When retirement or the lack of stimulation is killing you from the inside how do you find peace?
My journey to the over sixty club has been surprising and rewarding. Not solely because I stumbled into fashion modelling or acting but because I had not planned ahead this far. Everything that has happened I defined as a cosmic blessing, in so far as to say, I must have done something right. But in more grounded terms, it's the culmination of all the work and philosophies I held throughout my life that has landed me in this state of grace.
The road has not been easy. Life can beat you up and spit you out without notice, but what saved me all these years was a strong belief in common sense, a strong sense of justice, that I would survive, and I did. I had help along the way: I had friends who would pick me up when I had landed on my arse, dust me off, and kiss my cheek. I am eternally grateful to these angels. I also managed to pull myself up, dust myself off and give myself a good talk before facing the world again. And now that I'm 60 + I feel delightfully centred. I have learned life's hard lessons, such as communicating with compassion and fighting injustice in my own time and with knowledgeable tactics.
Our comfortable lifestyle or what we deem to deserve at this stage of our lives is not what it was a decade ago. Pandemics and wars are affecting housing, jobs and food supplies. Some are finding it hard to cope, mentally and physically, so how do we find stability and have a sense of moving forward? I hark back to the gift of common sense and self-preservation. My life and career were in creating beauty in many shapes and forms. As a hair stylist, makeup artist and fashion editor, I produced many beautiful and inspiring images for an audience that wanted an escape into an imaginary world of fantasy and wonder. Now I am the putty to other creators of that same world, working in front of the camera instead of behind it, making my view a flipped version of the same wonderful and magical world. And I continue to make my everyday life as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
My income has reduced since I was a young, career-driven ball of energy. I thank the stars for my pension, but I still look to create where I can, and instead of doing that with makeup or hair brushes, I do it with plants, writing, drawing, and whatever outlet inspires me. I used to worry about the next payment from acting or modelling jobs, but now I'm more interested in how I can give back: how can I help the community? Worrying puts a cork on the bottle of positive energy and stops the flow of creative thinking. It's in finding ways to stop worrying that leads to the path of surprises and solutions. I've stopped sweating the small stuff, I know it's a cliche term, but it is one of the ways to find the more gratifying gifts in life.
The road to peace and satisfaction is different for everyone, so I can't tell you to seek out beauty where you can or reduce and unclutter your lifestyle for philosophical reasons. Listen with your heart and soul and ask yourself, 'what makes me happy?' If you like a cocktail at the end of your day, but it's getting expensive to manage a home bar, think about shoping at sale times. If you love to clothes shop and your wallet is not supporting that idea, find a way to satisfy that craving: I don't mean shoplift! I mean, go to thrift stores, or swap sales, or save a little each month to get yourself that gift. Things become more precious when you can't afford them anymore, and I don't see that as a negative. I see it as an awakening.
Feeling positive is an essential health benefit to resolving any problem or dilemma. Seek out what your heart wants and just because you might not see the instant rewards have faith that they will come in the most unexpected ways. Seek out the treasures in yourself and the gifts that you, and only you, can give to your friends, family and your community. Believe in your uniqueness, and the universe will help you live a fulfilling life.