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6 Ways Being 60 Takes You Back to the 60s

By Deborah Drezon Carroll January 13, 2023 Mindset

There’s a lot to love about being in your 60s. And, if you are 60, you may remember the 1960s. That may depend on how many mind-altering experiences you had in the 1960s, however.

These two “60s” have a great deal in common, some good, some not so much. Here are 6 ways my 60s are like the 60s.

Shoes

In the 60s, people began wearing sandals as no time before. They were fashionable and indicated a certain freewheeling spirit in the wearer.

I recall my mother being a bit shocked by the unorthodox choice of exposing one’s feet in polite society, as opposed to on a beach.

In our 60s, we’re still wearing sandals. But, now they’re probably Birkenstocks, and it likely indicates a certain inability to wear less comfortable shoes or even the presence of a bunion!

Drugs

Marijuana is back! In the 60s, some of us indulged in a bit of recreational herb intake. In our 60s, some of us are indulging still, or again, or maybe even for the first time.

Okay, it’s not so much recreational as medicinal and maybe we have an actual prescription for it and maybe it’s now obtained legally but still, the herb hasn’t changed much. Well, then again, maybe it has.

You may not be aware of this but pot can now be ordered off a menu. Got a headache? There’s a pot to make it go away. Don’t want to be paranoid later? This herb will ease you into tomorrow. Want a giddy high or a mellower buzz? There’s a bud for you.

Also, in the 60s, “the pill” was introduced, and it became a lot easier to have sex without worrying about pregnancy. In our 60s, some still use a pill to make it easier to have sex but this pill has nothing to do with being worried about pregnancy.

Music

In the 60s, we enjoyed watching Mick Jagger move like… well, like Jagger. In our 60s we can still enjoy watching Jagger move – once we get over the shock of the fact that Jagger is in his 70s!. And, some of us can still move like… well almost like Jagger.

In the 60s we watched as the Beatles embraced meditation and created music to match their newfound enlightenment.

In our 60s, we’re listening to New Age music while we’re meditating and doing yoga and we’re finding our own way to enlightenment. But, from time to time, we still enjoy a good protest song.

Peace

In the 60s, people the world over railed against fighting unwinnable wars. In our 60s, many still rage against that machine, but now we do it by signing online petitions and donating to causes that match our peacenik sensibilities.

We also teach our grandchildren to believe in the possibility of peace because we still want so badly for that to happen.

Ageism

In the 60s, we believed we shouldn’t trust anyone over the age of 30. I remember being bereft when my beloved Bob Dylan turned 30, and I worried I’d have to find another musical genius to listen to obsessively.

In our 60s, we wonder how we ever listened to Dylan obsessively (I mean have you heard that voice?) and know for a fact we can’t take seriously anyone under the age of 30. When I say to a young person, “I have shoes older than you are,” I’m not even kidding.

Caring

In the 60s, we all gave a damn about the world. So much so, we thought we could actually change it so we marched, we volunteered, we sang, we studied, we voted, and all the while we wore flowers in our hair to show our allegiance to the planet.

In our 60s, we still pretty much do all of those things. We may not be trying to change the world anymore but we intend to make a difference. And a nice gardenia always looks good in the hair… even when the hair is silver.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you have a favorite recollection of the 60s? Share your thoughts on what’s in common between the 60s and the life in our 60s, or maybe not so much? Join the conversation in the comments below and share this article to keep the conversation going.

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Maxine Hillary

The Sixties was more than sandals and drugs and rock and roll. There was space exploration, the civil rights movement, and a growing awareness of poverty, the environment, and animal welfare among other things. Music and marijuana were bit players in the Sixties but all the attention. My dad was in the military taking care of wounded soldiers while the rest of the country ignored Vietnam vets. My mom was a nurse in a rest home taking care of seniors largely forgotten by their families. The Sixties I grew up in are nothing like the Sixties I’m living now. Thank goodness.

deborah carroll

Of course you are right. It was a complex era and different for everyone with monumental changes ongoing.
This piece was written as a lighthearted look back, nothing more.

It wasn’t my intention to dismiss the more serious aspects of life then.

B L Wenger

I grew up in the 60’s in a small town in the midwest. If you grew up in the west, east or mid-west….you have very different memories of the 60’s. My favorite music was Motown. I found my first bellydance class in the late 60’s. No drugs, no alcohol. Dating was fun but, a little wild at times. It was a romantic time to be growing from teen to college to young adulthood. Sadly, Edwin Star’s song “War” is just as applicable to 2023 as it was to 1963!

Mary T. Lynch

Nice article, but t but there was no music like the music of the 60s and all the wonderful groups. The beach boys., the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Peter, Paul, and Mary, the seekers, and so many more wonderful groups.

Susan Wirth White

I love this discussion! I am 72 next month and I am almost of the same mindset now as I was when I was a hippie and living the 60’s. It seems as though once I hit 60, I became more like my authentic self and realized that I was very much still that younger version in mindset. I still am. I am still of the same political mindset and still feel a need to fight for a good cause. However, I now choose my battles and let the younger people fight the good fight. I have paid my dues and done my work and now I like enjoying what is left of my Winter years. I like myself more now than ever. I am thankful that the person that I was in the 60’s and 70’s, has re-emerged. I feel more free spirited and willing to speak my mind and be who I authentically am. However, I do not handle pot well anymore! The hybrids of today are more potent and I am happy to leave my mind altering days in the past. I often think that the way I dress is not age appropriate but then I realize I really don’t care what others think because I like being me! The 60’s mindset will only die in me when I no longer exist. Viva la 60’s!

Carolyn

I love your response. I feel exactly the way you do. You could not have expressed it any better. Appreciate your honesty. I hope you continue to live a happy, peaceful life.

Susan

I too feel the same way! I loved being a hippie then and glad I got to experience those years. But like you, I can’t handle pot anymore. Amazing how we survived those days ha,ha! Peace and love to all.

Denise

Loved this article. Made me smile and laugh!!

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The Author

Deborah Drezon Carroll is an author of two parenting books, a memoir and a children's picture book. She's a former teacher and educational publisher. Her husband Ned and their girls are a family of educators. They live in and around Philadelphia and spend summers on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

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