There are certain milestones in life that everyone reaches. First day of school, graduation, first day of work at our first “grown up job,” getting married, having children…the list goes on.
One milestone women reach that seems drastically underplayed is turning 50 years old. For many women, this is a time when everything has changed or is about to, both at home and at work, and many women are left struggling to find their new calling in life. Carol Doyel recognized this major need for guidance and decided to launch her online publication LivingBetter50.com.
4word: Tell us a little about yourself.
Carol: I’m a wife, a mother of three, and a grandmother of four, as well as a business owner, editor-in-chief, Bible teacher, and the West Coast/Hollywood Regional Director for Christian Women in Media Assoc. (CWIMA). I love that my life is multifaceted and full. I often tell people “my cup runneth over.” I love walking on the beach, reading, writing, and spending time with my four beautiful grandchildren.
4word: Were there ever times in your life when you felt like you just couldn’t find balance? Did you ever have to make tough sacrifices at home to accommodate work or vice versa?
Carol: I think the years I was raising my kids and working fulltime were some of the most challenging years in my life. It was a difficult time to “create” balance between work and home life. I had a lot of responsibility at work and was required to participate in community events and social functions that often took place in the evenings and weekends. The best way I have learned to create balance in my life is by spending time praying, reading the Word, and seeking God through an ongoing dialogue with Him. We need His divine guidance to help discover our purpose in life, determine what’s important, and to set priorities.
I think we all experience times of being “out-of-balance,” maybe due to work or extra responsibilities at home, i.e., taking care of young children or perhaps a sick child or an elderly parent, or any number of unforeseen circumstances like the loss of a job, an accident, or other tragedy that can significantly change our life. I think each season of life brings new challenges, and we have to experiment a bit to discover what we need to keep our balance. Living in God’s will makes life much easier, but that doesn’t mean we won’t face challenges and struggles, because we will. However, if we seek God and mediate on the Word, we will find the “righteousness, peace and joy” that can sustain us through difficult times.
4word: You were a successful real estate agent for many years…and then 2008 happened. How did you combat this “career roadblock?”
Carol: I wouldn’t call it a career block because I was still in real estate and making money, just not as much. In 2009, my husband accepted a job in New Orleans, so we moved. I recognized an opportunity to fill a need and niche that was not being filled, so I launched LivingBetter50.com in 2011. I’m comfortable with change. I actually enjoy it. I’m an entrepreneur at heart.
4word: What led you to launch your online magazine, LivingBetter50.com? Why did you feel drawn to the 50 and older female demographic?
Carol: I started running when I was fifty and found myself in better condition than I was in my forties, maybe even better shape than my thirties. It gave me more energy and inspired me to launch LivingBetter50.com. As I began to research online magazines, I discovered there really weren’t any good sites covering topics women love from beauty to business for 50+ women that included faith-based content from a Judeo-Christian viewpoint. We did a survey of about 200 women around the US and discovered they agreed. Many of them had been offended by content found on sites that target mature women. So I decided to jump in.
4word: What are some unique issues or concerns the readers of LivingBetter50.com face?
Carol: Many women I know who are over fifty seem to be at a crossroads. Many are in transition, not necessarily in a negative way, but are trying to decide how they can make a difference in the world. Many are beyond working to live due to more financial security and freedom, which allows them to pursue life-work that is rewarding and makes an impact. We want to leave something meaningful for the next generation, a legacy. Our desire is to encourage women to live better emotionally, financially, and spiritually as women over 50 so we can make a difference and leave a legacy.
One way I believe we can leave a legacy is by spending TIME with our adult kids and by having strong relationships with our kids and our grandkids. I also believe it’s important to make memories that can be shared for years to come. Memories of time together as a family, of shared activities, vacations, traveling, or family traditions. One of LivingBetter50.com contributors who I just love, Nancie Carmichael, hosts an annual “grandkids camp.” You can read about in an article she wrote titled, “Grandkid Camp”. They host a weeklong camp for all of their grandkids once they reach a certain age that includes regular planned activities and family traditions that have become a part of their life and legacy.
Another way we can create a legacy is by leaving written documentation: family trees, journals, and even books. I’ve written two books that I plan to have published for ministry, as well as for my family. Another way we leave legacies is by supporting or establishing certain organizations, ministries, or businesses, or by creating a family trust that can be passed on to our children and grandchildren. The most important legacy we can leave is our faith, by remembering, speaking, and sharing what God has done in our lives as a family and community.
4word: Tell us about your involvement with Christian women in media in Los Angeles.
Carol: I’ve been serving as the CWIMA regional director for West Coast/Hollywood since October 2013. We host four “connections” events a year at CBS Studios. The organization is committed to helping women in our industry realize our God-given purpose to its full potential— impacting our homes, workplaces, communities, churches and nation for Christ. I became involved in CWIMA in 2012 and have met many amazing women in media around the country.
One of the challenges Christians in the media face, whether we’re a woman or a man, is standing by our values and beliefs. We need to guard our hearts and minds from the influence of a world view that is so prevalent and widely accepted today. With the strong separation of State and Church in the Western World, it’s almost a taboo to talk about our faith in public. The challenge for Christians in media is how we can share our faith in a way that impacts and changes the culture. Sometimes that means saying things that are not very popular in a day and age where people are more concerned with tolerance and political correctness than pleasing God. Our challenge today, and one that I believe will become more challenging over time, is standing by the things we believe in as Christians as we are affronted and persecuted for our faith by a world that is becoming more and more Godless. Are we willing to share the Gospel and our faith, unabashedly when we’re called to do so?
4word: You’re also very passionate about healthy living. What are some tips you can provide 4word’s professional women audience to help them stay on top of their health while balancing busy lives?
Carol: Make sure to make time each day for God and for yourself. It seems there is never enough time in the day to do all of the things that need to be done, but if we don’t “make” time to care for our body and spirit, we will, sooner or later, suffer the consequences. I highly recommend daily activity, preferably outdoors for some period of time. I wrote a book called “Lose Weight, Get Fit & Change Your Life – With 4 Powerful Principles” that will be available soon.
4word: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Carol: I’ve come to understand one of the most fulfilling things I can do as a woman over fifty is to spend time doing things that make a difference. I look for opportunities to serve my family and community, which requires me to give up “me-time” in exchange for opportunities to give back. I am very grateful to be able to do that. At LivingBetter50.com we invite women to share their stories, testimonies and lives in a way that will encourage other women to live better. If you would like to submit a story or article you can send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a woman 50 or older, do you feel like you’re at a crossroads in life? We hope Carol’s advice and the mission of LivingBetter50.com will help you to find the beginning of life’s “next path.” If you know someone who falls in the “50+” age group, be sure to share this interview with them!
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Carol Doyel has a heart to see women released into their God-given destinies and to become all that they were created to be. Carol is a natural encourager and collaborator, having launched a successful online woman’s magazine and blog community, LivingBetter50.com “For Women with Spirit” in March 2011. She has brought together an amazing team and 800+ contributors to create the content rich magazine. Carol graduated from the Full Gospel Bible Institute in 2004.
She and her husband of 27+ years reside in southern CA but travel quite a bit due to her husband’s work. They have three grown kids and four grandchildren whom they love spending time with.