Bridget and I once lived on a little island in the English Channel. We did all the usual things. We got married and had children. Between us, we had various projects, like founding a prep school and running an estate agency. We even wrote a TV cartoon series and founded IVA (International Virtual Assistants).
Then we hit our 60s. We were both released from our caring roles within a year of each other.
At this point, we hit the deck running. Bridget decided to rent out her house and take a gap year. I decided to stay on the island, but downsize.
Then, we decided to write a book, Success at 60+. It wasn’t the best idea, considering all the turmoil. On the other hand, perhaps it was the turmoil that got our creative juices flowing.
As we looked around us, we saw a beige amorphous mass of elasticated waistbands. It was time for a rebrand. To brand is to define, and boy did our group need rebranding!
We couldn’t even find a satisfactory adjective to describe us and our peers. Are we pensioners, seniors, grannies, the new 40s, or something else? None of these titles were positive, so we came up with the term “Superlifers.” We immediately felt better.
With a new name, the only way was up. If you are alive, you’re either moving forwards or backwards. Like so many people our age, we knew that backwards was not an option for us.
We searched for positive images of Superlifers and found lined faces and miserable expressions. It seemed like only the vitamin companies showed 60+ people with a zest for life. To everyone else, growing older seemed like a chronic condition with a poor prognosis.
Let’s face it. In our 60s and 70s, we do not have all the time in the world. As our project developed, there was no time to lose.
If we were going to produce inspirational gunpowder to ignite the rest of our lives, we had better get going. We decided what we wanted and what our goals should be. We both wanted to write a book and so we did.
Neither of us knew anything about publishing or marketing. Instead, we learned it along the way. In fact, we are still learning.
Bridget had been travelling to Kuala Lumpur and Bali, while I have been concentrating on marketing the book. It’s wonderful when people write to tell us how their lives have been changed by reading it.
Want to become a Superlifer? Here’s some advice.
The first ingredient you need for success after 60 is an appreciation of the power of positive thought. Positive thinking will get you where you want to be.
Negative thinking is equally powerful and can creep up on you when you are not looking. So, keep a look out and don’t let negative thoughts cloud your mind.
Once you start looking at the way older adults are treated, it’s easy to recognize the subtle negativity and patronising attitudes. Get ready to counter these stereotypes and comments.
A successful Superlifer is a force to be reckoned with, so, don’t let any apologies creep in. As women, we love to apologize and this has got to stop.
The second ingredient is focus. You need to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. Be specific and have a time frame that you stick to like glue.
For us, success is not about money. It’s about being in the zone. It’s about doing what we love best and making the world a better place. Money is important to everyone, but it shouldn’t be the prime objective.
The third ingredient is energy. Your engines need to be stoked and rearing to go. If you are not sleeping or eating properly, take care of this right away. The same goes for getting to a healthy weight.
Some medications will affect your energy levels – come to think of it, so will some people. Cut your ties to anyone who drags you down. You only have one life.
Now is the time to leave your mark on this weary planet, which could benefit so much from your positivity.
The fourth ingredient is to find a person who inspires you. Watch how they run their lives and support them in whatever way you can.
One woman who inspires me is Dr. Susan Wilson MBE. She runs the Tumaini Fund, which helps orphans in Tanzania to get an education and break out of the poverty trap.
Her charity has helped literally thousands of children to “get a life.” Every penny donated goes to Africa. I do my part by helping her to spread the word about her charity.
Another inspirational woman is Sarah Weldon, who rowed round the British Isles a couple years ago. She supports the Oceans Project Charity, which also focuses on educating disadvantaged children. I am contributing by letting her stay with us for a while.
It’s easy to start making positive moves once you are on the right wavelength.
In 2016, Bridget and I auditioned as cruise lecturers. For us, this was a perfect fit. We are still passionate about our subject and want to spread the word.
Meanwhile, my next book is taking shape. It has many of the stories that you have shared, as well as my own adventures on the Superlifer trail – I started by having a tattoo and flying on the longest zip wire in the UK. But, that is another story.
If you want a Superlife, remember “determination is more important than talent.”
How do you see your Superlife shaping up? Are you achieving your goals? Who is your inspiration? Please share your story in the comments below.
Tags Getting Older