I came of age during the first wave of the Women’s Movement in the 1970’s. Even as a thirteen year old, I knew the passing of Roe v. Wade was a great thing for women’s health.
As a senior in high school I wrote a paper for an English paper about the sex-role language of men and women. After that, my awareness of the inequality we women experience every day was engrained in me, for life. Fast forward to turning fifty and the end of my interior design career, I took stock of my life at mid-life. I made the choice to completely change career paths, return to school, and become a Certified Gerontologist. I loved interior design, but felt I could help others in a more tangible way. Blessed with good health, sustainable energy, and the belief I can reinvent my life–engaging my mantra: you always have the power to re-choose— I wanted to give back to the world in gratitude for all I have been given, to pay forward my good fortune. I also knew from the beginning of my most recent return to school, that I needed to concentrate on issues facing women as they age, for my own journey and to help all my friends live long, healthy lives so that I would have playmates!
I chose gerontology because it is the only science-based, holistic discipline focused on aging. It looks at all aspects of aging—the body, mind, and spirit, and integrates all the disparate information from the other sciences—biology, physiology, psychology, and sociology — to understand the whole human being and all she experiences as she gets older. It is a unique and very cool approach.
Always an academic nerd, I loved science from an early age. When I developed endometriosis in my early twenties, learning everything I could about this disease became very personal. I almost died after my eventual hysterectomy from a one in ten million reaction to the replacement hormones I was given. After exploring every available resource I could find on the subject, I pretty much came up zero on anything that could help me effectively deal with my disease. Once I fully recovered from my post-surgery complications, my mission in life became writing a book to help women be healthier after menopause. I am in that process now. I launched my practice in January of this year—L.J. Rohan-Certified Gerontologist at LJRohan.com. My weekly blog contains information not only on how to manage our aging process, but also how to make this chapter of our lives the best it can be. I include healthful tips, answer questions, plus I include weekly humorous takes on aging through custom-drawn New Yorker-style illustrations.
In developing my platform, I am putting together a talk and handout in which I offer guidance for aging vibrantly to women. In addition to speaking to women like us, I will work with women in underserved areas around the country. I plan to visit their communities, where they live and work. This is the truly exciting part of my work. Based on solid science and the latest research, I have created an action plan for all women that puts them on the path to vibrant aging. The remarkable thing about my list of recommendations is that 88% of these are free of any monetary investment, which allows women, no matter their circumstances, to gain benefit from my suggestions.
Concurrently, I am working with two esteemed medical doctors in writing a proposal for a book covering in greater depth my recommendations and additional exciting information on how to age vibrantly. Once the book is published, I will continue to reach out to women through my personal speeches and blogs. Each year I also plan to put thousands of free books into the hands of women here and women around the world, through what I hope will soon be, The Want to Be Vibrant? Foundation. (I am awaiting the copyright search results.)
My desire and vision is to change the conversation and the reality about aging for women; to give us the knowledge and tools we need to be the very best version of ourselves as we grow older.