Making your 60s the best time to shine
"THIS is the best time ever for women in our 60s. If we use it wisely, this decade between our responsible 50s and our relaxed 70s offers us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent ourselves and start something new, on our own terms."
This is the introduction to Power of Women in our Sixties, a book that acknowledges and supports women making the 60 the best time in their lives.
Behind the book is vivacious author, 63-years-young Chris Vidal - a teacher, traveller and founder of powerwomenover60.
She loves her age and her situation - twice divorced with two adult children who she considers among her best mates. Chris is all about making and taking the best out of life.
"When I turned 60 I thought, right, I'm going to make the next 10 years work for me," she said.
She's gone about achieving this goal with a good sense of humour, a huge amount of open-hearted curiosity and a nose for adventure.
The title of her book is also the name she gives to the group she founded for like-minded women.
Three years ago she started the Gold Coast, Power Women in our 60s group, which now claims about 500 members. The Brisbane group started only three months ago and is fast heading towards 100 members.
Chris uses social media, including her website, blog and the Meet-Up platform to encourage women to try something different.
Chris is a natural extrovert - her glass is half full and she's also very straightforward about the ups and downs of her life.
The "downs" perhaps started with her Scottish and English, Singapore-based parents shipping the nine-year-old off to a Scottish boarding school, where she spent the next nine years.
"It was emotionally hard," Chris said.
But her natural disposition is to make "lemonade out of lemons" and so she attributes her resilience to these difficult years.
On the other hand, she counts among her "ups" career milestones such as event management and restyling jewellery stores in beautiful resorts on the Maldives islands.
Today, she lives on the Gold Coast and has in some ways connected back to her teaching career and boarding school life to work as a boarding house mum at a Brisbane private girls' school. She speaks with empathy of the young women she watches over.
While Chris shares and entertains with the story of her own life and the multi-coloured stories of other women, it is the practical exercises included in her book that contribute a special element of support to readers.
The book concludes with The Power Plan, a practical method to make dreams come true - in your 60s.
You can find more about Chris Vidal, her book and meetings at: powerof womeninoursixties.com/blog?category=women