How would you describe being 60 years old in 2 words? That was the deceptively simple question that I recently asked the women in our Sixty and Me community. Why “deceptively simple?” Because, shorter definitions are often the hardest to give. As Mark Twain once said, “I would have written a shorter letter but I didn’t have the time.”
When we were kids growing up, my sister was the cute one. She had it all. The button nose, the big beautiful hazel eyes, long lashes, rosebud mouth and the capper, freckles. She had THE most adorable spray of freckles across her nose – which she hated and I loved! I would have given anything for those freckles. Anything to break up the monotony of my pasty white face.
Sometimes, as we age, our true essence can begin to fade. A life that was once vibrant and grand can become subdued and pale. You continue on, day by day, with what needs to done and, in many ways, you feel like you are just going through the motions. When this happens, your spirit feels diminished.
Why is it that so many women, once they reach a certain age (usually taken to be about 50), allow themselves to sink into grannydom; yet again, living within the expectations of others.
So, I’m busy deleting all those Facebook sidebar adverts for funeral plans, lawyers who will arrange Power of Attorney and annuity providers when it suddenly hits me: who the cotton-picking heck do these people think I am? Closely followed by: who do I think I am?
What does “home” mean to you?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.
I smiled when I read the following quote by David Bowie: “Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.”
I’ve been mindful of this mantra every day of my life since the age of 50.
One of the joys of being a writer in my mid-60s is editing out of my life all the things I really don’t want to do, don’t have time to do, or that other people mistakenly think I ought to do.
I’ve always has a “so-what” approach to getting older. In my youth, I did all those foolhardy things we are warned to avoid – I drank to much, I partied all night and I never went sunbathing without first dowsing myself in virgin olive oil to make sure I got a deep brown. How foolish was I? The answer is very foolish indeed.
Who was it that said they wished they could get to the top of the stairs before they forgot why they wanted to go up there the first place? No, I don’t remember either, but the first three words of that sentence are kind of becoming the leitmotif for my life.