Julie Cadman is 60 and still fabulous. She shares the highs and lows of reaching this milestone birthday
So far, out of all my milestone birthdays, turning 60 bothered me the most.
There is lots of advice out there on how we can ensure we age well once we hit our 60s. Eat healthy, get enough sleep and stay active, for example. But the most important thing for me is to think positively, so I thought I’d share it with you.
I reached 60 in December 2019 and it has to be said it felt ‘uncomfortable’. Now, for someone who usually keeps her birthday cards on the console table for a full week, to take them down after just three days is quite something, really.
And it got me thinking – why am I so bothered about turning 60?
No matter where I turned, that wall of ‘Sixty’ pictures from the beautiful cards I had received faced me every day. And despite the 55-inch screen sitting next to them that could happily distract me any other time, I couldn’t help feeling blue every time I entered the living room. Believe me, it takes something either very good or very bad to take my attention away from the Soaps, but this really had me thrown.
Even some of the perks couldn’t bring me up – prescriptions are now free, and, as a ‘Senior Citizen’, I can get cheaper theatre tickets too – and help me get to grips with turning 60.
Yes, I admit it, I really did dislike saying ‘I’m 60’ out loud.
But then I got to thinking about who I am regardless of the number. I’m a lot more confident in ‘me’ now that i’m older, and less worried about what people think. And I have lots of energy (yes, still!) and enthusiasm for life.
I read somewhere that when a woman gets older she becomes invisible – I think they confused this with invincible. I see a lot of young women today who are full of confidence and I truly hope that they will carry this confidence throughout their forties, fifties and on into their sixties. In fact, right up to becoming a centurion if they can!
To retire or or not to retire
With the default retirement age of 65 having been phased out, there are more older people who are choosing to stay in their chosen career, and not just for financial security.
When you throw into the mix the social aspect that your career may have provided you with, such as friendships, self-esteem and self-worth, it’s an easy decision for some to stay put.
Having said that though there is always the option to finish work and retire. And, yes, you can still be busy once you’ve retired! How often do you have a day’s holiday from work and say at the end of the day ‘I don’t know where the day has gone’?
Catching up with friends and seeing grandchildren (I’m sure I’m not the only grandma who is actually excited about the school run when it’s a ‘choice’). DIY, hobbies, learning new skills – these are all things we can start up to keep us entertained.
Let’s not forget about volunteering as well! There are so many companies who welcome the skills and experience that older people have and, apparently, volunteering can actually be good for your health.
So yes, I’m 60, but Jane Seymour is gorgeous at 65 and so is Tina Turner at 76, right?
There are a lot of older people out there who are reinventing themselves and exploring their passions – remember we are invincible not invisible..
I’ve decided to use this milestone birthday as an opportunity to evaluate my life:
- I choose to look to the future and be excited about it
- I choose to care for my physical and mental wellbeing
- I choose to be even more proactive in my career
Because along with a lot of other choices the older generation now have, these are ‘my’ choices to make.
In fact, I may even go and get those birthday cards and put them back on the console table for a little longer, because it’s becoming very apparent that turning 60 isn’t such a bad thing after all!
Julie Cadman lives in Stone and is the author of the 60 and Still Fabulous column. Connect with Julie via her LinkedIn profile.