When I turned 30, I hardly noticed; I had just had a baby two months before, and I was working part-time and hanging on until the day my little daughter slept through the night so I could feel like a human being again.
When I turned 40, all I could think of was how Grace Kelly always said that after 40 it was all downhill for a woman. I had a few white hairs, and though I was working out at the gym regularly and feeling great, I approached that birthday with a good share of dread.
When I turned 50, again I didn’t pay much attention. I mean, 50 was now the new 30, right? And I was busy with my work, my writing and designing business, being a beleaguered wife and a mom to my own mother. I was mildly annoyed at the notification from AARP that I was now old enough to join, but ignored it for a time. I wasn’t old enough for THAT.
My past decade has been a busy one, filled with many changes; a drawn-out separation and divorce, my mother’s passing, moving across the country, the loss of dear pets, becoming a vegetarian and then vegan, preparing to face the future on my own.
So I turned 60 a few days ago. I did dread this birthday because, after all, 60 sounds so…OLD. I tend to think of my life in thirds; 0-30, 30-60, 60-90. Now I’m in the last third. I do expect to live to be 90, as the people in my family, thankfully, tend to live a long time. I have some physical annoyances like anyone, but luckily I’ve never been seriously ill or injured, I don’t smoke or drink, and I eat a plant-based diet. I could use more exercise, and more sleep, but I expect to be getting more of both very soon, the exercise because I’m moving where I’ll be doing a lot more walking, and sleep because, well, I’ll just discipline myself to do that! My problem with sleep is not that I can’t sleep, it’s just that I get interested in things and put off going to bed. Not helpful!
The day after my birthday my daughter asked, “Well, how does it feel to be 60?” At the time I said it didn’t feel much different from 59, but actually, it feels…FINE. I feel lucky to have made it this far, and am reminded of friends and classmates who have not been so fortunate. I actually feel excited, because I’m on the verge of enjoying my new life very much, and there are so many things I want to do!
So this is 60…and it’s quite all right!