There is so much to explore about this phase of life and what you still can do. What have you done so far with your life? What are your circumstances, dreams and wishes? Here are five things to do to make the most of your life after 60.
What I appreciate about biography, along with all the interesting details, twists and turns, is where it invites the universal.
I feel myself as that woman. It lifts my spirits and renews my resolve to get on with my own life, in the best possible way. Treasuring my own memories supports my sense of my own worth in life.
Imagine holding your autobiography. What draws your attention? What times, difficult or otherwise, would you relish rereading?
For me, it might be Christmas with my uncle singing Music Hall songs, teaching in a London prison, making a meal for our hosts in Bali in the 70s on an open brick stove or sipping tea with Iranian nomads in their tent, or the unfolding joys of motherhood, or… What a rich harvest life brings!
Here’s something to do now. Bring to mind a woman you knew well or who inspired you. Close your eyes and picture her life as a rounded whole. Bring to mind moments, quirks of character, things said, how she looked and acted, how she related to you and the world.
Dwell on a particular moment. Savour it. Physically reach out to give an imaginary hug of thanks. Then imagine her hugging you, telling you why she loves you, thanking you for all you have done and can still do, in your own precious life.
We are brought up to judge and compare, but what if every life, including yours, is as rich and valuable as every other? What might that mean about what you are for from now on?
Like me, you may have developed diverse expertise, building up a unique multiplicity of skill and experience. In my case, it came from a life blessed with the sciences, arts, teaching, spirituality, travel, nutrition, recipe creation and personal development.
Or, you may have developed expertise in a fascinating career or as a mother and homemaker. Whatever you have done is unique, even with whatever the tough terrain and trudgings of the ordinary.
For most, there have been challenges, perhaps with health, finances or relationships – quite likely the lot! Or, have you had an easy ride? In any case, you have made it to our side of 60 and with priceless cargo.
What you will do from now on is uniquely valuable. Really, it is, and you don’t need to let health, circumstances, low self-esteem or other people mess with that.
We don’t all need to be big people in the public eye, unless we want to. The world is created from uncountable acts of generosity, friendship, imagination, effort and love.
Here’s a good question to carry in your pocket: “What am I for?” The answer might come from your “I always wished I could…” list. It might mean upping your game in whatever you already do. Something completely new might form in your imagination for you to bring into reality.
You might feel impelled to act in the wider world, perhaps with a community project or environmental concern. Your most helpful inner work, be it keeping a journal, walking, meditating, painting, praying, dancing or reading, may shine light on your question.
Of course, this question begs further questions: “How can I create the level of wellness and energy I need for doing this? How can I act with inner balance, clarity and confidence?”
I will write more about all this in future postings, but for now I acknowledge your interest, honesty and self-questioning, the glory of who you are and the immense value of what you will still contribute.
What are your passions and purposes? What value do you feel that you are adding, or can add, in the world? What are you FOR? What have you done with your post-retirement life to this point and which memories do you treasure the most?