Claire Aidem

I feel so privileged to be in my 60s and to be in such a positive place in my life.  I recently lost my best friend, a stark reminder to take nothing for granted.  When I thought of being in my 60s in my 20s and 30s my perception was that I’d look and feel old so I’m appreciative that neither is true!

I’ve tried for most of my life to be true to myself – to make decisions that are right for me and not let other people’s judgements influence me.   I think of my life in chapters that zig zag rather than move in a straight line.

I spent many years as a marketing executive at American Express.   I really valued that time and experience and learned so much about my own capabilities:  how to get things done; that No is just an obstacle to Yes and how to never let anyone push me around – great lessons for life!

I later co-founded a company, IconicTV with my husband, setting up YouTube Channels mostly for celebrities, which was financed by Google.  It was challenging to learn a new platform and I probably never worked so hard but it was also so much fun.

In recent years, I’ve returned to my great passion in life: Music. I had been a serious pianist from age 7 through early adulthood when I moved on to career and motherhood.  But I discovered at age 61 that I can sing and this has now become one of my great joys in life. I sing in a chorale – a wonderful community of singers, and study voice with an amazing teacher who has also become a close friend.  It is almost impossible to feel badly about anything after singing.

On a personal level, I have been married for over 40 years to someone I cherish more with each passing year.  My two children are happy in their careers and in their marriages and I adore both of their spouses.  I became a new grandmother a year and a half ago, and my grandson Dylan is pure joy!  It is such a pleasure to see the world through his eyes with no filters or prejudices and whose exuberance is his natural state of being.

Finally, a friend of mine recently introduced me to his philosophy of life after 50 – QTR – Quality Time Remaining. It forces you to ask the question, “Is this situation and/or person really worth devoting time to?”  It allows me to prioritize those activities and people I most value and helps me focus on the things I love most in life:  my family, music, reading, traveling, and doing as many outdoor activities as I can.