On Turning 60

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“All your life you think 60 is ancient and all of a sudden you find you’re 60 and you don’t really feel that different.  I feel stronger and more engaged. This is the best time of my life.” –Glenn Close

And she boiled bunnies and was fatally attracted to Michael Douglas and she still lives happily ever after…

Up until yesterday (my birthday), I hadn’t been willing to admit my age out loud to many people because it seems like such a BIG number.  Now I’m telling the world. It’s a woman thing I guess; kind of like sharing how much we weigh.  I must be finally coming to terms with it however or either I realize that it’s better than the alternative.  I’m not a vain person but aging does seem to be a little tougher on women than it is on men.  Men are generally considered to look more distinguished as they grow older.  Case in point….

GeorgeClooney

Along with the many other benefits of being a man; gray is ok. I can’t recall the last time I heard a guy say that he needed to go to the salon to have his hair colored or his roots touched up.  Of course if you’re a woman, it’s an entirely different story.  I tend to feel frumpy when I need a hair cut or my gray starts to show through my no longer “natural” hair color.  I guess the most important thing about turning 60 is I don’t feel like I’m 60.  God has blessed me with relatively good health in spite of my sometimes unhealthy ways.  On a good day I don’t even think that I look like I’m 60 either.  They say that age is just a number and I tend to agree. This milestone birthday is causing me to consider how I would like to spend the next ten years of my life.  Instead of viewing it as being another year older, I have decided to celebrate it as the beginning of a brand new decade.

The first twenty years of my life was devoted to growing up (which felt like surviving at times), learning as much as I could and trying to figure out what this sometimes crazy mixed up world was all about. Then came marriage at 19.  The next decade involved married life and motherhood which presented its own set of challenges, rewards, expectations and ups and downs.  And then the thirties rolled around which was hands down the most exciting and wonderful decade of my life. This was the season where I finally discovered who I was; not who others thought I should be, but me.  I was finally able to establish my own identity apart from being someone’s caretaking daughter or someone’s wife or someone’s mom and it felt good.  Finally the last twenty years of my life came crashing in marred by heartbreak, career challenges, medical issues and longsuffering; you know life on life’s terms.  Some of this of course had to do with choices I made in my thirties while “finding myself”.  But if I had to live my life all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat but with a few exceptions.  First, I would not have stayed in an unhappy marriage for as long as I did.  Secondly, I would have been more emotionally available for my children; especially my daughter who needed me most when I was in my thirties.  Finally, I would not have allowed myself to remain “emotionally stuck” for as long as I have on certain things from my past.  Those are years that I can never get back.

So what I’d like to do in the next decade of my life is continue to become the person who God created me to be whatever that entails.  I also want to apply the lyrics of one of my favorite male vocalist’s songs to my everyday life.

   

 

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