Attitude makes all the difference

Editor’s note: Marie Snider began writing this column 20 years ago. Here is her first column that appeared in The Newton Kansan on Wednesday, March 18, 1992.
“This Side of 60” began syndication in August, 1992.
Life on this side of 60 is fun! Oh, I know life isn’t supposed to be fun, at least not all the time.
It’s supposed to be struggle and hard work . . . keeping up with the Joneses . . . making just a little more money no matter how much you make now . . . rush . . . rush . . . rush . . . dealing with problems . . . always short of time and money. . . .
That’s life for you!
But this side of 60 it’s different. Or at least it can be. You can make choices you couldn’t make before.
This side of 60, I can choose to be a freelance writer—something I desperately wanted to do on the other side of 60. But then there were shoes to buy and college educations to pay for.
Now, finally, it’s my choice.
That doesn’t mean working less hard, but I can choose the topics. I can write in the middle of the night or the middle of the day, and no employer looks over my shoulder.
All I have to do is meet my deadlines in my own way.
That’s the biggest difference about this side of 60. Freedom and self-determination. For the first time, you can stick your tongue out at the world (when they’re not looking, of course!)
Now’s your chance to do what you’ve always wanted to do, to pursue your dreams . . . the dreams of a lifetime. And with today’s new-found longevity, you still have a third of a lifetime to pursue them.
It hurt to pay into that retirement plan all those years . . . and all those Social Security deductions. But now it pays off. Those cheques come in with regularity, earmarked to support your dreams.
Oh, don’t get me wrong on the finances. You may not be on Easy Street. If you’re just counting on Social Security and a minimal retirement plan, you’ll be eating beans and macaroni, and that’s all right if you choose to do it.
But it probably won’t hurt if your dream of a lifetime includes a little money-making.
Now’s the time to exercise and make sure you have the energy to pursue your dreams. It’s the time to get your body in tip-top condition so you can enjoy the next 30 years, as much as you did the past 30.
And the truth is, you probably will enjoy the future exactly as much as you did the past!
Ralph Waldo Emerson summarizes it: “The pleasure of the life is according to the man (or woman) who lives it, and not according to the work or the place.”
Attitude is what it’s about. Milking the best out of each day. Putting the best into it. Expecting the most. Giving the most.
This side of 60, your attitude makes all the difference.
And come to think about it, it doesn’t really matter which side of 60 you’re talking about. The choices may be different, but it’s always up to you to find your dream and make life fun!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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