We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Rediscovering the Thrill of Life after 60

By Diane Dahli October 05, 2023 Mindset

When was the last time you felt thrilled? Yes, thrilled, as in “I’m thrilled to be here,” “I’m thrilled to see you,” and “I’m thrilled to be doing this.”

Being thrilled is the epitome of positive human emotions. It means to be delighted, exhilarated, electrified and galvanized.

When you are thrilled, you experience a spine-tingling and breath-stopping excitement, a heady sensation. Colours are brighter, sounds are sharper, your heart races, and you are pulsing with energy. You can hardly wait to step out and begin the day!

When You Lose the Thrill

But wait! Aren’t those the emotions you feel when you are young, when you are newly in love, when you have won that new job or bought that first home? Aren’t those the emotions of a new beginning? And don’t they belong to another time?

I remember times when I have felt anything but thrilled. Years ago, during the change of seasons, the summer dragged on, much as it does now. Like the trees and flowers around me, I had felt dispirited, chugging along through the days.

Where Did It Go?

Small annoyances were robbing me of my appreciation of life. Instead of waking with a feeling of happiness, eager to welcome the day, I found myself dwelling on the things that are not quite right.

I have little patience with feelings like this now that I’m older – there’s no time to waste on them. I didn’t want to spend one more minute in this slump. Whatever happened to the paradox of aging, where I was supposed to be happier with every passing day?

Making a Change

I needed to get back there! I tried the things I usually do – gratitude exercises, journaling, meditation, positive self-talk. Nothing worked this time. I needed something more. So I decided to change it up. Try a different route.

The next morning, I prepared a small backpack and left the house. When I stepped out into the patio at dawn, a smudge of amber lay between the skyline and the stars. I stood there for a few minutes, watching it widen; refracted light from the sun washing over more and more of the sky. Finally, the sun’s rays broke through, announcing another day. It was a miracle – a thrilling show that happened every day.

Choosing a Different Route

But I was not done. I made a quick decision to forgo my usual walk, and visit an old haunt instead. This required a short drive to a park on the outskirts of town, where I hadn’t been for years.

When I arrived, I was relieved to see that nothing had changed. The entrance to the park was just as I remembered it – a majestic canopy of trees. Familiar paths welcomed me as I walked through and veered left towards the centre of the park.

Oaks, firs, arbutus – they were all still there, a little taller, a little wider, but essentially unchanged. I sat at the base of an old 80-foot arbutus, and drank in the quiet air. I could feel my pulse slowing, my tension leaving me.

I followed several pathways, then came back to the old arbutus. It was now noon, and I stopped for lunch under the spreading branches, out of the glare of the October sun. I gazed through the trees, I listened to the birds and I fed my crusts to the squirrels.

Rediscovering the Thrill Anew

Later, as I sat at my desk, and opened my laptop, words began to flow. Everything was effortless, the idea that things were “not quite right” was gone. In its place was that feeling I thought I’d lost. It started with a twinge, just a shiver of anticipation along my spine. And there it was, a boosting of my spirits, a joyous lifting in my heart, it’s what I’d been looking for – I felt delighted, exhilarated, heady with excitement, and yes, even thrilled.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How do you get out of a rut when nothing in life seems thrilling? Are there places you go for inspiration? Do you use a gratitude journal or other tool to maintain a positive focus? Please share your experiences and suggestions in the comments below.

Please take the Sixty and Me 2023 Community Survey

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sandra Curtis

It takes little to thrill me. Today my great niece, age 20, is coming down from Bellingham where she is a university student. I barely know her due to former family estrangement. This is exciting! We may go to pumpkin farm maze or new labyrinth in Bow, WA. There is always something fun to do!!


I met my 24 year old great nephew last year when I visited him at art college. The only time I’d seen him before that he was 6 weeks old. It was both exciting and interesting to see what that little baby boy had become.

We are in different countries but are in regular contact via text. He has now graduated and I am advising him on his fledgling career in the art world, as in a previous life I worked at a gallery in London.

Donna Minkel

Today after Physical Therapy for my knee, I learned I will be finished next week….what a blessing not to have surgery for a torn meniscus. I returned home great full. I fixed scrambled eggs with cheddar, a piece of toast and I added raspberry jam all to savory on my back porch with the sun starting to glisten through the trees. I’m tackling the garage rafters today so that I may check that off to enjoy a bucket list item. Pushing myself forward even on days I don’t feel like it…..🙌💪🤞😉🙏😍

Janie Ellington

I would love to rediscover something exciting. I have always painted, crocheted, knitted or done some other creative endeavor. Now, nothing appeals to me. I feel isolated with very narrow interests and can’t seem to figure out what to do with my life. I am 75 but in quite good health save a few minor annoyances like dry eye and large eye floaters. More than anything, I am lonesome. My husband still works so he isn’t here during weekdays. He is loving and easy to get along with but he can’t fulfill the need for more girlfriends. Volunteering feels too much like a job (I worked as an RPh for 37 years and don’t want a schedule anymore). I belong to a Bible study group, meeting a couple of hours per week. I have looked and searched for something else to do other than stay home and take care of our 4 dogs and 2 cats.

Joan Chamberlain

Hi Janie! I know the feeling you describe. Have you thought about a new physical activity? I realized just yesterday how much better I feel after walking or practicing yoga. Are there girlfriends who you could ask to join you in walking, dancing, hiking, a yoga class? I also love gardening, but that’s more of a solitary endeavor. Anyway, for what it’s worth, movement never fails to alter my mood and make me feel more hopeful. All the best to you in your search 😊.


Yes, I understand what you are saying. I, as well, am 76, enjoy reading, knitting, am taking piano lessons, and have a Bible study group. It’s not the things that you occupy your time with. The loneliness, for me, comes when I get up and no longer have someone to share morning coffee with or the beautiful sunsets over the lake in the evening. The reassuring comfort you can find from that loving husband is more than you’ll ever know, until it’s no longer there. Take a deep breath each morning – it’s a new day – never before been lived in – one hour at a time.

Montemayor Barbara

When you need a thrill, travel somewhere new!

Janie Ellington

Not so easy with six rescued animals and not much money.

Janie Ellington

Cathy, I concur exactly. I KNOW how important it is to have my husband still with me. I could not make it physically or mentally without him. That said, he does not want the sole responsibility of my interest in life, and I don’t blame him. I need a passion, but just can’t seem to find one. Maybe there is still some unrecognized depression.

Sandra Bobelak

I understand your feelings. My significant other doesn’t share most of my interests — and since we retired (during COVID) it is more apparent. We both love to garden (me much more so). But I love reading, going to bookstores, flea markets, museums, hiking, etc. He just wants to watch sports! And he shouldn’t be responsible for my every feeling.I am joining the Senior Center to meet like-minded people. Being older and retired makes meeting people difficult, so I hope this works. Perhaps you could join a group with creative pursuits. Or, talk to someone if there is underlying depression. Wishing you happiness


A friend of mine said up a WhatsApp group last year. It’s been great! We’ve been friends for 15 years but sometimes would go months without seeing each other. We are: 75, 73, 66, 61 yrs old. If you have a friend group, consider doing this. We mostly post about art (which we are all interested in) but other stuff too, someone’s travel photos, personal news, deaths, I like to post poetry I’ve found, and then also very trivial everyday things… It’s fabulous having that connection. Because I only see them every few months or less even though we live in the same city. Is this something you could consider? We prob communicat several times a week this way. Its made a huge differnce to my life. It’s a sense of belonging. Sometimes you just need to chat. Also we share problems eg theft, sickness, responsibilities, loss. I don’t go on Facebook, Instagram etc, can’t be bothered. But this is authentic.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ingrid
Sandra Bobelak

This sounds awesome! I am hoping to connect with some people at the Senior Center to share interests.


Can you do a course in an area of “marginal” interest. You might find you learn something new. Doesn’t have to be something you are passionate about. Just something you are mildly/slightly interested in.

The Author

In the 10 years since her retirement, Diane Dahli, B.Ed, M.A., has explored her passions, from growing medicinal herbs to remodeling houses. On her blog, Diane writes about what made the “Silent Generation” unique and why their place in history is so important. Diane has a master’s degree in education and psychology and lives with her husband in British Columbia, Canada. Visit her blog Still the Lucky Few http://www.stilltheluckyfew.com and follow her on Twitter @StillLuckyFew.

You Might Also Like