Suddenly Sixty

So here I sit, on the eve of celebrating my 20th anniversary of being 40 – or as most people would say – turning 60.  6-0.  S-i-x-t-y.

- Hello, how are you?

- Fine thanks, I’m 60.

How the hell did I get here already?  Even my sister acknowledges that it’s a big number.  She also assures me I’ll get over it.  I’m sure she’s right, even if I can’t fully articulate what it is I’ve got.  I understand that the alternative is untenable – so untenable in fact, that perhaps that’s my issue.  I’ve lost my sense of infallibility.  I’ve exited that period of my life (which lasted a very long time) where it feels that everything goes on forever – and I’m a part of that everything.  Tom Stoppard writes that one should “[l]ook at every exit as being an entrance somewhere else”.  Sounds right – I am just a little uncertain about opening that door.

Of course, if we’re fortunate and healthy and inexplicably blessed, we all enter phase after phase.  And no beginning is without its challenges; it takes an effort to move from childhood to adolescence, adolescence to young adulthood, young adulthood to middle age, and so on.  It’s that ‘so on’ part…

I still dance with an abandon that embarrasses my children.  I still cry at romantic comedies, clap for Tinkerbell and keep my playlists relatively current.  I was never known for being a night owl, so there’s been no concession there.  Perhaps it takes a bit longer to heal if I’m unwell, but I have much more confidence that I know how to take care of myself.  I don’t do ‘mom’ jeans.  I’m still in search of the perfect lipstick, blush and the eye cream that really does wonders.

Perhaps that’s it – I still believe in wonders.  In fact I think I notice them more than ever before.  Wonder in the breath of the wind, the intangible, unbreakable connections that tie me to those I love.  Wonder at how much more meaning my days have now that they have fewer requirements to dilute the attention I might give to the sun on my face.  And while I marvel, I also realize how tightly I am holding onto this life.  How much I love the moments as well as the spaces in between, when I breathe in the absolute sweetness of being a part of it all.

I guess I’m going to charge right into sixty, because that’s the door that is open to me.  “There are years that ask questions, and years that answer” (Zora Neale Hurston).  Whatever this year turns out to be, I know it will hold its own wonders.  And I’ll be clinging just as tightly as I always have.

125 thoughts on “Suddenly Sixty

  1. I have been 39 for 22 years now and I still puzzle at how I got here–I don’t wear mom jeans either–I comfort myself with the fact that I have always been a late bloomer–now it is paying off–I remember 60 from when I was younger and it does not seem like the 61 I am now–by the way–Happy Birthday Mimi–I am glad you are joining my ranks–it makes me feel younger–now make a wish and blow out all those candles (I love Tinkerbell to btw)

  2. Not at all surprised at the comfort of your words and the optimism that is contagious. It is a compete reawakening and chance for reinvention. The alternative untenable. The way “life is not a dress rehearsal” resonates in the air unspoken. The anticipation of watching “ours” experience and make the same and new mistakes yet face challenges and overcome them with a strength we can only marvel at. The big 6-0. You’re absolutely right; the absurdity of that BIG number referring to us. Well, my dear friend, you make sixty seem like 40 and whenever we are together if cumulatively our ages approach 20, that will always be good enough for me. Wishing you all that you wish for yourself today, tomorrow and always. And, should there be a cake in the festivities, when you blow out the candles may all your wishes come true. All there is.

    • The collective wisdom between us is mind-boggling!! I’m sure I’m not saying anything new here my friend, but I delight in knowing that it resonated with you. All there is..xox

  3. Your OLDER sister (who has been through the door – for awhile) promises you that there’s good stuff on the other side. Because of course, whatever door you go through, there you are. And you are the best!

  4. You are a child of the universe and sixty is just a measurement of wisdom, character and the number of years you have shared love with others. As with wine we all get better over time.

  5. If I remember it…I’m stealing that 20th anniversary line. It’s a winner. I’m only 6 years behind you.. 14 to your 20…and I know it in my heart I’d have looked up to you then as I do now. You make 60 look damned good and dare I say…feel even better. Bless you my friend and bless the day you were born. xoxo always…ww

    • Thank you WW and consider my limited stature, you’d probably never have looked up to me, but patted my head and smiled benevolently. Thank you for your wonderful loving message..xoxo, m

  6. Mims, LOVE This…only you would know how to make such a graceful (yes, I said that and no, you don’t get to dispute me, at least not on this day!) entrance to this new destination. A beautiful life to celebrate today (and everyday, but today with cake!) Happy happy birthday my gorgeous friend! xoxo

    • Thank you BonBon – for your farsightedness and your blurry vision when holding things close. I will not dispute you today, tho’ I did think it was pretty good that I got that comment in about your vision. It is a fantastic life – a blessed, fortunate and loving – and I’d be an idiot not to recognize it…Thank you for the b’day wishes – today there will be cake…xoxoxo

      • Ah, yes, right again, as you so aptly described my ‘my arms are no longer long enough to see things clearly when I hold them out in front me” vision…but some things I know and see without needing to *see* them. Rock on my amazing friend, and happy happy birthday!! xo

  7. Never do you disappoint sweet friend!
    May your day be filled with love and laughter
    and wouldn’t it be really cool if someone finds you that perfect lipstick ;)
    Happy Birthday Miss Mimi…You da best! xoxo

  8. Why not charge right in, Mimi? In fact, consider doing so with cautious abandon (is there such a mode?), given the energy emanating from your post. I sense we have traveled not dissimilar professional paths and I’m a mere seven months behind you, chronologically. I can’t wait to achieve the same aging milestone. So much wisdom and life experience we have to fuel us forward. We have been blessed to accumulate so much and now we get to choose what’s next, relatively unencumbered. Consider heightening your awareness of and anticipate all the wonders ‘out there,’ waiting for you.

    In your corner here, cheering for you and all that awaits your next Life Act. There are amazing people already in this ‘club.’ Revel in their company and how you’ll have opportunities to collaborate with a old and new casts.

    Okay, I’m getting a tad carried away. Happy birthday and congratulations!

    • I’m going to charge right in Eric – if experience provides the fuel, then I’m running with a full tank and looking forward to what the road holds ahead of me. Thank you for the cheers – I can feel them all the way over here!

  9. It is interesting that I too used to think of birthdays in terms of 40 plus, or in other words thinking and hoping that I was really still a 40 something year old. When I turned sixty, I thought differently. I was happy for the new beginnings that this age means and the exciting times ahead free of the constraints of responsibility and expectations of society. I only have my own self-made constraints of responsibility and expectations – and that can be enough sometimes :).
    Enjoy your birthday. It is actually a great place here on the other side. :)

    • Hi Elizabeth and thank you. It is clear that I’m in some awesome company. I can see the freedom that limited constraints provide, and the opportunities to give one’s self even greater permissions. I appreciate your insights and good wishes!!

  10. I know at times I wonder how the hell did I get to be 51, I don’t think of myself as being that old in my head I am still in my 20′s or maybe my 30′s but 51 no bloody way I don’t know how old I look but I do know I look younger then my sister who is in fact younger than me………………

  11. Happy Birthday, Mimi. I went through the 6-0 door 7 years ago and never looked back. I still don’t feel old, and I guess never will. It’s all what we make of it. And I bet you’re going to keep making good stuff. I love the video!

    • Thank you Angeline – I want to make the most of each day, keep learning new things and getting better at some of the things I’ve marginally learned. I appreciate your thoughts and happy wishes!

  12. Happy Birthday Mimi (tomorrow, right?) The rest of us are blessed to be able eke into a small part of the little spaces in your in-between. Love your post (as always). DK

    “And while I marvel, I also realize how tightly I am holding onto this life. How much I love the moments as well as the spaces in between, when I breathe in the absolute sweetness of being a part of it all.”

    • Thanks Dave – I think we are mutually blessed (just wrote something to that effect on your pos). Those in-between moments are made all the more important, meaningful, delightful because of my friends. You. are. my. friend.

  13. I love this song! I was just writing tonight about not being greedy and realizing when we have enough. I have no idea how I got to this age, because it certainly doesn’t feel like “old”. I intend to jump out of an airplane at 60, parachute through the air, just because I (hope I) can… I spend a lot of time around younger people in the theater world, and sometimes I simply feel those decades between us aren’t there, and other times…well, it becomes painfully clear! But mostly, living a life of passion and sharing that with others who have similar passions…well, that just erases the years. Happy Birthday.

    • I do too! So glad you liked it! I think the generational divides (so to speak) are more easily bridged when you get to hang out with each other..And as for parachuting at 60 – go for it!! Good for you! Thank you for the b’day wishes.

  14. Happy happy birthday, Mimi! Hope it was wonderful. You’ve written a stellar tribute to your journey. Praying that I age with at least half of your grace and spunk.

    • Thank you Liz!! The day breaks with much promise, for I’m writing back to you and others! So far, the ride has been awesome – and I would hate to see it end. My hunch is that you’ll continue to age with far more spunk and grace than I have. It’s just the way you roll!

  15. Embrace your age “young lady”. The best is yet to come I’m almost 2 years older than you and these since 60 have been the best quality years probably in my life. At least with more depth. Keep getting better and better!!!😀🎂🍦

    • Thank you so much!! I am currently celebrating the fact that the house is still sleeping (read that the dogs) and I can enjoy the coffee, the quiet and the beginning of a new day!!

  16. Happy Birthday, Mimi! This post is beautiful, as is life. Isn’t it funny how we resist aging and fight like hell to keep living? P.s., when you find that perfect lipstick, please share :)

    • Thanks Carolann – I promise to share the lipstick when I find it…;-) And I think we resist aging as part of our fear of dying – and since I don’t know what that door looks like, I sure as hell don’t want to head there anytime soon!! ox

  17. Each blossom still blooms in its field; each child still clutches your hand; each friend still lingers in your heart. And that, dear Mimi, is where time goes. With a beauty so sublime, it could bring Mona Lisa to tears, and a healing power sufficient to rearrange the stars, here’s wishing you a wonderful life and a very beautiful Birthday!xoxo

  18. I am turning 45 soon, while still clinging on to the (mistaken) idea that I somehow remain a young adult. Your lovely writing, however, makes me look forward to the “15th anniversary.” Thanks!

  19. My Wranglers fit me just fine, thank you very much! Loved this, Mimi. Happy Birthday. May your 60th year be magical and filled with the vitality that you exude from your very young, pores!

  20. Ahhh, sweet friend, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

    This post is lyric, and yet another example of why your light shines so brightly for so many. Your consistent ability to ‘suck the marrow’ out of life’s simple pleasures, your infectious sense of wonder, your ability to see the good in others (even when we can’t always see it in ourselves)–all of this and more make you one of *the most special* people in the universe.

    I *love* Bill’s observation that our age simply denotes “the number of years we have shared our love with others.” Brilliant!! And as Mark Twain so wisely said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” :-)

    Love you so, honey, and looking forward to celebrating many more years with you….

    • How lucky are we – to have so much to look forward to together! I don’t know that I am all that you see in me, but that only makes the praise that much more special…
      I loved Bill’s comments too – tho’ it is startling to think that one has been sharing their love for this many years! I know it is a wonderful time to appreciate the gifts I have been given – and you are at the top of the list…love you..xoxo, m

  21. Oh Mimi, I wish you the happiest of birthdays ~ may your every wish come true! You are such a special soul and I am very grateful that we’ve connected. Your inspiring posts always fill my heart up when I see in my email that you’ve posted. May the coming year bring wishes fulfilled for you so deserve them! God bless you always…big hugs from me to you! xoxo

    • Thank you so, so much…and I too am so grateful that our paths have crossed. I look forward to your inspiring messages daily, for they enhance my life. Thank you and hugs – many hugs..m

  22. “There is a fountain of youth: It is in your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age”.

    I have never met a person more capable (or more willing) to lend time, introduce creativity, or provide a comedic break than you.

    Who cares about 60? You beat age a long time ago.

    Happy Bday Mom.

    • Oh baby doll, this quote is perfect and it is perfect coming from you. I love you with all I have. I lucked out in the kids department, that’s for sure. xoxo, mom

  23. I love this post Mimi …. and your panache, wisdom and humor rolled into one :)
    “Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind.
    It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips and supple knees.
    It is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions.
    It is freshness of the deep springs of life.
    Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years.
    People grow old only by deserting their ideals.
    Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”
    ~ Swami Bua
    You can tell the Swami was a guy … no mention of lipstick ;)
    Have a wonderful birthday!

    • Even though he omitted the lipstick, it’s still a fabulous perspective Val. Thank you so much for sharing it with me today and for sending such warm b’day wishes!

  24. Happy memorable birthday, my friend. Mimi, I am quite certain that you have the attitude, the health, the vigor, to find 60 marvelous rewards and challenges awaiting on that side of the door. Enjoy. You can blaze a trail for my arrival come 2017.

  25. Forgive me for being late to the party. I like to make an entrance PLUS I am certain you will be celebrating for days! Happy Happy Birthday to you my sweet friend. I feel so honored to know you. Embrace This Year…Own it….I know you will! Hugs….(I am not far behind you)

    Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. ~Henry Ford

    How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? ~Satchel Paige

    The key to successful aging is to pay as little attention to it as possible. ~Judith Regan

  26. Happy Birthday, Mimi. Loved your post. This really touched me: “…how much more meaning my days have now that they have fewer requirements to dilute the attention I might give to the sun on my face.” Beautiful and hopeful post. Wishing you wonderful wonder…

  27. Happy belated Birthday! Being sixty does not change you or your inside. The sillyness stays, the inner child is still there and only the number on your birthday card changes. You will have much fun still if you want to! Keep dancing!

    • Hi Linda! Thank you for the b’day wishes – they’re always welcome. I’m so glad you stopped by and happier still that you liked what you read! Mimi

  28. You know that you’re doing something right when the number of “likes” that you receive exceeds your age…

  29. Happy birthday! Unfortunately time flies whether or not you’re having fun, you just have to make sure you’ve put in the hard yards and earned every single line that remind you of past smiles. Just comfort yourself with the thought that you don’t look a day over 59.

  30. Hi Mimi. I know I have been absent from my favorite bloggers, but I am glad to be back here. I have been dreading to be nearing 50 and this post is so uplifting and it reminds me that everything is a question of attitude. Your positive attitude is amazing and inspiring! Please accept my very belated Happy birthday wishes! I am hoping you are making this entire year one big celebration!
    Blessings! :-)

    • It’s SO good to see your comments and to know that this post was timely for you!! Of course you’re right – it’s all about the attitude, isn’t it? And sometimes we get so mired in our own fear and negative self-talk that we just can’t find our own light. These big birthdays are passages – and passages are rarely easy. What is exciting about them is the recognition that there is always something wonderful to be found on the journey. Happy Early Birthday!! :-)

  31. I recently turned 64.
    Remember these 2 mantras:
    1. “Old” is 10 years older than me.
    2. If there’s nothing after death, I won’t live to regret it.
    There you have it. Problem solved. :-)

  32. I’ll be 59 in November, will be feeling your thoughts in little over a year. I loved the way you mentioned how it is easier, with less ‘busy ness’ in our lives, to really feel the sun on our face, cherishing and treasuring every moment. I am belated, but not too late I hope to wish you a happy 60th year of life! Hugs!

    • Thank you so much – and I will celebrate your birthday in November…I’d be naive to say it all gets better with age, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that many things really do improve…Hug, m

  33. Well said. That particular day is coming up, and I’m not sure..well, hell, I know exactly how I feel about it. How can it possibly be? When my mom was 60, she was one year a widow, all 3 kids were out and about, two were married, and she was a grandmother. That’s 60 (although I’d like to forgo the widow part), and I’m nowhere near that, so I can’t be almost 60. Besides, I keep seeing me as younger , when I look in the mirror, so why don’t directors see the same thing, and cast me younger? I “read” younger. They must be seeing something I’m not, and I guess I ain’t lookin’ that hard to see what.

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