You’ve all heard the phrase so many times that it has become a universal mantra: If not now, when?
I said that same mantra to myself in March, 1984. I was standing backstage at the Old Globe Theater, in San Diego, waiting for my cue to go on stage. The woman in front of me was no other than Marion Ross, the quintessential mother in the hit TV series, Happy Days. Marion was in the same drab, unexciting play, written by a Hungarian about, what else, Hungarians! I was playing the younger daughter of the master of the house. My character added absolutely nothing to the story – whatever the story may have been. I truly can’t remember.
Few women are as loved by the Sixty and Me community as Judi Dench. At age 80, she is a shining example of someone who follows her passions and refuses to slow down. In fact, in 2015 and 2016 the world will see 6 new Judi Dench films. I can’t wait to watch them all!
When my children were young, I used to love to read Dr. Seuss books to them. There was something about the strange characters and wonderful worlds that sent all of us into uncontrollable fits of giggling. It’s a shame that, as adults, we are expected to be so serious. It’s almost as if we forget how to appreciate the silly, nonsensical moments in life.
There is something special that happens to the way that you see the world when you have your first grandchild. As a parent, you are often too busy with the day-to-day business of keeping your family running smoothly to notice the world around you. As a grandparent, you are free to see the big picture.
Life after 50 is full of distractions, complications and worries. As we approach “retirement,” whatever that means, we are balancing careers, dealing with changing social circumstances and struggling to stay healthy and fit. According to society, our 50s and 60s should be a time of “winding down” and “aging gracefully.” For most baby boomers I know, this really isn’t our style.
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.
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?
What is the purpose of life? This is one of the “biggest” questions facing all of us – but, I think that the women in the Sixty and Me community are up to the challenge!
When we are children, our dreams are limited only by our imagination. But, the time we reach our 60th birthday, many of us have had our crazy ideas and wild fantasies beaten out of us by a cold, cruel world.
The good news is that life after 60 offers the possibility for a second childhood.