I have written this article in response to a gaggle of women, in their 50s, who should know better! These women made sweeping generalizations about life after 60, which were both fascinating and alarming.

I say alarming, because these women were just a hop, skip and a jump away from 60 themselves.

Here are 6 of the comments that I heard. I mention them here now because they are common beliefs for many.

 
 

I don’t know about you, but, I don’t think 60 has ever been so young. Now, as I rapidly approach 70, I think the same way about my current age and every age to come!

Here are 6 stereotypes about women over 60 that drive me crazy.

We Don’t Care What We Look Like

Really? We’ve come a long way since the time of our mothers. To be clear, my own mother was always young for her age, in the nicest possible way. But, this wasn’t universally the case.

Now, our average lifespan is longer and we don’t put rollers in our hair. We are still running marathons (well, some of us are), we dye our hair, we wear contact lenses or have Lasik surgery and we are more interested in style than fashion.

This disproves the belief that we don’t care what we look like. It’s all about attitude.

We Don’t Like Sex

Some of us do and some don’t, but, isn’t this true for every age group?

One thing we can be sure of is that we no longer have to worry about getting pregnant! For women in their 50s, there is still a vague possibility of having another child, if they are not post-menopausal.

In our 60s, we can have all the fun we want without fearing the consequences… well, at least this particular consequence.

We Like to Regurgitate Terrible Stories About Menopause

Same deal here. Some do and some don’t. It really depends on the individual and, in my experience, the vast majority of women sail through menopause, trouble free.

On the other hand, for some of us, menopause continues into our 60s. Yes, it’s possible to still have hot flushes in your late 60s and even early 70s. This doesn’t really seem fair, but, what are you going to do?

We Don’t Keep Up with the Times

If we don’t care about technology, why are we part of the fastest growing demographic on Facebook? It we are so out of touch, why do you see so many of us with GPS in our cars, tablets on our coffee tables and mobile phones in our purses?

We thrive on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. We have embraced technology like a second skin (ok, that’s possibly a small exaggeration), if only to keep up with our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

We have even taken to shopping in different countries; a sure sign that we’re moving with the times! Check out this blog about shopping in Florence. Why Florence? I’m here right now and it is a most stylish city!

We Only Want to Spend Time with Our Grandchildren

Why do so many people find it hard to understand that we have reached what the Europeans call The Third Age. This is the time of your life when you actually get to live.

Yes, we love our children and grandchildren. We are even happy to babysit… but not all the time.

We have done the hard work and, now, we finally want to live life in our own ways.

We Are Afraid of Change

I honestly don’t understand this one at all! Everything around us is changing, from our bodies to the people in our lives.

In our 60s, we are finally able to start art classes, tap dancing or Flamenco. We are traveling, starting new careers, raising money for charities, volunteering and taking on exciting opportunities. We fear change? Really?

It’s time for those people who push these tired old lies to move on! We’re in our last 30 or 40 years and we intend to make the most of every minute. 60 isn’t what it once was.

What new challenges are you taking on now that you have reached your sensational 60s? Do you want to travel? Or buy yourself a motorcycle? Are you ready for something completely different? Please join the conversation.

Penelope Jane WhiteleyPenelope Jane Whiteley is the self-appointed Queen of Aging Disgracefully. She helps other women to live their life on their own terms, to be true to themselves, to do and say what they want, to stop living within other people’s expectations and to abandon the quest for perfection with apologies to nobody. Please follow her on Twitter @the_pjwhiteley.

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