Since, well, my last birthday, I have been mulling over the fact that I am turning 60. This milestone is arguably arbitrary, irrelevant and occurs in the lives of most people, if they are lucky. None the less, I have been philosophizing, making “lifestyle” changes and searching for meaning.
I have given up underwire bras. Women, we can all agree that they are completely uncomfortable and the new “bralettes,” though they certainly do not provide the best silhouette, are comfy indeed.
I grew my hair long. My two sisters, one older and one younger, look fantastic with their long tresses and I wanted to be part of the fun. I said I’d try it out until my birthday – my verdict is: keep. Who says older women can’t participate in #longhairdontcare?
I’ve decided I desire/deserve better beauty products. And by “better”, let’s agree I mean more expensive. I have long prided myself in not being wowed by the miracle claims and marketing finesse of the health and beauty industry. The drugstore options were just fine for me. But now, with the convergence of why not and “anti-aging” fantasies , I recently spent $69 on a face cream and $52 on shampoo and conditioner. Feel free to complement me on my smooth cheeks and bouncy locks.
Another lifestyle change, and one in which I am saving money (not to mention saving lives and the environment) is that I no longer eat meat. We gave it up over 9 months ago and it has been surprisingly easy and enjoyable: all new recipes and lots of new ingredients and condiments. A girl can’t have too many of those.
Bras notwithstanding, the bigger changes are probably those in perspective and attitude. After many decades of trial and error, you probably know who and what matters. You know what you like and what you don’t. You have the advantage of invisibility – older women can wear the same thing every day, cut or grow their hair – no one will notice. Beyond your career and full-time child-rearing, you have the availability of time. Devote it to travel, to hobbies, to causes, to obsessively contemplating your birthday – or to nothing at all.
My older sister (wise at age 61) says age 60 reveals one’s truer self – more concentrated, like a raisin.
So, I am here to say: embrace the raisin, revel in it. Acknowledge the good fortune that you are still here. Do what you love, love you what you do. Treat yourself. Try to minimize worrying. Prioritize the things that matter. Here are some examples.
Recognizing that your adult children turned out better than your genes or parenting would have predicted.