Today, I came across a quote by Dale Carnegie that reminded me of all of the fabulous women that have surprised me over the years. The quote was, “The expression a woman wears on her face is far more important than the clothes she wears on her back.”
Being a woman is hard work. For most of our lives, we are battered around by external and internal forces alike. As girlfriends, mothers, wives, colleagues and grandmothers, we have to deal with the expectations of others. At the same time, we are often our own worst critics. We worry about how we look. We criticize our own decisions. We worry about the future. And on… and on.
As I round the bend toward seventy, one thought becomes clearer with each passing year. The longer we live, the more opportunities we have to pursue our dreams. This is a message I love to share… and, to my great surprise, I have the street creds to go with it!
Most baby boomers are still several years away from retirement age. Even those of us in our 60s don’t plan on retiring, according to the latest statistics. At the same time, while most of us don’t plan on slowing down, we all allow ourselves the occasional fantasy about where we will live in the future.
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.