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‘I turned 60 a few weeks ago and felt pretty bad about it, until I didn’t..!’ Says 60 and still fabulous columnist, Julie Cadman

Meet 60 and still fabulous columnist Julie Cadman. She’ll be sharing her views on life as she sees it now she’s reached this milestone birthday

julie cadman column
Julie Cadman is 60 and still fabulous

So far, out of all my milestone birthdays, this one 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, 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 and it has to be said, it felt, well, shall we say ‘uncomfortable’. Now, for someone who usually keeps her birthday cards on the console table for a full week, to take them down after just 3 days is quite something!

A wall of ‘60’ and ‘Sixty’ pictures faced me every day, regardless of what was on the 55-inch screen facing me. And believe me when something takes my attention away from my favourite Soaps, it’s either very good or very bad!

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Even the fact that prescriptions are now free and as a ‘Senior Citizen’ I can get cheaper theatre tickets didn’t cut it!

Yes, I admit it, I really disliked saying ‘I’m 60’ out loud.

But then I got to thinking long and hard about who I am regardless of the number. I’m a lot more confident in ‘me’ now I’m older, and less worried about what people think. I have lots of energy (yes, still!) and enthusiasm for life. There are a few people who I have sadly lost who were very dear to me and who weren’t as fortunate to make it to this age – unfair as it is, it seems that suddenly you start to lose friends, where before, you lost parents of friends or grandparents.

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 sixties. In fact, right up to becoming a centurion if they can.

I’m a lot more confident in ‘me’ now I’m older, and less worried about what people think.

With the default retirement age of 65 having been phased out, there are more and 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, self-worth, it’s an easy decision for most to stay put!

Having said that, there is the other side of the coin, which is also now an option for us, and that is to finish work, and retire. 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, 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. Some of us may or may not be fortunate enough to have the choice of continuing to work or retire, but the point is we do have that option to choose now the law has changed. Either way, ‘social intervention’ is always on the list for all ages when it comes to wellbeing, because it’s always a plus to have a sounding board!

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Let’s not forget volunteering, of course, 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 – 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 reaching 60 and filled with optimism isn’t such a bad thing after all!

JC

Julie Cadman lives in Stone and will be writing a new monthly 60 and Still Fabulous column. Watch this space for more from Julie soon! 

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