By Cindy Phillips
I know I recently wrote a column about my impending 60th birthday. I shared my accumulated wisdom with those who were younger, but who aspired to be wiser. But at the time I wrote those cranial nuggets, I was still technically 59.
Well as much as I tried to ward off that big 6-0, it came and smacked me on the butt anyway. So now I write even wiser words. Oh, and I am also now privy to even more senior discounts.
I still have a lot of living to do – the good Lord willing. I don’t think I look my age, I know I don’t act my age, and I have no intention of succumbing to my age. So moving forward, I am going to live with passion based on the following premises:
60 is the new 10 — I am looking at life as one giant playground – with the same typical rules. All arguments, disagreements and differences of opinion shall be settled in one of the following ways – who can go higher on the swing, who can run faster, who can build the sturdier sand castle, who can stand on a hopscotch square on one foot without tipping over or who can swing from the monkey bars the longest without letting go. Tie breakers shall include who can hold their breath the longest or, my personal favorite and I believe the most productive, who can go the longest without talking.
Living by the rules of the playground means there shall be no discussions about the differences in religious or political beliefs, nor shall the topic of gun control versus the right to bear arms be raised. And the rules of the playground will absolutely be relied upon for any Venus-Mars discrepancies. Trust me, no other logic can resolve those.
60 is the new 20 — when it comes to love. Falling in love at 20 is nirvana. Those first dates, talking on the phone for hours late at night, seeing every quirk as cute – that first kiss. Sharing experiences together for the first time, introducing each other to friends and family, discovering what makes him tick. Falling in love at 60 will be the excitement of discovery combined with the steadfastness of maturity, knowledge and undeterred loyalty. It will be for the long haul. It will remain uncomplicated, yet intricate. It will never sweat the small stuff. It will focus on the big picture.
60 is the new 30 — when it comes to career. How lucky am I to have a job I love at this stage in my life? I’m not winding down. On the contrary, I am soaring with the eagles. I may only work for another seven years, but I am still climbing the ladder and navigating uncharted courses. I maintain the ability to impress, be creative and rise above the norm. The end of my career will not be retirement – it will be quitting while I am on top of my game.
I will continue to thrive on learning new things. I will strive to perfect my skills while reaping the benefits, emotional and financial, that come from a job well done. And maybe, just maybe, I will write that great American novel.
60 is the new 40 — when it comes to mid-life crises. Only mine will not be crises; that is a word with a negative connotation. Mine will be mid-life adventures. I will be ticking things off the bucket list while adding items at the same time. Concerts may include Jimmy Buffett and Pat Green. I will improve my golf game and try out kayaking. I will travel where I want when I want. I will use my vacation time to do things that are fun. I will spend as much time in the sun as possible. I won’t worry about skin cancer because I will focus on the fact I am fortifying my Vitamin D. I will continue to dye my hair and maybe, just maybe, I will buy a convertible.
60 is the new 50 — Honestly, can you tell the difference between 50 and 60? I don’t need for 60 to be the new 50. 50 is gone, done, finito. It serves no purpose in the grand scheme of becoming 60. It’s moo. It’s what cows think (Joey Tribiani joke for you Friends fans).
Turning 60 is eye-opening. We can actually see our mortality on the horizon. But turning 60 doesn’t mean life as we know it need come to an end. It means gathering all your experience and packaging it inside a phenomenal marketing plan. It means living life to its fullest.
60 is the new me.
Cindy Phillips is a columnist for The Mountain Times, firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Cindy Phillips