I loved turning thirty. I was one of those baby-faced moms who often was mistaken for the babysitter, so something about turning thirty made me feel finally “legit.”
I didn’t bat an eye at turning forty. My career had just been launched, our kids were finally all old enough that life was worlds easier (and our older kids were helping raise the “oops” baby, born when I was thirty-five). Nope. Forty was a breeze.
Fifty might have made me gulp hard, but I learned shortly before that milestone that I was going to be a grandma for the first time and you just can’t waste time worrying about the big 5-0 when something that wonderful is about to happen. Now I’m “Mimi” to four precious, mischievous little boys, and the sweetest little almost-four granddaughter I could ever have hoped for. Every last one of them has blue eyes (something this brown-eyed gal never dared to dream of!) and we have the possibility of more grandbabies on the horizon! The fifties were good.
But alas, last week I turned the big SIX-O. And I must confess, I did it kicking and screaming and crying my eyes out. I also did it um…speeding. (Yes, I got a speeding ticket—ironically for going SIXTY miles an hour—the day before my birthday.)
I really don’t know why sixty hit me so hard. After all, they say sixty is the new forty, right? And I loved my forties. But hit me hard, it did. I spent waayyyyy too much time moping and worrying and inspecting my wrinkles and age spots in the mirror. I spent a solo car trip of two hours crying (I’m talkin’ ugly crying!) all the way, mourning my youth. I just couldn’t seem to shake the melancholy that overtook me at the prospect of this new decade.
Ironically, on that day I got the speeding ticket, my last in my fifties, I’d driven through Starbucks for my free birthday treat, headed for lunch with one of my dearest friends, and I was in the midst of determining to buck up and make the best of my advanced age when the red-and-blue lights strobed in my rearview mirror.
Okay, I confess I did cry when I saw that my lead foot was going to cost me $170! But that was fifty-nine. This is sixty, and the only tears I’ve cried since my birthday have been tears of joy and gratitude. Hey, sixty beats the alternative. And what’s not to like about senior discounts? I have a husband who adores me and tells me no one would guess I’m a day over…fifty-seven. 😉
My dad, who at eighty-two still rides a horse and wrangles cattle, assures me seventy will be a piece of cake. And my mother-in-law who’ll soon be eighty-one, sets the octogenarian bar high by making fifteen-hundred mile road trips solo, among other amazing things.
I have four fantastic kids who remembered my birthday in the sweetest way ever. My mom, despite dementia, still knows my name and can still make me smile. I spent a day shortly after turning sixty exploring the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas with my dad and sisters—a little piece of heaven on earth. I’m blessed to live in the same town with my brother, sisters, parents, and some precious nieces and nephews. I have books to write, people to love, and a God who has a plan—even for an old lady like me.
Have any of the “decade birthdays” been hard for you? Why?
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