How does it feel to be 60?
After a flash of “Ya talkin’ to me?” that clears fairly quickly since I can only be delusional in short spurts, the answer so far comes in some version of: Well, it sure feels weird to say it.
For much of the time, I can go with Erma Bombeck’s take:
As a graduate of the Zsa Zsa Gabor School of Creative mathematics, I honestly do not know how old I am. ~Erma Bombeck
That gets harder to swallow when birthdays present, and decade-flipping ones make it close to impossible even though most of the time I have no idea what bloody month it might be and how notoriously crap I am with numbers.
All-in-all, I don’t feel different. I’m less-than-chuffed about how I look, but I felt the same at seventeen so nothing odd about that. The list of places I want to go, things I want to do, people I want to see has grown no shorter. I still wonder what I’ll be when I grow up and which paths I may discover will lead me there. I like loud music, raucous laughter, rolling around on the floor with kids, occasionally drinking myself stupid and wild sex when I can get it. I make more decisions with my heart than my head, gamble outrageously with my health and safety and take comfort from hope no matter how often that has proven fruitless. I have all my own teeth, can read without glasses or 5-foot-long arms, don’t color my hair or inject toxins into my face. I avoid doctors, ignore aches and pains and spend a lot of time in the sun.
I’m as intolerant as ever of the cautious old who set life behind them and choose recollection over participation, dependability over experience, sagacity over enthusiasm, no matter how many years they may have chalked up. On the same hand, I’m still far too lenient when it comes to devil-may-care brilliance, too easily dazzled and can highly enjoy hours spent in conversations on topics I’ve not had before from angles new to me. I dream of happy-ever-after.
Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
So … 60 years …
Okay … it’s now my mother’s hands sprouting from the end of my arms, I’m slower up a hill, I allow myself a certain rudeness I’d been uncomfortable with when younger (especially with “authority figures”, since many are whippersnappers). My epidermis grows thinner no matter how thick-skinned I become. I don’t pop up as fast after a knockdown. My rose-colored glassed sport a cynical filter. I need more, trust less and spend a lot of time pondering the meaning of it all.
Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.
Maybe I do do delusional … maybe I’m living it … but, for now anyway, I’m going with the thought that I’m a teenoldager.
Here’s a birthday gift from my beautiful eldest that illustrates some of the steps between past and present …