Since Turning Sixty….

“To tell you the truth, I didn’t feel any different. I don’t think you ever do. I think one day you just become sixty or seventy, and it must be a shock to be so old because it’s still the same you on the inside; it’s just that all the outside of you has got wrinkled from the weather.” – Martine Murray

Six years ago today, I was five months away from turning sixty. At the time, sixty sounded like the gateway to old age. In my mind, I had reached the top of the ladder and my only choice was to slide down towards eternity. Gloomy right? No wonder I felt a bit wary.

As the big 60th birthday approached, my concerns about becoming invisible, my concerns about no longer having a purpose and my concerns about experiencing loneliness began to sneak into my thoughts. I really did not mind the actual age number going up, but I was having a difficult time wrapping my head around the fact that this decade (and beyond) was going to be all about the unwanted changes I had observed in other people as they aged.

My biggest worry, however, was the thought of slowing down – mentally as well as physically. Being active each and every day was part of my identity. For 40 years or so I had raised a very active family while also pursuing my career as an elementary school teacher – each vocation provided the opportunity for visibility, purpose, and lots of activity.

I have been rereading my posts from those earlier days – I now keep them in a notebook – and I can’t help but notice how naive those concerns were and what a gift I have been given to have lived this long.

Have I actually slowed down mentally and physically? Maybe a little, but I am consciously making an effort to get in some amount of exercise daily and doing my best to stay mentally aware and alert. Yes, I have a few more aches and pains, but I try not to let them be a burden to not only myself but to anyone around me.

I have successfully taught myself to savor every special moment and will often stop while “in the moment” and make a conscious effort to breathe it all in. In reality, not every day is a happy day – some days are sad, some are lonely, and some are just plain hard and leave me feeling a bit empty. That’s just life – we all have those days – no matter how old we are. Some of us choose to deal with these difficult days and keep moving forward and some of us let these days get the better of us.

As far as having a purpose – I am as busy as I choose – exploring new options, nurturing others – all while taking time to relax and enjoy the experience, the people, the blessings. I no longer care if I am invisible or if you like me or not and this is so empowering!

None of us is guaranteed tomorrow nor can we expect that life will never throw us a curve ball. I do know that as I continue to age – I never want to take anything or anyone for granted – I always want to maintain and nurture an appreciation of the gift of life. When and if another curve ball comes my way, I plan to take that swing and deal with the result even if the result leaves me breathless.

To put it all together – In five months when the birthday candles are once again aflame, I will give thanks for the white hair on my head, the wrinkles on my face, the gift of small adventures, meaningful moments and most of all I will give thanks to God for the opportunity to grow old.

29 thoughts on “Since Turning Sixty….

  1. What a beautiful post, I agree with you and thank God allowing me to grow older too. I will be 70 next year but my head is still thirty!
    Enjoy every day even the bad and boring ones, this is not a rehearsal 💜💜💜

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  2. I am much the same. It’s not that the number bothers me so much, but my biggest concern about being over 60 is not being taken seriously, being thought out-of-touch. I’ve never been one to follow the latest fads, but neither do I want to be thought hopelessly out of it. On the other hand, as you say, we can’t help what other people think. And the Bible says, “They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green” (Psalm 92:14). So as long as God has me here, He has something useful for me to do and will give me grace to do it.

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  3. I’m just a few months younger than you are (if I’m doing my math right) and I feel pretty good too. As long as I eat well, exercise, and continue to be engaged and learn new things, my age doesn’t bother me at all. Sure, I’d love to have fewer wrinkles and thicker hair but oh well. I’m not willing to get these things artificially. Like many women my age, I let my hair grow out to its natural color during the beginning of the pandemic and am enjoying the freedom. I’ve decided to live my best life as I am.

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    • The pandemic was a perfect time to let my hair go to its natural color. It was a challenge keeping my roots colored since my hair is naturally dark and the roots were gray. I decided to cut it very short and let it grow out and was kind of shocked at the color – it was not gray – it was white!!! Took me a while to get used to that color, but now I love it and one less thing to worry about – I just wash it and go! No artificial fillers for me either – just don’t trust them and what I have seen in a lot of people just doesn’t look good! Sounds like we think alike!

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  4. I love the freedom that comes with age!
    I love the wisdom God has given & the opportunity to share His wisdom with all those who stop by for a cuppa.
    And while good health evades me, His blessings never cease.
    Remember you’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer.
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

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  5. This is such a beautiful post. I’m < 5 years from turning 60, and I've been thinking a lot about how I want to grow older (since it's going to happen whether I want it to or not) and what I want the last part of my life to be like. Your attitude and approach inspire me. Thanks for that.

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  6. Very well said. I feel like I just passed 67 a few days ago, but looking at the calendar startles me that it was more like 3 months ago already. I think retirement is going to happen soon but your point about not being in touch is spot on. I love being in control of my own path but my children don’t need me much any more and that creeps me out. It may be time to plan who and how I want to invest in others going forward post retirement.
    I’d bet you could be that firm rock and guide for someone you may not even know yet.
    Fair winds.
    That and blessings.

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  7. I had a lot of these thoughts and questions when I turned 50. I started my blog a couple of years later and it’s been a godsend for connecting me to other women in their 50s and 60s who are so inspiring – living their lives and thriving. It turned my viewpoint on its head and now I’m a huge advocate for Midlife and all it has to offer. I hit 60 last year and it was the first time I haven’t dreaded changing decades – it just feels like there’s still so much more enjoyment waiting for me – and it sounds like you figured that out too.

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  8. Goodness! You are right on point. I was sixty a few years back. what you said is so true-I am fine as long as I don’t have to give my age, then I realise once again, where I am in life! Haha! -and I am shocked! Oddly, some part of me embraces this season. I know myself better now-and how beautiful, for even the wrong in me can be acknowledged and I can look for remedies. My hair is white and I have wrinkles. To me, the liberty and the memories and the chance to live my truth is a new kind of beauty. I just love your posts. love Michele

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  9. I left 2 comments this past weekend but don’t see it so I’m giving it a 3rd try. Just want to say hello and welcome you to my Weekend Coffee Share linkup. I enjoyed reading your post. I have a neighbour who’s 83 and is more engaged with life than many much younger people I know. I hope to see you again at the linkup any weekend.

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