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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