It’s interesting how one reacts to different birthdays. As a young girl, I couldn’t wait to be older and to look older because I always looked so many years younger than I was. In my mid-twenties I had two children and often got told I looked far too young to have kids. In my forties I was informed I was too young to be a grandma. People thought my daughter was my sister for a long time, much to her dismay. Folks still don’t believe I have a grandson graduating high school this year, they often mistook him for my son, not my grandson.
I always felt younger than my peers and looked it, according to others. So for a very long time, I was quite happy to be another year older.
My first inkling I might be getting older was at age 35 when I realized I was no longer able to check the box that said 25-34 when filling out a form. The next box up was for ages 35-44. Whoa, I thought, now I’m a grownup, I’m getting older!
Fortieth birthday felt fine, no major angst. Even fifty was good – yay, I have enough years under my belt to feel wiser! I still look and feel young! And finally making different choices important to my own well-being and no longer feeling like I have to follow what everyone else wants! Getting older is pretty cool!
Then I hit age 55 and started realizing that sixty was creeping up on me fast. I was on the second half of my life! How did the time zip by so fast? I began to question what had I really done with my life. Had I actually made a difference in the world? To me, it seemed like all I had done was basically birth and raise two kids and work my butt off and not much else.
To top it off, all my life I had been waiting for a burning passion or talent to show up, something I could see in so many other folks I had always admired. I liked to do a lot of things, was good at many things (and not so good at others but did them anyhow), but other than my kids, there was never anything that said in definitive, serious tones, This is what you should be doing, you would rock at it! And with the exception of my spiritual growth, blogging, and my kids, there has long been a quiet wondering inside, what is my life about anyhow?
I knew I needed to make changes before I hit the big 6-0, so I upended the life I was living in order to try something brand new here in Panama.
This week was that big birthday for me. It feels different than any others. As a baby boomer, I never expected to get “old”, and yet, the numbers say I am. Or at least, I think that number is saying that. In my mirror, I’m seeing signs of saggy skin and more wrinkles than ever. Dammit, sixty is for other people, not me! You go ahead and be sixty, fifty is good for me. I’ve been spoiled all my life hahaha, and now it seems aging is catching up to me. My mom was 69 when she left the planet, my brother 66. My mortality is staring at me in the face, and I’m far from ready to leave while I’m still wondering what’s next for me. However, as a side note, I do have to acknowledge how great many folks look and act at my age these days. Sixty is the new forty, right? I still feel forty. Only wiser. Mu-u-uch wiser.
In this incarnation, my body is now sixty, and I am proud and honored to have experienced and evolved as much as I have in it. It’s been a great vehicle for this life. Wonder if I can make it to two hundred in it, still in great shape? Because I’m far from done. I still have lots to offer, even if I don’t yet have a handle on what that might look like. I think I believed that by the time I was this age, I would have my s&% together and have this life thing all figured out. No, I don’t, and I’m done beating myself up for not knowing.
It’s a never ending journey of fascination, learning, and evolution, isn’t it? Glad I didn’t know that fact thirty-eight years ago when I was so thrilled and relieved to finally be done with school! I surely didn’t understand then that it was a lifelong process.
Happy Birthday to all my fellow January babies and baby boomers who are heading into or are already in their sixties. We are the generation that jump started this current spiritual and cultural evolution, and we still got it going on. 🙂