Being sixty, not feeling sixty

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A lady who has read my last few posts sent me a message saying that, whilst she was enjoying reading them, she was disappointed because she thought the blog was about being sixty.   I replied that it is about being sixty and referred her to my very first post (click here to read  What’s in a name?) and said that I hoped that would explain, and I asked her to give me some idea of what she wanted; perhaps I could oblige.

Turns out that she was expecting to read how to stay healthy, what make up and clothes to wear, how to cope with ‘being older’. The latter has me completely flummoxed because although I understand the concept of ageing, of course,  I don’t actually feel older, or even old-ish . We communicated for a little longer and I ended up saying that whilst I am no expert on any of these things,  I’m up for a challenge so I’ll give it a go.

So………

How to stay fit: do whatever is reasonable given your own circumstances. For me this means going to the gym regularly (for more about this click – The gym for women who don’t do gyms ). If the very thought strikes horror into you, then you need to find something that suits you, perhaps walking. This would not suit me because I wouldn’t be disciplined enough to do it often enough. We live in an urban area with a couple of nice parks but I’m pretty fed up with those and to go anywhere else involves quite a drive out. I work three afternoons a week (plus Saturday all day) so that’s not terribly practical because we’d have to rush back.  The key thing with regard to fitness is not to do nothing. I’m sure it really is a case of use it or lose it.  A little aside here – advice given by a paramedic who has been called many times to an elderly person who has fallen. Practice getting up off the floor. Lie down and get up again every day. It might just save your life.

How to stay healthy: stay fit…see above! Also, I think that healthy eating is really important. By this, I don’t mean that we should be obsessive about it, but should follow general healthy eating guidelines. Plenty of fruit and vegetables, good quality protein, fats, fibre and complex carbohydrates and  limit refined sugars.  If wanting to reduce weight, follow a nutritionally sound plan such as Slimming World and not some faddy, unsustainable programme.  Really, I’m not best placed to comment on this one since, although I am an SW member, I’m not the greatest at doing it properly! I do, however, eat healthily most of the time and I guess that’s the best advice I can offer.

How to do the best for mental health: barring illnesses over which we have little or no control, I do believe that it is important to keep stretching the mind. How individuals do this will vary tremendously – for me, it is mainly writing and doing research for my book. I read the newspaper daily (though I confess to the ‘reading’ being more of a speed-scan at times) and keep up with what’s going on in the world.  I do a (very) little academic proof reading/editing  and this is something I really enjoy and would like to expand. Finally, spending time with friends and ‘putting the world to rights’ is also to be recommended! Crosswords don’t really do it for me but they are great at making you think – my husband is brilliant at the cryptic variety.

Clothes, skincare and make up: Do what suits you and wear what you like wearing regardless of age (within reason). If you’re not sure what suits you then invest in getting your ‘colours’ done (e.g. Colour me Beautiful), or for a cheaper option, ask your friends to be honest!  Larger stores often offer a ‘personal shopper’ service which will encourage you to step out of your clothing comfort zone –  useful if you want to reinvent yourself! The big brand beauty counters often offer free make up lessons and offer the chance to try new colours and make-up trends without costly mistakes. Not much advice there – I did say that I’m no expert!  Both skin and hair have a tendency to get drier largely as a result of hormonal changes, so moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! I always seek out products that are paraben and sulphate-free. Deodorant is also aluminium-free. Shampoo and Conditioner are from the Healthy Hair range and skincare is mainly Weleda or Dr.Organic. Bath products come mainly from The Green People, Dr.Organic or Faith in Nature. For make up I use Benecos or Bare Minerals. Not everyone agrees that it is necessary to cut out these various additives but I’ve read enough about them to make this my decision.

Finally, don’t dismiss ‘young’ things such as attitudes and opinions, clothes or music simply because they are the preferences of young people. Much may not be to your taste but just because it’s different doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or no good. Embrace them as a new challenge and don’t allow yourself to become entrenched only in older persons’ ideas. On the day my mother retired, it was as if a switch flicked, and she became an old lady in her attitude to life.  If asked how she was, her voice changed noticeably as she said wearily, “Well, I’m alright…”, inviting the enquirer to sympathetically ask more. I REFUSE to be like that!

And that’s about it – so no great revelations or new ideas on how to live life at sixty (or older). I have no idea how I could write a blog centered only around this; I’ve already exhausted the subject in this one post! I shall continue to run it as I have been doing – a mish-mash of all sorts.

I will just say here that I did ask the correspondent if it was alright to repeat our exchange and she said it was but she asked me not to post her comment, and I haven’t. Comments are not posted onto the blog automatically but are first made available for me for approval or rejection.

Whilst on the subject, I just want to take this opportunity to reassure readers (and I’m delighted to say that, according to the stats page on WordPress, I am receiving an average of 26 per day from both the UK and other countries) that unless you want to give me your real name, then I have no idea who is making comments on my blog. You can make up a name (as I did when I started responding to other people’s blogs – that’s why I’m Eloise).  You are asked for an email address (this needs to be real but it is not shown to me, nor shown on the comment, nor monitored by WordPress ). Apparently the reason you are asked for it is to reduce incidences of trolling. So feel free to make a comment. You can agree, disagree or make a completely different point altogether. I get into some interesting ‘conversations’ on some of the blogs I log into regularly.

If you are wondering at the relevance of the photo of the single lily at the top of this post – there is none! It’s just a picture I took in my garden a couple of years ago. I’m hopeful of a few more blooms this year.

2 thoughts on “Being sixty, not feeling sixty

  1. Thank you for your response, Sarah. I can imagine that living alone means having to make a real effort, and that is where friends are so important. I love socialising, both with my friends (who come in a range of ages) and people whom I’ve just met. I can strike up a conversation with anyone, young or old. I enjoy talking to young people and seeing how attitudes have changed since I was their age. Singing and dancing, like any exercise, is uplifting.

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  2. Your answers all sound like good advice to me. I think it is difficult is you live alone, motivation can disappear easily. I find socialising with women a lot younger than me keeps me in touch with how families live now, their priorities may differ from mine but I can appreciate their difficulties balancing work/life. I would also add to sing, sing, sing, it is really good for you, and dance if you can. Love life and it will love you back.

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