it's the reflection of what we did 10, 20 years ago.
Shirley Owens: You're right.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: So having this conversation and thinking, okay, I want to beat the most kick as a 70 year old the world has ever seen is the set up for me to take the actions that will come to fruition in 20 years from now. I mean, everything that I do, you see, whatever it comes to fruition right now, but my lifestyle today will determine my health, my ability to really make smart decisions and to be in like who knows? Maybe come on, we are starting the next million dollar companies and make a huge impact in the world, in addition to the life that you already have.
Shirley Owens: Yeah. And it's something I've realized too, I too wrote my first best-selling book past 40, I have my podcast, I am creating an online course, I have like a lot of things, a lot of dreams and goals, and just so many things to be excited about. And I think that, like you said, 20 years ago, depending on what it was that we were going through is showing up on us now. And something that I've really learned is happiness. Happiness creates youth, happiness creates health. And I do think that you're right, a lot of people feel like they're just stuck because, Oh, I'm too old to make changes. Now I'm too old. I hear this a lot with all of my clients. I'm too old to make changes, I'm too old to leave this relationship, or I'm too old to stay in it, or I'm too old to do the fun things with my kids. Or I feel like right now, I have the funnest time with my kids because they're adults and we get to have conversations, and we play together and talk together. And it's just like complete beautiful chaos when everyone's here together. And I really think that it is true, that happiness and looking forward to something, but I've always had to look forward to a trip. I'm almost always planning my next trip on the way home from my last one. And it's something that, if I'm down or something doesn't go my way, I just think about, Oh, what's my next trip going to be? Because that's my hobby. What's the next thing I'm going to do? And so focusing on our age as something negative is only going to give us more wrinkles, create something mentally for us that dreads, and then dread brings unhappiness, and then unhappiness brings age and health issues. So I think it's so important that we really do take this time to, like you say, let's plan the next 2 years, 5 years, 10 years. Let's plan the next two decades and what are we going to be? We really do truly have a whole life ahead of us. And because we're so much wiser, smarter, so many mistakes have been made that we know not to do those. We just have such an ability, a much larger ability to create whatever we want.
“Focusing on our age as something negative is only going to give us more wrinkles.” -Shirley Owens
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And to all our listeners and your clients who are saying, Oh, I'm too old to do that, two things. First of all, that's what I wanted to, I forgot to mention before, I prepared six interviews by women who really did something remarkable in the 40's, 50's, and 60's that I put on the link to the interviews is, itsnevertoolate2020.com, so that you have inspiration. Again, itsnevertoolate2020.com. Did you have inspiration that you can see, Hey, come on. If she did it, and I was like, Oh, maybe it's possible for me too. Because there's the inspiration, that's in my book. We need to have other women who have done it to just inspire us and to see us like, Oh, my God, this is possible. Because in reality, this is the second thing I wanted to remark on when we say, Oh, at my age now, or I'm too old to do this or that.
Shirley Owens: Yes.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: My goodness, we are also using this as an excuse.
Shirley Owens: For sure, an excuse. Okay, I can tell that you're super passionate about this, I love it. I love all your energy that you're bringing, and I will also put that link on my website. I wanted to ask you, we've already given a ton of advice of what our listeners can do today to start defying age and mentally defying age. So tell me, is there anything that you've regretted or would go back and redo if you were given the chance?
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yeah, actually I had some difficult times in my 30's when it comes to my profession and I wish I could go back and redo those years because now that they're gone, I can't redo them. My 20's are full of life, full of energy, full of vibrancy, and then career wise, my duties were a lot. And then in my 40's kicks into gear again. Sometimes I think I'm also so patient about this topic, because I see that women, not for everybody, your career, your life, achieving milestones that society tells us, at 25 you should do this, and then 30, and so on, and so on. So for me, I'm 20 and late bloomer with my child later on, and now starting with the new business and such, I want to also talk to other women who had, or they had children early and then they couldn't go to work. They chose this beautiful choice that they made to stay home with the children, but now 10, 15 years later, half gone by, and now they wanted to go back. So do I regret those years? I feel sorry that it happens from time to time, a little sad about it. But then I'm also thinking this got me here where I am today. And maybe this is why I'm also so passionate about this conversation because I really truly feel this is not a lip service when I say I really feel "the best is yet to come."
Shirley Owens: It is never too late.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: It is never too late, exactly. If we don't make age an excuse, it is never ever too late. In the last decade alone, when it comes to business, in the last decade alone, when it comes to start up companies around the world, most of them are started by women and men 55 plus. I mean, this is remarkable. This is remarkable. There's a shift happening. And I believe that all my hardship that I experienced is good for, I want to bring this now into the world. I want to do something really big that I have to say that I need to bring into this world because, again, the world needs us now.
Shirley Owens: So how about you tell us how to get in touch with you. I'm sure there are women who will want to have you bring this to them. So tell me how we get in touch with you. Tell me about your program. Again, itsnevertoolate2020.com, I'll have it on my website. Just tell us how to get in touch with you. And I'm so grateful that you were here with me today.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes. Thank you. I would say to keep it really simple, please go to, itsnevertoolate2020.com, you'll find me there. When you sign up, you'll get immediate access to the six interviews that I mentioned, and you get an email from me into your inbox, and then please respond to me, reach out to me. You'll have my telephone number. We can communicate, I love communicating, I love having these conversations and I do private coaching with my clients. But that's always, okay, what is it that you need? This is very individualized, because we are individuals. And what is it that you need? How can I help you? So my expertise is the mindset. It's the mental strength training that I received in Europe many years ago. That was after my 30's. I need an upgrade for myself, and this is when I got the training and made all the difference in the world to me.
Shirley Owens: Awesome. Thank you so much for being here. It's been super fun to have to hear your passion and to have this conversation with you. And to our listeners, remember that it's never too late, and we will see you soon.
Bettina Gordon-Wayne: Yes. Thank you so much for having me. It's never too late ladies.