I can hardly believe that I will be turning 60 this year. I know it is a cliché, but I find myself repeatedly asking, where did the time go? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I thought that 60 was considered old. It is interesting how we view age so differently throughout the various decades of our lives.
During my youth and earlier adult years, I would have depicted everyone over 50 as being old. My memories are of witnessing seniors with grey hair and dressing old-fashioned and very conservatively. I vividly recall that the adults lacked vigor and didn’t appear joyful in their sixth decade.
I rarely witnessed their participation in any type of physical activities or partaking in exciting adventures. My personal goal for entering my sixth decade is to continue on my happy journey by incorporating a healthy lifestyle, passions, purpose, real beauty, and wisdom into my life.
Biological age is the term used to describe the age that we really feel. Our birth certificates may tell us that chronologically we are 60 years old, but biologically, we may only feel, for example, 40 years old. There are many factors that affect our assessment of our biological age, such as our diet, physical exercise, stress, and chronic conditions.
A healthy lifestyle is the key to slowing down the aging process and feeling young. The question to ask yourself is, how old do you really feel? Most days, my biological age is much younger than my chronological age because I include good nutrition and physical activity into my daily routine. I cook meals from scratch and walk/hike, bike, golf, or swim daily. I plan on continuing to be as active as I can for the rest of my life.
Many of us had limited time in our previous decades to devote to our hobbies and passions. Our sixth decade awards us the time to resurrect hobbies that we put on hold. The question to ask yourself is, what did I used to love to do or haven’t been able to do because of lack of time that I would like to do now?
My bucket list of places to see in the world is extensive. For others, like me, with an adventurous soul, our sixties are our prime time to travel the world and partake in all of our passions that we left behind. As empty nesters, we no longer have the same family responsibilities of our earlier decades.
As long as we take care of ourselves so that we remain strong and healthy, we will still have the vigor and energy to stray from our normal daily routines and to experience exciting adventures and do all the things that we didn’t have time for in previous decades.
Motherhood and raising our families and/or our devotion to our careers may have fulfilled our purpose in our earlier adulthood. Retiring from essential careers and/or becoming empty nesters allows us to find a new purpose. The question to ask yourself is, what important work do I now want to devote my time to?
Perhaps you will volunteer for a cause you are passionate about or you may wish to work part-time doing more fulfilling work that was different from your career. I retired from a lengthy corporate career in management that didn’t always bring me joy, and I feel blessed to be now able to devote my time to do work that truly excites me.
My days are filled with a variety of part-time paid and non-paid work in writing and travel consulting, that fulfill my new purpose.
I find it very disappointing that many cultures, including ours, value external beauty and youth over inner beauty. Aging women in North America are often dismissed. How many older women do we see in movies who have aged naturally and are depicted as desirous?
The truth is that older women become more beautiful as they age, because they have grown and evolved spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. I know I have grown tremendously, since my earlier self-conscious and awkward years, and I plan to continue to evolve throughout the rest of my life.
The question to ask yourself is, what do you find truly beautiful about yourself? For me, the answer is finding my real self. Turning 60 has allowed me to care more about who I really am, and not about how I look or what others think of me.
The philosophy of other countries and cultures around the world is that with age comes wisdom, and it is the wisest in those societies and cultures who are revered, as they should be. We have so many more life experiences that we have learned from that equipped us to share with our younger generations.
We must continue to progress because lifelong learning helps our minds remain ageless. The question to ask yourself is what are you still curious about? There are so many subjects that my curious mind needs to find answers to, and I satisfy my curiosity by reading, online learning, joining organizations, and immersing myself in different cultures around the world. My goal is to learn something new every day for the rest of my life.
Turning 60 is a privilege that not everyone gets to experience. I feel very blessed and hope to continue to age gracefully through many more decades by integrating a healthy lifestyle, passions, purpose, real beauty, and wisdom into my daily life. For then, I will reap the benefits of enjoying a truly joyful life.
What do you most look forward to about turning 60? What has been most instrumental to you to incorporate into your life in your sixth decade?