AARP celebrates those who embody our #DisruptAging movement that challenges ageist stereotypes and highlights all those who own their age. Among those New Yorkers who are doing just that is Nancy Genova, President of the board for the 100 Hispanic Women organization. Nancy has over twenty-four years of health care experience and is currently full-time faculty at Hostos Community College in the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department’s Public Policy & Law Unit. She is a vibrant, active member of the community and as part of her role as board President, she is on the planning committee of their yearly Mind, Body, Spirit conference, which our Associate State Director, Maggie Castro, will be speaking at on May 30th in New Rochelle, NY. Read Nancy’s interview here for more information on her dynamic age disrupting journey!
How are you “owning” or embracing your age at this stage in your life?
I have a good sense of humor so I think of the alternative to aging…Age is a number and life is full of ebbs and flows. With age I’ve gained so much; insight into myself, experiences, travel, growth professionally and personally. It is the awareness of the gain that keeps me present and grateful to ‘life’
What challenges do you face, either personally or professionally, as you’ve gotten older?
Professionally challenges sometimes include phenomena that as you become more ‘seasoned’ people dismiss what you can offer, they stop seeing you if you let them. As a professional person, I read and research and participate in things that add to my ongoing professional development. In my personal life, I don’t buy into the notion that you can only do certain things at a certain age, that can only be true if you allow it to be. However, I do work at exercising, eating right, resting, and doing things that add to my well-being. If I don’t work at it then do to the aging process I become ‘literally’ stiff in my joints.
How has your approach to your life and/or career changed over the years?
When I was younger I worried about things that now in hindsight were not as significant. As I became more seasoned I learned to let go of the things I couldn’t control and focus on the things I could impact. It is a freeing experience and much less exhausting.
What do you value most about aging?
What I value most about aging I stated earlier is the growth the evolution you go through by just living life; self-awareness, joy in the things you come to realize require you to be in the ‘moment’, reaching goals, understanding that things go wrong and bad things happen but you can move on and not just survive but sometimes you thrive
What are some things you still want to accomplish as you look towards the future?
I would like to have some of my plays produced. (I did have one produced off-Broadway “The Death of A Dream” after my 40th birthday). I will be taking a course at a Ph.D. level this semester and see how that goes. If I do well I might stay the course to gain the Ph.D. I want to travel to; Machu Picchu (June/July 2018,) go to Ireland, Portugal, etc….explore…
How has New York living played a part in keeping you active and involved in your community?
New York is such a wonderful place in terms of diversity….I’m a foodie so I love that I have access to food from all over the world. In addition, so many opportunities to go to any type of show or concert. I serve on boards that are working on doing so much for good and do to proximity in terms of locations I can do many things with limited amount of time since the infrastructure of the city has trains, buses, bridges making things accessible. One of the boards I serve on the 100 Hispanic Women, provides scholarships to economically disadvantaged ‘Hispanas’ it has been my most rewarding service. The impact education has on helping someone change their economic prospects is trans-formative!