Plenty of people say one should act one’s age, but what does that mean for today’s 60-somethings? That’s the quandary one grandmother had posted to popular online forum Gransnet, and she’s attracted such positive, uplifting answers that it’s impossible not to share some of them!
Advertisers and the mainstream media may depict people aged in their 60s and above as if they’ve got one foot in the grave, but that couldn’t be further from the truth for many Baby Boomers. And that’s what got Gransnet user Petunia thinking.
Pentunia says her 64th birthday coincided with the arrival of a few aches, pains and “niggly grumbles” but for the most part, she felt far younger than her who grandparents who looked “ancient” at the same age.
“It seems that each generation of 64-year-olds has new decisions to make about aging,” she noted. “We are living longer and generally healthier, but does mean we are as fit and limber as our 30-year-old selves. We are often still working, looking after grandchildren, caring for parents, sometimes paying a mortgage …
“Some 60-plus people I know are, in spite of their varied physical issues, engaging, active, stylish and involved. Others seem to have thrown in the towel, welcoming what they see as old age. Is old age a choice now? … In spite of what the mirror tells me, I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. There are things I still want to do, places I still want to see, experiences I still want to have. But that little voice in my head says, but you are 64, Petunia, shouldn’t you act your age?”
Absolutely not, if ‘acting your age’ means largely retiring from life, was the response from more than 100 of her fellow Gransnet users, who reported being as interested in new adventures and as engaged with family, friends and the community as ever, if not more so, despite having some health issues that’ve come with advancing age.
Of course, some commenters developed more serious medical conditions as early as their 50s that they felt had aged them before their time, and others acknowledged that in their late 70s and into their 80s they felt quite tired by everyday life. But for the most part, respondents reported feeling vital and enjoying their lifestyles. And they listed some very big benefits to one’s 60s and beyond.
You can get away with speaking your mind: “I am well past the 64 stage but now I can do things to please myself without criticism. Wear what I want, be more honest and not watch what I say (to an extent) do what I want and generally be me”.
You get a hurry-on to pursue your dreams: “I find myself attacking life on all levels, doing this I’ve always wanted to do like there’s no tomorrow. I’m loving a new found confidence in who I am”.
You can still completely transform your life: “At 65 I decided to change my life … I opted out of pension scheme at work and took lump sum and with my savings decided to buy a narrow boat to live on. I have also changed my style of dress and dye my hair metallic silver … I do think it is important to move on with life rather than stagnate when one gets to a certain age”.
You can explore all the new ways to look good at any age: “Now 68, I’ve had my eyebrows tattooed as they were so sparse. I was given a new look by a national newspaper which made me more youthful looking and have done more modelling for them. I had my teeth professionally whitened. I’ve been a couch potato all my life and hated exercise, but now I do kickboxing three times a week and take part in four-hour hit squad sessions of mixed martial arts … Embrace being 64. It’s a new beginning, not the beginning of the end”
You have control of your own attitude toward ageing: “I’m 66 and have a lot of friends in the 40-to-50 age range, as well as my age and beyond. Their views and opinions are diverse, which helps me keep a young outlook on life”.
You don’t have to worry about going to work: “How marvellous to be free. No work schedule and staring out of office window longingly when the day is beautiful. Don’t have to be anywhere or do anything I don’t want to do”.
And you have so many more years to enjoy; as one 95-year-old Gransnet user commented, 64 seemed very young to her!