And this is the best birthday ever.
Here I am... a full-blown 60 years old today, and I feel like I always have. If there were no mirrors in the house, I'd think I was still 30. I feel good emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. But 60 is definitely considered old... though I'm not sure I even feel mature yet. I still wear the same kind of clothes I've always worn. I still have my long hair. I'm still very industrious and love to do so many things that I still seem to never have enough time for - even though I am now retired from the working work-a-day world.
This is the best birthday ever because it's the first one I've had since I was 11 years old where I knew I didn't have to be at work on my birthday or go to work tomorrow or the next day. Of course, at age 11 I didn't have to work, but if I wanted any money of my own, I did. I think my allowance at that age was up to 50 cents a week - and that was after spending all Saturday doing chores. So I started babysitting for financial freedom. I got my first "real" job three years later at Pet Village... and thus my work life began.
So today is super-dooper special and I am at home spending my birthday exactly where I want to be and pondering what I'm going to do today.
I feel like I am living in the lap of luxury.
Turning 60 is an odd, odd thing though. I suppose it stems from hearing all my life that it means one is officially old. Fifties isn't old yet. Sixties is. Of course, the closer I got to 60 the less old it seemed to be, but I certainly remember I couldn't even imagine being this old not that long ago. I think the most disconcerting part of reaching this age is realizing I am now most definitely on the downhill slide. I've lived more of my life than what I have left. But I don't think much about that or dying. For one thing, death doesn't scare me at all and for another, there is just too much to do!
Yeah, watching one's physical "looks" fade as the years go by can be a bothersome thing - and yes, I've looked into the mirror many-a-time and pulled up the skin on my face to see how I'd look. But the funny thing is... as you get older, all that physical beauty stuff just doesn't matter as much. Sure, I still want to look "pretty", but would I like to look like I did when I was 30? I'm not so sure. I'm not out to attract men anymore or look all hot and sexy. I've shifted from wanting to project "comeliness" in my youth to something else.
We go through lots of transformations during our lives and I'm in one now. It's happening because I now have more freedom than I've ever had in my life, and it is still so unfamiliar. Unfamiliar but exhilarating. And also because of reaching this age. It makes me assess my life up until this point and think about what I want to do with the rest of it. It makes me realize that if I knew then what I know now I would have made some different choices in my past. My vision has changed a lot as I've aged and it's such an interesting transition. It's not that we lose so much as we age, we morph into different beings, and certain things that seemed so crucially important in our youth are replaced by other things - and our eyes and brain and heart see differently.
To every season, turn, turn turn...
This video kinda explains what I'm talking about. It's a song by the Byrds that I used to love back in the 60's (adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible - with the exception of the last line - and put to music by Pete Seeger in 1959). It also incorporates one of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump.
To everything, turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of peace, I swear it’s not too late