Elizabeth Carter is a transformation lead at NHS England, working on a campaign to promote nursing as an aspirational career of choice. A change leader, feminist, and radical, Elizabeth is determined to enable young women in education and their careers to unlock their full potential. In her discretionary time, she coaches and writes with a focus on her passion, women in leadership. She is a fierce advocate for living well until dying and sees this fourth quarter of her life as a time to embrace the inevitability of death and preparing for a good death by living a good life. Elizabeth is appearing at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival as part of the AoA session on Sunday, June 9th at 5pm in the Mortuary Chapel. She will be reading a piece she wrote – with Nadia Chambers – for AoA on Living Well until Dying.
Age (in years)
59 ( 60 in October)
Where do you live?
Oxfordshire right now. I moved here last April having spent 5 years in Spain. I have lived all over – longest I have ever lived anywhere ( since I left home at 18) is 5 years. I always know when it’s time to move on and I act on it.
What do you do?
I walk my dogs, I dream a lot, I write stuff. Oh and I coach leadership development especially women in leadership and coach narrative to leaders.
Tell us what it’s like to be your age?
I feel exactly the same as I did when I was 17. I sometimes feel like it’s a bit of a joke that I am actually the age I am but clearly it’s true!I think the best thing about being this age is that I am incredibly kind to myself and allow large amounts of selfishness to keep healthy emotionally and physically.
What do you have now that you didn’t have at 25?
An ability to sit still, to meditate, do yoga. I was so full on then.
What about sex?
I like sex! I am very comfortable with my body and have no shyness or hang-ups. Great sex is wonderful and I have had some great sex!
Hmm – someone recently said we are hard-wired to be in a relationship – I don’t agree. I think society tells us that. I am currently single and very happy and fulfilled.
How free do you feel?
Totally. I really do as I please. It’s like being at a permanent festival.
I love it!
What are you proud of?
My friendships and the feedback I get when I coach.
What keeps you inspired?
Other people – my faith and trust in young people – I think that Gen Z is amazing. i am so hopeful for the future in their hands. And the night sky.
Wherever I am I gaze at the stars – always amazes and inspires me.
When are you happiest?
Pretty much all of the time! Particularly if I am having a great one to one with a friend or family member. Sparking off each other. When I am dancing and listening to music
And where does your creativity go?
On paper – I write and I write. Also into the work that I do – I love thinking up cool ways to engage people.
What’s your philosophy of living?
Do it – every day. Live it well with kindness and thought for others and always smile and say hello to elderly people – you might be their only contact in any given day.
It’s inevitable. Embrace it and lean towards it using every living breath well.
Are you still dreaming?
All the time awake and asleep. I am a master day-dreamer! Or should I call it visualisation? My night and sleep dreams are wonderful.
What was a recent outrageous action of yours?
I don’t know that I do anything outrageous. I am prone to spontaneity and follow impulse and it usually works out ok!