I’ve been thinking about this for the last several weeks, or really the last month or so, as I approach this milestone in my life.
Birthdays without zeros come and go, but those with zeros always seem to be more of an event.
Growing up, birthdays were fun. I don’t remember much about them except they were always celebrated at home with a cake. My first BIG birthday was a surprise 21st birthday party. This was my senior year in college and I had moved out of the house. I’m not sure how Mom got me to come back home, but as I drove toward the house I saw my roommate Vicki’s VW parked across the street. I thought that was strange, but discounted it and went inside to be surprised by friends.
When I approached my 30th I started to feel older. For those of us baby boomers who grew up in the 60s, anyone over 30 wasn’t to be trusted. Oh my gosh – now I was part of that group!
For my 40th birthday, my friend Marsha talked my then husband into looking for an old picture from high school that she could display at the state hospital where I worked. Outside my office door off the main lobby for visitors and employees to see was a big poster with me in my high school majorette outfit. The birthday party at home was not quite as exciting.
I don’t remember my 50th. I was sad to leave a beautiful house I shared for a short time with the previous administration (ex), but so excited to move into my own small house and start a new chapter of my life. How I celebrated that birthday I don’t know, but that was a good year.
Well, I’m coming onto my – I can hardly say it much less write it – my 60th birthday. How did I get to this age? I still feel like that 21 year old inside. I don’t think I look my age even though I’ve noticed a few wrinkles creeping onto my face and those jowls that appeared 10 years ago have become more pronounced.
I was carded until I was 30. I remember joking – When I’m 50 they’ll think I’m 40. I’m thankful for the genes my parents gave me and even though I may look a tad younger than my age, it’s not the consolation I thought it would be.
I now have lived longer than my mother, my brother and one sister.
I’ve lived long enough to see so many changes.
- Computers have gone from huge machines in rooms to this beautiful sleek Mac on my desk.
- We shared our phone on party lines and now we all have small ones we carry around.
- I watched Mom thread clothing through her wringer washer and now we just throw clothes in and wait for a buzz.
- I remember jumping up to change channels, being the remote control at home for the three television stations. Now we have a remote for everything including this Mac!
- My first camera was a Brownie, but I really remember taking pictures with a Kodak Instamatic. I graduated to a Canon AT1 and now I’m on my fifth digital. Digital – now that’s a real instamatic!
- I still look forward to the mail woman, but not for a letter. Email has taken over my life as the preferred method of communication.
- And talking about Internet, I remember not so long ago when it was Prodigy, just one big bulletin board. Back then in my home office on Gum Street I posted questions and answers on starting businesses and participated in quilt block swaps.
- My bicycle growing up was pieces parts that my brother John put together for me had no gears. The Motebecane I’ve had for 30 years has 10 speeds.
And that’s just a short list. The fact that I can say 30 years ago or 40 years ago I did this or that, is pretty mind blowing!
There are still things I want to do and places I want to explore, but many on my original bucket list I’ve accomplished.
- Newspaper Reporter: In the 80s I worked on a small town newspaper for a short time. I had always thought that was what I wanted to do, but learned quickly that it wasn’t.
- Business Owner: I always wanted my own business. Both sides of our family – both grandparents had been entrepreneurs as were my siblings – so it was just in me to start my own business, which I did and was very successful. However, I found after 8 years it was time to move on.
- Travel – Dave and I took a trip to Italy in 06. I have always wanted to go to Europe especially France, but when Dave asked me where I wanted to go, I decided I would really rather see Italy.
- Newspaper column – I always wanted my own column in a newspaper and finally this year I have one and I love it!
- True Love – I know it sounds corny, but I wanted to find someone to share my life and would be that partner I dreamed about. I found Dave five years ago. I had to kiss a few frogs before I found my prince.
There are more, but this post is getting way too long!
Things have changed at this age more than when I turned 50. Even though I’ve been blessed with good health, I’ve had a few scares in the last several years. I tend to read the obits every day and often see people I know even my age who have gone home.
Another change is my attitude toward this life. It’s no longer about making money or being recognized as the best at a specific skill. It’s about enjoying what is left, being kind, lightening up, and doing my best to serve. I’ve always been a spiritual person, but I long to be stronger in that area.
One of the women I interviewed recently is in her 80s. She told me that it was on her 70th birthday that she discovered that she was old. I must say that at 80 she’s way younger than a lot of people half her age.
I know tomorrow when I wake up I will still be me. But this year I want to really search my soul and make a new list of what I want to do and what I want to accomplish during this, my 60th year.
My friend Delores posted on my Facebook page the other day this quote: The secret of a happy life is to think kindly of the past and live fully in the now. Sounds like a great way to start my next decade.