I can confidently say that every single woman in the Sixty and Me community has been hurt, betrayed or cheated on at least once in her life. In fact, by the time you reach our age, it’s likely that you have a long list of grievances against other people.
It’s funny the things you start to realise, as you get older.
I have been told I am a smiler, complete with a one sided dimple. Over the years, a sunny smile has gotten me through some difficult times and challenging situations; and yet I am only just beginning to appreciate the power of a genuine smile.
For my 14th birthday, my mother gave me a copy of Sue Townsend’s “Adrian Mole Aged 11 3/4” – a humorous children’s book. In it, she wrote “To our daughter – a female Peter Pan.” I was thrilled.
Several years ago, while out shopping with a close friend, we had a somewhat disturbing conversation. This friend is about 18 months older than I and, at the time, had just turned 60.
Women over 60 have a lot on our minds. In fact, you could argue that, as a group, we are thinking too much. We worry about our kids, so far away and yet so close to our hearts. We obsess about whether we have saved enough for retirement. We wonder whether we will be able to stay healthy and fit in the coming decades.
Children are naturally hedonistic. They play recklessly, eat carelessly and dream unreasonably. Over the years, society drills into our heads that pretty much everything fun is either “wrong” or “bad for you.”
Sometimes it is the simplest ideas that can make the biggest impact in our lives. For example, have you ever thought about the benefits of hugging? Hugs can increase our happiness and reduce the stress in our lives. They can also help to reinforce our most important social bonds. So, if hugs are so important, why aren’t we getting enough of them?
Baby boomers have a fascinating history. Like the mythical phoenix, we rose from the ashes of destruction. After the war, couples connected, married and produced an army of babies that became a counterpoint to the loss and sadness that they experienced in previous years.
If there’s one thing that I have learned since starting Sixty and Me it’s that happiness after 50 is a choice. You can invest in your health, wealth and happiness. Or, you can let yourself go. You can build a solid foundation for the future. Or, you can accept age-related problems as inevitable.