Closing in on 60...any tips on how to feel good about it?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually, I'll be 57 at the end of the week and, as I'm prone to depression, it's depressing me :tongue:. Anyone have any suggestions on how to look at aging in a positive way? My therapist is sick and out until October. I'm going to have to find another one. I love her a lot, but she's sick often. We have a lot of history together, but I really need to establish a relationship with another therapist who is in better health.

    So...anyone here NOT worried about getting older and what is your secret? I need some good old-fashion common sense. Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well, I hit fifty back in July and that was pretty traumatic. More so for my 75 year old mother who freaked when she found out that I'd finished menopause. Forty didn't bother me at all.

    Try to remind yourself of the alternative to growing older. Not to be morbid, but that helped quite a bit.

    My traumatic reminder of turning fifty came when I joined AARP
     
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    MWMom, I'm heading toward 54. Life circumstances over the past few years have been less than stellar & I've been extremely grief stricken & depressed.

    This past week I decided that I needed to do something that made me feel "normal". I went out & bought myself an adult tricycle. I look goofy as all heck but I'm having the time of my life. It's been 4 years since I've been out riding bike. I've gotten out & ridden with kt. I can't go far ~ a couple blocks at most AND I feel the most free I've felt in years.

    Maybe if you find just one thing that makes aging for you less depressing. What brings you thoughts of your youth? For me it was getting back on a bike. I needed that so badly. What do you want to do that you haven't done in years & you enjoyed just for you?

    Just a thought.
     
  4. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Honestly can say I don't dwell on turning 60, which for me, is like October. Don't ever even think about it unless someone brings up the fact that my eldest will be 40 next month LOL

    I try and find some enjoyment in each day and just do something for me, that I like to do. I dont feel any different now than I did at 50, or 40 for that matter, cept for the fact that I have very little responsibilities as far as parenting goes, and thats been rather freeing, the fact that I have some sembalance of a life again, one that doesn't include kids.. The only age I ever anticipated was being 21, don't know what I thought was going to change but it was such a non event that I stopped even thinking about my age from that point on.

    Marcie
     
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I'll be 63 in December and life is better than ever. I have a group of friends I met in college and the year we all turned 60 we rented a condo at Daytona Beach and celebrated. I guess I've never been one who worries about my age; any day I wake up above ground is a good one.

    As I look around at people I know, the 20's are neurotic, the 30's are crazy, the 40's are too busy to know what is going one, the 50's are tired, but by the time you hit 60 a lot of the pressure is off and you can enjoy yourself. Usually your kids are grown by then (or nearly so), you may still need a job but you probably don't have to conquer the world in your career, most of us have realized we are never going to be millionaires and have learned to live with it. I know my kids still have problems but they are old enough that it is no longer up to me to "fix them." I will never be rich and famous; I will never write the great American novel, I will never do a lot of the things I might have dreamed of when I was younger but I have learned by now that not only is that OK, it is probably a good thing. By this time of life, hopefully, you have time to sit down and enjoy the sunet and smell the flowers.

    I look at my mother enjoying life at almost 96, my aunt who goes to the gym and swims 10 laps a day at 93, and all of the older women I'm acquainted with who are still vital and living life to the fullest. I think of people like Golda Meir who became prime minister of Israel late in life, Georgia O'Keeffe who did some of her best work late in life, Betty White who is now a sensation and almost 90, etc. Those women are not unusual; many people are more productive and have more "fun" later in life than they ever had when they were young.

    For me, the secret is to enjoy each stage of life as it comes. I wouldn't want, for all of the tea in China, to have to go back and relive my 20s or my 30s or my 40s or even my 50s. I'm enjoying my 60s for now, and when the time comes I will enjoy my 70s and 80s and so on, as long as I'm allowed to hang around on this earth. Don't dwell on what is gone; think about what you have now and what is yet to come.
     
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Longevity and youthfulness tends to run in my family. I'm the youngest sister at almost 48 (December) and my oldest sister turned 64 in February. I marvel at the way she has evolved over the past 15 years or so. As her sons have moved on in their adulthood, she went through a slight depression when she felt alone but quickly realized she had a life outside of them. She is a stained glass artist, so she meets a lot of other interesting artists. She is an avid reader and is in a book club. And because she's a social person, she was able to stay connected to old friends and reconnect with others. This created a social network both near to her home as well as long distance. She's definitely living on a very low income, but she's been fortunate enough to travel with her friends every once in a while and she's developed ways in which to do so on a very limited budget by sharing her home and crashing on couches. Ultimately, what it is about for her is having a lust for life and for living it to the fullest. I hope that I can be like her in those ways.

    I personally don't like the idea of aging much. I find myself feeling a sort of let down when I see all these youthful women prancing around in their daily lives...makes me feel like, "Oh, I will never be young again"...but then I think about all I've gained in terms of wisdom and personal strength and confidence. I would have given one of my eye teeth to have the confidence that I now have, then!! And as far as looks and body image, well, it's not so bad as long as you're taking care of yourself, nourishing yourself in a heathly manner and moving. For me, and most women my age (or, our age), I would say that moving is the biggest challenge. And for those who do make exercise or movement a part of their daily activities - they say it helps keep them young and feeling great!

    I love birthdays and even though I'm not loving the idea of the number behind the birthday, I love celebrating the day I came to be! I love celebrating the day all of us came to be! It's a wonderful feeling to look back and note all that you've accomplished and enjoy all the ways in which you celebrate your life and feel the connectedness to others, especially your chlidren, spouse, friends, etc.

    I always hear people say age is all about your attitude. I also believe that aging is all about your gratitude.
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It is rare for me to dwell on aging. I had friends who thought 40 was a major trauma. Others thought 50 was totally scarey. Sixty flew by me and now I'm facing 70 with-o too much analysis.

    My only regret is that I haven't had time yet to do my own thing. Like others who have posted here I have older siblings who are leading very active lives with a great deal of enjoyment. Most people have multiple choices about how they want to live. Finding or exploring some new hobbies, friends etc. should make a big difference. DDD
     
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm closing in on 50 and finding it difficult- I think MM is right about the phases we are in each decade so I do hope that by the time I'm 60, I can be re-established enough to enjoy life and the difficult child pressures are off, in a good way.

    I LOVE TL's idea about the bike!!
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I can not thank all of you enough. Sometimes you are BETTER than therapy and I feel much MUCH better and more positive now and am ready to go out and enjoy my birthday just because it's a day to celebrate! Thanks to all of you. I REALLY needed your wisdom this time.
     
  10. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Well, I have two things that might help. The first is that, in many religious belief systems, the fiftieth year is the jubilee year. A time to assess, and to celebrate, what has been created. That helped me when I turned fifty (58, now). If you step back and view your life, your hopes and tragedies and triumphs from that perspective, the whole, long chain of events that make up our lives becomes unique and amazingly beautiful.

    And each of our lives is an incredible, and incredibly complex, gift. We need to step away and look at it in its entirety to realize that, sometimes.

    The second thing is this: As I mature, I am shocked at how quickly it all went. Can it really have been forty years ago that this, that, or the next thing happened? I am beginning to lose friends and acquaintances to cancer, or other illnesses. All these things are scary and sad...but they help me remember that every day is the last day I may have, too. I try not to waste the days I have left, or any of the minutes in the days. Oh, I still get caught up in it sometimes ~ looking in the unexpected mirror, catching a glimpse of myself in a picture, worrying about my prostate after they play those stupid prostate commercials. :) (That was a joke.)

    Barbara
     
  11. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I've never been one of those to be too worried about age. In fact I sometimes forget how old I am (52).
    I've had good things and bad things each decade. I wouldn't want to relive any of them on purpose. But they have made me what I am today.
    I look forward to the future. Job is taxing, but I enjoy it. But it's not my life, and I'm beginning to think of things to do next.
     
  12. ML

    ML Guest

    I'll be 49 in two weeks. I don't mind that I'm almost 50 as much as I mind that I look it. Who is that old woman staring back at me in the mirror? I wish I could afford a facelift!
     
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well first off - Happy Pre-rated Birthday. (as opposed to Be-Lated)

    Next since your therapist is out of town I'll share mine with you, or rather his advice on growing older and feeling older and all things cliche'. Anyone who ever said "You're only as old as you feel? Has never felt old. Then again what does old feel like? If you're 20 you know what 5, 10, 15 even 17, 18.19 feel like. You remember things you did, joys, heartaches, dreams and goals about each age you reached. There are unfortunately also regrets, but our failures often allow us to strive harder for our goals or to know that it's okay that we did our best and be satisfied with it. Never 'settle' but satisfied.

    So at 20 were you able to understand how it felt to be 40? Nope. Why not? Because you had not lived it yet. Could you understand what anyone who was 50 and complaining about health problems, gray hair, aching bones, actually talking about at 30? Maybe. But until you've reached an age you really have no idea how it's going to feel, be or sit with you. What you CAN do is make the most out of the time you do have. The days that ARE given to you. Realize that inside yourself up to this point you are a vibrant, wonderful, smart, woman with 59 years of experience, life, visions, dreams, heartaches, goals...and whatever it is at 59, that you haven't done yet? Tell yourself that with 50 years experience behind you - WHAT is there that you could have accomplished at 30,40,50 knowing what you know now that YOU COULD do at 60? Could you go back to school? Sure. Could you run a marathon? Take up ballroom dancing? Sure. Could you train for a kickboxing event? Paint a portrait, train a dog, open a business, volunteer more hours a week at a shelter, be the person that you KNEW you wanted to be someday - when you lacked the experience to BE that person?

    So what holds you back? Physical limitations? Okay then - WHAT is it at 59 going on 60 that you WANT to do - and CAN"T do because you will be 60? Nothing. Not a thing.

    YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT TO DO AND EVEN MORE THAN MOST OF US HERE CAN DO BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE EXPERIENCE, and HISTORY and KNOWLEDGE that a lovely an vibrant woman of 59 has ----

    YOU JUST NEED TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AS MUCH AS I DO.......and besides that I'm almost 46 - and I'm sexy as all get out, and I'm scared out of my witts.....but I'm trying new things EVERY DAY - EVERY SINGLE WEEK I make myself try something new - so that by the time I'm 59? I'm gonna be so stinkin' smart - I just won't know what to do with myself. ---------and NEITHER WILL ANY OF YOU.

    I want you MWM to find (between now and your BD) YOUR INNER WOMAN I CAN DO ANYTHING ATTITUDE.........and make yourself a list of WHY you are better NOW than you were when you were (pick an age)

    Then make another list of all the completely silly to absolutely dooable things you CAN do - and see how many you can cross off before your birthday -

    one of mine included streaking across my yard........at midnight with .......chicken liver in a box......and a roll of tape. on a full moon........YUP. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

    (do not copy me - I know where you live and I'm out in the country and you could get arrested........although---if getting arrested is on your list of NEED TO KNOW......then by all means - RUN GIRL RUN! ) :tongue:

    Other than that - Give yourself permission to have fun.....you're not going to get ANYONE's permission to grow older.

    Hugs & Love
    Star
     
  14. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Here is a copy and paste of an e-mail someone sent me recently. Obviously, I liked it so much that I saved it:

    Anonymous off the internet:

    I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

    I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

    Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

    I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

    They, too, will get old.

    I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

    Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

    I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

    As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

    So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).
     
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    This is going to sound self-indulgent and shallow, but there is a lot more than it seems.

    When I lost weight (which I never thought would happen) I found I looked - not younger, but better. (had to lose the weight, my doctor threatened me with gastric bypass). Able to consider being at least a bit of a fashionista. But my hair looked wrong. I have dark eyebrows (almost black) but greying hair. I'd been dyeing my hair and although I did a good job, found that the colours would rapidly fade to a brownish orange. Not a great look. My hair had thinned so I cut it shorter. Again, it took a lot of experimentation to look OK. With a dark, solid colour and my straight hair trying to fall into a centre part, I was looking like Professor Snape!

    Now, I know appearance is not something you should focus on and try to look like a kid, to avoid ageing. Not at all. But if you feel bleah, you feel worse (and geriatric). I tend to feel better if I look better. It doesn't have to be perfect, just the best I can do with what I have got.

    So I found a good hairdresser. She stopped me using home dyes which made my hair look orange. She got me using one of those purple shampoos which take the orange out. It's something that is an issue with my hair, not necessarily yours. She ten cut my hair in a style I can look after, to eliminate the Professor Snape look. Then (because I had an upcoming wedding to justify it) I got her to do foils in my hair. It looked a lot better but couldn't be perfect, because she had to go over my home-baked efforts with permanent home dye.
    However, over time she has managed to put in streaks which include growing-out grey, with other colours in there too. She's brilliant. It means the home dyes have been growing out and now you can't see any tide-line. The streaks aren't bleached, they're my natural grey. So they're not yellow in any way.

    Now, I used to love the reddish hair look. But my skin tone is too dark really, it doesn't look right on me. I've learned that it makes me look older, ironically. Now although my hair has a lot more natural grey, I look better. I only go to get my hair done every three months or so, because there is no tide line really.

    I'm still me. But I feel better about myself and it has me looking around at my life thinking, "OK, what else can I work on? How can I improve my life and attitudes in other areas?"

    When I went for my prosthesis and special bra fitting, the fitter said (about the swimsuit and my bikini line), "At least you won't have to worry about dark hair, being so naturally fair in hair colour."
    I said, "It's not natural. If you look closely, it's not blonde, just carefully concealed grey."
    Her response was, "Wow! Who did it? I want her number!"

    I've had disfiguring surgical scars since I was 20, serious health problems for just as long, and perhaps my attitude to life has been coloured by not being "normal" for so long. But there is so much to do in life, so many ways to look at yourself and your place in things, that growing old no longer bothers me. When I got my first bad scars, even a one-piece swimsuit wouldn't hide them. So I decided I may as well wear a bikini if the scars were going to be obvious anyway. Back then the scars were thick, ugly and red. People used to ask, so I told them it was from a shark bite. I used to have fun making up stories, although I would tell the truth in the end (kidney surgery). But life is to be lived, every minute. Make the most of it all. Find something you love, and do it. For you. If it turns out to be something for others too, so much the better. But there is no more time for guilt or looking back (unless you're writing memoirs!)

    If you want ideas, ask. Pick and choose anything that appeals, and play with the ideas. YOU decide. Don't think that at 60, life is over. At 60, my great aunt had over 40 years left of active, fulfilling life. At 100 she hit the TV talk circuit and began to give speeches to local schools about how the world has changed in so many ways. Imagine that? A new career at 100!

    It is never too late to try something new. Take up a university post-graduate course. If you have to go back to high school first, don't let that stop you. Chances are, though, there are fast ways in.

    I was heading on a good career path with promotion prospects when disability shot that down and I found myself sidelined and discredited. I was medically retired at 33 years old and became seriously depressed. My life was over, I was of no more use to the human race. Then I became a counsellor for a charity (connected to my disability). I was given training. I self-taught computer skills, learning how to use a desktop publishing program that came with our second hand computer. I offered to help with the charity news sheet and over the next 8 years turned it into a medical journal with a circulation increased ten-fold. I did a lot of fund-raising, learning even more. Advertising. I did media appearances.
    Then I found myself squeezed out of the charity - politically, things were shifting. But by now I had learned a lot and also learned how to change direction without it bothering me. I got a job working in publishing of a professional medical journal, learning even more (and also passing on some of my knowledge to the publisher).

    Then I saw the writing on the wall, at about the same time my liver began to fail and my doctor sent me home to bed. Time to change direction in a major way. So I looked through ads in the local paper - a writing group. When I was allowed out of bed, I went along. And found my new direction.

    I now help people get published, I have taught creative writing in many venues and have won competitions. I've published my own work also, and been published by others. I didn't start this until I was over 40.

    Whenever you think, "I can't begin a new direction at 60," Google Grandma Moses.

    by the way, I'm 55 and I've just painted my first oil painting. It's a landscape. husband even recognised the place from my painting.

    Give it a go.

    Marg
     
  16. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Well, I can't match Marge in achievements.

    I was laid off from my job at almost 59 (I'm 65 today). I was pretty desperate because we needed my income, and who is going to emply me at 59? Over the years I had done private work on and off (proofreading, editing, typing). I became officially self-employed, and it just flourished. Over the past 6 years I have had so much work that more often than not I am so busy I don't know how to get all the work done. My clients come back to me time after time, which is very good for my ego. So I learned that life doesn't end at 60.

    I'm not a raving beauty, and don't give much time or effort to the way I look. But I have an enormous family, loads of children and grandchildren, and even a greatgrandchild on the way within the next fortnight. And I am still working flat out.

    I have one friend in her eighties who is still doing private editing jobs, a fact that inspires me and comforts me too.

    On a macabre and sobering note: Last week I went to the funeral of a class-mate of mine. She too was 65. She was a wonderful, giving, lively, sensitive person who had helped so many people. She is no longer here to enjoy anything about this world. When I feel down (which actually I do feel at the moment), I force myself to think of her and say that reaching an older age is a blessing. The alternative is devastating. I love my family, and they love me.

    It's true, my joints and my muscles and tendons are beginning to feel my age. I have all sorts of battle scars (operations etc.), but the bottom line is that I am still here, still functioning physically and mentally. I don't know what more one can ask for.

    So be comforted. It's not that bad. And anyway, we don't have much choice, so we might as well try and accept it graciously.

    Love, Esther
     
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