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3 Ways to Get Excited About Starting Over After 60

By Paula Harer September 03, 2022 Mindset

I know, it’s not easy starting over later in life, especially if it wasn’t what you had planned, or you have had an unexpected setback. It may even feel like the end of the world.

I get it. After my marriage of more than 30 years collapsed, I was just a puddle on the floor of my new apartment.

It took me some time to pull myself back together. I still have lots of bad days, but I have slowly started to have more good days than bad. It didn’t happen overnight, but I’ve found some keys to making it happen.

Starting Over After 60? Start by Making New Friends

If you are waiting for someone to knock on your door to help get you back on your feet, you may be waiting forever. The only person who can make your life better is you and sitting on the couch binge-watching Netflix is not the answer, as much as I love it.

So, get out there and get to know your surroundings if you are in a new locale. If there is a coffee shop in your area, become a regular for a while. As you get to know the servers, they will get to know you.

You can look on the community board and find some activities near you. Take a book or the paper and just “camp” there for a while and you will most likely meet others from nearby. It just takes a couple of new acquaintances to make you feel at home in your new surroundings.

Look for an association in your neighbourhood or building. That’s a great way to get to know some new faces. And it’s all you need to make you feel like you are moving forward.

I had a party shortly after I moved to my apartment and combined my long-time friends with some friends from the new neighbourhood and it was a blast. My old friends loved my new digs and my new neighbours got a sense of who I am and who I was. Plus, I got some invitations for gatherings in my new neighbourhood after that, so it was a success.

Never Stop Learning

Continuing to learn isn’t just key for starting over, it is key for anyone as they age. Learning and keeping your brain working – and exercise – are the two best ways to keep yourself young, in my opinion.

Whether it is joining a yoga class, learning to cook some new recipes or taking up a new hobby, you will not only replace old habits and attitudes with new ones, you will increase your knowledge and maybe make some new friends. You’ll feel like you are in forward motion, rather than feeling stuck in old patterns.

If you are not in a book club, join one. It will force you to read a book that you might not otherwise read. Take a cooking class. If you want to learn Spanish, find a course in your area. If you wish you had taken accounting classes in college, many colleges and universities offer classes to seniors at a reduced cost or even for free.

Keep your brain busy and learning and you will have less time to dwell on the past and feel sorry for yourself.

Exercise

Let me assure you, if I never had to exercise another day in my life I would be the happiest girl in the world. But I do have to exercise. I am not a skinny girl who can eat anything she wants and not pay for it in pounds. So, exercise just must be a part of my life.

But, I know that without it I will not have the best chances of staying mobile and healthy in the future. So, I do it. And I have met some nice people along the way. If you are not exercising now, do it. And if you are, great, keep it up.

You are doing something positive for yourself. Exercise helps your mood, keeps you upright and improves your attitude. All you must do is put on your gym shoes and walk. You will feel better and get to know your surroundings.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you ever gone through a major life event that forced you to start over? If you are struggling to start over, have you tried any of the ideas in this article? Please share your experiences with other women in the community.

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SH-G

I feel like I am constantly forced to make a decision at my age laterly…early 60. I have been told that I am not old to start all over and live peaceful life compared to that I have. Interestingly I have a spouse and somewhat of financial security but straining relationship with spouse is causing stress that many around me think I can start all over…I can work and start a new life. I find it easier to say than done. It’s overwhelming and bit scary after being just a housewife and only worked part times. I think it’s unfair to think I can start all over now that kids are grown and have their own lives together after years of being wife and mom and even help with grandkids so they could get their things done just because now that only two of left and going through trials in relationship. Mainly because we do not agree on somethings and can’t get it together. Most of times we are agreeable, but kids are tired and think only solution is to go separate ways to give them peace. It seems easier for all of us if we start all over than work things out or find a common grounds to make it here as our times are not that long left. The 60 is new 50. The 50 is new 40…kind of talk seems like a good thing but gives unrealistic views when one has been only working to be someone else’s mom and wife. We sure to live in a strange time…mom and wife isn’t enough, but we all need some kind of backup.

Last edited 4 days ago by SH-G
Jeff Silver

I feel isolation is my biggest concern and yet, solitude Seems safer

Karin

I am now in a small town in SE Arizona where I moved after my live-in boyfriend of 5 years died of a heart attack on Christmas Eve 2021. Sadly enough, I started dating Joe a year after my husband of 15 years died from a major stroke. Now I am completely alone and hoping maybe I can make some friends here. The town I live in is very small and friendship opportunities are few.

Gwen

I’ve been there. I started over but with my home and neighborhood I intact at 40. But then ten years later I had to do it again and I lost everything my home, my town, my friends and his family. I also was at the end of my contract so I had to really have a new life.
I moved from a small town out on the back roads to a run down city just five minutes from the edge of Detroit. I consider it my education in urban living. After 8 years there the bottom of my life there dropped out and I have been in Texas with my daughter and her family for 7 years now. I’m too old and tired of starting again. It’s not going to happen. I’m helping with her small children. I’m handicapped now. I’m living with them and seldom leave the house except for pickup kids from school. I’m done

Lillian

Sending much love and huge respect for all your new starts over the years. What determination you’ve shown! I’d love to have a friend/mentor with life experiences like yours as I seek to pick myself up and love life again. Wishing you all the best.

Josie

thinking of you with loving thoughts ..i am 74 and rather disapponted with my latter life ,however i am getting good help via couselling etc so thats my lot …

Sylvia

Sending love and hugs to you ladies! Praying that you find something or someone who brings you joy and adds happiness to your life! I think of every day as a new beginning. I get another chance to be a better person than I was the day before. Peace and blessings

evelyn sotes

Good luck to everyone. Life is beautiful. Make the most of what we have even if we are in our senior or twilight years

Kathy

Gwen, I completely relate. My spouse walked away from our divorce without missing a day of work. He got the business, I got a condo I couldn’t afford AND $250k of his post-separation business debt that I had to pay off. After 2.5 years of housing instability and a completely fruitless job hunt during the pandemic, I’ve never felt so pessimistic or misanthropic. I’ve had to accept that, after a certain age, this country views us as something for the trash heap, and I’m working to make meaning in my life despite that ugly fact. I hope your grandchildren bring solace and delight. I have no similar support, but aside from bad arthritis in one hip, I’m fortunately still physically capable. I’d be truly lost without that!

Verna

There are many out there like you Kathy. I am one. Retired, most of my friends have moved or passed, and all my closest family is gone. Trying to find a new place to start over myself, but rents are so high these days for a decent apt. Even in the later years, life always seems to have its challenges. Like you, I have no support system – no one really, BUT I too am blessed to still be physically active and capable. Still, I have my dog and I am quite amazed at what a closeness we share. She may be the best friend I have ever had – always there, so sweet, so loyal just wonderful. And we are growing older together. Now if only she could help with the rent! :-) Just kidding. If you like pets, they can be a tremendous solace or comfort. Even when you don’t know what to do or if you can afford things then next day, they don’t care – they are by your side and loving you.

The Author

After a 30-year marriage crumbled, Paula Harer found herself single for the first time in 35 years. She felt like she had something to say about her experience, so started writing a blog called Starting Over at Sixty https://www.startingoveratsixty.com. She addresses everything from loneliness and reinvention and offers ways to create a new outlook on life.

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