Advice to my older self …

by Catherine Rickwood

We’re often asked about what advice we’d give our younger self, but how often are we asked what advice we’d give to our older self? Rarely … if ever. Recently I had the privilege of attending a Seniors School run by the Uniting Church in Balgowlah. It was fun and inspiring. There was a double birthday celebration for two women – one had turned 80 and the other, 90 years of age. As a result of that brief visit, this is the advice I’d give my older self …

  1. Participate in community groups. Remember when you enjoyed playing mahjong as a little girl with your Dad’s family? The click and feel of the tiles? Well, there’s people out there playing mahjong now. Go find them and have fun.
  2. Do things you would never have thought of doing. For example, art. I know you never thought yourself much of an artist, but I met an artist at this Seniors School and I actually think art could be fun. Give it a go.
  3. Travel. Even if you’re in a wheelchair. Someone told me that travelling in a wheelchair is great.  They get chauffeured through customs, don’t have to wait in queues and occasionally get upgraded to first class. Slight incapacity doesn’t have to limit your desire to travel, explore, and have new adventures.
  4. Remain active. Walk. Go to the gym. Do yoga. At least three times a week.
  5. A little bit of cake is OK. I know you’re a whole food, organic eating, farmers market regular, but the occasional bit of cake doesn’t hurt and is a great way to share in the celebration of birthdays for friends, family, and people you don’t know.

For now, I believe that …

Life truly is long. There is another timeframe other than ‘now’. Getting older isn’t the end of life. It’s the beginning of a new life.

The opportunity and my personal challenge is to spread things out to reduce the stress and enjoy the journey.

What would your advice be to your older self?


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About the Author

Catherine Rickwood

An experienced researcher and business executive, Catherine's work is informed by academic knowledge and evidence to deliver practical actions with measurable outcomes. These combined skills create a powerful and useful ability to delve deep on issues, ask incisive questions, think laterally, and bring knowledge and insights to individuals, a team, and an organisation keen to engage with, and include the over 50's as a valuable part of their business strategy.

Catherine Rickwood is solutions-focussed, working with innovative organisations keen to improve customer and employee insights and empathy to increase their success in new markets, build loyalty, and increase innovation. She does this using a co-design process that engages employees and key stakeholders to create collaborative solutions. Contact Catherine to discover how her services can support your organisation to harness the changing demographic reality.

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