When we were little girls, we dreamed about “being someone.” We wanted to visit amazing places and do amazing things. Then, for most of us, life took over. Now, in our 60s, many of us feel like Lily Tomlin, who once said, “I always wanted to be someone, but now I realize I needed to be more specific.”
As children, our spirit and sense of adventure was limitless. Then, over the years, we were guided by well-meaning parents and teachers into “useful” careers. One bump at a time, we learned to be “more practical.”
Then, at puberty, our hormones led many of us into relationships and we started families. It’s not that there is anything “wrong” with this. I love being a mom. It’s just that, for many of us, our other dreams were left on the back-burner.
Eileen’s ideas in this interview are practical and inspiring. I hope that her advice helps you to focus on your values and build the life that you deserve. Enjoy the show!
In my conversation with career specialist and author, Mary Eileen Williams, we discuss the fact that our childhood dreams never die. As women in our 60s, many of us feel like we have missed something in our lives. Now that our family relationships have shifted, we have the opportunity to reconnect with our passions. To do so, we must overcome our fears and ask ourselves, “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?”
In our interview, Eileen gives some practical recommendations for how to start your reinvention journey. First, she suggests that you think of yourself as an 11-year-old girl. Were you a bookworm or an outdoors person? Did you like to sing, write, build things, take things apart, sew, run or ride your bike? What made you… you?
Next, you need to rethink the way that you look at the concepts of success and failure. As younger adults, our goals are, by necessity, measured in terms of accomplishment, recognition and financial rewards. Now, in our 60s and 70s, we need to learn to turn our gaze inward. Our happiness and fulfillment needs to become the measure of our success. The only failure is not living up to the expectations that we set for ourselves.
Now is the best time to make mistakes. With fewer people relying on us directly, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being brave!
Reinventing yourself after 60 takes courage. It also takes a strong connection to your passions. What do you want to do with this phase of your life? Do you want to become a singer? How about dedicating yourself to traveling the world? Or, do you have smaller goals, like getting a tattoo or learning to bake? There are no “right” or “wrong” answers. You are the one in control.
Finally, Eileen and I talk about the value of friendship. Finding friends who share our interests gives us the emotional support that we need to succeed. They also make the road less lonely and more fun.
What is the one thing you would like to pursue with joy? What one thing would you do in your life if you knew there was no chance of failure? What is stopping you from getting started?