I remember the day I resigned from my corporate job and transitioned to the life of an entrepreneur. My passion was to focus full time on building Sixty and Me, a community for women over 60. I wanted to reinvent my life and find a more flexible work style. When I told my younger female colleagues what I was planning to do as a 60-year-old woman, they were amazed. One woman said that my passion and willingness to take risks made her question the many stereotypes about older women.
Their compliments were wonderful. At the same time, I couldn't help but realize that my chosen path had raised questions in their minds about the meaning and purpose of their own lives.
Truthfully, it surprised me that these 30-year-old women were so anxious about getting older. The more I thought about it, the more I wished that I'd had older women in my life when I was 30. If I had, I might have developed a more balanced perspective on aging much earlier.
So, I decided to discuss this experience with the women in the Sixty and Me community. I asked them to share one piece of advice that they would give to women half their age. Their advice was honest and insightful, as I have come to expect, and reflected the collective wisdom that they wished they'd had in their 30s. These women really are aging gracefully! Here are a few of their thoughts on the topics of lifestyle, attitude, beauty, self-confidence, relationships, and, yes, getting older.
1. Remember you only have one life -- this is not a dress rehearsal
2. Try to stay positive and look for the good in every life experience
3. Keep an eye on the here and now
4. Live each day fully because you don't what's around the corner
5. Remember that life can change in an instant
6. Love all the stages of your life and fear none, because they are all magical
7. Learn to live in the moment. If you master this when you are young, it will help in your 60s
8. Life's too short to be worrying about something that will happen in the future -- live for today
9. Get outdoors and enjoy nature!
10. Find a hobby or a profession that will take you through all your different stages
11. Be yourself. Age with grace
12. Focus on positive aging instead of anti-aging
13. Accept the changes in your body and mind as you get older
14. Always be true to yourself... it's a long learning process but it pays off
15. Make memories but always keep a soft landing place
16. Virginia Wolff was right -- a woman needs a room of her own and $500
17. Forget about society's stereotypes about aging
18. Don't worry about getting older, worry about being boring
19. Age is only a number -- it does not define who you are
20. Age will happen whether you're afraid of it or not, so get living!
21. Never cease to be inspired.
22. Live simple but save hard. Exercise, educate, read, and travel
23. Buy classic clothes -- they will always be in style
24. Don't waste money on shoes -- men are not looking at your feet
25. Don't carry rubbish through your life!
26. Be yourself -- shine your light. Be present, the real you, aware and alive in every moment
27. Don't obsess about wrinkles. When the lines start to show on your face, think of them as the roadmap of your life
28. Live with passion and love with your eyes and heart wide open. Just be happy
29. Live for the present -- don't worry about getting older -- the best is yet to come!
30. Treasure the simple things in your life -- don't overcomplicate things
31. Love and respect your partner and children the way you want them to love and respect you
32. Give your love freely and unconditionally
33. Have children when you want them -- there is never a perfect time
34. Have empathy for yourself as well as others
35. Take lots of photos -- you will celebrate them when people you love are gone
36. Learn to forgive at a younger age
37. Let go of your anger and let gratitude and joy flood into your life
38. Keep a close circle of lady friends, it's essential
39. Value your family. They will be there when others are not. They will sustain you throughout your life journey
40. Never go to sleep angry with yourself or someone else
41. Tell your partner, friends and family that you love them every single day
42. At 30 you become a woman. Appreciate how beautiful you are
43. Don't waste time worrying about the things you can't change but change the things you can
44. Get out of a bad relationship fast -- you can't change another person
45. Take care of your skin! Smile often
46. Trust your instincts and never speak badly about yourself
47. Be kind to yourself. Let go off what you can't control. If it feels wrong, don't do it
48. Learn to laugh at yourself. Don't be so serious!
49. Give yourself some "me" time every day and laugh and smile all the time
50. Just be you. Don't strive for perfection
51. If you have children, love them, but, don't try to be a perfect mother
52. Let your child be your teacher
53. Be a warrior -- learn to be resourceful and self-sufficient
54. Never let fear get the upper hand
55. Never stop learning and enhancing yourself mentally, physically and spiritually
56. Be grateful for every day, even bad days -- there's always a lesson to learn
57. Embrace the positive aspect of aging -- like having less responsibility and more freedom
58. Many struggles actually become easier with age
59. Don't let anyone tell you that you are too old to do anything! Or too young for that matter
60. Don't be afraid. When you get there you will be ok. Life and nature prepare you for each phase of life
So, if you know a younger woman in her 30s, share your wisdom. Your experience is a gift. Take of your invisibility cloak and let the world meet the real you, wrinkles and all! Let your life be an inspiration to others.
Are you in your 60s? What is one piece of advice that you would give to a woman (or man for that matter) half your age? Please add your thoughts in the comments or in the Sixty and Me forum.
Follow Margaret Manning on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sixtyandme