I came upon a harsh realization a few weeks ago.
Today as I write this, I am 58 years of age. Not old by any stretch of the imagination, especially not these days in comparison to back when my parents were 58. But the hard fact is, I turn 60 next year.
It’s a numbers game
It’s a sham, a shell game of the worst kind. It is as if I’m completely losing a whole year of my life.
Of course, I’m not. I will still live and enjoy my 59th birthday and the year that follows, spirits willing. But I am turning 59 late this year which means by late 2023, I will be 60.
Man, that crept up.
I feel I’m doing pretty well for an almost-60-year-old. I’m very happy that the stereotypical image of women in their 60’s is slowly changing. At a glacial pace, I agree but I do what I can to speed that along at every given opportunity. My health is good, I’m active and I have not even come close to the notion of giving up on playing with fashion or caring about my appearance. Quite the opposite.
As I’ve mentioned before, the media is the worst culprit in propagating the myth of the decline of women as they age; it’s a BIG machine to be working against. It didn’t help that the iconic and wildly popular television series, “The Golden Girls” featured characters that were in fact only 53 (Bea Arthur’s character, Dorothy) and 55 (Betty White’s character Rose). These characters were not what I would associate as your typical mid-50’s woman today. They seemed old (sorry Girls) and yet they were far from it. It was just how they were written.
Something to think about
As people often do, I will spend time thinking about this milestone birthday. My approach will be more prescient than retrospective, though. Certainly, we become more aware of the passage of time the less of it we have to squander. What’s done is done; I can’t change what I’ve achieved (or more precisely, what I haven’t achieved) in my almost six decades on this earth. I can look back at the memories with fondness, at the fashions with perhaps a bit less enthusiasm (I’ve worn some wacky stuff in my days) but my focus will most definitely be forward.
What do I have to look forward to? How much can I pack into whatever time is allowed me? It’s an exciting prospect really when you think of it. Of course, everyone has the opportunity each day to write their own script (to use the vernacular appropriate for a website such as this) but there is a greater sense of urgency as time goes by.
There’s a quote by David Bowie that I love about aging; I agree that we do have the opportunity and freedom to become the best of ourselves. Along with that, I’ll try my hardest to add grace in my encounters with others and gentleness with myself.
Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you should have always beenDavid Bowie
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