With the right attitude, changes are always possible


As 50 "plussers", Carol Turner and her husband started all over in a new town and Carol even changed work. With a solid base consisting of friends and family, changes do not need to be scary. Then, with interests that give life meaning and help one to relax, it is even easier. If you are a foodie, there are no limits for the creativity. Be inspired and why not follow this Canadian food lover on Instagram?

Name: Carol Turner

Age: 54

Occupation: Sales and merchandising representative

Family: Harold, Zack and Alannis

Lives: Ontario Canada

Within the latest years your oldest child has left home, and you, your husband and youngest one have moved to another town. You have also changed work. A lot have happened, how come you did all those changes now?

Yes, there have definitely been a lot of changes the past few years. When you experience a lot of major changes in a short time it's almost like beginning a new life. For me, I've always been a firm believer that if you have the people you love around you any change is possible. This does not always mean "physically around"; my son, Zack, has been away at university the past three years but we have a solid relationship and he has reacted favourably to our family changes as well, particularly in relocating from a small town where he lived his entire life to a small city with much larger population.

One of the reasons we relocated from the small town we'd lived in the past 15 years was our daughter began attending university in the city we moved to. Another reason for the move was our desire to have more opportunity in terms of how our leisure time is spent, ie restaurants, night school courses, theater, etcetera. There is so much to offer now we are once again living in the city.

As for my employment, that has been another change but definitely a positive one. I enjoy the challenges of a new career and now I am working as a sales representative for a major food company I feel like I am experiencing complete job satisfaction. So yes, there have been a lot of changes but my family, consisting of my husband and two children, is incredibly strong and supportive which has always made any change possible.

Leaving what has been home for many years and start all over again means that one has to start a new social life. Has it been easier or harder when being 50 plus and what have you done to find new friends?

It is certainly a bit harder making friends when you are over 50 and relocate to a new town or city. For me the question is, how much effort are you willing to make to meet new people? There is ample opportunity through classes, meet up groups, clubs, volunteer work, etcetera, so I have never felt it is particularly difficult. I have a core group of friends who I see on a regular basis; friends I made over 20 years ago when I lived in Toronto. In addition, I have made a few lifelong friends through the jobs I've had and places we have lived. Best of all, I regularly see my best friend from childhood who I've known for 40 years.

You don't need a lot of friends; you just need quality friends! In addition, I ran into a good friend of mine last Easter who I had lost touch with and we instantly reconnected. She now lives only 10 minutes from me. I see her socially every couple of weeks which is fantastic!

Food is central both when it comes to finding friends, socialize and work. Tell about that part of your life.

Food! Yes, food is a huge part of my life. It satisfies me in so many ways. Mostly cooking satisfies my creative spirit. Not every dish is a masterpiece but it is satisfying to tackle a complex recipe successfully, pull a bunch of mismatched ingredients from the fridge/pantry and create something interesting, or pick an ethnic cuisine and prepare a full course meal with flavours that are unique and foreign from what we may commonly eat in Canada.

When my husband and I travel we make a point of renting apartments so we can shop at the local markets and create meals in our own space. Restaurants are great but there's nothing like picking your own produce, proteins and spices and cooking your own dishes either from a recipe or simply what inspires you. A while back I opened an Instagram account where I feature mostly food I've prepared. It's fun to showcase my food creations as well as become inspired by photos submitted by other Instagram foodies. Another bonus to gourmet cooking is it completely relaxes and "de-stresses" me after a long and busy day and gives me the opportunity to share my passion with my friends. Sharing meal time with friends and family is a big part of my life.

As both your children are adults, very likely also your youngest will soon leave the nest. How do you look at life in the future when it will be only you and your husband?

I am lucky to still have my youngest child living at home but I realize it is just a matter of time until she completes university and moves on with her life. This is simply another change for all of us. It brings me back to how change is easily possible and can be embraced as long as you know your family unit is strong. Children have to leave and spread their wings. I will miss her, being our last child to leave but my hopes are that both she and my son will eventually settle close to us. Regardless of where our children end up I am looking forward to this next stage of life with my husband. This year we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary and are fortunate to still have a great relationship. Hopefully there will be a bit more travel in our future and perhaps a night school class together, but I honestly don't expect things to be too much different. It's just another change in life.

Would you say that common interests would be the best for staying together when the parenting part is over?

Parenting has been a very important responsibility for my husband and I but we have always taken time to nurture our relationship which has included traveling without the kids, date nights and social activities. We have also made a point of focusing on our own independent lives which we have both always felt was important. We share many common interests such as camping, traveling and cooking, and we will continue to enjoy those activities together. We will never stop growing as a couple when we partake in our similar interests together but we will never lose that independent aspect of our relationship and will continue to enjoy interests of our own. Balance is important!