Turning 60… and Still Smiling

Turning 60… and Still Smiling



We’ve been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run
Welcome to the Club: Turning 60 | 60 Years Young | ACT TWO

I turned 60 last week.

I was on the air stepper, doing my usual 1 hour workout, when I heard this classic Neil Young song on my playlist.

Oddly, I had just celebrated the day before and one of the loveliest notes I received was from my “baby” brother, quoting these same lyrics. 
My husband, daughter and new SIL had orchestrated the most delightful birthday that I think I have ever had.  All of my family turned up at my favorite restaurant to surprise me.  They’d compiled birthday letters, cards and photos into a wonderful tribute binder. 

These notes and cards were from family, nieces, nephews, friends, people I’d helped in varying degrees over the years.  There were photos from high school, old yearbook pages, and loving letters.  Not being a spotlight sort of lady, I was distinctly overwhelmed.

It was magnificent, touching and heartwarming.

A Milestone?

Everyone says that turning 60 is a “milestone,” as though this is a sort of downgrade.

Is it?

Welcome to the Club: Turning 60 | 60 Years Young | ACT TWOI disagree unless “milestone” is meant as a great thing.    I don’t feel 60.  I don’t act 60.  I’m told I don’t look 60.  (And anyway, what is “60” supposed to feel, act or look like?  Is there a manual somewhere?)

If someone asked me how old I was and I didn’t know, I’d say about 33.   Despite the silly cards in stores declaring that it’s some kind of goalpost, I’m too busy for lookbacks right now.  I’m so happy with where I am as well as where I’m going.  Sure, I’ve been rained on a time or two, but who hasn’t?  It rains on everybody. 

So far, 60 for me has meant keeping the happy memories and discarding the unhappy times.  No point in saving those from my perspective.

Getting older to me feels a bit like a toboggan or a flume ride.  You just get on and you’ll wind up at the base of the hill, however you get there.  Might as well enjoy the ride then, right?

I can’t wait!

Welcome to the Club: Turning 60 | 60 Years Young | ACT TWOI am in better shape than I’ve ever been.  I feel great.  I’m very active both socially and physically.   I actually cannot wait to see what my next decade brings.  Other than now and then catching sight of myself in a mirror and thinking that I really ought to go to the hairdresser, I find the idea of being 60 pretty hilarious.  It just seems absurd.

One card that I received said, “Welcome to the club!”  I really, really like this card.  What a great way to put it.

So I shall “run long” as in the song.   The “changes that have come” are wonderful ones. I have no plans to slow down, take it easy or bother with any of the depressing “getting older” stuff that I’m told of, by well meaning folk. If it happens, it happens.  I’m not worrying about it.  As a Scandinavian/American I was taught we don’t pay any attention to little issues like aging.   It doesn’t occur to us.*

And to anyone else joining me…..

Welcome to the Club!”

Welcome to the Club: Turning 60 | 60 Years Young | ACT TWO

At my mother’s 80th birthday party, she and her two siblings (ages 72 and 78 respectively), went looking for the toboggan to take down our hill.  It was after midnight and we couldn’t find it but they partied til dawn regardless. 



by Anne Ambuhl

Anne Ambuhl writes frequently for ACT TWO. For more of her Eye of the Beholder blog, click here.


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