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Life After 60 Whilst Living in Paris

Living My Best Life

By Karolyn Denson LandrieuxPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

I turned 61 this past Wednesday. I’m still trying to process it. I’m in that weird place in life now. Somewhere between middle aged and senior. Also known as the invisible years. Perhaps its easier living in Paris although I am not completely sure that this is categorically true . This age is probably difficult anywhere if you are a woman.

I took an early retirement from flying after a lengthy career as a purser and flight attendant. I spent the lion-share of my adult life in the industry. That was definitely my dream job ne dream lifestyle. But… there comes the time when one needs to move forward, to move on to something new. Although I always have had a side hustle and remained connected to my artistic self, I needed to delve deeper into that part of my soul. Pivoting into unchartered waters is scary. I took that leap of faith. I have always written but never for other eyes or for other people to read. I have sold my original designs as a fashion designer from another business that I owned, and some of my artworks, but never anything like this. I love it that my husband supports me and goes along with my dreams. We went from having my lucrative income to us living on just his salary and what’s left of my savings. I pray that my venture grabs hold. Having a partner in your life that doesn’t get in the way of your dreams is everything. Believe me!

I was watching a series on Netflix called “ On The Verge”. The show is very funny. I particularly enjoy the way it plays between French and English. There is a scene where the actress Julie Delpy ask her phone to list careers for women over 40. Her phone proceeds to list very mundane career choices. The kind of jobs that really pushes one into oblivion. She then throws the phone down in utter frustration. That’s just after 40! Imagine after 60!!! Mon dieu! My husband told me that no one will hire me here in France because of my age now. So failure in my enterprise is not an option. Neither is poverty. Starting a new career direction, starting my own company is risky without a safety net. Did I also mention it’s terrifying? It shouldn’t be any different for me as a woman as it would be for a man. Perhaps it isn’t but i can’t know that. From what I have read and observed though, I have to believe that it is a much greater challenge. I mean from an invisible woman’s point of view. But here is the thing! I still shower in a normal type shower. Not the kind where I need a special seat or extra assist handles. I still exercise regularly. I love our Peleton bike and the workouts! I wish they were in France. I still eat a normal diet that is majorly plant based, which does not mean vegetarian by the way. I still put on mascara and lip gloss. I still hang out with friends. I still travel, cook, clean, take out trash and dabble in the garden. Okay so it’s window boxes in Paris and containers in Pittsburgh. I still do all of the things that I did in my younger years just with a bit more thought and perhaps some caution. I don’t feel that much different in my head than I did 30 years ago. I am still the same person just a bit wiser with a few more gray hairs and a middle aged body. I’m still trying to get used to those. I’m lucky to not have wrinkles. Thank you mom and dad for the good skin genes.

So my point in all this is not to be afraid of change. Do not be afraid to do something that challenges the norm. Move to a new country, or state or city. Change your hair or lip color. Try a new cuisine. Learn a new skill or a new language. Take a class. Go back to school. Start a new career. Date (or marry) someone that doesn’t fit into a box of someone else’s making. Life is to be lived fully. Just because someone somewhere decided some time ago that a certain age defines a certain place in life does not make it true. As my daughter Amber says about me… “my mom is out here living her best life!” And I am!!! I highly recommend it.


About the Creator

Karolyn Denson Landrieux

Karolyn lives in Paris and Pittsburgh. She loves travel and has travelled most of the world, she enjoys time at home with family. Whether it's cooking, painting, designing or writing, creativity is her passion. @karolynd88 @maxineandbeanie

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