Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a TEDx event in Lausanne, Switzerland. The focus of the event was looking for ways to improve the lives of women throughout the world. It was an amazing event, which I left inspired and energized.
On the train ride home, I started to think about some of the women who inspire me. Some of the women that I admire the most are the members of our community who change the world in their own way day after day.
These women aren’t celebrities. They don’t need to be. Instead, they mentor younger women, support women’s causes and volunteer. In a thousand small ways, they make a difference every day.
Then there are celebrities, like Helen Mirren, who use their fame as a platform to support women all over the world. By speaking out against sexism and acting as strong role-models for younger women, they also make the world a better place.
Recently, I read an interview with Helen Mirren in Elle magazine. Since we are talking about advice for women, I want to share a few of Mirren’s comments with you here. On the surface, her advice may seem a little superficial. But, it you did a bit deeper, you will find that she actually has some important points to make.
Mirren’s first piece of advice for women all over the world is to take their time to get married. She said, “There are no rules about love – I don’t believe – but don’t be in a rush to get married.”
This is similar to the advice that many women in our own community said that they would give to their younger selves. Many women in our community – even the happily married ones – said that they wished they had waited longer to settle down. They said that they would have been better served starting their careers or following their passions first.
On the topic of alcohol consumption, Mirren said, “Never drink alcohol unless you are celebrating something or upset about something… and, never drink when you are driving.”
Personally, I think that Mirren was talking about more than beer and wine when she made this remark. She was reminding us to be conscious about our habits, positive and negative. If we don’t pay attention to how we respond to stress, we will forever be at the mercy of our automatic behaviors.
If this is the age of social media, why do so many of us feel socially isolated? Part of the problem, of course, is that social media is both easy and addictive. When you “like” someone else’s post, it makes you feel like you are engaging with them. But, are you really?
On the other hand, building relationships in the “real world” is tough. You actually need to ask people questions that go beyond the surface.
Mirren’s advice that, “(It’s) better to have three great friends than 300 friends on social media,” is especially important for older women. With our kids out of the house and our careers changing (or ending completely), we need to be more proactive than ever in building and maintaining social ties.
Mirren’s last piece of advice is important for girls and women of all ages. She said, “Finally, ignore anyone who judges the way you look, especially if he or she is someone anonymous miserable creep, lurking on the Internet…”
One of the best things about being a woman today is that we have the freedom to express ourselves. This is especially true for women over 60. Most of us no longer need to worry about what our colleagues think of us. We can experiment with new makeup techniques, exciting fashions and fabulous accessories. We can be unapologetically ourselves.
Personally, I believe that there has never been a better time to be a woman. I’m also glad that groups like Sixty and Me are helping women to support each other. We are just getting started!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!
What advice would you give to other women, both young and old, now that you have lived on this amazing planet of ours for 60+ years? What do you think of Helen Mirren’s advice? Please join the conversation.