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Sixty is the New. . .Sixty!

Whoo-hoo! Today I am entering my sixth decade and I see that as a cause for celebration.  They used to say that sixty was the new forty but I think it’s a decade that deserves to be celebrated on its own merits.  Sixty is a time for real empowerment.

When a woman turns sixty it can be a time of real change – positive change.  Every woman is unique, but as a collective when we turn sixty tiresome things like periods are a distant memory; if we have children the likelihood is that they are grown-up and have flown the nest; some of us will have the delights of grandchildren (all the pleasure and being able to hand them back at the end of the day!): For so many women turning sixty, it is a time to either celebrate being at the top of their careers or embarking on a new direction in their working life.

The best thing about entering a new decade is that celebration of (a) we’ve made it this far and (b) we’ve seen and done so much already that we can now make enlightened decisions about how we work, how we live and what we tolerate.

Cast your minds back to when parents, and grandparents especially, were in their sixties, back in the days when everything was in black and white (or lurid yellow and brown in the seventies!); we picture our mums wearing mostly crimplene slacks, shapeless dresses and our dads in collar and ties and crisply laundered trousers with sharp creases.  Everything looked older; everyone looked old.  Sixty-somethings wearing jeans, having bright pink hair, travelling solo around the world or starting a business.  Goodness me, how, thankfully, times have changed!

For me today is a double celebration too; two years ago, I embarked on a new journey and set up Empower.  I know that as women approach and enter this sixth decade in their lives they are preparing for, or have already experienced big changes in their lives, but to maintain the momentum and embrace the changes, sometimes we also need a little help and encouragement.  I want to be the one who orchestrates the empowerment getting older brings and be there as support when the props have a little wobble.

Turning sixty is definitely something I will be celebrating, embracing and grabbing with both hands.  I know the difficulties many people face when they get older: not everyone has the support of a family or close friends or work colleagues.  Our bodies have a habit of starting to give us grief – pain can be a part of our everyday lives – both mental and physical.

However, the great thing about going forward at sixty is we are more enlightened, we have so much information and support at our disposal, that we can look forward to the challenges and changes that getting older bring.

Remember the poem by Jenny Joseph? When I Am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple. Well, let’s wear it every day, have pink hair, dance naked in the rain and embrace our sixty-year-old selves!

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