I turned 60 this month and I feel great. Not only physically (ok, I have a few new aches and pains) but mentally. When I married my husband almost six years ago, I remember sitting at the breakfast table the day after our wedding and asking him if he felt different. I told him that I did. I told him I felt like the circle was complete. I looked at his wedding band (which was my fathers wedding band) and I told him I never felt like that circle was complete before, there was always something missing, like the circle that the wedding band represents never came fully around to meet the other side. I now felt that completeness in my life and in my heart, with him.
So, now I’m sixty! Sixty!! I can’t believe it, and somehow I feel rejuvenated! I have no idea why. I’m feeling like I did that morning sitting at the breakfast table with my husband. Like a new and wonderful shift has just occured.
I compartmentalize my life into decades. It seems as I enter each new decade in my life I feel something different. In my 20’s, I had everything and a lifetime ahead of me. My choices were endless. I had no idea what I was doing but I felt unlimited potential.
My thirties was a rough decade. I felt like, “well, I’m not in my 20’s anymore, I’m no longer cool.” I realized that when I was getting my hair cut one day and the girl cutting my hair said something like, “well don’t you look cute with you mom jeans and tennis shoes on!” I think she meant it as a compliment but I felt overweight, tired and ugly wearing my big plastic glasses that I had to start wearing after the birth of my daughter. In a short time I had my second child, my son. I hadn’t really gained a lot of weight after having my kids but everything shifted and got soft. I would look in the mirror and feel ugly. No one told me otherwise.
Then my forties rolled around. I had kind of recuperated from my thirties. I realized I wasn’t cool anymore and I accepted that. I realized that yes my body had shifted and changed but I still wasn’t doing to bad for my age and compared to some of my friends I was doing pretty good. I had a good job, was making decent money, enough to cover the bills anyway. I never had enough for the “extras” and every month life felt pinched. That got more difficult as the two kids got older and started “wanting” more things. It’s hard to say no when all their friends seemed to have everything they wanted whenever they wanted.
The strain of those kinds of demands and the kids being in their teenage years was starting to ware on me. The strain of “life” was beginning to bare down. My spouse was for all intents and purposes “checked out.” I was basically becoming a single parent to my children; I had an angry teenage son, and a daughter who thankfully took life in stride. She was my anchor. I don’t know if she ever really knew that, but I drew a lot of strength from her, and I still do (She’s thirty now.)
As I was just scraping by that decade my fifties hit. Whoopie, I get a big surprise party (that I didn’t want) and a month later, just after a miserable Thanksgiving holiday my spouse informed me he didn’t want to be married to me any more. Well, welcome to my fifties! After an even more miserable next three months he left for good. Well, okay, I asked (told) him to leave for good. He wasn’t there anyway, for any of us and we needed to move on. Apparently he did to, because we haven’t seen him since. Ouch…. I used to cry, but at some point I made the healthy decision that he would not get any more of my thoughts, energy or tears.
So my fifties was a big turning point. I became single, my kids were forced onto the fast track to become amazing, independent young adults. The three of us bonded in so many wonderfully special ways it’s hard to describe. My son and daughter began to love and protect each other fiercely, and I mean fiercely. If you were to look at one of them cross- eyed, the other one would be there to protect and defend. It was amazing to watch. My daughter became my caretaker for a time when I wasn’t able to care for myself. I was so devastated by what seemed like the total destruction of the life I knew that I was only functioning. I smile and am thankful at the many times she put a bowl of oatmeal or a bowl of soup in front of me and said, “mom, here…you need to eat this, you need to eat something.” I will be forever grateful for her nurturing me during that ugly time.
And, I will be forever grateful to my son for “manning up” and becoming the pillar of strength that I needed him to be. He became the “man of the house” and he watched over me with caring protectiveness.
The three of us struggled and battled our way through that time. We grew strong and fierce and life moved forward. My daughter met her now husband during that “fifties decade.” They are married now with two children.
I reached out to the man I had dated right out of high school, when I was 17 and he was 20. We had dated for five years before going our separate ways. (there is another story) We reconnected, dated for four years and have been married now for six years. During the dating time, he performed the marriage of “our” daughter to her husband, he has become grandpa to our two grandchildren and he has bonded and helped “our” son with a business venture. And somewhere in there I retired from my job of 20 years. We are a family and life is good.
And, now?…I turned 60!! I turned 60 and I feel like this is a new decade that will consist of wonderful new life experiences and adventures. So far, I’ve had lunch with my best friend who I worked with for 17 years, my husband and I had dinner with a friend of my husbands from many, many years ago and his wife. They are fabulous funny people who are moving to Hawaii! I see adventure there! I had a birthday dinner with my husband at Bella Bru, we had a fabulous waitress and fabulous dessert! I had In and Out with my mom (93 yrs young) yesterday after we went shopping. That’s her new favorite hang out. We’re meeting up with our daughter and her husband tonight for another dinner and soon we are leaving for Maine!!
Yes, my sweet husband asked me what I wanted to do for my 60th birthday and I said I’d like a nice lobster dinner. He said, okay, “I’ll make a reservation.” I said, “no, you don’t understand, I want a really good lobster dinner!” Next thing I know we’re booking a trip to Maine. Is he the best or what!?
So you see, life at sixty is beginning with a new adventure! I’ll tell you all about our trip when we get back. It’s gonna be great! This decade is gonna be great!!
Life is truly like a wave. You have to roll with the plan that is your life. I firmly believe that we each have a road map for our lives. Our life maps are determined by God before we are even born. God has given us “free will”, so it’s up to us to decide how we are going to deal with and handle the plan that was laid out for us. I know for a fact that we can live in joy and peace while all this ugly stuff is going on in our lives. That joy and that peace is an inner peace that only comes from God.
That joy and that peace for me, comes when I spend time in Gods word. That is the time that God talks to me, not literally, but within me. It is another one of those things that is hard to explain, you really have to live it and open yourself up to it. Open yourself up to God and amazing things will happen. When I say that, I mean amazing things will happen within you. You will be changed. You will look at people differently, as if you see them through Gods eyes. It’s amazing.
I thank God for bringing me to this point in my life. I will never understand why things happen the way they do. I now understand that I cannot “control” things. I understand now that I have to roll with those waves that come in and out of our lives. Those waves that are sometimes seemingly insurmountable and the waves that are insignificant. I have learned to trust God and let him take me where he wants me to go and to become the person he wants me to be. It’s an ongoing never-ending process. As the saying goes, I’m not were I need to be, but I’m not where I used to be. Something like that, anyway.
God is good… life is good.