Curiosity and happiness are deeply connected. Older adults who are able to stay curious see life as a mystery to be explored. They bounce back from life’s everyday trials, knowing that every challenge is an opportunity to grow and learn. The sparkle in their eyes is a reflection of the happiness in their souls.
Women over 60 are wonderfully complex. Over 6 decades, our roles, and our perspectives, have shifted. In the 1950s, we were “good girls,” who knew our place.
There is a great song by Paul Simon, in which he says, “One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.” He is commenting, of course, on how our experiences are colored by the frames we choose. In other words, our feelings are shaped by our mindset.
There are so many stereotypes about aging that hold us back. One of the worst is that life after 60 is all about slowing down. Rather than following our passions, it sometimes feels like society wants us to get out of the way. What a bunch of rubbish!
When I was a young woman, I had the privilege of working with Elizabeth Kubler Ross. Elizabeth was a deep and wonderful woman, who taught me so much. I could write about her for hours, but, today, I just want to focus on one thing that Elizabeth said that has changed my life. She said, “We always criticize the things in other people that we fear most in ourselves.”
There is a special kind of beauty that only older women have. It is not the beauty of youth, with its flawless skin, shining hair and toned muscles. It is the silent beauty of wisdom and confidence. It is the genuine smile of a life well-lived and a future secured. It is the story told by our wrinkles and the depth in our eyes.
The women’s movement was a significant cultural and social movement in the 1960s. Its goal was to achieve reforms to benefit women in the areas of maternity leave, domestic violence, sexual harassment and equal pay. Many women in their 60s today struggled with these issues when they were younger.
Depending on your perspective, the past can be your best friend or your worst enemy after 60. Some of us are able to see the past as a treasure chest of learning experiences. Others, like me, if I’m completely honest, struggle to let go of our mistakes and let the past prevent us from living fully in the moment. Which of these two extremes are you closest to?
As older women, living in the 21st century, it’s easy to forget just how different things were a few generations ago.
During our lifetime, we have made huge progress in the workforce and at home. We fought against sex-based discrimination and for equal treatment under the law. We still have a long way to go in many areas, but, there is no denying that the world is a fairer place now than when we were born.