Every day, it seems like another famous actor, musician or sports star declares bankruptcy. A few of the most famous examples include Kim Basinger, Billy Joel and Nicolas Cage. More recently, famous rapper, 50 cent, threw in the towel and admitted that his debts had become too much to handle.
Do you every feel like you are chasing happiness? How many times have you said, “When I get _______ I’ll finally be able to do ______?” Or, “If only _____ would happen, I could finally be happy!” This kind of thinking comes so naturally to us that we barely even notice it. Unfortunately, natural as it may be, this kind of thinking also prevents us from being happy in the present.
Many women are struggling to find happiness in life after 60. On the surface, you might think that our inability to be happy comes from our complex lives. After all, many of us have experienced divorces and deaths in the family. Some have lost parents and watched their children grow up and move away. Others have experienced health challenges of one kind of another. But, despite the fact that we share similar challenges, some of us are much happier than others. The question is, why?
On some level, I guess we all dislike change. In fact, for most of our lives, we have done everything in our power to find stability. Most of us looked for “safe” jobs. We tried to get our family to “safe” neighborhoods. Now that we are 60, we are told to put our investments in something “safe.” In all of these cases, the word safe also means predictable.
Life after 60 is a time for reflection and renewal. It can also be a time for recommitting ourselves to our core values and exploring life with a renewed sense of purpose. As I talk to the other members of the Sixty and Me community, I find that most women believe that the best years are still to come – if we make good decisions today.
On some level, we all know that the secret to longevity and happiness after 60 isn’t found in the latest pills and potions that the “anti-aging” industry pushes at us. The best tonic for longevity is to live well – to surround ourselves with good friends, new experiences, healthy food and worthwhile dreams. But, if you are feeling a bit apprehensive about life after 60, you may be looking for some more specific advice. After all, we all know what makes us happy, but, knowing how to make ourselves happy is another matter!
There is a well-established stereotype that the older we get the more risk averse we become. On one level, I can understand why this might be the case – when we are young, we have our whole lives to make up for our mistakes. As we get a little older, we simply have more to lose.
Do you every feel like life takes on a momentum of its own? I know I do! As we pass through the decades of our lives, one decision blends into the next. Finally, as we reach our 60s and we finally have time to evaluate our lives, it’s easy to wonder “how did I get here?”
I have terrible news. There is a killer in your living room. Even worse, you probably think that this particular assassin is your friend. After all, he says all the right things. He entertains you. He even keeps you company at night. Unfortunately, this killer also has a hidden agenda – he wants to keep you isolated, dependent and worried. Why? To steal money for his employers.
No, I’m not talking about a member of your family, a friend or your Scottish Terrier. I’m talking about your TV.
When I ask the members of our community what challenges they are facing, a lack of meaningful friendships and a lack of financial resources are at the top of the list. On the surface, these are different issues, with different causes. But, if you dig a little deeper, they both relate to our changing circumstances.
By the time you reach your 60th birthday, you have a pretty good idea of who you are. You have faced all of the challenges that life has thrown your way and you have emerged victorious – ok, a little bruised too, but, victorious none-the-less.
At the same time, by the time we reach our 60s, many people find that the person that they are on the inside and the person that they are on the outside have moved far apart.