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.
Women over 60 have so much wisdom to share with the world. So, why does it feel like we are expected to be silent? Maybe it has something to do with how older people are portrayed in movies and on TV. Other the occasional “angry seniors”, most of the men and women over 60 that you see on screen are happy to age gracefully.
Over the years, we accumulate a lot of stuff. Since we live in a consumer-oriented society, this is probably inevitable. We buy homes and decorate them with furniture. Clothing is a constant source of amusement and distraction as we adjust our style to the latest trends. Then, in our 60s, we suddenly start to think about downsizing.
If you’re in retirement, or fast approaching retirement age, perhaps you’re wondering about where you want to live during this next stage of life. Many women over 60 are reinventing retirement by working longer, dating new partners, traveling and retiring abroad, and otherwise living life with a new level of vitality and purpose.
Retirement is a good time to assess what is important in our lives. By focusing on our priorities and downsizing in retirement, we can make space for the things that really matter. In a literal sense, “downsizing” can mean moving to a smaller house or learning to “traveling light.” For me, it is so much more than this. After a lifetime of accumulating “stuff,” downsizing allows us to create mental space. It helps us to simplify our life on a fundamental level. It all starts with shifting our focus away from “things” and towards experiences and people.