Do what you have always wanted to do. Take a cruise as you true self. Go on a road trip seeing place you have never seen and interaction with civilians dressed in your best outfits. You will be amazed how understanding and open absolute strangers can be. Eat at an elegant restaurant. Go shopping. At the same time get a make over and mani-pedi. Have lunch at a side-walk cafe.
As Erika put it:
One of the most powerful ways to craft your later years is to insist on your right to be as joyful, silly, happy, goofy, full of wonder, as enthusiastic and excited as you want to be until the day you die. [Be yourself!]
Escape the person that is dull, boring and complacent. Be remembered for being quirky and happy; a little crazy. Accept your body - Not everyone is a size two or petite. At this age what do you really care what others think. Who do you have to please, other than yourself? Escape - Live!
In 1900, the average 30 year old in the U.S. could expect to live another 35 years...in other words, to die by age 65. Today, the average 30-year-old can expect another 50 years of life; to live until age 80. And by the time those 30 year old's actually are 80, who knows what their life expectancy will be?
Our ideas about aging, and what it means to be over 50 - or 60, or 90 - seem to be stuck somewhere back in the middle of the 20th century. We still consider 65 (or 55, in some sectors) as standard retirement age, and we expect everyone to start slowing down and moving aside for the next generation as their age ticks past the half-century mark.
Ever since I turned 60 a few years ago, I've been realizing that these standard societal notions of what it means to be old - especially for women - just aren't applying to me. And most important, that I can craft my later years to be what I want them to be, rather than what anybody else tells me they must be.
I just read a wonderful article by Bonnie Hammer, a friend and client, at Fortune.com; an honest, feisty, bold rumination on being a 65-year-old woman in the media industry. It felt like a lighthearted manifesto (if there can be such a thing), a quick poke in our collective assumptions about aging. It really resonated for me, and made me think about how we can live the life we want, rather than the one that’s prescribed for us.
So let's get practical. If you find yourself on the AARP side of 50, and you don't want to follow the path laid down for you by society’s expectations, here are seven things you can do to age like a fine wine or a great violin, vs. a can of diet coke or a cheap car:
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