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This Day in My History

Don't Look Back
 Aging in Rochester
2003:  Dim Sum
2004:  Sixty-One



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Shhh...don't tell her...but she's looking old these days!

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17 February 2005

It's my birthday! 

I had to laugh.  I originally started this entry asking how I got to be 62.  I responded to my question by saying that it was logical that I had just put one foot in front of the other from 365 days ago and here I am, turning 62.  Then I asked why 62 seemed so old.

Then I went back and looked at what I wrote a year ago.  I wrote:

old-woman--babushka.jpg (21709 bytes)Sixty-one.

How did I get to be 61?

Well, I suppose it’s the logical thing after one turns 60. You either get to 61 or you don’t – 61 is definitely preferable to the alternative.

Why does 61 sound so old?

Well, at least I'm consistent!

I'm not really "bothered" by being in my 60s, but somehow this decade is a bit more difficult to settle into. 

Maybe I was due.  I sailed through all those supposedly traumatic birthdays.  Turning 30 was a breeze.  Turning 40 was easy because it was one of my most fun years.  Turning 50 was kind of having maturity conferred and still feeling young at heart.  I know people who fall apart at those "zero years" as they move into a new decade.  I always thought that was silly.  It also helps that I've always been the youngest in every group I've been in, so no matter what age I reached, there were those to scoff and call me a kid.

But here I am 3 years into the 60s and still wondering how I got to be so old.  Still feeling about 35 mentally (which, I suppose, is logical because my mother, at 85, still feels 35 mentally).

I guess it's because Walt is looking at retirement.  He's reading stuff about MediCal.  It's the end of one stage of our life and it seems like we never completed it.  People have been asking him about retirement for years and he's always said "pretty soon," and continued to work.  But he's starting to make noise about maybe being serious about it this time--eventually.  I'll be married to a man old enough to retire.

It may also be that I'm now starting to be the oldest in the groups in which I participate.  A woman in her 70s recently dropped out of an on-line group I've been participating in for about 3 years.  I suddenly looked around at the others in the group and realized that I think I'm now the oldest one.

I also look at couples on TV.  I look at those in their 60s and marvel at how old they look--and could I possibly look that old?  I sure don't feel that old.

It's just a whole different perspective for me.  Now, I know that a bunch of people reading this--like my mother, and Walt and Doug and Joan and Char and a few others I can name are going to laugh to read how "old" I feel.

I don't really dwell on the things that I didn't do in life any more, but it still feels like...I don't know...like I haven't done enough yet, or haven't done what I set out to do by this time, like I'm not where I thought I would be. But yet that's an elusive thing and I can't really put my finger on what I mean.  I guess that as I move into the 60s, I just feel unsettled about life in general.  Somewhere in the back of my head I have this feeling that I blew it somewhere along the line and that it's too late to make up for lost time.

But I don't feel that way most of the time--just when I take the time to stop and think about it.  The difficult thing about being an active person is that everyone always thinks you do so much, but there is this underlying guilt that they really don't know how very little you do do and that it's all a facade you've been able to pull off most of your life.

Of course maybe all of this is coming out of the stress that I'm under right now with several projects all falling in on me at once, things that I really should have taken care of last week but put off until the last minute.

Ahhh well...it's my birthday, so I'll forgive myself.  We're going to go and see Million Dollar Baby to celebrate.  It will be a nice, quiet way to enter my 63rd year...and in a year from now I'll look back and wonder how I got to be 63 and why does it sound so old?

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