“At age 58, I made my lifelong dream come true.”

Photograph of Ombretta Debois flying a plane
Ombretta Debois

Introducing Ombretta

Ombretta Debois is a 59-year-old, mother of two adult children, who lives in Toronto. She moved from Switzerland to Canada in 2006 with her two children to be with the love of her life. She works in her home office as an English to French translator.

What would you say has been the biggest shift in your life since turning 40?

In my mid-forties, I divorced my ex-husband after 21 years of marriage. I came out and met a fabulous woman online who is now my wife. I became self-employed after 20+ years working in a corporation in various departments. At age 58, I made my lifelong dream come true and got a Private Pilot License. In my early twenties I had been a flight attendant with Swissair and would have loved to become a pilot but it wasn’t something that women did in Switzerland in those days.

When do you feel you are most powerful?

I feel my most powerful when I am behind the controls of an airplane. I am the Pilot In Command and my passenger’s life depends on me. I love flying, seeing the world from up above, being in control of this amazing machine, and having this incredible feeling of freedom. I also feel powerful when being creative either with a brush on a canvas or on GarageBand where I feel like I am creating music out of nowhere.

What are the top 3 most important things to you right now?

My health, my family, and carrying on doing what I love.

How do you make sure your actions are aligned with what’s most important to you?

By taking care of myself, by keeping in touch with my family in Canada and abroad, and by always learning new things to keep my mind sharp.

What seeds are you planting today for the future?

I water my garden today with love and passion so that my life keeps on growing in the best possible way for me.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in redesigning midlife?

Dream. Believe. Achieve. Follow your heart and do the things that make you happy so that when you are older you have no regrets. Don’t try to be perfect, it’s not necessary. Cut yourself some slack.

How can people connect with you and your work?

Send me an email at ombretta.translations@gmail.com

Welcome to my Power Profiles Series

Here I introduce you to powerful midlife role models in our community. May these stories inspire you, motivate you, and show you what is possible.


Hi, I'm Sara!

I'm here to reclaim the term 'midlife' and embrace the power these years offer us.

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About the author

Sara Smeaton

I help you discover the joy and power in midlife and navigate the transitions on your own terms. I am passionate about changing the narrative about aging and am trying to fill the world with profiles of real life people who are thriving and more alive after 40 than ever before. The best is yet to come and there are role models all around us. Book your free 30-minute connection call.

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