The Big Six-O

In just a few short days I’ll be turning sixty years old.  I’ve never liked making a big fuss about my birthdays, and this year is no exception.  We’ve already had the usual family dinner at my favorite restaurant, and my husband and I hope to take a long weekend trip sometime this summer.  That’s our standard procedure for celebrating birthdays now that we have reached the age when we no longer want or need gifts, and it suits both of us just fine.  Still, there’s something about turning sixty that feels kind of like a big deal, in both a good and bad way.

On the one hand, turning sixty means that I’m really pushing the limit when I insist on calling myself middle-aged.  Unless I manage to live to be 120, I am definitely past the mid-point of my life.  But if I admit I’m not middle aged any more, then that means I have to figure out how to change the name of my blog.  Plus think of an name that doesn’t include the phrase “senior citizen.”  Eventually, of course, I’ll have to change the name since it would be weird for someone who is 89 to be writing a blog named Muddling Through My Middle Age, but that’s a problem for another day.

On the other hand, even though sixty does sound really old to me, there’s something kind of liberating about my upcoming birthday.  Honestly, I’ve looked at least sixty years old for the past several years.  I inherited my father’s prematurely sagging neckline and also his fair skin that shows each and every wrinkle and broken capillary in clear detail.  And I think I was about forty-two when my hair turned seriously gray and I understood just exactly why mother dyed her own hair for most of her adult life.  So in a way, it’s kind of nice to finally actually be the age I look.

IMG_3479Beyond that, entering this new decade does feel just a little bit exciting and new.  My husband’s retirement is just a few years away, which means we’ll be free to do some of the traveling we’ve longed to do.  And the empty-nest my kids created when they moved out of the house is beginning to fill up again with supplies for my new grandson.  My son’s old bedroom has been turned into a “baby room,” complete with a crib, rocker, toys and baby books, to be used by my grandson and any other grandchildren I’m lucky enough to acquire.  (Note to my kids:  yes, that was a subtle hint.)

Turning sixty sort of symbolizes a new phase in my life, and I’m looking forward to seeing just what it will bring.  I may no longer be young, but I am a grandmother, and that seems like a fair trade.  I’ve lived long enough to begin to understand who I really am and better yet, to feel brave enough to let others see the “real” me as well.  I’m still relatively healthy, and still able to pursue some of my unfulfilled dreams.

And who knows?  Maybe this will be the decade when I not only look my age, but I begin to act my age as well.  But I wouldn’t bet on it…..

126 thoughts on “The Big Six-O

  1. Congratulations on reaching soon the big 6-O! you are right you may have to find a new name for your blog at 7-O at the latest. How about Muddling through the Golden Years or Riding into the Sunset? Haha!

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  2. At the end of the day, age is just a number and as cliched as it sounds, you’re only as old as you feel. So, if you don’t feel like acting your age Ann, don’t! Ha! That’s the beauty of being older, wiser and knowing ourselves. It sounds as though you’re at a great stage in your life, embrace it all as you are, enjoy all the perks of being beyond middle age and congratulations on your upcoming birthday. As for a name for your blog, how about Sizzling in the Sixties! 🙂

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    • Yes, there is something kind of liberating about reaching this age! Too old to worry about other people’s expectations, but still young enough to do most of what I want to do. As for the title, I love that! (Sorry Peter, this may be the new blog title: “Sizzling in the Sixties!” It does beat the only one I had thought of: “Stressing through my Sixties!” Yours sounds so much more positive. (Although “Riding into the Sunset is a close second….) Thanks, Miriam!

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  3. Happy Birthday! I think it’s wonderful and what a great stage in life. I know I don’t want to turn back the clock, it’s fun to finally discover all the stuff we worried about isn’t as important as once thought. What a wonderful room for your grandson! I hope your kids take the hint and have more 🙂 Have a fantastic day!

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    • You hit the nail on the head when you say all the stuff we worried about isn’t nearly as important as we thought. Now I have finally reached the point where when I start to worry about something I just think, “Is this going to matter in five years?” If the answer is no, then I think, “so why I am wasting energy worrying about it?” I hope you have a wonderful day too!

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  4. Happy Birthday! I have to admit, something hit me really hard about turning 60. I’m 63 now and still recovering from my 60th birthday. When I turned 60, I started assuming my body couldn’t do what it used to, just because I was in my sixties. It has been extremely theraputic writing a blog about my feelings at this stage of life and a real pleasure and privilege that you’re in my virtual community. Looking forward to your perspectives as you enter this part of life. 🙂

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    • Believe me, I get it. My blog has helped me work through so many of the issues that this stage of life brings. If I didn’t have it, I’d be paying someone big bucks for private counseling, I’m quite sure. And like you, sixty seems to be a big one to me….much more so than fifty, where we still have the illusion that we are sort of young-ish. But I honestly think this stage of our life is nothing to be afraid of. It’s just different, in good ways as well as the bad. And thank you so much for being one of my blogging friends who has enriched my life at this stage so much. I have really grown through reading your posts, and the posts of others I have met in the blogsphere. You tackle the real issues, and you do so with humor and compassion.

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    • Thanks, Larry! And I know what you mean. I don’t worry about dressing appropriately, or behaving in a certain way nearly so much these days. I figure people will just look at me, shrug, and think, “What do you expect, she’s old?” Kind of nice, really!

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  5. Congratulations on turning 6-0!!! The way we celebrate is the years that end in 0 or 5…as those tend to be the milestones in life. Middle age can last as long as you like, I think.. Its all in the eye of the beholder. So, simply enjoy each year, each day.. For the gifts that they are. May you have many many more to come!!

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  6. That was very sweet. And I agree that 60 isn’t middle age anymore. But it’s not old, either. I like “baby senior citizen” better. Or maybe you could say “I’m a sophomore senior citizen.” That would really throw people off,

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  7. Best wishes for turning 60 soon, Ann. I’ve never thought of 60 as old, so I don’t think there is any rush to change your blog name.I hope the sun sines and the flowers bloom brightly for you. And if it doesn’t, there is always a good book and hot chocolate.

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    • You are so sweet! I don’t really think of sixty as “old” either, just a bit older than I’m used to being. But I agree, there is no need to change the name of the blog yet. We are lucky to finally be enjoying some sunshine and warmth, but I agree that on the days we don’t, that’s exactly why we have good books and hot chocolate!

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  8. Happy birthday, Ann, and congratulations on this milestone! It seems that for each thing we leave behind as we grow older, something new and wonderful comes along to replace it, like your grandson and your husband’s pending retirement! I love some of the names the others came up with for your blog in the future. (By the way, do you mind sharing your birthdate? I ask because my birthday is May 3 and I want to know if we share the same birthday – that would be amazing! – if you don’t want to, no worries!)

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  9. Happy Birthday in advance, Ann. It is a bit odd to find oneself in the 60’s–I’m 62. And I’m not old–that’s my dad who is 88. Late middle age, perhaps, or as we sometimes put it at my house, training old.

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    • I like the term late middle age! (Better than baby senior citizen, which still reminds me of diapers, which reminds me of Depends, which, face it, means old age!) My mom is 87, and although she is still vibrant and independent, she is what I think of when I think of old age. I guess we need a new term for those of us in our fifties and sixties? Meanwhile, I’m going with “late middle age!”

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  10. Happy birthday, Ann, and may your upcoming year be healthy and enjoyable! Moving past 60 brought many surprises for me…some good and others not so much. I agree, though, that there is some excitement in the unknown and anticipation of the “next step.” And, don’t forget, that “acting our age” can mean various things for different people!!!

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    • You are so right! If acting my age means thinking before I speak, being honest, and not worrying about what others think of me, then that is actually a good thing. There are certainly some downsides to this stage of our lives, but there are also many gifts. I hope that those are the ones that I pay the most attention to….

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  11. Oh Ann, this was a really good one. I remember 60 and really thought about it as really getting older, But when I hit 70 after my stroke, it’s more about what time I have left. Life sure is interesting.

    Patty k

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    • I agree, Patty! When you have a close call like you did, you realize that life is not so much about mourning our lost youth, it’s much more about treasuring the time that we still have. It’s a gift which none of us can earn, but some of us can enjoy. Life is interesting, indeed.

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  12. I’ll hit the same birthday in August Ann, and I don’t want to make a big deal about it either. I think I’ve reached a point where I feel very blessed with each birthday that comes along. We’ve got to embrace it. Happy birthday!

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    • Thank you! And yes, I have hit the age where I’ve lost too many people to be cavalier about another birthday. Each year is a gift to be treasured. And as you say, embraced. Thanks for the reminder!

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  13. Congrats on the big 6-0! The alternative is worse …. and your new blog name could be Muddling Through My Mature Age … altho in Australian you would be considered a senior and get discounts for having made it there 🙂

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  14. Happy birthday when it comes! I was 60 last year, and it was the first Big 0 birthday I was happy about. All the others seemed to mark the loss of some degree of youth, even 50 which felt truly middle aged. By 60 I felt there was no point in worrying about lost youth any more – and I got my bus pass which was almost like a medal for making it!

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    • Late middle age works for me! Someone else suggested middle age and beyond. Anything that keeps it simple is a winner in my book. Because knowing me, if I tried to really change the name of the blog, I’d probably manage to mess everything up….. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

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  15. Happy birthday in advance, Ann! I love the current title of your blog and honestly can’t think of a better one. Also, when you eventually turn 89 and still happen to be blogging, I think you totally deserve to keep calling yourself middle-aged – because which 89-year old would blog unless he/she was still middle-aged at heart? 🙂

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  16. Happy 60th! From reading your blog I have no doubt you will take these years by storm and be an inspiration to the rest of us as we enter this period of our lives. Each year I get older I realize more and more what the truly important things are in life, and that is indeed very freeing as you have pointed out. Wishing you many more grandchildren to help fill you beautiful baby-room, they will be blessed you your wisdom 🙂

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    • Thanks so much! I don’t know about the wisdom part, but I really am hoping for another grandchild or two! And yes, I think the main gift of aging is the wisdom that comes with it. Self-acceptance is worth waiting for, especially because it also helps us accept others for exactly who they are! Makes relationships so much more meaningful, I think. Have a great day, Jen!

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  17. Aw just call your blog the next decade ! It’s weird getting older everyone else does this but not me ! I’m waiting on the first GRANDCHILD too x

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  18. I always thought that age would bring me wisdom and dignity, instead it brought a bladder the size of a walnut.

    Seriously, aside from the aches and pains, the 60’s are a great time. You will enjoy every bit of it.

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  19. I turned 60 last year and can relate to your musings about a new decade and middle age. To some degree I believe that our age is reflected through our state of mind and well being with our enthusiasm in varying degrees governed by our aging bodies. For example for when I get out of bed around 6:30 each morning I’m in my late sixties. By the time coffee and breakfast are done I’m 60. Somewhere mid morning I’m in my late thirties heading into 45 by mid afternoon. 5:30 rolls around and I’m back to 60 sitting in my recliner with a glass of wine and the evening news. Dinner, 65, bed 5 (kind of weird right?). Rinse and repeat.

    Congrats on making it this far in life in a world gone crazy. 😬 and have a wonderful birthday as low key as it may be.

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    • I don’t think it’s weird at all! We do “feel our age” much more at certain times of the day, and early morning is usually when I feel about 85. Later, when I’m at the shelter busy walking dogs, I almost feel young and strong again, at least until some pittie almost pulls me over. Thanks, Michael!

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  20. Happy upcoming birthday Ann! And I wish you to find a creative and exciting new name for your wonderful blog. Though, in my opinion only, it does not have to be related to your age, since it does not define you. You are much more than that!

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    • Thanks, Svet! And you know, you’re the first one who suggested simply taking the age part out of the title. That’s actually a great idea. I named this blog “Muddling through my middle age” because initially I planned to write mostly about being middle aged. But I’ve branched out into other areas, so I really could just drop the age reference altogether. Something to think about for sure!

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  21. Happy Birthday, Ann! You got me thinking about the term “Middle Age” . I wish there was yet another name the next milestone because I don’t think “Old Age” is yet appropriate. Similar to the term, “Tween”, for older kids, there needs to be something for young, fresh “Seniors” like us.
    Although I know changing your blog title is on the back burner, I’m still pondering an equally good one for when you’ve reached 89. How about, “Having Mastered My Post-Middle Age”? No worries, you have a long time to think on that one!
    Whatever you call it, I’m glad you’re enjoying this time in your life and sharing parts of it with us!

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    • Thanks, Des! I like that title, too! And yes, we do need an official term for those years between “middle age” and “senior citizen.” There’s just too big of an age range there to lump us all together.
      And thanks to you as well, for sharing your life with us on your blog…I enjoy it very much!

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  22. You have 8 years on me Ann! Congrats! I was thinking that “Muddling through Bravely” would be a good new approach. You always bravely talk about things that most of us don’t and get wonderful input from your followers.

    May your next best brave years be the best for your blog.

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    • What a nice thing to say! And yes, that would be a good title because it takes the age out of it, and I do try to be brave about life these days (although I often fail miserably.) I think I have more confidence when I write than I do in other areas of my life, but one of the reasons is just what you said: I get such good suggestions and ideas in the comment section. The people who are nice enough to comment always take my point much further than I ever could alone. So in a way, this blog is a collaborative effort!

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  23. Wishing you all the best for turning 60 soon, Ann!! I really like all the suggestions for the change I your blog name, say in a decade or two! 😉 And already look forward to see which one you might choose.
    A friend of my mum made quite a radical thing when she turned 65 – she went to the hairdressers and had her hair colour made the way it actually was for 10 or 15 years – silver grey! So next day she went to school everybody was kind of shocked and didn’t recognise her at first, me too when I saw her the first time and she always had to laugh when that happened. She said she was so relieved to finally let go of pretending!

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    • I’ve had a few friends who have done that, too, and one the novelty wears off, they are quite happy with it. It’s hard to tell from my roots, but I do think my hair has gone from ugly iron grey to a more silver color. And if that’s true, I could certainly live with that. With my fair skin and blue eyes, I think it would look natural. (Ha! Of course it would look natural, because it is!) I can see that in my future for sure. Not quite there yet, though. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Sarah!

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  24. Next week I shall be 65 and I can well remember feeling much as you do as I approached ny 60th birthday but if only I had known!! So far this has been the best decade because with retirement comes the gift of time – to walk, play with the grandkids, read, garden, meet up with friends, take an extra Tai Chi class, do absolutely nothing…..
    My hubby and I are fortunate to still have good health and be fit enough to enjoy life which is a huge bonus and we are grateful for that, but Ann you have raised a family, been a working woman and now this is your time so my advice is to embrace it, shed the worries who cares a hoot about worry lines or grey hair anyway and really enjoy each day as it comes. We are such a fortunate generation to have this time where most of us have enough, enough health, enough money, enough energy and as my grandson put it recently,
    ” Days out with Granny are amazing, you never know what will happen next!”

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    • Thanks for such a positive comment! I no longer work full time, so I won’t really retire myself. (I’ll be walking shelter dogs until I need a wheel chair, I think), but my husband’s retirement will certainly give us more couple time. And we are blessed to have “enough” that we can truly enjoy these years. It helps to know that those who have already reached this milestone view it as such a positive thing. And if my grandson ever says that to me, I will feel very blessed indeed!

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  25. I turn the big 7-0 in July! It’s really strange to watch your kids lie about their ages; that’s when you know you’re getting old. lol

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  26. Happy birthday! I’m with you… there really needs to be a better designation for those of us who are mathematically beyond “middle aged” but who are clearly not elderly or senior anything. In this time of our lives (I’m 62) it seems like we are enjoying a particular sweet spot of health, freedom, and possibilities. I know it won’t last forever, but I’m certainly taking advantage of it while I can! Enjoy your celebration!

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    • I agree! We aren’t yet senior citizens, but let’s face it, we’re not middle aged anywhere but in our own minds. (Although in my mind, I’m clinging to that middle age label with both hands.) There really should be something else, sort of the like the term “tween” for those who are not yet teenagers, but no longer really children. And I’m slowly realizing that this is a good time in my life, when I’m old enough not to worry about the stuff I did when I was young, but still young enough to enjoy life and do the things I want to do.

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  27. Hah, yea, acting our age, I hope that will never happen for me. I want to be like my mother who at 87 in the nursing hospital refused to go play Bingo with the “old” people. Have a lovely birthday.

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  28. 60 is the new 30! I just had my 60th in January and I don’t feel any older than I did when I turned 30 or maybe 40… they are all the same – just an excuse to eat out at a fancy restaurant!!!

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  29. happy Birthday Ann, my twin brother and I will fifty-seven in a couple Months. I do not feel old, jut glad I am still sane at my age. Someone told me not too long ago, I do not look old enough to have a son as old as Levi is. If Levi was here, he would laugh and tell me, I do look good for my age. What are sons for?

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    • Sons keep us grounded, that’s for sure! And I’m so sorry you lost Levi far too young. I like the way you keep his memory alive through your blog. What a gift he was!

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  30. Happy Birthday!!! I’m just like you though, I celebrate my birthday with a whimper, not a bang. A good friend of mine celebrates her birthday, and everyone in her family, with a huge bang, with special weekend getaways, big gifts, dinners out for over a week. Maybe for a month! I kind of shiver in despair at this, but I also am in awe that she’s so able and willing to celebrate another year. Me? I’ve decided that we’re middle-aged until, say 75 or so. So you have 15 more years to use this blog title, Ann. 🙂

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    • I like the way you think! I’ll stay middle aged until 75 too, and then not worry about a new name for the blog until then either. I also have a friend who makes a huge deal out of birthdays, but I’m happy with a family dinner and a weekend trip with my husband. Thanks for the comment!

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