Some interesting evidence is around younger people who hold negative views about older people. They move into later life with a far more pessimistic attitude than those who are more open to ageing. There is a dichotomy on views held and their action. Both can’t be true.
A really practical example from someone I know is a couple of men in their 20s who made negative comments about him, a man in his early 50s working out at the gym. Telling him they don’t know why he bothers … and I wonder how this will affect their gym membership as they age?
My top 7
1. I understand myself better – I know the sort of work that plays to my strengths. I also know more about me as a person, and I’m truer to who I am. I can be more assertive over what I want and more forgiving, I understand we are all human and make mistakes and say the wrong thing.
2. I know what I like – I like coming up with ideas, inspiring others, having variety, time to write and communicate. I love to travel and love my portfolio life. Getting more specific over work there are some types of work assignment, and clients that have not been right for me. I’m more confident in saying no.
3. I know the best environment for me – I can’t work with noise and distraction. I need peace and quiet. I tell people this. I appreciate clients who know to give me thinking time and not always to expect me to give my best reply without thought. I’ve worked with external noise in the past and I’ve found this stressful. I wasn’t true to my needs.
4. I trust my judgement and instincts – if it doesn’t feel right, I say no, and if it feels right, I go for it. I’ve been scared to do this in the past, thinking I must be logical and analyse the facts, but sometimes you just know. I’ve made a major life change by being true to who I am.
5. I’m alive! I get frustrated when people moan about aches and pains, and older people who say that they wish they were dead. I’m truly thankful for every day I have on earth, thinking about the things we can do, and what we have already done. We move on to a different stage in life and I want to be seen as wise.
6. I can live with my lines and wobbly bits. Why do we compare ourselves to people 20+ years younger than us or celebrities with so much money to spend on looking good? All our lines are signs of a life well lived. I like the idea of looking my age and embracing being 60+. Our bodies change and, for me, better to live and love life than to constantly worry I can no longer fit in a size 12 dress.
7. Wisdom. I’ve mentioned this earlier, but it needs its own bullet. We learn so much over the years, and we can continue to learn more. We have knowledge to share, if wanted, and we can be more thoughtful and forgiving of those who are more driven by feelings and emotions.
What resonates with you? I may have missed something obvious, or we may have different views. I would so love to hear from you.
Denise Taylor, aged 64