Fri, Mar 1, 2019

Addressing The Top 6 Fears Of Women Over 60

We have lived with change and uncertainty our entire lives; in fact, it is one of life’s few constants. You would think we would be used to it by now, but we aren’t.

by Margaret Manning

We have lived with change and uncertainty our entire lives; in fact, it is one of life’s few constants. You would think we would be used to it by now, but we aren’t. With that in mind, here the top six fears of women over sixty and, more importantly, here are some words of comfort and empowerment.

Fear of Being Alone

We’re all so used to rushing here and there, being over-scheduled and over-committed, that we rarely make the time to be alone. Consequently, when we do get the opportunity we pace around anxiously, wondering whom we can call, text, or connect with on Facebook. We begin to conjure all kinds of frightening scenarios of a future spent alone.

The good news is that being alone doesn’t necessarily have to mean being lonely. Rather than spending energy planning ways to avoid it, maybe it’s better to start practicing it. Regularly spend time with yourself, getting to know who you are and what you want from your life.

Of course, it’s good to stay connected to other people, but also learn to relish time spent with yourself.

Fear of a Failing Mind

When we forget to put the water in the coffee machine before we turn it on, or we call our daughter two of her siblings’ names before we get to hers, we secretly start to worry that we’re losing our minds.

Fortunately, being scatterbrained is not the same as having a medical condition. According to the US National Vital Statistics Report, the average 60-year-old today, has a 4.8% chance of developing Alzheimer’s in their life; that’s a 95.2% chance you won’t.

Those are pretty impressive odds. Your energy would be better-spent taking care of your brain, and sharing all your wisdom and great ideas with the world.

Fear of Death

As we age we’re more cognizant of our own mortality. We may begin to worry about the deaths of loved ones or ourselves. The fear of death is ultimately fear of the unknown and fear of loss – loss of life, as we know it.

The more we learn about death through religious or philosophical traditions, and through the sciences, the more we can strip away our fears. 

Fear of Being Invisible

Getting involuntarily retired from your job, being passed over for a promotion because you aren’t as tech savvy as that 28-year-old, or watching the forty-something power couple get seated at the restaurant while you stand patiently (and invisibly) by, can start to take a toll on your self-esteem.

Sometimes it seems that our youth-obsessed world is deliberately marginalizing, patronizing, and sidelining us. That may be true, but we didn’t accept it in the 60s and 70s, and we don’t have to accept it now.

As Mary Catherine Bateson reminds us in her inspirational Ted Talk, “We have to liberate ourselves from the stereotype of aging.”

We’ve been through liberation movements before, and our own awakening always precedes them. Let’s not pine away in the corners of society. Take stock of your passions, talents, and allies and become an impassioned agent for change. You know you want to.

Fear of Fading Beauty

Around the globe, societies glamorize youth. If we have had the misfortune of deriving our self-worth from our physical beauty – and many of us have, then aging can be cruelly difficult. When we don’t garner the attention we once did, it comes as quite a shock.

Some of us spend a great deal of time, effort, and money trying to hang on to the remnants of our youthful appearance. In reality, the only solution to this dilemma is to recognize the absurdity of it, and stop perpetuating it.

Let’s support women who are already actively engaging mainstream and social media to change and redefine what it means to be a beautiful woman. It’s an opportunity to redirect the energies of future generations of girls into something more meaningful.

Fear of Outlasting Your Money 

Money has always been a complicated issue for women. Even when there was so much financial uncertainty across the globe, we felt even more precarious in our life situations. Even though the US economy is soaring, many seniors have not prepared properly for retirement. Some of us fear losing our jobs. Others fear they’ll never be able to stop working.

If you’re afraid you’ll outlast your money, consider a side-hustle – something you’re passionate about. Start now while you’re still working, and if something unexpected should happen you won’t be caught unprepared.

Another thing to consider is downsizing. Global financial and environmental concerns have brought about a trend toward minimalism. You would be amazed at how little you can actually live on when you aren’t maintaining a lot of “stuff.”

Combine these two suggestions, and you may even realize more freedom in your life.

We all have fears; we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. It’s how we respond to our fear that matters.


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