On becoming a Sexagenarian

Tomorrow I will become a sexagenarian.  I will be turning 60 years old.  I can hardly believe it! Six decades of living … six zero … six times ten. Put another way it means I have turned 20 three times; or done 3o twice. Three score years. Unbelievable — especially since I don’t feel at all 60 in my head.

My body now, is another matter. In increasing measure I have been picked and poked by my physician, cracked by my chiropractor, drilled by the dentist, manipulated by a masseuse, and fixed in physio.  I haven’t quite achieved hormone happiness but I like to believe I’m getting close. I faithfully do my morning stretches, stay active in Aquafit and try to eat a healthful diet.

Most days the aches and pains come and go, reminding me to cherish every day without them, and enjoy each day in spite of them.

Turning 60 feels like more of a milestone than any birthday to date. It’s a kind of watershed, like the end of summer moving into fall.

Being the reflective person that I am, I have been reminiscing lately on the journey of my life. Please indulge me as I share a few truths gathered along the way.

Prayer works, and God is good – all the time.

The best things in life aren’t things.

Having weathered marital storms as well as oceans of joy over the years, my relationship with Peter is stronger now because of them. Thirty-eight years of living with the same person will make you better or bitter. It’s made me better for sure. I love him with all my heart.

I’ve had the awesome privilege of being a mom to 4 wonderful kids. Now that they all have partners of their own, the circle of my love has expanded.  And the joy of being a grandma is a wonderful and magical thing. It amazes me how I can love so many people with all my heart!

My affection and appreciation for my birth family has deepened with the passage of time as well. As we four siblings work together in caring for our nonagenarian parents who still live in their own home, we have become bonded in a very special way. I am grateful for their dedication, patience, laughter and encouragement.

I have learned the value of sleep and rest. I know what I can handle and try to pace myself accordingly. I don’t mind being the first to leave an evening gathering to head home to bed.

It’s alright to put my PJ’s on right after supper, or leave them on all day (provided I don’t have to go out anywhere!).

A good belly laugh does wonders for the body and spirit. The tears remove toxins from the body, it’s great exercise for the ab flab, it lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and suppresses pain.

I don’t have to color my hair – gray hair is the crown of the aged.

I’ve lived through some incredible times in history: the first man on the moon, the bringing down of the Berlin wall, Beatlemania.

I can accept that there are many things beyond my control.

It’s positive to push my physical limits, but it’s equally good to be able to say with genuine acceptance, “I can’t do that anymore”.

It’s humbling and exhilarating to be asked by younger folk for a listening ear, some advice, or prayer for a particular issue. I love being a spiritual mom and mentor.

My favorite words are “I love you”,  “Please”, “Thank you”, and “I’m sorry – forgive me”.

Senior discounts ROCK! I’ve only had a few (most begin at 65), but the taste I’ve had has been delicious!

Facebook doesn’t have to be a waste of time. It helps me stay in touch with family and friends around the world. It’s fun to be able to play Scrabble and other games on-line with people near and far.

It’s a comfort to know that I am not the only one to experience certain oddities in life. A friend told me the other day that sometimes she opens her mouth and her mother comes out!  So good to know I’m not alone.

I have many younger friends. They keep me mentally and spiritually alert. They are a joy to interact with, and will still be alive when I am old.

My older friends are gold. We share, we sympathize, we understand each other in a way the younger generation can not.

As I enter my 7th decade on this earth, I refuse to be a miserabilist. Life is too good and beautiful to have an Eeyore outlook.

I want to laugh lots, have a joyful song in my heart, and thank God for everything wonderful and right in the world. I want to count my blessings in celebration. These are choices I’m making every day.

So if you see me slipping into self-pity, or getting down in the dumps, please remind me (gently) to lift my gaze. That’s another thing I’ve learned over the decades: it’s good to be accountable!

I’ve lived a lot of years. Instead of being sad that certain stages and ages are over, I’m thankful that they happened.

I may be turning 60, but I look forward to the future with hope. Psalm 92:14 assures me, “They shall still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming ‘ the Lord is upright, He is my Rock!'”

I believer the best is yet to come. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  Happy 60th Birthday to me!





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