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How To Love Your Life At Any Age with Sherrod Deputy


I’m talking today with Sherrod Deputy who is an accomplished mediator, trial assistant and jury selector for the past twenty five years, and she just so happens to be my mother.

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LAS003: How To Love Your Life At Any Age

What does it mean to you to love your life at any age?

Sherrod says, “Loving my life comes from the center of my being. I have to love myself before I can love others. Doing for other people allows me to share the love that I have within my own heart.”

In the past years, this has looked different for Sherrod. She retired ten years ago. She says she has gotten wiser throughout that time period. It’s important to continue to learn through all stages of your life and the more that you learn the wiser you get, especially when it comes to human behavior.

When asked what surprises her about people nowadays, she says a big factor is that people take their life for granted. Too many people allow themselves to live in a protective bubble from society and it only hurts yourself to not be aware of the big picture events that are happening in the world today. It’s important to do your own research and gather your own opinions about things.

I asked her about the narrative surrounding the current pandemic and schools today. Sherrod says she’s glad she’s not a parent that has to make tough decisions like that. Many people think that children need to be back in school and that they need socialization to help them learn.

Socialization is an important matter when you talk about learning. She says, “Books are one thing but what you learn from other people is magnificent.”

What does friendship mean to you now? Is it important to expand your scope and be friends with all walks of life?

Sherrod thinks that you can learn from any person at any age. Older friends are the wise ones and young friends always have wonderful things to offer. When making friends, you have to remember to respect their beliefs even if you don’t agree with them.

She’s had relationships that didn’t respect her views and she had to walk away from them. However, she’s also had a group of friends that she’s stayed friends with even with different experiences and backgrounds.

Common interests brought them together like exercise, faith, and their love for other human beings. Commonalities allow us to have that relationship. She says that as you age you’re more relaxed and that relaxation brings people into your life. You’re not fearful of what you’ll say and how it could affect someone.

How big of an impact has faith had in your life as you grew up and raised kids and had a successful marriage?

“My husband and I grew up devout Catholic and Protestant which was not widely accepted as a coupling at the time. You can imagine that this caused issues with our family. We eloped because of it, but faith has always been at the center of my life. And I think that kids need to learn about faith as they grow up so they have the background and knowledge to know that it’s there if they want it.”

How is your own happiness in relation to your marriage? Is it dependent on you and your actions or does it fall on both people?

“I think it rests on both people. They have to have something that brings them both together. We know where each of us is coming from and we each believe that faith is an important part of our lives.”

How did you evolve in your own happiness and goals while still getting married at a young age?

“We decided to get married together because we knew no one else was coming. We came back and were involved in jobs and college and lived in a dump of a hotel as our marriage started out. But those things didn’t matter because we had a life together and independence and that was what we wanted.”

What were your favorite years?

“My twenties were fun and away from home. I got married and had new independence. My thirties I found confidence and even more independence as I got older. I remember a quote from a book by Gail Sheehy that says,

Each decade of your life is a passage.’ Each one brought a new horizon for me. And I am a happy person.”

How important is it to dedicate every day to loving yourself?

“I don’t do it knowingly, I just know that there are things I need to do – daily meditations, play golf, put aside time for exercise. I know that if you want to be happy you have to look at the habits you have in order to achieve your goals. And when doing that, consistency is key.”

How important do you think it is to be a problem solver?

“It might not make life easier, but you work to stay in front of the problem so that you don’t trip. I’ve learned to step back and look at both sides from another person’s perspective in order to help them. You have to learn to keep your eye on the problem and this was something I learned as a mediator. Before I got to that I was volunteering for a victim witness program.”

“I became involved in volunteering with a victim witness program and they showed us how effective it could be for the courts. When you have a witness that’s prepared and they know what to expect, it helps the process.”

“You’re able to get statements about the events that took place from the witnesses. You essentially become an advocate for witnesses of a crime. This is apparent pre trial and during the trial. It helped me move into being a mediator in the courts. I had a reputation with a lot of people in the court system. Mediation was becoming more “the way” to solve criminal and civil cases when the people could sit down at a table and architect their own resolution.”

Did you face any struggles to get to that point?

“I got a masters at Indiana University – the psychological part of our brains and emotions interested me and I thought I could be an asset to a counseling program. I got through two years of that and then I became ill with fibromyalgia which inflames the tissues on top of your muscles and nerve endings. It causes chronic pain. I was finally diagnosed in the spring and with the doctor’s guidance and therapy I was able to start recovering.”

When talking about learning about her illness and how she managed that throughout her life, she says,

“You can’t overdo it but it’s important that you do.”

Sherrod has shown that in order to be happy you have to take on life and make a life of its own. This is evident in every area of her life- children, fibromyalgia, growing a career, starting over and retiring out West. If you want to be happy you can’t allow setbacks to stick with you for very long. You must continue to carve out a path to find your own happiness.

Sherrod leaves us with this inspiration:

“I had strong female role models growing up and I had my own mental strengths that didn’t allow me to sit back and feel sorry for myself. You have to meet the problems in your life head on. Because at the end of the day, it beats being miserable.”

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Hello, I'm Jennifer Deputy

I am a writer, blogger, and traveler. Being creative and making things keep me happy is my life's motto.

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