Take a deep breath and drink it in. It seems like just yesterday that you were fifty – and now – without warning, you turned the big six-o.
Six times ten doesn’t sound so bad, but looking forward, it’s only ten years removed from seventy which – yipes – is the official age of seniordom. You’re now at that age when you either become that famous grandpa with the kids, or become famously invisible to teenagers. Take your pick.
Well, what do those kids know anyways? Your cranium may be overstuffed with names, stats and events dating back to 1947, but you are now at the peak of your intellectual power. You’re earning more money than at any time in the past, you’re technologically savvy, and you can still network with the best.
There is however, one dead giveaway, that body. By now, if you haven’t taken care of it with healthy living (or if gravity has defied your best effort to shore up support south of the back forty) the wrinkles appear deeper, the eye bags more colourful and the pains more severe.
But you would never trade your friends, your wonderful life, and loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly – or would you? Not likely. Let’s face it you’ve finally become less critical of yourself, despite that swimsuit stretched over a bulging body. You easily swan dive off the three metre board with flailing arms, while defying the pitying glances from the younger set. Now that’s real maturity.
Hair is also a dead giveaway. While young, you may have spoken with your hairstyle, but now, it speaks for you – without permission. Either it’s gray or not there at all. A shiny palate that reflects the sun is not necessarily the exclusive domain of seniors anymore, but those wispy, thin and delicate gray hairs, by and large, are still an identifying colour of the older class.
This is also a time of stampeding change for deep set personal habits. Nowadays, six in the morning is when you get up, not when you go to sleep. And computer time, a wasteland for younger people, is where you actually get some work done.
To save money, you no longer drink at home before going to the bar, so now there’s actually more food than beer in the fridge. This of course helps you forget what time Taco Bell closes.
Your home life becomes a hotbed of responsibility as you become more organized taking the garbage out on time and actually keeping the potted plants alive.
The trade off’s are those “senior moments” which come around every now and then, when you get to wondering what you were just thinking about. But I guess that’s a good substitute for the 40 years spent behind the plow. You now have less to think about, but those things can be important – like taking the proper medications and remembering you have a cat, not a dog. Cats don’t like leashes and they won’t roll over for you.
Still, you take it all in stride and realize the only limit on age is what we put on ourselves. Some are old at twenty and others young at ninety, so smile and present yourself as an ambassador of a “new” generation.
Sure, the Pulitzer or Nobel Prize may have eluded you, but you’ll still meet people who influence you do things that broaden your horizon and go places that expand your education.
Enjoy – you’ve earned it.