Senior in Action – Dr. Noelle Nelson

Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen
Former County of LA Public Library Administrator is having the time of her life as a retiree; meeting fascinating people who are active seniors, and volunteering for Soroptimist International of Norwalk and other women’s groups.

Senior in Action – Dr. Noelle Nelson

By Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen

Q: Do you mind sharing your age, and telling NBY readers how you stay active?

Dr. Nelson: “I am proud of my age, 72 years.  I should probably divide my comments about being active into immediately pre-COVID-19, and post COVID-19.  I work full-time, so I was a frequent airplane traveler before the pandemic.  I work with attorneys as a trial consultant in civil litigation cases to prepare witnesses, conduct focus groups, and assist with jury selection.  You could say I’m the ‘behind-the-scenes’ person.  It is a blessing to combine my doctoral education as a clinical psychologist and political sociologist to help attorneys develop a winning case.”

Q: Have you always lived in California?

Dr. Nelson: “I’m a native southern Californian from a small family of four.  My mother, Suzanne Cross, was French. I chose to fly off to the land of adventure at age 19 to study at the Sorbonne, and lived in France for eight years.  I earned my doctoral degree in Political Sociology at Paris-Sorbonne University, then added a PhD in Clinical Psychology when I returned to southern California.  I was also very close to my father, Frank B. Cross III.  Both of my parents are deceased.  My sister lives in Florida so we rarely see each other, except electronically.  My home in Malibu burned completely to the ground during the Woolsey Fire.  Rather than rebuild after that traumatic experience and deal with the California Coastal Commission, I moved to Camarillo.  I love the community here.”

Q: Besides your career as a trial consultant, what other interests or activities do you enjoy?

Dr. Nelson: “I’m a writer, and am working on non-fiction book #15. Topics that I’ve shared with the world include workplace relationship tools, tips for career success, identifying domestic violence, aging well, and more. I began writing screenplays in 2000 and they are all fiction. I also contribute regularly to hitched.mag podcasts. I’ve produced a feature film that tells the story of how a girl copes with the death of her dad, titled My Daddy is in Heaven.  A list of my books and podcasts can be found on my website.  I also sing in the community choir at Unity Church of Ventura, and have many wonderful friends I hope to see more often after the quarantine restrictions are lifted. Another source of personal joy are my two wonderful rescue mutts.  One is a shepherd mix, and the other a Border collie mix.”

Q: Have you found it difficult to remain physically active in self-quarantine?

Dr. Nelson: “I’ve always worked out.  I normally take ballet twice a week, and thankfully now I can take ballet and ballroom dance lessons online.  I spend 30 minutes  in the morning at the ballet barre then an hour Pilates workout with light weights.  I practice ballroom dance drills for an hour to keep my legs and back strong, plus 15 minutes with resistance bands and a 20-minute leg regimen.  Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was a competitive ballroom dancer and participated in six large and small competitions annually.  I look forward to competing once again after the pandemic. I started ballroom dancing at age 70.  Thanks to my exercise regimen, the years don’t matter; I stick to it no matter what.”

Q: When do you sleep?  It sounds like you have an extremely active and productive life!

Dr. Nelson: “I sleep a good solid 8 hours a night.  But yes, I am very self-disciplined.  I love to tell my audiences, ‘Find something that totally THRILLS you.  It doesn’t matter what it is, just do it, do it, do it.’  In 2016, I started a Facebook page to spotlight incredible seniors who are doing what thrills them in their 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, even centenariansPlease read their amazing stories for more inspiration!”

“Courtesy photo” according to Diane Rumbaugh PR

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