This year I turned 60 years of age. I just cannot believe it to be so. I remember as a child, someone who was 60 years old was actually old. It did not seem possible that I could ever be that old and yet here I am.
It is amazing how quickly the decades passed. The days seemed to chug along and then in a blink of an eye a year had passed. During the dark days, time seemed stalled but the reality is it was just a blip on the screen of life.
I tried to distance myself from those I grew up with. My teenage years were a wasteland and I felt it best to separate from those years. I watched from afar some of those people who knew me as a youth. In my mind, they somehow managed to survive those years better than I did perhaps.
Time has a way of changing one’s outlook. In the past years I have connected with some of those friends of my youth. It has been a splendid gift. Many have travelled extensively. Many have lovely extended families with grandchildren. Our lives are not the same and that’s ok.
I have a self-imposed mental jail that still holds me back a bit. I’ve never been out of the United States. I have no children and now no grandchildren. I never finished high school and that carries a stigma that only I care about. I just feel damaged in comparison.
Here is the funny part of aging, it is an equalizer. No longer does it matter what happened in high school. No longer do the blazen mistakes have the same feel. When we see each other or talk it is as if no time has passed. Then as conversations progress I learned that my perception of how others lives played out was inaccurate.
Love, loss, joy, pain, confidence, insecurity, certainty and doubt has been a companion for all. I forget sometimes that no one gets out unscathed. We all have scars and we all have glorious memories. That realization is my gift from age. Equal we are albeit not the same. And that’s ok.
60 has brought more health concerns, more financial concerns and worries my 20 year old self never imagined. 60 has also brought peace from the past, a more realistic view of the nature of life itself. 60 has allowed the walls to crumble and has broken me free from the defeatism I wore as a badge for so long.
60 says… you have made it this far. You walked through some fires to get here. You learned lessons about what really matters. You have reconnected with the past in a positive way.
My faith is stronger than before. My purpose is more defined. My pains are my lessons learned. 60 and beyond, God willing, have some scary possibilities but the gift of peace 60 has given me is a gift worth living for.
You are the one that gives the number it’s significance. Yes, 60 is important but it looks nothing like I thought it would in the tender years of life. I’m thankful to be here even if I think it did come to fast.
I thank God everyday because one thing 60 has taught me is time does move extremely quick and today needs to be appreciated. Happy birthday to you all, another year goes by. May it leave an imprint on your heart that is full of love, joy and peace!