Today I turn 60... Imagine that. And at one time I, like many of my generation, thought life ended at 30. But now I realize that every age is just right. There really is “a time for everything”.
Sure my knees are crap, and my middle is heavy, and, yes, I can never find my keys (but I just ordered a new key lanyard on Etsy that should solve that!). But my heart is full and my mind still questions and I could do more sit-ups lunges and knee bends if I wanted to. But mostly I now have “history” on my side. I survived being a teenager, I explored the vast horizons that opened in my twenties, I was oh so productive in my thirties - all energy and potential and goal. My forties were spent learning about family and generations and continuity. And my fifties have been about learning to be gracious and grateful for life for whatever it is presently.
Recently, during my political protesting, I was sitting in the WI Assembly chambers. There was a brash, arrogant and wonderful young man sitting next to me. At one point we were both defying the rules and texting away on our banned phones. The guard came over and chided the young man and walked away, the young man looked at my phone and then me. I snickered and leaned over and told him - “Nobody scolds an old women!”. My beautiful sister has forewarned me about this phenomena. There is a certain crone power that comes with age!
So this birthday is just another day in what, for me, is the great adventure! I could never have imagined all that has happened to me in the previous 60 years. I never would have anticipated how deep marriage becomes after 36+ years; Little did I know that I would continue to worry, enjoy and take pride in my adult children as much as I did when they were infants; I have gained friends and lost friends; My family has grown with new generations and it has shrunk with the loss of previous generations; I have been a teacher, a cubicle sitter, an entrepreneur (but usually an artist of some sort) and both an athlete and a couch potato. I have seen the Beatles in black and white and the most recent wars and tragedies in high definition color. Life has not always been easy or as anticipated, but it has been real and full and fecund.
I will not bother to worry about or excessively plan what comes next. But I will anticipate with glee. I will be open to whatever it is. I will remember that I have learned more from adversity and loss than I ever did from prosperity and health. I will know that my life is a book both to be written and to be read. I can’t wait for the next page to turn.