Most people over 50 don’t consider themselves “old.” And, why should we? After all, most of us aren’t planning on retiring any time soon. Our aches and pains are occasional, not chronic. Our brains are buzzing along happily, with few, if any signs of forgetfulness or mental fuzziness.
At the same time, it often feels like the world expects us to start slowing down.
One of the strange realities of life is that we assume that everyone else has their lives together while ours is in chaos. The reason for this is that we are all great actors; we are able to hide our imperfections, worries and problems from the world. On the other hand, we know ourselves perfectly because… well we are ourselves.
There are millions of women over 60 all around the world and we have 60,000 of them in our Sixty and Me Facebook Community. In fact, from the 195 countries in the world, we have Sixty and Me sisters in 150 of them!
Life after 60 is a time for reflection and renewal. It can also be a time for recommitting ourselves to our core values and exploring life with a renewed sense of purpose. As I talk to the other members of the Sixty and Me community, I find that most women believe that the best years are still to come – if we make good decisions today.
On some level, we all know that the secret to longevity and happiness after 60 isn’t found in the latest pills and potions that the “anti-aging” industry pushes at us. The best tonic for longevity is to live well – to surround ourselves with good friends, new experiences, healthy food and worthwhile dreams. But, if you are feeling a bit apprehensive about life after 60, you may be looking for some more specific advice. After all, we all know what makes us happy, but, knowing how to make ourselves happy is another matter!
Cher and I have one thing in common. Along with other rock groups like “The Who,” Cher and I have had several final farewell, retirement tours. I’m on my latest, and maybe not last retirement tour. Just like Cher. We’ve still got mileage.
There is a well-established stereotype that the older we get the more risk averse we become. On one level, I can understand why this might be the case – when we are young, we have our whole lives to make up for our mistakes. As we get a little older, we simply have more to lose.
Over the last few years, more and more women have chosen to live in communities. In theory, this living situation is similar to the communes that many women were at least aware of in their 20s. In those days, women chose to live together for philosophical reasons. For example, many women found that this living session provided an outlet for their bohemian style and desire for experimentation.
When you see a “strong woman” portrayed in a movie or on TV, she is almost always pushy, opinionated and self-centered. There is an implicit assumption that in order for a woman to be “strong,” she needs to be aggressive and brash.
A few years ago, Rhonda Byrne’s little book, “The Secret” took the world by storm. Her message was simple: if you want good things to happen to you, start thinking positive thoughts. If you imagine yourself becoming wealthy, the universe will, eventually, shower you with riches. There is even an example in the book that talks about how to use your mind to create open parking spaces. Boy, do I wish that worked for me!
Life after 50 is complicated. Over the decades, we have experienced a full spectrum of emotions. We have loved and lost. We have passed milestones and celebrated accomplishments. But, no matter how full our lives have been, we are filled with questions. Did I make the right decisions with my life? Did I do enough? Did I choose the right balance between my career and my family? Was I a good parent and spouse? Do you have any of these thoughts?