I’m sharing my thoughts about turning sixty with you today. Though not my usual fashion post, I will be showing off a few fashionable pics from my little impromptu birthday photo shoot that my daughter took for me. I have SO MANY mixed feelings about turning sixty and want to document these feelings, all these crazy feelings, so that you might not feel alone if you’re struggling with a big birthday as well. And I have one major question for you? When does midlife end…and old age begin?
As the year began, I started having these overwhelming feelings of dread about my approaching birthday. Heck, I started feeling the heebie-jeebies the day after my 59th birthday! I did my best to tackle those feelings head-on with uplifting thoughts and positive vibes. But dang it y’all. I just couldn’t overcome those emotions! Why was THIS birthday so painful? What was it about sixty that seemed so much worse than fifty or forty?
What Exactly is Your Definition of Old Age?
Funny story. My girlfriends whisked me away for the most incredible girls’ trip to the Big D one weekend. We laughed our booties off, ate excessively, drank more than a few bottles of wine, shopped till we dropped, and enjoyed each other’s company. It was so good for our souls! We dined at a lovely restaurant the first night of our trip and were greeted with a smile by the impossibly young, fresh-faced hostess when we arrived. As we were waiting on our table. We gathered to take a group selfie, giggling, pulling in together, and smiling. At which point the impossibly young, fresh-faced hostess, snatched the phone from my friend’s hand and said, “oh you’re all so cute…my Mom tries to take selfies too.” Pardon me, what? The implication being that we were FAR too old to take selfies. You see, to an impossibly young, fresh-faced hostess we’re practically ancient; incapable of learning new things or mastering technology.
When Does Midlife End Anyway? That’s Entirely Up To ME!
It’s really all about perception, isn’t it? I don’t feel ‘old’ whatever that means. I still feel very much in the prime of my life. If not more so. As empty-nesters, the hubs and I are free to go and do as we please. Or not go and just lay around the pool. We can travel where we want to, pretty much when we want to (dependent on work, of course). I shared the joys of the empty nest in THIS POST several years ago. I’m learning so many new things, as I face the challenges of being a social media content manager in my professional life, and social media manager and midlife blogger in my personal, side-hustle life. It’s fun! And I’m invigorated by the continually changing landscape of that world. Excuse me Miss Impossibly Young Fresh-Faced Hostess, do YOU have over 60K followers on Instagram? (yeah, that was ugly, but I couldn’t help myself)
I’m Still Living My Best Midlife
So yeah. I’m counting time. And realizing that there are far fewer days, months, and years ahead of me than behind me. I recently watched a documentary about Wolfgang Puck, and one of the things he said resonated with me. I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist of it is that he realized that he only has so many summers ahead of him. Yikes. And since I went through such a battle with my parents when they hit eighty, in my mind, that means I only have twenty GOOD summers left, Lord willing. Double yikes. I want to do ALL the things now! That bucket list has an expiration date. So I’m living my best life…right now. I’m keeping my weight off and feel better than I have in years. I’m going to Italy in the Fall. I’m spending time with my kids and grandkids. I’m still working, and learning new things.
Andy’s Keys to Thriving in Midlife and the Segue to a Happy Older Age
- Learn something new. Challenge yourself and force yourself to continue your evolution.
- Do something good for yourself. Start walking. Go to the doctor. Get your mammograms. Get facials. Whatever that something is that you keep putting off that’s good for you. Do it!
- Don’t get “stuck in your ways”. Don’t be that girl. The “I’ve worn my hair this way since 2000 and I’m not ever gonna change girl. Don’t be afraid of change! It’s just hair! Get some new makeup! You can wash it off if you don’t like it! Follow fashionable ladies that look like you (not the impossibly young, fresh-faced ones that make you feel bad for knowing who David Cassidy is) on social media and save their looks as inspiration. You’ve got this! Peruse Pinterest for ideas. Have an honest conversation with yourself. (and your hair stylist)
What About You?
My mindset has changed so dramatically this year. I am on a mission to encourage ladies that they can look and feel beautiful…no matter their age. No matter their size. No matter their shape. I want to spread the word that “younger” is not a synonym for “prettier”, despite what you see around the metasphere. Just having that mindset and mission has reinvigorated me. Where do you stand on this? Are you celebrating these grander birthdays with ease? Or do you struggle as I did? I’m hopeful this pro-aging post encourages you to embrace your remaining summers with joy. Cheers! And Happy Birthday to all of us!