I woke up the other day to the realization that I had turned 60 years old. I lay in bed for a few minutes wondering how that had happened and, frankly, a little scared. I also realized that I was partaking of a cliche: How did I get to be so old? Where did the time go? Did 60 mean I was over-the-hill? After all, I haven’t accomplished nearly what I had hoped to. I haven’t written all the books I want to write. I haven’t come close to perfecting my tennis game or my skiing form. And I still haven’t lost all that “baby weight” (My youngest “baby” 28 years old, and I have a grandbaby now).
But then, I began to think about my brother, who died four days after his 62nd birthday. And my cousin David, who left us at 59. And mother-in-law at 62. Staying in bed was not an option. So, I have resolved to live every day to the absolute fullest and squeeze every drop of enjoyment out of it. I will dig up to my elbows in the garden, take that creative writing class, and bring little Max to miniature golf. And, I will stop fretting over wrinkles and sags, even if I can’t help but see them in HD now that my cataracts have been removed. (Note to friends: Please keep your cataracts so that you won’t see the wrinkles and sags.)
As part of my birthday celebration, Joel and I went to see the movie, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” While not an intellectually challenging film, it was an awful lot of fun and it reinforced my new resolution that, as long as I am able to put one foot in front of the other, I can have a fulfilling and challenging life. Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are truly magnificent women and fabulous role models, both in the film and in real life.
And, to make the landing a little softer, my husband and kids have all reminded me that, based on the age of the biblical Moses, “to 120” is the traditional Jewish birthday wish. This means that at 60, I am only middle aged now!
Does that mean I have to give up my senior discount at the movie theater?