My friend is turning sixty. A wonderful event. Another decade to explore and experience.Some feel it means a membership in the Over the Hill Gang, others see it as a license to retire to the recliner and collect crumbs on their chest.
When we were Thirty, we were fueled by our dreams and our youth. We had an open road before us, plans were made, goals were set, we were so happy to be on our way, on our own. We built our careers, homes, families, and friends. We earned money, paid bills, collected memories and photographs. We kept up with technology and best sellers. Sometimes, life was overwhelming. Mistakes made, then made again. Lessons learned on life, love and loss, then passed on to the children watching us.
At Forty, we settled in to routines. Life revolved around the calender on the wall in the kitchen. We were paying off a mortgage and saving for a retirement that seemed so far away. We took the kids to Disneyland and Soccer practice. We cooked Thanksgiving Dinner for all the relatives. We felt like grown-ups, at last.
Turning Fifty was a little tough. There was something about that half-century mark, and the changes in our lives that were difficult to grasp. Our children became adults, our parents began to be more dependent. We had our tenure, promotions, and more vacation time. New activities took the place of PTA and Scouts and the Kids’ sports. We bought reading glasses and wrinkle cream.It was a time of transition. We looked back with alternating pride and regret. We learned acceptance; of our lives and our selves. Priorities shifted; relationships and introspection and spiritually and laughter became more important. We found our own voices and were empowered as we found our inner beauty.
Here we are, my Friend, at Sixty. All that we have experienced has prepared us for today. Some of us know that these are the best years, and we welcome the new decade with open arms. We are at the top of the mountain. These years are the reward, the prize we have won for making the climb.As we plant our flag on this Summit, the vista is clear in all directions; past, present, and future. The path has been uphill, it has been costly and demanding. There have been storms and setbacks, we thought about turning back, but pushed on in spite of it all. We now stand in the warm and healing light of the Sun. We continue to learn and grow. We will know love, loss, laugher, and tears. We will develop our wisdom and wit. We have earned our place at the top, and the joy and sense of pride and accomplishment that go with it.