On Turning 60
Published: September 15, 2022

I remember as a young woman thinking that I would not grow old, that I would die at a young age. That did not happen. Never did I imagine myself as an older woman, and now that I will be turning 60 later this month, I still don’t see myself as old. Just as very blessed!

Age is not defined by a number, but rather by a state of mind. Aging reflects the relationship between time on our bodies. Growing old, on the other hand, happens in our minds if we allow it! It’s not that I don’t see and feel the changes taking place in my body or when I look in the mirror, but that I can embrace them because of the peace that comes from knowing exactly who I am and what I stand for. It’s keeping a healthy mindset!

Middle-aged and older adults are just as capable of learning new things and thriving in new environments, plus they have the wisdom that comes from life experience. If you believe in and have confidence in yourself, you are setting up a positive environment for change no matter what your age.

With my increase in years, there has come deep contentment. It has brought me to a very peaceful place. A place where I no longer strive to prove who I am or to gain notoriety or a fat bank account. It’s knowing that I am enough and have enough. It’s being able to permit myself to do whatever I need to do for myself and others. It’s knowing what voices to listen to and which to ignore and that I can trust my choices. It’s not second-guessing myself or ruminating over past actions. It’s caring less about what other people think and more about how I make them feel.

Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age. The following tips are things that I have implemented as a guide for living life to the fullest.

1 – Learn to cope with change. The years will bring periods of both joy and stress. It’s vital to build resilience and find healthy ways to handle the challenges.

2 – Focus on the things I’m grateful for. As I lose people and things, life becomes more precious. I’ve stopped taking things for granted.

3 – Acknowledge and express my feelings. Burying feelings can lead to anger, resentment, and depression. I’m finding healthy ways to process my feelings such as journaling and sharing them with a close friend.

4 – Accept the things I can’t change. Many things in life are beyond my control. I’m learning to face my limitations with dignity and a healthy dose of humor.

5 – Look for the silver lining. When facing major challenges I always look for growth opportunities.

6 – Take daily action to deal with life challenges. Burying my head in the sand won’t make problems go away, but even small steps taken daily can create significant changes over time and remind me that I am not powerless over the situation.

7 – Stay active. Pick up a long-lost hobby, exercise, volunteer in my community, stay connected with friends and family, learn a new language or instrument, spend time in nature or travel somewhere new.

8 – Keep my mind sharp. I challenge my brain with podcasts, books, online classes, and masterclasses. I join in bible studies and discussion groups. I’m making new friends. I won’t remain the status quo!

Getting older doesn’t mean I have to become old. It is an opportunity to have more time to do the things I love, with the people I love. Simple things now hold the most value: A conversation with an old friend, the warmth of the sun on my face, a meal celebrating a milestone in life with loved ones, a breathtaking view while hiking, or curling up in front of a fire with my dog.

Lastly, there are thoughts of how many years I will have left on this earth and what assigns meaning and significance. Choosing not what’s good but what is best. Serving self no longer holds a place of importance, rather being available to assist others brings joy.

Isn’t joyful living what life is all about?

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