Zero To Sixty

photo credit Kathy Patton

It happens in the blink of an eye.  Well, maybe two or three blinks, but if you’re lucky, it happens: you get to turn 60.  It happened to me this week, and with a lot of help from my loved ones, it’s been one of the nicest weeks of my life.  I won’t pretend that it didn’t have its rough spots, a few stolen moments of looking at myself in the mirror and thinking “Really? 60?” but they passed remarkably easily and here I am, still in one piece and ready for anything.

Our beloved friends Kathy and John came to stay for the week, and our sons were with us, which gave us a great excuse to take little trips to beautiful places and to have several parties, so I was surrounded by friends and family and love and presents and birthday greetings from all over the world all week long, taking the sting out of the ever-increasing distance between my birthdate and the present moment.

When we’re young we can’t wait to be older, and then, the balance shifts, and we begin to resist the passage of time.  We start to realize that getting older cuts both ways.  It means that you have to be 60.  It means that you get to be 60.  Have to be….get to be…. I see-saw, yo-yo between the perspectives. What’s in a number, Shakespeare might have asked, but didn’t.  Is any age as sweet as any other, like his rose?  Is every year the sweetest year?

From year to year I feel myself ripening, but I’m still a long way from drying up or decaying. Do I rue the loss of my younger self?  Yes, sometimes.  Do I appreciate my ever-developing maturity and wisdom? Occasionally.  Am I just plain glad to still be alive and well on this wonderful planet?  Every day.

So here’s to getting older.  Because the alternative, not getting older, is too terrible to contemplate, especially at a young age, like 60.

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16 Comments on “Zero To Sixty”

  1. Nina L Says:

    I was so grateful to get beyond the magic 60 mark. It seemed to loom, and now it’s as nothing in the rear view mirror. I think 40 was more traumatic, amd 60 brought the great joy of grandchildren.
    Happy Birthday Abra. Have fun, and find joy in the moment. It really is all we have.

  2. Madison Bleu Says:

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! Enjoy getting to be 60!

  3. Chris Sherwood Says:

    Happy Birthday Abra! “Do I appreciate my ever-developing maturity and wisdom? Occasionally.” Me as well, but the ‘ever-developing’ part is humbling.

  4. Margaret Says:

    I’m so glad your birthday was a happy one and that your friends were there to share it with you. Sixty isn’t bad—and neither is 85 +. XXX

  5. Nancy Says:

    May you live to see many more years, and may you appreciate the gifts each new year brings.

  6. Rebecca Says:

    May you have sixty more years, all healthy and full of joy.

  7. Mikki Says:

    Sixty is looking pretty darn good. Here’s to you!

  8. Margaret Pilgrim Says:

    Don’t you know that 60 is the new 40? Well, it is! And your birthday photo proves it.

  9. Debra Lane Says:

    great photo Abra and I’m happy you had such a wonderful week. I do recognize that perfect Voyager Martini!

  10. Jeanne Says:

    Happy Birthday Abra, and many more!

    Having just turned 50 less than a month ago, I echo and embrace many of the things you said in your essay.

    I’m always fascinated by people telling me I don’t look my age; but now that I have to wear reading glasses (and as a baker, I have to wear them almost constantly at work and it’s messing up my eyes!), that’s the giveaway….

  11. silvia carry Says:

    While it’s true that time definitely flies, 60 is still very young, specially by today’s standards.
    You look great, and have accomplished a lot.
    I admit to having been a little “surprised” when I turned 60, but it promptly went away.
    Turning 70 was another story altogether. The number seemed overwhelming but I didn’t feel any different than at 60!
    From 70 to almost 72, I needed a lot of “adjustments”, and there were visible changes, not so much in my appearance but on my energy level.
    I still can’t believe I’m going to be 72 in november, it has a ring to it…LOL
    BUT with age (and Buddhism) comes more wisdom and the calming of the mind…This is good.

  12. Fabienne Says:

    Happy birthday Abra!
    You don’t look 60!

  13. Lori Says:

    Happy Belated Birthday. Hoping that you are continuing to celebrate. I am midway through vacation in your neck of the woods (Redwood Nat’l Park to Olympic Nat’l Pk), currently in Seattle. All I can say is WOW!. Have been in California many times and regret not venturing north before now. Breathtaking scenery, great local food and wine, and no rain for the first week – yeah!

    I agree with the other posters – hope I look half as good at 60.

  14. Mickey M Says:

    Happy Birthday Belatedly, Abra!

    There’s a wonderful quote from Satchel Paige –

    How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?

    Hugs – M

  15. Buon Compleanno! Auguri! Or as we’ve alwasy said in my house… Happy to You!
    I know I’m late, please forgive me. But, I figure you are still Sweet Sexy Sixty, so what the hell!
    Looks like we share a sign…both Leos to the core.
    Enjoy..and looking forward to sharing the next decade or so with French Letters.
    PS Big welcome home to Zazou. Now, that is the best present ever.

  16. KarenK Says:

    Hi Abra, and belated wishes for a happy birthday, you young whippersnapper. I sent a link to your blog to a friend of mine who just turned 60, you expressed the perfect sentiments so beautifully. Well done. Keep on having birthdays, with many more years of health and happiness.

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