TURNING 60 AND DECIDING WHAT REALLY MATTERS

Turning 60 and deciding on what's really important in life

TURNING 60 AND DECIDING WHAT MATTERS

On Thursday I turn sixty - and I still can't quite get my head around it. I'm not even sure I can claim to be "Cresting the Hill" anymore.....because sixty is a whole new decade and it feels like the gateway to the next season of life. Maybe it's because I think of my Mum as being sixty and then get this "Wow!" moment when I realize that it's me that's reached that vast age - and I'm not 35 anymore.

Hitting a new decade has always felt a bit daunting for me, but this one feels different in some ways. Maybe it's because my fifties were all about discovering myself again (or for the first time?) and now I get to see how that plays out in this new stage? One thing that really hit me is a quote that I saved a while ago (I actually saved it twice without realizing it was the same quote - so it must have had a big impact on me). It really sums up how I want to approach this next phase....

Ask yourself what is really important, and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer.

WHAT REALLY MATTERS WHEN YOU'RE 60?

I asked myself what was really important to me and what I wanted to focus on in this new season - and it ended up being a series of words that started with "F" :

FAMILY

My husband, my kids, my grandgirls, my mum - I can't believe how blessed I am to be surrounded by these wonderful people who love and accept me, and who bring so much joy into my life. To have the warmth of family and the knowledge that I'm a part of a larger "whole" is just so very special to me.

FAITH

My faith has been a cornerstone of my life from very early on. It's a choice I made to believe in a bigger picture - an eternal perspective - something bigger than me. That belief has given me stability, comfort, and an underlying sense of purpose for as long as I can remember, and I can't imagine life without a belief in something more profound than just day to day existence.

FRIENDSHIP

Where would we be without friends? Family is kind of stuck with us, but friends choose us and choose to be a part of our lives. The friends I've known in real life, and those I've met online since I started this blog, have been a godsend at times. They encourage me, make me smile, warm my heart, and reassure me that I'm a good person - you can't ask for more than that.

FREEDOM

When I retired a couple of years ago, I found this amazing sense of freedom. I realized that for the first time in my adult life, I wasn't responsible for anyone other than myself. I could choose how I wanted to spend my time, who I wanted to share my time with, how I wanted my life to look - and it was amazing. To be free of the 9-5 and to have so much time to invest in what I love is something I cherish every day.

FLEXIBILITY

Along with freedom came flexibility - not being locked into someone else's timetable is so pleasant - no school terms, no working days, no expectations from other people. I can choose what to do and what to discard - as each day arrives I can decide what I want to do with it, and how I want to use the hours I've been given. It's such a privilege to be in charge of my week after marching to the beat of others' drums for a very long time.

FABULOSITY

What's not to love about a word like "Fabulosity"? I think my sixties are going to be a fabulous decade - I'm choosing to live them with an upbeat attitude and to be gracious and grateful that I've been granted these wonderful years ahead. It's such a joy to wake up each morning to a life I love and to know that I can live it on my own terms. I have no regrets whatsoever, and to live with the knowledge that I'm doing life exactly how I want to, is almost beyond my comprehension - it's just Fabulous!

Fabulosity never goes out of style

SO THAT'S WHAT MATTERS TO ME FOR MY SIXTIES

I'm actually really quite excited about this new season - maybe it's the end of Autumn or the beginning of the Winter of Life - for some that might feel a little bit sad, but for me it means a gentler approach to life, slower living, simplicity, a sense of reaping the rewards of the hard work that has gone before. Maybe I'm heading towards the Matriach stage of life - I kind of like that idea too. 

There's still so much ahead of me - maybe not as many years as those that lie behind me, but many more experiences, many more times of love, and light, and joy, and contentment. You really can't ask more from a decade than that can you?

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you heading into a new phase of life? Do you have a quote or a word of advice that I can take with me into my new stage? In honor of my new decade and new choices, I'm giving myself a birthday present and turning my blog comments back on - so feel free to pass on your pearls of wisdom for me, and I'm looking forward to getting back into chatting with my friends. Thank you sticking with me and for being part of what really matters as I launch into this new decade - I'm quite excited about what my sixties have in store for me.

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As I reach a milestone birthday, here's the six things that matter most for the decade ahead.

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive
As I reach a milestone birthday, here's the six things that matter most for the decade ahead.
As I reach a milestone birthday, here's the six things that matter most for the decade ahead.

38 comments

  1. Happy, happy birthday, Leanne. I love the F words that you have chosen to take into your new decade. I just finished reading several Blue Zones book on both longevity and happiness. Research strongly agrees with you on your choice of words -- most of them appear in the research of what makes people happy and healthy. And double hooray for having your comments turned on for this post. A present for you and a present for commenter-lovers everywhere (like me)! <3

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    1. Hi Donna - thanks for the birthday love and yes I do think that our sixties are a time for us to relax and start enjoying the fruits of our labour. I think I might leave my comments turned on for now and see how it goes. I've missed chatting with people and I always enjoy reading what others have to say (and I have things back in balance again so I have more time up my sleeve to be checking in on the blog!) x

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  2. Happy Birthday! I'm already two years (almost three) into the sixties and have found that while the number feels a bit overwhelming at times the slower pace of retirement suits me very nicely. The 50+ women of today are nothing like they were when our grandmothers and mothers were 50+. I look at pictures from "back in the day" and styles and levels of activity are so very different. I think a good word for the decade of 60 is "embrace." I strive to embrace all that life has to offer. Enjoy, Leanne!

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    1. Hi Debbie - I totally agree with you about how we're approaching aging so differently these days - I think we're definitely younger looking - possibly because of how we dress, but also because we're still investing ourselves in life and in other people...and not just sitting at home in our rocking chairs waiting for our pension cheque to arrive! I think my 60's are going to be a great decade - maybe one of my best!

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  3. I like that idea of reaping what you've sewn Leanne. I think that's why I've struggled over the past 5-6yrs as I can't afford to be retired so - even though my life is okay - I don't feel I'm allowed to reap those rewards yet. I can't afford to - financially and in terms of responsibilities. I hope that changes when I'm older (able to access my superannuation).

    Mostly though I love the fabulosity 'F' here Leanne. You certainly are and I hope you continue to live life to its fullest.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked Fabulosity - it's a great word isn't it? And thank you for the lovely compliment. I know what you mean about accessing your super - it's good to know that I can get into mine now if I need it....hopefully it can "cook" for another few years, but it's a great safety blanket to have on hand until the magic 67 and pension age rolls along. Hang in there - who knows what's around the corner xx

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  4. Hi Leanne,

    First of all a very happy birthday to you. Wish you all the very best in everything. May God be always with you, and shower you with His blessings.

    Though 60 is just another number, this is a special birthday. It's the beginning of the sixties.

    It's a time when we are done with most of our commitments in life, and we are ready to enter a new phase -- like you rightly wrote -- where one has the flexibility and liberty to do what one pleases without worrying too much about other people.

    In most of the careers, one officially retires at the age of 60, though you retired early, in some ways entered 'the sixties' with that.

    60 also the age at which one gets promoted as a 'senior citizen', and most governments bestow some benefits and concessions on them.

    Besides all these, 60 has a lot of significance in various fields like science and technology, mathematics, different religions and mythology.

    Enjoy yourself to your heart's content, dear Leanne.

    Once again, wishing you good health, peace, and happiness!

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    1. What a lovely comment and some great advice Pradeep. I certainly feel like I'm about to embark on the next stage of life - making the most of all the preparation that's gone into the years leading up to now. Blogging has been such a key part of learning that getting older can be fun and interesting and a real joy. I hope I can share that attitude in the years ahead and continue to be inspired by others along the way. :)

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  5. Happy birthday in advance, Leanne. I love all the words you've chosen for the decade ahead, especially Fabulosity! You are going to rock the '60s! Love and hugs!

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    1. Thanks Corinne - I hope I'm going to grow into some fabulosity - and really make my sixties something special. I'm quite excited about the challenge. x

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  6. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! I hope this new decade is the start of a fabulous new chapter for you. I’ve a few more years to go but having seen how much my parents thoroughly enjoyed their sixties (after overcoming many difficulties in life) I believe our sixties are a time of fresh opportunities and to be embraced. Celebrate and enjoy Leanne. Maria

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    1. Hi Maria - thank you for your lovely wishes. I'm hoping that I'll be able to share all the good stuff that comes from my sixties so that women like you can look forward to it (instead of dreading it like I would have in years gone by). It seems like there are a lot of women who have finally settled into themselves around sixty and just go on to enjoy the ride from there - I hope I'm one of them :)

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  7. Happy birthday Leanne! The fabulous thing about being in your sixties is that you know who you are, you know what you want, and you can lead your most authentic life. Not caring what others think or doing things because you are expected to do them is incredibly freeing. It is absolutely true that you are not getting older, you are getting better! Enjoy your special day!

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    1. Perfectly said Michele! I feel like I'm finally getting to that point of knowing who I am and what I want - it's such a joy to be less worried about others and more focused on living a life that sits right with my values and my interests. I'm quite excited about what lies ahead.

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  8. Happy Birthday You really are having a day of new birth as you joyously begin a new decade. I can feel the happiness in your words. I wish you every possible realization of it over the next 10 years.

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    1. Oh thank you so much Judith - I'm surprised at how "okay" I am with changing decades this time around. It just feels like life is going to keep getting easier and smoother. There will always be hurdles, but I like that it feels like things are coming together and making sense.

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  9. Have a big party - that's my only advice. I had the BEST time at my 50th. I can't wait to have another huge party like that (we have parties all the time (tho lockdown has limited us to just one so far this year but another is in the planning) but this one was different - it was so fun (bigger budget was part of it but just the vibe too). I love the term Fabulosity. I've never heard of it, but you're right. It never goes out of style.

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    1. I had my first birthday party since my teens when I turned 50 Lydia - it wasn't big, but it was lovely to celebrate with friends. This time around I'm doing a few smaller things with family - something that really resonates with me atm - I think because the last year or so has really brought home the importance of my extended family - we may not be perfect, but we're "blood" and we're there for each other - even a pandemic couldn't take that away from us.

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  10. Happy Birthday for Thursday Leanne. I don’t have any advice at all but it’s can tell you thss as t I’ve loved the decade of my sixties. Especially now that I’ve became me used to semi retirement. I love your F words, especially Fabulosity. I also love love that I can leave you a comment today.

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    1. Hi Jennifer - I'm loving having my comments back again and I think I'll leave them turned on for now. I've lost contact with a lot of people while they've been off, so it'll be a nice birthday present to myself to be able to rekindle some of the conversations. x

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  11. Happy 60th birthday Leanne, you are going into this next decade with a great frame of mind so it will undoubtedly be fabulous! Love the quote and that last image F for fabulosity, that's my kind of F word :)
    Love having your comments back on, I've missed the connection although I have tried to remember to go to your facebook page after reading the post. It's great to read everyone's good wishes and thoughts. Enjoy turning 60, it really is quite wonderful from my perspective! xx

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    1. Hi Deb, I really appreciate that you made the extra effort to stay in touch while I turned off the comments for a few months - it was such an encouragement. I have been so inspired by your "boldness" approach to turning 60 and I think it was one of the many incentives I've had to live this next decade fabulously - blogging has shown me that there's no fading away into the wallpaper in your sixties - life just keeps getting bigger and better. x

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  12. Happy Birthday for Thursday! So many F's in this post and loving your perspective. As an aside, also love that you have your comments on for this post. icing you the happiest of days.

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    1. Hi Jo - yes, turning the comments back on has reminded me of how much I enjoy the connections and interactions that come with them. I needed to take a break from everything for a while, but it's lovely to have them back on and to be chatting to people I've missed over the last few months. And thanks for the birthday wishes x

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  13. What a lovely post, Leanne, and I really enjoyed the last one too where you compared your personal growth with a garden. I could relate so much to that and felt that I was in the "weeding" stage myself.
    The quote in this post is spot on. I love the positive outlook you have for the next decade of your life. I'm 47 now and I guess I'm in the stage where you were in your 50s - getting to know myself (and lots of weeding!). I wish you all the best and I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments Susanne - I remember being in my late 40's and dreading the decades to come because I thought they'd be the beginning of invisibility and irrelevance - silly me! They've been great and I think that women are realizing this earlier and preparing themselves better (doing the weeding much earlier). It's such a relief to find that this stage of life rocks! x

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  14. Well this post certainly wasn't a grade F for failure but a fun-filled one celebrating you and your life with gratitude. Happy 60th Leanne. I remember my 50th was a very busy time as I was a brand new principal and Grandma to 2. My Mum cooked me (and our family) a baked dinner as I asked. For my 60th Mum was no longer around, and I celebrated at a High Tea with female friends and family, and a lunch with Dad and B, along with our adult kids and partners. For my 70th I was so grateful to be well, I had a morning tea with some bloggy mates in Sydney and a family lunch here where the fam managed to surprise me with the album and canvas from a photo shoot. As I approach 72 I am taking the chance to have/be all that I can now! Happy 60th Leanne...and woo hoo, celebrating with comments open! It’s been great to have your blog post linked up for the week on Life This Week.
    Thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you next Monday too. The optional prompt is Sharing Your Snaps (photos).
    And a big thank you for showing your appreciation for guest blogger, Mr Whelan, in 2021.
    Take care, Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - I always enjoy Bernard's posts - he writes and thinks a lot like my husband (who doesn't love guest posting for me!) Thanks for the encouraging birthday comment and yes, I intend to spend several catch-ups with family over the next few days with m/teas and meals - my idea of fun celebrations (I'm no party girl). I think my 60's will be exactly what I make them, so I intend to start positively and keep going from there. xx

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  15. Hey...yay, we can comment here. Although, I came prepared...with my Facebook tab open to leave a comment, there.
    I think you are going to find the 60s to be a continuation of the joy you discovered in the last decade. Probably just more so for everything. Increased time with family, stronger faith, deeper friendships, extended freedoms and if it is possible...more fabulosity.

    You mentioned the Matriarch stage of life. I like the sound of that. I am finding myself wanting and hoping to be the grand dame of the fam. I am probably a little too goofy and scatter brained to be very grand or matriarchal but I like the idea. Hoping that as my 64th birthday comes into sight, my life will slow down a bit and I will begin to enjoy a little more freedom on a day to day basis to do what I want to do...or to do nothing at all.

    Happy birthday, wise, wonderful YOU.

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    1. Hi Leslie - very wise words indeed my friend. I completely agree with all those people and things we have extra time for. I think it's also about investing in people we love and leaving a legacy that shines with that. I've been watching those of you who are in your 60's and there's not one Midlife blogger who isn't living a full and interesting life - so I couldn't help but be pleased with the idea of joining you all.

      I like the idea of being a matriach - but I'm a bit too "sparkly" at times - and I'm not ready to give that up just yet to be the quiet older wise woman. Maybe there's room for sparkly/goofy grand dames - I'm hoping so!

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  16. Happy 60th birthday, Leanne! It's fantastic that you've figured out what's really important and now focus on them. I added two Fs there :) I'm glad you left the comments on. Have a wonderful year and decade ahead! Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

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    1. Hi Natalie - thanks for the extra alliteration! And for the birthday wishes (and for the link party!) It's been a great time of celebrating with family and friends x

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  17. Yea for comments, Leanne. I've missed them. And happy belated birthday! I hope it was fabulous. As you know, we are entering our 60s together. I feel much like you do that it is the gateway to a new phase of life--one I am truly looking forward to with joy. Thank you for sharing this series of words that define what's important to you at this time. I'll be thinking about my words now. Again, happy birthday!

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    1. Thanks so much Christie - and I've enjoyed all your posts about how you've made this first year of your 60's interesting and about embracing all that life has to offer. I think we're so blessed to be surrounded by inspiring Midlife bloggers who are celebrating 60 and leading the way - I'm so ready to see what this new decade has in store for all of us. x

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  18. Hi Leanne. Happy 60th Birthday! I must say, I'm loving my 60's! I hope you do too. When I look back at how quickly the last decade went, I realize I must savor, this one and enjoy every moment as you've said many times. I'm loving life too, and I try to remember to thank God, every day for my blessings. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words of wisdom with us, each and every post. Christina Daggett

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    1. Hi Christina - you're one of the many bloggers who have made turning 60 look so much more attractive. To see women living full and interesting lives is so inspiring and it's made me look forward to seeing what my 60's are going to look like. I certainly intend to enjoy each and every day - and appreciate the small moments because they add up to a lot more than an occasional big moment here and there does!

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  19. I love your "F" words of what matters most to you. So good. I think you are going to "rock" your 60's and I look forward to learning from you as I head that direction (I'll be 53 in a month).

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    1. Hi Kirstin - I hope I rock them too. I think it's going to be a very pleasant and enjoyable decade - less responsibility, less pleasing others, and more focus on living life on my terms (you can't beat that!)

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