Myths are stories that create stereotypes. They are only true if we allow them to affect the way we live. This is true of the many myths about aging. If you believe what you see on TV, older people are forgetful, afraid of change, isolated, technophobic and weak. The problem is that these are not harmless perceptions. They may actually cause older women to live up to the expectations that society sets for them.
I am a lifelong learner and avid reader. For the past 50 years I have tried to stay on top of new titles, waiting patiently for the latest books from my favorite authors. Having worked in bookstores for 10 years of my life, I have a deep respect for physical books.
There is something so substantial about the weight and texture of a “real” book. Turning the pages with deliberate reflection and intention has its own magical feeling. So, I was pretty skeptical when I first tried audio books. Boy, was I wrong!
If there’s one thing that I know about life after 60 it’s that you can do anything you set your mind to. In my case, spring is here and it’s time for me to dust off my sneakers and get back in shape.
What is being 60 years old really like? It’s a harder question than you might think. Women over 60 are unique. We try to explain to marketers that we are not easily categorized. Still, advertisers like to bunch us in categories like “Boomer” and “Senior” which to them seem safe demographic boxes.
Today, women over 60 are defining and creating a whole new category of bold and fearless individuals with style, energy and ability! Many younger people might be surprised at the reality of life for women over 60 and the depth of their desire to be heard, respected and visible.
I asked women in the Sixty and Me community what they thought was the biggest misconception or stereotype that people have about our age group. They came back fighting with responses that were gutsy and enlightening.
One of the advantages of reaching our 60s is that we’re (hopefully) so much wiser than we used to be! Isn’t it amazing how much our lives have changed and evolved? As we get older we often realize that some things that used to be important to us no longer are so terribly significant. Certain dreams and priorities and relationships fall by the wayside – and yet we also have the good fortune to discover new passions in life, adventures to pursue, new people to share with and experiences to enjoy.
Many boomer women are in transition. They are leaving behind full time jobs, family responsibilities, and roles that defined them in the past. They are changing the way that they relate to the world.
Midlife women are doing it again. As we did in our 20s, we are questioning fundamentals, challenging the status quo, being stubbornly bohemian and embracing the unconventional. Boomers are tenaciously breaking down stereotypes about aging and redefining life after 60. However, this raises an important question.
“State of Wonder” was recommended to me by so many women in the Sixty and Me community that I decided it was time to add it to my reading list. Now that I have had a chance to see for myself, I can say that the praise for author Ann Patchett is totally justified.
The story is about Dr. Marina Singh, a pharmaceutical researcher. She travels into the Amazon jungle to collect the remains and effects of a colleague who had recently died. On the way, she wants to connect with a renowned gynaecologist who has studied the reproductive habits of an Amazon tribe, in which the women can have children well into middle age.