Saturday, I turned 60 years old. And, it’s happening. All of it. I’m a little “stiffer” in the morning when I roll out of bed. I have some recurring aches and pains. And what’s with the random gaps of memory!? (Where are my car keys, anyway?) My bedtime is getting earlier and earlier and afternoon naps frequently sound delicious. And, I haven’t been “carded” in years when I’m buying a bottle of wine.
Last week, when two of Tom’s “grand delights” were visiting the cabin, 6-year-old Selah pulled a heavy, black rotary-dial telephone into her lap that Tom had brought up as a souvenir from his childhood home and days gone by. She stopped me and asked, “What do you do with this? Do you know how to work it?” When I showed her, it struck me that it really did look like an antique relic. She was fascinated by the plastic rotary dial and the heavy handpiece. She could not understand how we possibly got this telephone into our purse and she struggled to grasp the concept of an “operator.” We pretended to call Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy in turn. As she hung up the receiver, she said, “This is really, really old, huh?” I wasn’t sure if she was speaking about me or the phone.
It’s funny to me that I was anxious to turn 30, welcomed turning 40, and totally embraced turning 50. But I’ve had a different reaction altogether to this particular milestone in my life. I don’t necessarily feel old, but I definitely feel the speed of the clock.
Let’s be clear… I am incredibly blessed, and this is, in no way, me complaining or whining about my age. It’s more of a recognition and observation.
I’m incredibly happy. I have an amazing partnership and marriage, true and enriching friendships, meaningful and productive work, and I’m strong and healthy as are all of our children and grandchildren in our sweet, blended family.
I am also, more than ever, keenly aware of time. The time I have left with my Dad. The time I have left to contribute to a body of work for which I have a deep passion. The time I have left to experience the wonders of the world and the simple pleasures of life. And I want to spend it wisely.
So, I made one commitment to myself on Saturday: Not to wait. Because there is no more time to wait. No more waiting to forgive myself, take care of myself, trust myself. No more hesitating to give the compliment, speak the encouragement, or make sure that those I love most, know it beyond any doubt. No waiting to stare at the harvest moon or find the constellations. Or eat peach ice cream, if I want to. No more time to worry what other people think about my choices.
As I turn the corner of 60, I’m drinking the old bottle of wine in the cellar. I’m booking the trip to Africa. And, I’m reaching out today to tell each and every one of you that, because our paths have crossed somehow, I’m better for the community we’ve created and the platform you’ve given me to express my ideas, thoughts, and musings. I appreciate you more than you know.
So, this week… help me celebrate 60 with your own commitment not to wait. Pull the trigger on what you want, what matters to you, and what you’ve been dreaming of. Stop waiting. Do it now.
“Aging is an extraordinary process whereby you become the person you always should have been.”