Hello, my runner up by 10 years! Yes! I am that far ahead of you: ten years and one day!!! So, I have already been where you are just arriving and I have wonderful news! The best decade of my life began at 60 (if you don’t believe me, notice the title of my blog: “Everything Begins at Sixty”!) So, you are about to enter the wonder of being at an age where you are free. Things that previously seemed important will probably slip away, which means much less stress and much more opportunity to pursue that which now becomes important. Youth, with all its uncertainties is definitely gone; kiss it goodbye and chuckle.
You can stop worrying about your hair falling out, it probably will if it has begun already; those extra pounds are there to stay so you can stop wanting to squeeze back into something you wore at thirty or forty, and just go out and buy some new clothes. The money you haven’t made yet, you probably won’t so you can stop trying and begin living day by day. If you had children they are all grown up and have lives of their own; if you didn’t you don’t have to worry about them asking you to take the grandchildren over the holidays so you can go where you want with whomever you please.
At 60, life slows down so the days get longer and the rush to DO things begins to wane. Ahhh, the pleasure of an extra hour in bed without guilt, the permission to “waste” a little time doing things that have no productive purpose, the joy of wiling away hours with the select friends one has kept over the years all become part of the every day existence and not something special one waits for over the holidays.
Sixty is the age for looking back and seeing how much one has really accomplished, and to look forward knowing that no matter what happens, no matter how bad it seems, it will end sooner than one thinks. It’s time to make the famous “Bucket List” and really begin crossing the most important things off. At sixty, one can be more generous than before because there aren’t so many years to have to stretch the savings across any more. It is also the time where one can stop worrying what people think: whatever they think they have already thought and nothing you do will change it. The new people you meet won’t really judge you the way you think they might have before: those that are younger won’t be interested enough to judge you, those that are your age are going through the same things and those that are older have developed the tolerance you are just arriving at. So, you are much freer than before to be whomever you want to be all the time, not just when no one is looking.
The sex drive begins to decline if it hasn’t already, so people of the opposite sex can now be real friends and one discovers how fascinating and different the other sex actually is; with this, the number of possible new friends and acquaintances multiplies by two. Usually, by this time one has gotten over most fears except the fear of getting old and as that option is much better than the other possibility, one can give that fear up too.
So there you are my dear friend, poised on the brink of the best decade so far, trembling with anticipation or dismay, and –I hope- ready to experience how very simple life really is when the complications of youth have passed. Welcome! I leave you this decade during which I have drunk life to the fullest with the gusto of somebody who knows a privileged flavour, hoping you too will drain it to the dregs so you may earn the even greater privilege of getting to the decade I am about to milk dry!
Have a great 60th and may we continue to be friends until the end.