Don't Talk Yourself out of Embracing Life


BY ARDITH BOWMAN First published in SixtyandMe MARCH 19, 2024 MINDSET

Have you ever wanted to try something new or make some kind of change in your life and then not follow through? We all do it! Yet, not following through can detract from us living the full and happy life we imagine, deserve and that can support healthy aging.

Maybe there is an activity you want to learn, such as pickleball or painting, and you never get beyond considering it… then feel yearning when you see someone else doing it. Or perhaps you want to write or get involved with a community group – then take no action.

Comfort Is Easier

Most of us are attached to the status quo, where life is safe, known, and easier. That is a holdover from our ancestors, where change could be life threatening. So, it is natural. Here is an article from several years ago that discusses the draw of comfort.

We humans tend to use three ways to...

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Live Your Own Adventure


Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” ® books by Chooseco? What if we looked at our post-fulltime life like that? After all, there are phases to retirement – from honeymoon to disenchantment to reorientation. Sometimes, there is no honeymoon, and we experience concern and confusion about what to do. It seems like “choose your own” is a mindset that could help us navigate the retirement journey with all its twists and turns.

Freedom to Choose

Do you ever find yourself looking around to see how others are handling life after fulltime work? Using our book analogy, that is like finding out what others are reading. It doesn’t mean that you will like the book! Of course, exploring to get ideas is a good thing. The trick is to not assume others have the key that will work for you. You could use the “choose your own adventure” chapter approach to...

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Beyond the Vision Board



For many of us, early January is a time of dreaming about the year ahead. I just love taking the time for this with a cup of cacao or tea wrapped in my aqua Afghan made by a friend. Find your special place to focus on your own desires.

Perhaps you dream of following an interest long ignored or deepening love in your life. Maybe, like me, you dream of some new adventures to keep the spark shining brightly. Some women desire to make more of an impact in the world or to slow down and live a simpler life. What are you dreaming of?

Then, what can you do to take your dreams out of the “dream world” and into the life you live?

Bringing to life our deepest desires requires faith and trust because usually it is not clear how we can make them reality. That is a good thing! If you know how to accomplish something, then it is a goal, rather than a dream. We deserve to...

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Try Being an Explorer



If you are experiencing some kind of life transition, you may be eager to get settled into your new phase. It might be leaving full-time work, or living alone for the first time in years, or having to adapt to new physical conditions. No matter the reason, life changes may be a time to reassess your sense of self and approach to life.

I had a recent conversation with a woman about how to create a revised life that is more fulfilling and satisfying. She asked me how she can know what she really wants out of all the possibilities and her perceived limits. That’s a very good question that requires a thorough response. Here we go!

“Thinking” That You Know

Knowing is more than what you ‘think’, literally. For example, when I left full-time teaching, I planned to teach courses part-time and enjoy...

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Do You Have a Possibility Mindset?

First published in SixtyandMe October 18, 2023.

We know that attention to fitness, stress reduction, having a sense of purpose, and connection with others adds healthy years to our lives. We also know that the years wear on our bodies and endurance. In this article, let’s address the realities of being an older adult. Spoiler alert! Our focus is to notice what is possible, in contrast with what may no longer be within easy reach for us.

My Body Isn’t What It Used to Be

According to the National council on Aging, 95% of us over 60 have at least one chronic condition. High blood pressure and high cholesterol lead the pack. Arthritis comes in third. I’m in the arthritis group; you may have one or two issues on your list. If not, time to celebrate!

The happy news is that maintaining an exercise routine, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and enjoying a healthy diet/healthy weight tend to mitigate the impact of...

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This is Our Time of Freedom

Many people in the life phase after full-time work use the word “freedom” to describe their experience. When we dig deeper, we find that there are different explanations of what freedom really means to each of us. I am curious about what is true for you.


Is This a Time of Freedom for You?

Freedom may not be how you would describe your life after full-time work and other life responsibilities. For some, responsibilities continue, such as caring for a family member or even raising grandchildren. For others, it may feel as though there is no longer a purpose. 

You may have a full life just taking care of your own wellness. For about 30% of our generation of women, loneliness defines this phase. What are some of the words you use to describe what this phase of life is like for you?

How Do You Define Your Freedom?

If you do identify with the notion that this phase is a time of freedom, stop and reflect on what you mean by that. Is it “freedom...

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We are continuing our exploration of the four vitality domains that influence your health span, now focusing on the area of meaning/purpose and creativity. Isn’t it time to be your own heroine and be/do what has been waiting in the wings?

What brings you a sense of meaning? What gets you up in the morning looking forward to the day? Are you putting your unique talents/gifts to use somehow? Why let them lie dormant? Consider your own sense of meaning as you read!

 If you are just diving into this mini-series, you may also want to read the introductory article on health span.

Why Is a Sense of Meaning Important?

A sense of meaning, however that manifests for you, is not only essential to quality of life but longevity as well. That is what we mean by ‘health span’ – years lived + quality of life. Research suggests that a sense...

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Vitality Doman #2 - Mindset



We are continuing our exploration of the Vitality Domains that support our healthy aging. The second of four life areas that influence our health span is mindset. This encompasses our beliefs about aging, optimism, and mindfulness or presence.

As you read the articles, remember to notice your reaction to the different life areas. Allow yourself to hear your inner voice; you may recognize an area or two where nurturing it may well make a difference in your health span! It is time to take the actions that will support healthy aging so we can relish every minute of life.

 Read the introductory article for a quick review: CULTIVATING YOUR HEALTH SPAN IS EASIER THAN EVER.

Read the first article in the Vitality mini-series: LOVING LIFE WITH WELL-BEING AND ENERGY.

Mindset is significant because your assumptions about life and how you...

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Is 'Because Thinking' Stopping you?

mindset Mar 23, 2021

At 72, and committed to living a life I love, I've been reflecting on how easy it is to let outside conditions influence the decisions we make about what we do in our lives. 

 How many times have you decided to not do something because of conditions around you?  For example, what you think someone your age can’t or shouldn’t do, or not investing in yourself because money should be saved, or waiting for success to be guaranteed before venturing ahead.

 Seeing Because Thinking for the Limit it is

We all do this. For many of us it is habit we developed to help us make decisions. More than ever in your life, it is important to pause and decide if the decision to not do something is based what is really true.

 When we were younger we may have postponed things we wanted to do because …

  • I need to wait until the kids are older,
  • I need to get my promotion first,
  • I’ll do it after I pay down the mortgage,
  • I’ll just wait until I retire...
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