Reaching retirement is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, after decades of following other peoples’ rules, there is a sense of relief that you will finally get to live the way that you want to. On the other hand, it’s easy to feel lost, fearful or sad when reaching this important milestone. You know logically that you are retiring from work, not life, but, it doesn’t always feel like that.
It might seem strange to use a quote from Lady Gaga to explain how I feel about the Sixty and Me community, but, it is surprisingly fitting. She once said, “I think tolerance and acceptance and love is something that feeds every community.” Let me explain why I find this quote so powerful.
Since starting Sixty and Me, I have come across hundreds of amazing quotes and I have to say that one of my favorites is also one of the simplest. Voltaire once said, “I have chosen to be happy, it’s good for my health.” Every time I post this quote on our Facebook page, I get thousands of likes and comments, so, it seems like this is one of our community’s favorites as well!
There was a time when the idea of a “retirement lifestyle” was a uniform experience. A few generations ago, for those lucky enough to reach age 65, the only real option was to live alone or move back in with your family. Retirement communities existed, but, they were expensive, restrictive and designed primarily for people with medical concerns.
By the time we reach our 60s, most of us have regrets. This is a natural part of life. Some of us regret the way that a certain relationship ended. Others wish that we had stayed in closer contact with our friends or family. Still others wonder whether we should have taken a different path in our career.
Each one of us has a powerful story to tell. We may not know the words yet, but, deep inside our heart, we know what we want to say. Every time I talk to another woman in our community, I learn something new. Every single one of you has a fascinating story to tell.
Do you often think about getting older? Do you ever find yourself regressing to a younger age? I know I do! There are times when I am traveling to a new place that I feel myself becoming deeply connected with my inner-child. Looking out the window, I remember the wonder of discover and the simple pleasure of seeing a place for the first time.
For most of our lives, our choices are strongly influenced by others. Now, we finally have the opportunity make life after 60 anything we want it to be.
Unfortunately, many of us are still stuck with the habits that we formed during our 20s and 30s. We are used to life being something that happens “to us.” So, like little girls at our first school dance, we stand on the sidelines, waiting for someone to approach.
The most interesting women over 60 that I know have more than their share of emotional battle scars. It seems like the more interesting our lives are, the more of a burden we are asked to bear. Does it sometimes feel the same to you?
If there’s one thing that people in their 60s hate, it’s being labelled. After all, we have fought back against stereotypes and boundaries all our lives. Now, as we get a little older, we want to be treated as individuals and tend to reject group names.