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The Best Part about Turning Sixty

August 15, 2011

The best part about turning sixty is that I’m no longer fifty-nine and dreading the day. I feel liberated!  Now I’m young again! After all I’m just sixty!  I’m good to go for another nine years, well, maybe seven or eight at which time I will probably start the “oh, my God, I’m almost how old?????”

The moment the calendar turned last year and I saw where I was headed, I was overcome with a serious case of dread. Every morning, when I woke up and remembered that I was one day closer to the end of the world, panic set in. I had to wrestle my psyche to the ground before I could put one foot in front of the other and get myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Then I’d spend the next twenty minutes talking to myself, stomping out my fears with positive affirmations and wrangling my thoughts with an iron fist onto the day at hand ~ far out of reach from anything remotely related to, shshshhhh….my age.

Now that I’ve walked the green mile and have crossed over to the other side, I can live again. So what? Sixty is just a number. I knew that all along. I just couldn’t make my fears believe it. I have my health (mostly), I’m doing what I love to do (mostly), I have my family (mostly) and I have today…now. If I didn’t know how old I was, if there weren’t any calendars, or ads for anti-aging products, or prescription drug ads, or news about the latest catastrophe, or mirrors I would simply feel old enough to know better and young enough to keep at it.

Life is good. Who cares what my birth certificate says or what the latest fashion magazine thinks I should be wearing or more importantly should not be wearing?

I’m  following my bliss and that’s that. When I’m not, that’s when I need to worry, not simply because of a number on a piece of paper that’s starting to show the wear and tear of time.  That’s my truth and I’m sticking to it! (At least for a while!)

19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 2:47 pm

    What a glorious result gifted to you by the day alter. Happy Birthday, Dorothy!

  2. August 15, 2011 5:23 pm

    Dorothy, you are telling my story here!!!! And you’re so articulate about it.

    I was filled with dread and near panic the year I faced turning 60. Feeling unbearably trapped as I did NOT want to be 60 and I also didn’t want to be dead.

    The dread day came and went. It was tough for a few hours and then . . . well, that was that. On to whatever’s next. On with living. Etcetera.

  3. August 15, 2011 6:09 pm

    Dorothy –

    You are just a little ahead of me on Life’s journey. Happy Birthday to you and thank you for letting me know that (soon) I will have walked that “green mile” and it will be behind me. ^_^ What a great thing that your sisters came to celebrate with you! I’m so happy for you that you did it up right!


  4. Caroline permalink
    August 16, 2011 6:23 am

    So you know what it feels like to make the turn to 60, and you learned it’s liberating. Now, if you can, think of that feeling multiplied and multiplied, and you get a teeny idea of what it’s like to turn 70! I’m 71 now and it’s marvelous! I have given myself permission to discover and be ME! It’s just wonderful!

    • August 17, 2011 12:01 pm

      I hear that a lot from women. Sad it takes us until the golden years to discover who we are. In fact, I just wrote a little guide for that, it’s such a dear topic to my heart. I think most of us grew up thinking that our role was who we were. Now I have a clear idea of the unique me and it’s so liberating!

  5. August 16, 2011 10:01 am

    Caroline, that’s great news! And I can’t even believe this would be possible at 70. I’m 61 now. I should file your message somewhere & reread it in about 8 years.

  6. August 16, 2011 10:45 am

    Oddly, 50 was much worse for me than 60. I’m now precariously close to 62. Some days I’m upset about how quickly time has flown. What saves me is the realization that every age is precious, and that, if we turn off the TV and ignore the print/internet ads for anti-aging products, we can live day to day as we choose–ideally as creatively as possible.

    Dorothy, I welcome you to my decade!


  7. August 16, 2011 10:46 am

    I agree, Dorothy,
    60 is just a number. Besides 60 is the new 40 these days or so I hear! You picture says it all- delightful. Happy Birthday. Welcome to the decade of new adventures!

  8. August 16, 2011 11:14 am

    If we keep listening to what capitalists say, we will feel too old at the age of 30. These people won’t to sell their products. So, they want their best to make you feel that you need what they exactly want you too. And believe nothing is better than natural stuffs to care for your body and keep it healthy even at the age of 60 or more.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  9. August 16, 2011 2:12 pm

    Happy 60th Dorothy. Congratulations to you for crossing over to join the rest of us on this side of 60. I am now approaching 70 and feel encouraged by Caroline’s comment.

  10. August 16, 2011 2:32 pm

    Dorothy … welcome to a new decade of life. I so love the post and understand the trepidation of this life decade. However, you are a role model for so many women and are truly on the wave of discovering a much more open and fulfilling life of sharing your gifts. CONGRATULATIONS!

  11. August 16, 2011 3:10 pm

    My age has never bothered me! I’ll be 62 this month, but my head says 20.

  12. August 17, 2011 11:58 am

    Stick to it! I love 60! I’ve never been so happy in my whole life. I live full time in an RV with my best girl friend of 26 years and we travel around being ourselves. I can’t believe I’ve lived long enough to get really happy!

  13. August 18, 2011 10:40 am

    A belated Happy Birthday, Dorothy! Aging is changing in a significant way for all of us–men and women. I read something a few days ago by a woman turning 60 who said that she didn’t want to be 60. She explained that she didn’t want to be seen as a little old lady who was over-the-hill in every sense. She wanted to be seen as who she was.

  14. August 18, 2011 1:04 pm

    Thanks for all your good wishes! What’s not to like about birthdays???? I think we are all finding our way as the years add one on top of another…life keeps shifting as it always did…new perspectives are just around the corner. I believe we are seen for who we are by those who can see who we are and the rest? Truthfully? Who cares? If I look and act like a little old lady I suspect that’s because I will be one! and I hope that I will be able to find something good and enjoyable in that. Each year if we give it a chance we can gain more wisdom, take one more step into the person we were meant to be, and pass something on to those in need. Life is good. Not always easy, but good.

  15. August 28, 2011 3:33 pm

    Happy (Belated) Birthday, Dorothy! I love the way you think! I’m 57, so in three more years, I’ll get to be “just sixty, too!”

  16. September 17, 2011 8:15 pm

    I could read your writing for ever. As a person over 60, I can relate with so much of what you write. Please keep up the good work.

    • September 17, 2011 11:16 pm

      Thank you Ann! I appreciate that you took the time to leave a comment. I’m glad to know the words I string together mean something to someone! Come back whenever you can and I’ll keep trying to make sense of life. 🙂 DS

  17. September 18, 2011 11:30 am

    Happy to have stumbled upon this blog; I turned 60 in February and I also happen to be a gerontologist. What I find interesting is the way others respond when they find out my age. They usually say “Wow, you don’t LOOK 60!” Although it is meant as a sincere compliment, it reveals an underlying bias against getting older. I was in a group recently in which everyone went around the room and said how old they were chronologically and how old they felt inside. Everyone felt younger inside — sometimes by several decades. I said I was 60 and I felt 60 because I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with being 60. Well, you should have heard the uproar! LOL! Hey, what’s wrong with being the age you are in our society? Perhaps you have already discussed this on your blog. As I said, I’m new and just found it. Best wishes!

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