As I’m almost 60 I find myself wondering… what will life be like?
I can tell you my 50s is nothing like I imagined. I used to think boy 50 is old. Now? It’s young, young, YOUNG!
I’m starting to feel that way about 60 too!
So what can we expect in each decade of our 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s?
No matter what decade, it’s good to check in to see what you can do to get the most out of life.
I’m not sure what your personal goals for these years are, but based on an article from Sue Campbell former editor at Next Avenue, below is a checklist of things to consider. It’s broken down by each decade of our lives, beginning with 50.
For me this decade has been a time of big transitions. From taking care of my mom who in years before ALWAYS took care of me. At work huge changes too. My younger, fellow employees are starting to hit their stride allowing me to work less in the “day to day” operations.
For my friends who are in their 50s they’ve had children leave the home, but now many are moving back in.
How can we handle all this?
1. Deepen relationships. Often, learning what not to say to your grown kids and parents is what keeps the conversation going. Focus on connecting more deeply with your significant other, knowing what not to say could be the secret to a long marriage.
2. Strengthen body and mind. Diet and exercise are important and so is a focus on meaning and purpose. A huge advantage of this decade is knowing yourself and sharing your this.
It’s still a time when younger people will actually listen to you and not wave you off as an “old person”.
3. Stay current. A key to vitality is keeping up with technology, fashion and education. Don’t be the fifty-something who becomes irrelevant. Committing to self-improvement now improves energy and coping skills later.
Most people in their 60s start to think about slowing down and stopping (or reducing) work. Maybe you’re thinking about moving to a warmer climate or downsizing your home. It is also a time when we will experience more profound losses.
It is a time to:
1. Simplify. It’s never too soon to de-clutter and get rid of excess “stuff”. Doing so seems to also help reduce mental clutter. Keep what you love most and enjoy them more with less around!
2. Take to the road. This is a good decade to travel, whether alone, with your spouse and family or with a group. Keep an adventurous spirit strong with new experiences.
3. Let it go. Losses that begin in the 50s can accelerate in our 60s, and coping with grief is an important skill. So is letting go, forgiving and moving fulling into the present moment. It may be time to reinvent yourself as you shed parts of your past.
You may find yourself with more time for yourself, but still not enough hours in the day! Giving back and helping others, including children and grandchildren, is a theme of this decade, as is letting go of what no longer serves you.
It’s time to wonder, “what will my legacy will be?”
1. Enjoy the extra time. Hopefully, a natural slowing-down will occur at this phase, with time to pursue passions from arts to activism.
2. Keep growing. A key focus is on continued self-discovery, giving back and expressing gratitude. Many people are able to let go of the small stuff and focus more on spirituality.
3. Build your legacy. As family ties deepen and become more important, so does your legacy. This goes beyond money and possessions to values. Remember: you never stop being a role model for your children and grandchildren.
80s and beyond…
Health generally becomes the center of the world being in our 80s. We don’t bounce back as fast as we used to and for many medication is a daily need.
1. Keep your mind sharp. Exercising, keeping your brain active, and maintaining creativity can actually help to prevent cognitive decline and memory problems.
2. Ask for Help. One of the reasons that relationships are good for aging is that people can be helpful. When you are not feeling well, need some extra help or are just going through a bad day; having friends and family nearby can help. But remember, they can’t help if you don’t let them.
When you make clear, limited requests, people will be glad to help out when needed.
3. Inner Peace. In our 80’s we have had time to forgive, the time to reflect and learn from our experiences. We are less susceptible to stress (“This too shall pass” is more in our mindset).
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