More and more frequently you hear the phrase, sixty is the new forty. I guess that is supposed to be a compliment. At least it seems to say, that we look and behave younger than our parents or grandparents have at the same age.
Still, it means the point of reference is forty. Forty is cool, being like forty when you’re sixty, is a good thing. Having a skin like a forty-year-old is remarkable when you’re sixty. And so on. Although it’s quite nice if someone tells me I look nothing like my age, it gives me a bad taste in my mouth. I just don’t like the generous portion of ageism in that statement.
There is nothing wrong with sixty being the new sixty. And believe me, being sixty and older is nothing near like being forty. Where shall I start?
My thinking is very different from how it was twenty-odd years ago. What’s important to me is not even in the same ballpark anymore. How I spend my money and my time, the people I socialize with, all that has changed. It’s almost unrecognizable. And I haven’t even started talking about the physical changes. All the horrible stuff like arthritis that seems to wait for us after ‘a certain age’.
Still, I think being sixty-something is just perfect. When I started thinking about my retirement, the question popped into my head: “Was that it? Is this as good as it gets? Is there something more out there? Something new? Something different?
I say it doesn’t have to be the end of the ‘interesting’ road. There are new places to discover, new people to meet, and new things to learn. I decided to write. Starting in my mid-sixties, I guess I’m a late-bloomer baby boomer. I don’t mind. Writing has opened my eyes to so many new things I would never have come across otherwise. My inspirations for my books came in the first instance from the amazing women my age. I celebrate their extraordinary lives through my writing.
The heroine in my newest book, TIDES OF LOVE, has a blast of a time on her vacation on a remote Pacific Island. Who wouldn’t enjoy white sandy beaches, eternal sunshine, scrumptious food, and lots of adventures with a gorgeous man?
The heroines in my books are all on the ‘wrong’ side of fifty… or, as I like to think of, on the best side of fifty. Through them, I explore the adventures and relationships that are still waiting for us baby boomers to experience. And if I’m looking at my friends and other people my age I see they have lots of great adventures, new loves, and new beginnings. Even though the issues are similar to young women in their twenties or thirties, new beginnings later in life come with a different set of complexity.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Having said that, I’ve embarked on a completely different journey for my new book. I’m very excited about it, although it’s stepping away from romance. It’s the story of Elise, a woman with multiple personalities, who fights for her sanity and freedom as she’s framed for murder. The characters of the book started their own website a few days ago and told me I’m not allowed to interfere. I hope all goes well and cross my fingers! You can check it out here!