I am so excited about planning my year of turning 60. I want to make a list of things that I have never done in my life and set about achieving them. Something in my brain just doesn’t allow me to say “I’m too old for that” or “I’ve got no chance of achieving that I’m too old”, I say your never too old, whatever it is, apart from physical things like having a baby perhaps, although even the age for this is increasing every year, as women are leaving childbirth to much later in life. At 49 when I started to look at working abroad, not once did age become an issue. I was interviewed for several different positions, secretary to a Director in Lapland, working as chalet chef in the French Alps, an Administrator for a well known travel firm ‘must want to work anywhere in the Mediterranean’ and the job I finally accepted was Executive PA for an oil company in the Middle East. My age did not stop me from achieving a new direction in my life, I guarantee it is not going to affect the next new direction as I reach 60. Why do I know this? Just through the experience of life, I have always known by being positive and believing anything is possible – it pretty much is.
As I approach this exciting next phase of my life, I have reflected on some of the new things I have achieved this past year, things that I had never done before, some were simple things, others a bit more challenging. I truly believe anything is achievable and if you set your mind to it. One of my greatest achievements this year has been to submit my final assignment for the degree I am studying for, it was touch and go towards the end as I did struggle, but I refused to give up and I am so glad I didn’t. I feel it has been an incredible achievement, do I want to do it again … of course I do, it’s a lifelong ambition, I am determined to do it, although it may depend on my result, I’ll keep you posted. I am already excited about next year’s course though so maybe I won’t have the patience to wait. Other things that I have done are not so commendable but they were fun or made me feel good about myself and got me excited, as well as being grateful to be healthy and alive.
The funniest new ‘First’s’ of my life was to sit in a sauna naked with my daughter and four complete strangers – all men! When we walked into the spa and were told by a very ungentlemanly German steward “no clothes, nine nine” he waved at my swimming costume I had on, making it obvious I was overdressed. My first reaction was of horror and quickly left with my daughter feeling embarrassed and awkward, we hadn’t been told it was a nudist spa. We found ourselves a nice sunbed by the lake and tried to calm down over this annoying experience. However, the more I stewed and thought about it the more I contemplated the idea of going back in, that it could either be the most scariest thing or most liberating. So off we went back in to the spa and whilst no one was around we quickly took off our towelling robes and got into the spa pool naked. This latest for two minutes as we were shortly followed by the aforesaid four men. I felt like a school girl, not knowing where to look except at my daughter as we tried to stifle our giggles. Eventually, we decided to brave it and climbed out of the pool grabbing our towels and headed to the swimming pool which led out into the open air, surrounded by trees and with a view of the most beautiful lake. Plunging into the freezing cold pool, yes naked, I swam outside and have to admit it did feel liberating, quite naughty, but I had a real sense of freedom. I’m glad I did it, it still makes me smile now thinking about it. I know its not something you wake up in the morning dreaming about doing, but if the occasion arises, go for it, it will bring a smile to your face thats for sure.
Other first’s have been to be part of one of the biggest changes in Saudi Arabian history, women being able to drive. It was quite nerve wracking leaving the safe gates of the compound to the big wide world of Saudi Arabia, but again a liberating moment, you would have to work and live here to appreciate this moment. I am so happy for the women here in Saudi, its been a long time coming.
Appearance wise I had a hairstyling first …highlights in my hair, going from brunette to a warm honey brown with blonde highlights, the amount of people who have said what a difference it had made to me was quite lovely. My other first is to put a deposit down on an apartment by the sea, the first time I have ever bought something myself, quite proud of myself and again ten years ago I packed two suitcases and had 500 pounds in my purse that I had borrowed … you just have to believe in yourself. These are just a few ‘firsts’ that have made me happy and I intend to pursue a few more, starting with booking my first writing retreat for 2020, which incidentally has just been confirmed and am super happy and excited about that. I will shortly share with you a full list of my plans that are starting to come together and am truly excited about, all of which I would like to make reviews of as I spend my 60th year doing things that I’ve never experienced before, and helping you to see that with the right encouragement and tools you can achieve your goals and ambitions too. I’m looking forward to having new adventures, meeting like minded people and generally having the best time. Would love to hear about anybody else’s First’s in their 50th/60th/70th+ years.