By Tilly Smith Dix
Turning forty was a gloriously delicious experience for me. I finally felt I’d arrived at an age in which I felt more comfortable in my skin. It was also a time of new beginnings for me. Slightly scary, as I’d moved city, returning to a metropolis I’d lived in before but it was different now as most of my friends from my twenties had either moved country or were too engrossed in family life to deal with a newly single old friend.
A new job made for exciting times as I’d been shaken out of my small-city comfort zone and set about reinventing myself, shedding an unhappy skin and promising myself success and happiness onwards.
Turning fifty proved another milestone and I celebrated it with gusto by embarking on a fabulous winter holiday in London, Italy and Switzerland – solo. Spending time on long-distance trains, from Milan to Genoa, then on to Portofino and Florence, offered much time to reflect and I loved every moment. A few days in Zurich, from where I flew back to South Africa, and I felt it in my bones that my fifties were going to be a blast.
Photography by the amazing Jessica Apap, logo by fabulous Chiz Judge of Out of the Cage design.
By then I’d achieved success in my job as a publicist and copywriter, owned a luxurious, spacious terraced apartment in glamorous Sandton, and now I realised I might be in a position to slow down slightly and start taking notice of people wanting to spend time with me – men! No, I’d not cut them out of my life in the past ten years but my priorities included quality time with great friends, my business, my family and savouring the fun side of life, such as travel, great food, champagne and gardening for therapy out of my hectic home office!
Shortly before my fifty-third birthday, I met a man with whom I fell in like and then in love. We got married and after a few years moved to another country with our cat.
The day I turned sixty, my husband wanted to know if I wanted a party and I opted to celebrate this big birthday quietly and under the radar as I somehow did not feel ready to tell the world I was now officially a senior citizen – I simply did not FEEL sixty and according to loved ones, I did not look it either. So, being in a job in which most clients were younger than me, I felt owning up to my age would create a category labelled ‘past it’ – and I don’t like being categorised as I feel we all have so many facets to our personas.
Well, to cut a long and winding story short, I have finally come to cherish this new age as it feels incredibly powerful and liberating. Thanks to iconic, fabulous and smart women all over the world, this silver phase is NOT the final stage and there are new adventures and journeys to embrace.
So, taking the bull by the horns, I’ve come out, so to speak, as a now silver blonde passionate about the magic of life. The beauty of this phase is I can do what I like! Whilst there are still many lessons to be learned, I also feel I have plenty to say and teach, thanks to the ever-evolving school of osmosis. Dealing with life on MY terms, knowing when to say NO, or yes, without feeling guilty, is amazing. The stars are also aligned as my planet Jupiter (yes, I like being a mutable Sagittarius) is also positioning me for some spectacular years forward.
Whilst now living with one foot (no, not in the grave), close to the city of Melbourne and the other planted firmly in the magnificent Yarra Valley, I still enjoy stylish dressing and after some prompting by old and newfound friends, including a modelling agent, I’ve now officially launched an Instagram account: Sixty_is_the_new_40– let me know what you think of the gorgeous logo designed by my special friend Chiz.
Dabbling in modelling, which is a throwback to my teens and twenties to have fun and earn extra cash, I’m also trying to keep this silver brain active by continuing to work with a small, select clientele as a publicist and copywriter, while blogging and travel writing remain part of my many passions. My photography is also improving and living in a spectacular region with an abundance of colourful birdlife and glorious nature, I don’t even have to be great at it to produce excellent photographs.
As for social media, I’m working it, darlings, as between Facebook, Linkedin, my now two Instagram accounts, one private and Sixty_is_the_new_40, I think it a small miracle I manage to keep the house clean as well as cook and bake for my husband. Busy, busy, busy, ah, then there is the yoga to keep the bones strong and muscles toned, not to mention elevating the soul to remain mindful. Namaste, just colour me grateful.
Cheers to the good life, darlings…