Over the course of our lives, we are taught many lessons. We learn that some people can’t be trusted. Most of us discover, the hard way, that life isn’t “fair.” We learn that most black and white issues are actually colored by rainbows of complexity. Unfortunately, many of us respond to these “lessons” by becoming more cautious and risk-averse.
By the time we reach our 60th birthday, it’s natural to have well-formed opinions about the world. Many of us have strong political and religious views. Others have well-formed opinions about the sports teams that we support, the causes that we contribute to and the communities in which we live.
Like many women my age, I spend hours in front of my computer every day. As the founder of Sixty and Me, it’s rare for me to type fewer than 2000 words before lunch. But, despite the fact that I am completely comfortable with technology, I still love my leather bound journal. There is something about putting pen to paper that takes me to another world and makes all of my fears and worries fade away, if only for a moment. Do you feel the same?
Do you every feel like life takes on a momentum of its own? I know I do! As we pass through the decades of our lives, one decision blends into the next. Finally, as we reach our 60s and we finally have time to evaluate our lives, it’s easy to wonder “how did I get here?”
When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, what do you see? Do your eyes dance quickly over your reflection, too quickly to settle on any one body part? Or, perhaps you pull in your stomach, hold back your hair and pause to evaluate yourself. Are you happy with what you see?
I have terrible news. There is a killer in your living room. Even worse, you probably think that this particular assassin is your friend. After all, he says all the right things. He entertains you. He even keeps you company at night. Unfortunately, this killer also has a hidden agenda – he wants to keep you isolated, dependent and worried. Why? To steal money for his employers.
No, I’m not talking about a member of your family, a friend or your Scottish Terrier. I’m talking about your TV.
When I ask the members of our community what challenges they are facing, a lack of meaningful friendships and a lack of financial resources are at the top of the list. On the surface, these are different issues, with different causes. But, if you dig a little deeper, they both relate to our changing circumstances.
By the time you reach your 60th birthday, you have a pretty good idea of who you are. You have faced all of the challenges that life has thrown your way and you have emerged victorious – ok, a little bruised too, but, victorious none-the-less.
At the same time, by the time we reach our 60s, many people find that the person that they are on the inside and the person that they are on the outside have moved far apart.
I love the sunshine. There is something about basking in the warmth of summer – wearing sunscreen of course – that makes me feel deeply happy. Or does it?
After reading a new study from the University of Westminster, I’m beginning to question whether the idea that the weather affects my mood is all in my head.
Do people smile because they are happy? Or, are people happy because they smile? These questions get to the heart of life after 60. Of course, both statements are true. Smiles are a reflection of how we feel. But, at the same time, happiness requires conscious effort.