Okay. Here goes. Last week my odometer moved from 59 to 60.
Gone are the days when I pronounced my 7- ¾-year status to anyone who would listen: when I divided the year into quarters in anticipation of the next milestone. Why the change?
It would seem I’ve moved from “deep in the action” to “yesterday’s news.” It’s hard to resist the message that aging is shameful. It must be or we’d feel no need for anti-aging creams, face lifts, or sitcoms stereotyping older people as addle-headed. Hilarious.
Thing is, I’m not yesterday’s news. So I will move deep into life with 6-nity: a dignity that accepts myself and my years. How? By
- Staying Thirsty: with so many books to read, concerts to attend, lectures to hear, and people of differing perceptions to know, I’d best get busy. I’ll stay thirsty, my friend.
- Contributing: My worry on my 60th birthday—Would the people I serve think I’m no longer up for the task? Instead, they celebrated my birthday with full and eager hearts. With so much need in the world and with so much to give, I’ll roll up my sleeves.
- Staying Fit: I spend more time these days caring for my body, but that attention allows me to do the things I really care about. I’ll exercise, eat prudently, get adequate rest, and take those pesky calcium pills.
- Keeping It Real: Aging isn’t for sissies. I wept all over my first pair of bifocals. Ditto with the trifocals. I can’t deny my need for serious visual aids. I’ll seek to see as clearly other truths about myself and my age. Delusions can make me blind in other, more destructive ways; I’ll keep a sharp eye.
- Laughing: It’s a balancing act—maintaining humor enough to avoid what Berk Breathed termed “offensensitivity” and maintaining enough self-respect to avoid casting myself as a buffoon. I’ll not take myself too seriously, but I’ll take myself seriously enough.
- Building Soul Muscle: My body has term limits, but my soul’s in it for eternity.I’ll maintain spiritual practices that muscle my soul for adventures to come.
- Loving: God, others, creation, self. In loving, I create a powerful good that far outdistances my physical life. Those capable of loving are deep in the action. I’ll keep on loving.
I will die. But right now I am alive & I will live 6-nity with humor, love, and dignity. I hope the same for you, whatever your age.