When we reach our 60s, several things happen. Physically, our bodies start to betray us. Mentally, we begin to assess all that we have or haven’t done. Emotionally, depending upon our situation, we may feel vulnerable. Spiritually…
Other than time or money, what do I need more of? The question sat like a tired dog on the page. “I have everything I need and want,” was my self-satisfied answer.
But a nagging little rain cloud tugged at my conscience. I always know when I’m not quite telling the truth, but this time the uneasy feeling of deceit nested a bit beyond reach.
We do our imperfect best. From the moment we push them naked and helpless from our bodies, they’re ours to nurture, protect, and love. They come without instructions and each one is so uniquely different that a single guidebook would never suffice.
There are two kinds of people: those who adore the time-tested holiday traditions, the shopping, the wrapping, the cooking, the expectations… and those who, for whatever reason, don’t. Of those who don’t, there are the ones who carry on anyway…
When I said I was moving to Bali, someone asked, “What are you running from?” The question struck me as odd. I wasn’t running from, I was running to. After years of doing for others this was for me, my great adventure. It was also a test. Could I survive the loneliness that was sure to come?
I retired in Bali… can you?
Retirement crept up on me. I had excellent health, meager savings and a severe case of age-appropriate denial. Then, three friends died of cancer within eighteen months. I wasn’t yet sixty-one. All younger than I, they had unrealized dreams and unfinished lives.
There’s a rumor circulating that after a certain age women disappear.
Not literally, of course, but for all practical purposes many older women feel overlooked, dismissed and ignored. Curiosity drove me to investigate why some of us fade out while others continue to be noticed.
But before I divulge the secrets to banishing the cloak of invisibility forever, I think it’s important to validate what happens to women as we leave menopause behind.
There’s only one good answer to the question of when to downsize – before you have to.