I am so excited about planning my first 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.

As I approach this exciting next phase of my life I reflected on some of the new things I had achieved this past year, things that I had never done before, some were simple things, others a bit more challenging.  All these things have made me think what the heck anything is possible, anything is achievable and anything can be done if you set your mind to it.  Do not use those words  “I’m too old”, trust me your not.  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 will do it, I will now choose my next year’s course.  Other things that I have done are not so commendable but they were fun or made me feel good, excited and glad 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 was told by a very ungentlemanly German steward “no clothes, nine nine” he waved at my full length swimming costume I had on, making it obvious I was overdressed.  My first reaction was of horror and stormed out with my daughter, 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 awkward experience.  However, the more I stewed and thought about it the more I thought this could either be the most scariest thing or most liberating.  So off we went back in, quickly taking of our robe and getting in to the spa pool naked, whilst no one was around, only to be 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 climb out of the pool grabbing our towels and headed to the swimming pool which led out into the open air, surrounded by trees and a beautiful lake. Plunging into the freezing cold pool, naked, I swam outside and I 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.  Smaller first’s have been to have highlights in my hair, going from brunette to a warm honey brown with blonde highlights, having gels on my nails, making me feel different and surprisingly younger, seriously its got to be done! 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.  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 make reviews of as I spend my 60th year doing things that I’ve never experienced before.  I’m looking forward to having new adventures, meeting like minded people and generally having the best time – you might as well.  Would love to hear about anybody else’s First’s in their 50th/60th/70th+ years.

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