I have been thinking about how I feel about moving into my seventh decade of life. I remember how I felt when my mom and dad turned 60. I was 38 at the time, and that whole year was somewhat of a mid-life crisis for me. I’m not quite sure exactly why my parents hitting that magic age made me feel my mortality so much, but it did. One of the major aspects of that year was that I really knew I wanted to make a difference in my world, and I started to pursue my own values and my spirituality with vigor. Somehow, I think that was a turning point for me.
I’m turning 60 tomorrow. Strangely, I don’t think this birthday is impacting me as much as when Dad and Mom turned 60. I don’t feel old. Perhaps because I recognize that I love change – especially when I instigate it. I love learning, and I think that helps keep me young. My children keep me on my toes, even though they are close to the age I was when my parents turned 60. Andi keeps me apprised of the joy of raising a baby, and yet craving adult interaction at the same time. Josef keeps me current on what is going on in the news, expressing his thoughts about books, movies, music, and philosophy. My grandchildren – I’m sure I need say nothing more other than I love all three of them with all my heart.
I have accomplished much up to this point in my life. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter and sister. I have touched a multitude of lives – hopefully for the best. What I remember the most is not my work, which I did to the best of my ability, but the quality of my relationships and how much I learned from every person who has touched me.
Of course, I have realized that turning 60 is not old. For me, it is opening up new vistas, and encouraging me to sweep away the stale, and often stinky, habits and patterns of my life, and make room for the new and exciting opportunities coming my way. Turning 60 is another turning point for me. This time, it is one that does not bring anxiety with it, as did that turning point 22 years ago.
I wish I had known what it meant to be 60 when I was 38. But then, I would not have experienced the growth of the next 22 years that created the foundation of what is yet to come.
Today I spent with friends. I left the house early, and moved from engagement to engagement – networking, sharing ideas, making plans and enjoying the relationship with dear people. We are all getting older, and share the delight of adventure, the community of friends, singing the song of the soul, and the willingness to give of ourselves to create a moment, day or year of delight for someone else.
I’m excited about the future. I’m eager for what is coming my way – new friends, new experiences, new freedom – even while keeping the best of what is here right now. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring – only that I will be surprised, delighted, inspired and encouraged to make the best of whatever it might be.
If you are still reading, thank you for enduring my rambling. If you are 38 – know that life is amazing and wonderful and that the best is yet to be. Enjoy the time you have now, and don’t worry about the future. If you are 60 – I hope you are appreciating where we are right here and now, and are not worrying about the future. And if you are 82 – you are blessed, and I’m looking forward to the experience of the next 22 years as I move day by day to join you.
Happy Birthday! What a day it will be.