60 is sexy: A perspective on a New Generation

11 Feb

I was sitting with friends this evening. They are all over the age of 60. We were just chatting about holidays, costume dramas, relationships and the possibility of a night out on the tiles. In my social circle, I think I am the youngest at forty-something. In a few more years, I shall be eligible for a Saga holiday, although I don’t feel my age I said quite happily.
“Oh NO!” said my female friend, “You don’t be want to be going for THOSE holidays – they’re far too expensive and for what you get, you could be surrounded by old, OLD people!”
SAGA Holidays, I have to point out to the uninitiated, is a specialist holiday provider for people over the age of 50.

People over the age of 60 today are much more active and adventurous than what they were say, 10 -15 years ago, my other half said. I had to look at him with amusement, bemused that he had repeated exactly what I’ve been telling him for the last few years!
But I would say, that’s the truth of the matter. Men and women of a certain age are no longer happy to retire gracefully at the age of 60 with slippers, pipe, a hot kettle, hot water bottle and a television for company, with a few decent homecooked, frozen meals or door to door dinner services thrown in for good measure.

60 appears to be the new 40. A new life is beginning. As culture and times change, people you would expect to be staying indoors and settling down with a nice cup of tea, a crossword puzzle and the expectation of seeing their children/grandchildren are now looking for adventure, excitement and passion, rekindling old romances or in search of new.

Of course, there are exceptions of people in retirement.nursing, residential homes or ill, infirm or sick.

But the majority, well, those that I have met over recent years, appear to be throwing caution to the wind and making what appear to be radical changes. You just have to look at established actreses in the media spotlight to see what I mean – Judi Dench (aged 78) as boss to James Bond, Helen Mirren (67) sporting a pink haircolour at the Bafta awards last night. Then there are those who decide to have a tattoo  or three (Winifed Turner aged 92, making her the oldest woman in Britain to have a tattoo), the grandad who skydived at the age of 97, the woman who had IVF at 60…

Ok, I may have got carried away a bit there with the more mature age ranges mentioned but the principle still remains the same. Sixty-somethings are wanting more from life, and with more exploration of the world becoming easier to access with bookings over the internet, with easy to reach places and destinations which they could ill afford when younger,  like the Far East, Egypt,  Australisa or the Fjords, the New Age 60 plus generation are looking to fulfilling their days with more practical, meaningful and productive activites away from home. Learning a new skill, hobby or helping others for financial gain is another way forward. It means opening up new horizons and socialsing more with people from different walks of life. Two of my nearest and dearest have decided to offer the local community a cleaning and decorating service for a fraction  of the cost of what “professionals” would charge just to get out of the house and meet people. They are no longer afraid to stay in and watch a daily dose of repeated television programmes.   Others whom I meet, impress me with what they do with themselves. Gone is the idea of a weekly trip out to the local supermarket to do the grocery shopping or to Bingo. Instead, those who I come into contact with are seeking out the latest trends, fashion, music gigs and entertainment venues for a regular weekly buzz or their dose of excitement. Dining out and learning new recipes also appears to be de rigeur for couples and the peers or social circle.

The generation that appeared to be so “tame” about twenty years ago now appears to be so much more  invigorated, as active as their young counterparts, if not more so and seem to have discovered a new “zest for life”.  It’s almost like “keeping up with the Joneses” but instead of looking at what others have achieved, they are looking at what they themeselves can achieve. Some people over 60, like to dress and be more fancy free. I’m not talking “mutton dressed as lamb here”. I’m saying that fashion also plays a part in how a 60 year old can dress and feel. I think the “bootcut” look which was so fashionable a few years ago helped to make that image and transition easier to manage. The “bootcut” jeans worn with a decent pair of boots appealed to both men and women, young and old. It helped to “close” that generation gap and people of a certain age no longer felt restricted, constrained or old fashioned in their attire. The look was so popular, I think it helped change the face of an ageing population. It provided that boost and much needed change of image for men and women. It removed some of the stigma and staid look of 60-somethings and helped to rejuvenate a new found respect for that age group. New hairstyles, new shoes can also help boost confidence and self -esteem, especially when complimented and I think that helps people to review, take a fresh new perspective on themselves and  what they can offer the world at large.

I believe that is why the new generation of 60 plus section of the community are more inclined to take stock of their lives now and make changes like never before. It’s not a case of growing old gracefully, but managing life and what it can offer dis-gracefully. The people in my life are tired of adding to the stereotypes and doing all what is expected of them or what generations had done beforehand. They are breaking the mould. being different, unique and seeking ways to please themselves without being offensive to others or detrimental upon their own health.

The new 60 generation are making headway changes and I only hope that when I hit the ripe old age of 60, I find myself  still following the latest gadgets, technologies, fashion, music etc and make room in my diary to do as much as I can to make my life as productive,  precious and fulfilling as it ever could be.

The Learned Kat

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