So, I woke up this morning, my birthday morning, as an older woman. Older than yesterday when I was 59. And somehow jumped into another decade as I have just turned 60. Ok, now I can tell you that I was being kind of optimistically frivolous when I made up my 60 reasons I am excited about turning 60. It's more like, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
I say it – 60 years old – and think to myself, uh, no that's not me. That is not who I am. Age doesn't describe the inner me. I am ageless in my mind – and you ask my two sons and they agree. I'm playful and goofy and pensive and romantic and introspective and soul searching. Has nothing to do with age.
Several years ago, my coworkers started a tradition of "60 presents for the 60th birthday." Little things. So for the past five days I have received 10-12 little presents every day – books, cards, plants, candles, soaps, energy drinks (which seems to draw every single person and they all want to try it). Does an energy drink counter the effects of just plain being old? Inquiring minds want to know. It says it has no caffeine and no sugar. So, if you come to my cubicle and I'm not there, look up – I may be on the ceiling, having sampled some of my energy drink supply, called "Orange Explosion." If that doesn't work, I have several latte gift cards so I can get my double caffeine, triple shot chocolate, Grande latte. Fat, hot, and a hell of a lot.
How do I feel about 60? I didn't notice a big drop in brain cells, so I think the "senior moments" are still in the future. Maybe if I keep working, I'll keep my brain active, and I won't have those moments. I'm playing Sodoku frequently over the last year because I have heard that it improves the mind. However, it hasn't improved my balancing-the-checkbook skills, at all. Instead of a savings account, I have a slush fund in my checking account, to account for my not accounting my account.
Age is relative I suppose. I remember when my grandmother turned 95 years old, still living on her own. Her son-in-law asked, er rather shouted to her good ear, "So, how do you feel today?" to which she replied, louder just for the heck of it, "I'm 95 years old. How the hell do you think I feel!" When you are 95 years old, you can be cantankerous and ornery just for grins and giggles and nobody will fault you. When you're 60 and act like that, well, you're just being a brat and a pill.
So here I am – 60 years old. Am I better? Older? Wiser? I like to think wiser, finally, after many false starts. I'm an all-around better person, through time and through events and experiences. I'm just not older. I'm definitely not elderly – although were I to trip and fall in the street and a reporter happened by (and I'm only a block away from the S-R building), the article in the paper would read "Elderly Woman Breaks Hip on Riverside and Monroe; Traffic tied up for hours trying to get her, screaming and clawing, into ambulance for ride to nursing home."