The Resilient and Dynamic Margaret Manning Is Dedicated to Ensuring That ‘Sixty and Me’ Is A Fun, Happening Place You’ll Want to Visit Often

by Anne Holmes on September 20, 2013

A hearty NABBW welcome to Margaret Manning, the subject of today’s post. An entrepreneur, author and speaker, these days she is passionate about just one thing:  building a dynamic and engaged community that improves our lives and changes our perceptions. To do this, she’s founded Sixty and Me, an online community dedicated to helping women over 60 create independent, healthy and financially secure lives.

Margaret’s goal with Sixty and Me is to empower and motivate women sixty-plus to find their own voice and value in a transitional time of life that offers so much new opportunity. Her methods of  doing this are multidimensional, as the site not only includes articles and a forum, but also a YouTube channel full of  video interviews she’s done via Skype. Additionally, she includes games like Suduku and other fun features. (A great idea, IMHO, since we Boomers do love our puzzles.)

Prior to starting Sixty and Me, Margaret was a marketing consultant. In that capacity, she worked with major corporations like  Microsoft and Siemens to design creative marketing campaigns and effective communications strategies. In 2013, she organized TedXNewham – an event featuring an honest, real-life exploration of what it means to be resilient in today’s world.

Margaret told me that she lives her life mostly as a verb – thinking, learning and creating.  Talk to her for very long and you realize she loves action words like “energy” and “catalyst.” Additionally she describes herself with a couple of adjectives which in anyone else might seem completely opposed: “bohemian” and “cultured.”  Ask her for self-descriptive nouns and she throws out a few key ones:  “mother,” “traveler,” “writer” and “maverick.”

Though originally from London, Margaret is a citizen of the world, having lived in Toronto, Detroit, Dallas and Seattle. She explains that no matter where she lives, her passion is always to use her words to weave stories that motivate and inspire.

Despite how busy and active this dynamo of a woman is, we managed to track Margaret  down and ask her our favorite questions. Here’s what she told us:

Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself?

a margaret manningIf I could use just one letter to describe myself, it would be ‘c.’ I am creative, compassionate, caring, curious, colorful, confident, a communicator, connector and community leader.

I am a writer, entrepreneur and explorer with a a passion for words and the power of creative communication to transform brands and business.

I believe in people – in authentic community connected by values not conformity or forced association. I desire to be a unique, courageous, creative and intelligent marketer.

Personally, I am curious and bold global citizen and traveler. I am shaped by strong independent values, guiding my life and approach to business and relationships.

Above all, I am a mother with two sons and one granddaughter.

Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc.

I had the good fortune of having an amazing and deeply loving marriage that ended when we both ‘grew up’ after 20 years. We have not been able to transform that relationship into friendship because of the intensity and complexity of our lives.

My two sons (now 30 and 34) are creating wonderful independent lives although over the years their passions have started to align. It is wonderful to watch.

My one sweet granddaughter is 5 years old.

What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s?

In the 60’s I lived in Detroit, Michigan through some tough personal times. Music was a passion and some of my strongest memories were dancing at the Grande Ballroom to some of the classic rock bands. My mother’s death shaped the decade for me but I remember the hopefulness of that generation. I learned how to be strong as a woman.

What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women?60 website

Resilience.

What inspires you?

People inspire me. Their sheer ‘courage’ to exist and thrive despite many challenges. I am inspired by myself and the deep belief that anything in this world is possible. My belief is that the only boundaries in life are the ones we agree to be contained by. My sons inspire me with their love of life and independent spirit! Women inspire me with their strength and resourcefulness and passion.

What brings you the most pleasure in midlife?

Freedom

Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Travel and writing are passions – My online community and website Sixty and Me is my full time passion today.

Do you have a favorite book or movie? If so, tell us why it’s your favorite.

Amelie is my favorite movie of all time. Favorite book is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.atlas shrugged

Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go?

I tend to travel solo and will go anywhere my feet, or a bus, car, bike, boat, train or plane will take me. I do have a special love of India and Asia.  I love train journeys in particular and have a list of trips I want to take.

Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate.

Mostly vegetarian, I love eating healthy food and superfoods, delicious smoothies and make sure I get regular physical checkups and screening.

What do you stress about?

Very little – try to always keep things in perspective. Ask ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’

Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go?

Love playing with makeup and maintain good healthy skin.

Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how?

For me reinvention is a constant process. I did go through a major downsizing about 4 years ago – and now have my possessions to approximately 200 items. There a few ‘groups’ of items like bangles and makeup – I probably have 100 of them alone 🙂

Do you plan to retire?

Never

Are you doing anything to GO Green?

Recycle, reduce possessions and reduce environmental footprint by walking and taking public transport where possible. I don’t own a house or car.

Can you pinpoint major turning points in your life that led to your life’s work/play at midlife?

Just the downsizing decision i mentioned after a 3 month assignment in New York City. The over-consumption I saw there changed everything!

Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them?

60 and meI have many dreams but am living them every day. Sixty and Me is my key project . My goal is to create an independent, healthy and financially secure lifestyle and to embrace the wonderful complexity of six amazing decades of life experience while actively shaping a meaningful and beautiful future. Our 60 and Me Facebook community now has 32,000 members.

I started the Sixty and Me community to connect women over 60 with each other and to empower and motivate them to find their own voice and value in a transitional time of life that offers so much new opportunity. My desire is to provide ideas for turning passions into profitable work, share ways to build strong bodies and minds, and to create a mindset that sees life after sixty as a positive, vibrant and active time.

Sixty and Me will hopefully motivate women around the world to find their voice and the confidence to take action to shape beautiful, active and authentic lives. This is our time. Women over 60 have lived, loved, lost and reinvented themselves many times and this site will amplify our voice!

How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, your world?

Sixty and Me

Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?

My mother and my sons. My mother gave me life, and taught me lessons that shaped me – with her life and her death. My sons have given me meaning and substance.

If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose.

Over the hill and picking up speed!


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