What do you like about autumn? I have recently realized that autumn is one of the best seasons of the year…. the weather is still warm… even as the cold begins to creep in.
The leaves change color. Near my house there are spectacular walnut trees that turn glorious colors of red, and yellow and gold. But, I am not here to talk about the trees… I am here to talk about our lives, as we hit our 60s.
Every stage of our lives can be described in words. For many years, the words that described our experiences as women centered on our social roles. As young women, many of us we were curious, maternal, fulfilled, ambitious and creative. These adjectives were like stepping stones that deepened as our lives became more complex.
Women in their 60s are a bold and fearless group. After all, you don’t get to be 60-years-old without having experienced your share of bumps. Sometimes, as the song goes, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Unfortunately, just as often, our disappointments and knocks cause us to limit our expectations for ourselves. We know our soft-spots and throw up walls to prevent ourselves from getting hurt. We avoid emotionally risky situations like the plague.
I’m not a big fan of anti-aging tips and tricks. In fact, if I see one more online ad with a tagline like “Doctors hate her! Discover the one weird trick this woman used to look 10 years younger,” I’m going to scream.
One of my missions at Sixty and Me is to show the world that turning 60 is a cause for celebration, not fear. Unlike in previous generations, when people were expected to retire from public life at 60, each of us now has the opportunity to pursue our passions and build amazing lives.
This is one of the reasons that I go out of my way to celebrate the birthdays of celebrities who are turning 60 each month.
Female celebrities are often in the spotlight for how beautiful they look. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that when actresses over 60 are in the news, it is often behind headlines like “6 Actresses Over 60 Who Still Look Great!”
Spirituality is not just a tool for addressing the challenges of aging. It is a key to reaching our potential at any age. This is the view of Carol Orsborn, who has written 21 books and dedicated her life to helping boomers to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
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.
The problem with aging stereotypes is that they can become self-fulfilling prophesies. When we see example after example in movies and on TV of older people getting grumpy, boring and disconnected from the world in their later years, we start to believe that this is “normal.”
Today, I came across an interesting analogy by Jane Fonda. I haven’t read her book, “Prime Time,” yet, but, the idea stuck out enough that I want to mention it here.
As the founder of Sixty and Me, I know just how difficult picking names for groups of people can be. After all, some people are proud to be called baby boomers, while others want nothing to do with the title.
Well, according to Helen Mirren, there are two words that no one should call a woman – “sassy” and “feisty.” In an interview with The Times, she said that “We need new words for female power and funniness and smartness.”