Over the years, we accumulate a lot of stuff. Since we live in a consumer-oriented society, this is probably inevitable. We buy homes and decorate them with furniture. Clothing is a constant source of amusement and distraction as we adjust our style to the latest trends. Then, in our 60s, we suddenly start to think about downsizing.
By the time we reach our 60s, we have a lot to be grateful for. After six decades of working, raising families and exploring our passions, there is a sense that we finally know what is important. This year as our friends in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving Day, let’s all take a few minutes to think about what we are grateful for. Let’s celebrate our children and grandchildren. Let’s appreciate our good health. Most of all, let’s be grateful for having made it this far and for all of the amazing opportunities that are still before us!
Every year on Thanksgiving Day someone will ask you what you are grateful for. This is fitting. At its heart, Thanksgiving is a holiday about celebrating life. It is about remembering the things that are truly important and cherishing the special people in our lives. It is about celebrating our connections and spending time in our community. In short, Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude.
Turning 60 is a major milestone for many women. When we turn 50, most of us are in good health. We are usually at the top of our careers and have rich social lives, filled with family, friends and colleagues. Yes, some of us might be worried about the future or “where the time has gone.” But, for the most part, turning 50 is somewhat of a non-event. Turning 60 feels different.
You can’t get to age 60 without making a few mistakes. These range from small missteps, which nibble at us to larger errors, which keep us up at night. Perhaps the most harmful memories are of the times when we have accidentally hurt someone else – or ourselves for that matter!
I’ll be the first to admit that finding gift ideas for women over 60 is tough – even when you’re one yourself! As I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve started to notice that buying presents for my friends has become more difficult. Maybe women over 60 place less value on material things. Or, maybe our tastes simply change as we age.
Retirement is a good time to assess what is important in our lives. By focusing on our priorities and downsizing in retirement, we can make space for the things that really matter. In a literal sense, “downsizing” can mean moving to a smaller house or learning to “traveling light.” For me, it is so much more than this. After a lifetime of accumulating “stuff,” downsizing allows us to create mental space. It helps us to simplify our life on a fundamental level. It all starts with shifting our focus away from “things” and towards experiences and people.
Are you prepared for your digital afterlife? It’s a more important question than you might think. End of life planning used to be all about “things”. The most important decisions that we needed to make were how to organize our funeral, what to do with our assets and how to prevent legal issues after our passing.
Today, much of our life is spent online and, as a result, some of our most important assets are digital. Our photos are digital, our social connections are maintained through Facebook and our email accounts maintain a written record of our lives “in the cloud”. So, this raises an important question: what happens to our online “self” after we die?