Turning 60 — A Message from Me to You

by Bonnie

Since you’ve found your way to this blog, you’re likely a woman in the vicinity of 60.

The Downside

Perhaps you’re feeling apprehensive, troubled, or concerned about being 60. You might feel stuck in a life that’s no longer exciting to you and not seeing a future to really look forward to.

woman pulling hair out

 Sixty can be a bit jarring. There’s something about that number.

 I understand.

Sixty was the first time I was ever bothered about my age. I even had a few moments wondering if I could hide or lie about my age. My reaction shocked me.

I thought 60 was old and I did not want to be old. Nor did I want anyone else to think I was old.

Our culture’s messages are so negative about aging. Especially for women. It’s not surprising that we fear becoming old, invisible, cast aside, unwanted, marginalized.

But life isn’t over at 60.

The best is not behind you.

I’m not saying la la, no problem, everything is great, you’re going to live forever, nothing will change.
There is inner work to be done, stuff to face and deal with. There are changes ahead that may be challenging.

And there’s hope and possibility.

You can still have peace of mind, joy, and purpose. You can still live the full, wonderful life you desire.

If this appeals to you, I hope you’ll stick around and become part of this village of women who want to create lives they love in their 60s and beyond.

What about you? Click on Comments below, scroll down, and write away. Tell us about your experience of approaching or turning 60.

Like this article? You can get more articles like this with a complimentary subscription to the Savoring Your Sixties e-zine. Just put your name and email in the form below and click Subscribe!

Leave a Comment

{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Roz April 16, 2015 at 7:04 pm

I am 59 and will be 60 in July. I had met a nice man age 45. I told him I was much older than him and was apprehensive of dating him. With encouragement from family and friends and everyone telling me I look like I am in my 40’s, even him. I decided to date him. Unfortunately I fell head over heals for him. When he found out I was 59 he started acting funny. Making comments about his mom being 68 and other comments. He stopped calling and I believe he has even blocked my number. I am very hurt by this and for the first time I am looking at myself in another light ( looks like I can see my age now when at first I couldn’t). I get compliments all the time and people don’t know my age. To make it even worst I have started a job where I answer the phone and schedule medical trips. I look at the people age who calls and they sound so OLD, some are in their late 50’s or 60’s. They say stuff like “honey I’m old”. Can I get a encouraging word.

102 Running like Crazy April 16, 2015 at 8:06 pm

This is the eve before my 60th birthday and I found this site in searching “help for turning 60.” For the past few days, I’ve been angry, scared, and crying. Lots of crying. I want to scream, NO! NO! NO! and keep on screaming NO! but it wouldn’t be a good idea for my own well being or my apartment building neighbors.

I don’t want to be 60, but does that imply I no longer want to live? I DO want to live, but not as 60, not as a senior citizen. If I had the choice, it would be so easy to just let myself slip away during the night. Never wake up again. But that thought scares me too.

You see, while the calendar years have added up, I really haven’t LIVED 60 years worth of life. I never married, never had children (wanted 6), never had a house, lost my ability to work when a second bout of disabling illness hit nearly 16 years ago. The best years of my life have vanished, leaving trails wrecked with painful regrets and hollowed out with emptiness.

Mentally and emotionally, I never completed my journey of a young adult’s developmental experiences, and now find myself increasingly jealous as the next generation follows on, stepping into careers and raising their families with a maturity beyond my own. Only recently did I begin to adjust to the thought of being middle-aged, and now I’m being thrust into senior-hood long before I’m ready. Hey, STOP, STOP, I don’t belong here! I haven’t finished the prerequisites leading into this final course. I can’t bear the thought that the end of life might be in sight. Let me flunk and do it all over again! Please?

I remind myself of having witnessed others turn 60 before me, who are still living and breathing adequately. What’s the big deal?! They made it; why shouldn’t I? If it weren’t for calendars and a birth certificate, tomorrow would be just like any other day. No stepping over a new threshold into an undesired realm. No fears, stigma, and pain of being seen as “old.” No sense that my days are now numbered.

I want to know that I still have plenty of time, that life stretches on before me, the end too far to imagine–like it used to be. Perhaps I’ve read too many obituaries of those in their 60’s. Instead of thinking, “That could be me,” I’ll need to reverse it to, “Thank God, that’s NOT me!”

I’ll need to find ways to relish life’s experiences once again, to break out of isolating illness, to move beyond the barriers to a joyful life, to pick up the pieces, add new ones, and make something beautiful. Come on, I have decades of catching up to do! Just let me forget that I’m turning 60.

103 Bonnie April 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Oh, Roz! I’m so sorry this happened to you. Growing older has enough challenges without having the wind knocked out of you like this. This man apparently had some issues about your age; those are HIS issues, not yours. Let yourself have a good cry, process whatever you need to process about this, and then pick yourself up and move on. Living well is the best revenge, as they say. And remember some people are old at 30 and others are young at 90. It’s not so much about looks as it is what’s going on inside you. Wishing you well! ~Bonnie

104 Bonnie April 16, 2015 at 8:37 pm

Well, Happy almost Birthday, Rosie!

I remember feeling many of the feelings you expressed here as I approached 60. And I think I can understand the parts you’ve written about that I haven’t experienced myself. Turning 60 can be challenging enough without adding in feelings that we haven’t lived well or fully in the years we’ve had. I’m sorry you are struggling so.

None of us, of course, knows how much time we have left. At 60, it could be one more day or 40 more years. There’s probably not much you can do about the past, the regrets you have for what life has handed you and the choices you’ve made. But what about the future? What about the days and years you may yet be given? Can you find a way to live life fully? To feel joy and see beauty? I hope so.

Wishing you all the best,

105 jane taylor May 4, 2015 at 10:29 pm

I turn sixty in four weeks the trouble is I still feel twenty its so very
Odd I feel trapped in a way in my body and i it . i know its just a number . I find myself thimking I only have like twenty years left if I’m lucky. The thought scares me.

106 jane taylor May 4, 2015 at 10:32 pm

I turn 60 in three weeks. I feel like I’m only twenty in my head .I feel trapped in my own aging body and it scares me. If I feel like thus at 70 its an awful feeling.

107 Bonnie May 5, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Hi, Jane! Happy almost Birthday! I hear you about being scared. There is a great deal our minds can scare us about as we get older. It’s a really good time to practice bringing our minds back to the present moment, to this day. And to use the “scare” of how many years we may have left to do what we need to do, to face what we need to face, and to make the most of how every many years we do get.

108 Ginny miller May 14, 2015 at 11:10 am

I turn 60 in July and have been told that I don’t look that old. I work full time still and by Friday I am so tired. Just lately I have become emotional for no reason, the menopause was a long time ago and I enjoy my life, family and work. Yet I have no real friends, facebook is there but you have to be careful what you write, some comments can be hurtful. How do you approach the big 60 I have 6 more years to work until I can retire…..help .

109 Bonnie May 19, 2015 at 9:36 am

Hi, Ginny! Sorry to take so long to respond. I’ve been on a mini-vacation and mostly offline during that time.

60 can be a tough transition and most of us find we can make this decade a really good one. I’d suggest you read Loving Your Sixties: 6 tips to Start Now, which you can get for free by signing up on my website. Also, this page has some articles you might find helpful.

Wishing you well, Bonnie

110 Tracey May 29, 2015 at 11:58 am

Turned 60 in Sept. 2014. Approached it with the same attitude of the other ‘zero’ birthdays; No big deal. But, yes, a little bit of ‘what the hell do I do now’ type of questions creep in. Not bad, but, well…..there!

Decided to do a documentary about turning 60, to find out how others feel.



111 Bonnie May 30, 2015 at 10:28 am

Hi, Tracey! I’m glad 60 hasn’t been a big deal for you. Love the idea of a documentary about turning 60.

112 Anderley June 17, 2015 at 11:54 pm

Well I turned 60 today and I feel great! I haven’t told anyone, and I think my family are going to surprise me with something special tonight. But todayI spent the whole day just doing little things that I always enjoyed. Went to the cinema and laughed out loud, had an amazing coffee in a beautiful cafe with lovely service, walked past a mirror in a department store and sore this pretty woman looking and smiling back at me and realised it was me. My hair looked shiney, my skin soft and glowing with just the right amount of pink on my cheeks. I sprayed luxious perfumes on and window browsed. I saw some trinkets that I really liked but walked away, only to think…hey this is my day, my husband would spend more than this on us for a casual lunch and he would want me to have it. His happiness is mine and mine is his. So back I marched and bought those darn things! If all the calendars suddenly didn’t exist, if all the clocks stopped, how would I measure myself. I measure myself knowing that I’ve raised a family, they are all loved and they love me too. I could not feel nor look as good as I do this day – well in my mind anyway. Yes I’m sixty, but whoo hoo, I feel great! Much love and light to everyone.

113 Bonnie June 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Oh, Anderley, I LOVE your message. A belated Happy Birthday to you! I love how you treated yourself so well on your day. How wonderful for you that you are so happy with yourself and your life. It’s inspiring to read about women who have such a great attitude and are doing so well at this age. I think you’re going to be a 60s rock star. :) All the best to you!

P.S. If you got a surprise from your family, please tell us what it was.

114 Denise June 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Today is June 28th, my birthday is today. I’m 60. I fell very depressed. I’ve been crying all day today. I’m making my significant other miserable. I thought he would surprise me with a wonderful surprise and he would propose. He’s 72. We’ve been together for 7 years. It’s not going to happen today. Actually I asked and he said it will happen soon. Whatever. It still doesn’t change that I turned 60 today and I feel like it’s the beginning of the last chapter of my like. I too want to scream No, No, No. This just isn’t happening. It’s too soon. I’ve got so much more to do and see. I recently got sober and am active in AA. Thank God. But honestly today, I want to buy a good bottle of wine and drink it, actually savor each sip, that too won’t happen. I’ve got too much to lose. It’s my last chance with the ones I truly love. Anyway, so no wine. No exotic surprise trip. I just pray I can put all of this in perspective and truly enjoy whatever days I have on this earth. Thank God for my 2 wonderful successful children. I just want to ask somebody and get the answer. What’s it all about Alfie? Thank God I found this site today looking for 60th birthday quotes. I hope everyone has a better 60th birthday than I’m having.

115 Jane June 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

I understand this website is all about turning 60 and all the changes we face as we step into this new chapter of life. When I turned 60 (I’m 61 now) it was with a bit of trepidation. My two children, who were always close to me, moved on with significant others and now spouses. I do not have a partner, my husband passed away 12 years ago. I was left with a choice, choose to be afraid, sad, focusing on the past and what once was and then a read a quote “Do not regret getting older. It is a privilege denied to many”. How many folks lose their life at a young age 5, 17, 20, 34…and so on…if you have the opportunity to turn 60, you have been given a gift. Embrace it and the years that follow it with gratitude, joy and love. I choose to live my life from that standpoint, and I focus on the good. Life is a gift. Open the present of turning 60…it can be a beautiful thing, if you allow it.

116 Ann June 28, 2015 at 3:16 pm

I’m right with you, Jane. I’ll turn 61 this week and am grateful for my life, relationships and health (even though it could be better). It’s never too late to learn or strengthen our selves (I’m thinking body, for me!) and to keep looking and moving ahead. A friend recently surprised me by announcing she had just turned 88. When I exclaimed, she skipped (seriously!) away saying…”going on 89″!
That may not be appealing to folks leaving their 50s but we really are that person inside, at any age.

117 Bonnie June 29, 2015 at 11:17 am

Hi, Denise! A belated Happy Birthday to you.

I’m sorry you’re struggling with your 60th birthday. That does happen to many of us and it is very possible to get past those feelings and on to joy, love, laughter. And to have many wonderful experiences, for however long we’re fortunate enough to get to live. 60 is not the death knell it may seem to you at the moment.

Good for you for getting sober. Right now, I’m guessing whatever you need to do to stay sober is the most important thing for you to focus on.

Take good care. Wishing you all the best.

Warmest Wishes, Bonnie

118 Bonnie June 29, 2015 at 11:20 am

Oh, Jane, I love what you have written here. I hear from many who, like you, have had some difficult experiences. Unfortunately, many of them don’t have your attitude about the privilege, the gift, the opportunity these years offer — even if there are difficulties. Good for you for embracing these years and thank you so much for sharing your perspective.

119 Bonnie June 29, 2015 at 11:23 am

I love your message, too, Ann. Positive, grateful, focused forward. Excellent! And what an inspiration (and a kick) your 88 year old friend must be.

Happy Birthday to you! What are you doing to celebrate?

120 Jane June 29, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Ann & Bonnie – I appreciate what you wrote regarding my post. I honestly do NOT understand why so many people (especially women) fall into depression, judge themselves way too harshly and try to avoid aging like it’s a horrible plague. How many people that are no longer living would LOVE the opportunity to turn 60? I think our society is so youth based that if you don’t feel depressed about turning older, the media and society’s twisted beliefs will convince a person to just lay down & weep once they cross the line into middle age. Very sad the majority feels this way. No one believes I am 61, I run & compete in road races, I’m progressive, I’m fun – I socialize with humanity, I have friends as young as 25 and as old as 96. Enjoying life should never be based on a biological age number. Celebrate your life, every moment of it!

121 Bonnie June 29, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Jane, I do hear you and understand what you’re saying. There are many, many reasons why some people struggle more in life than others (genetics, upbringing, brain chemistry, life experiences, current problems, trauma, loss, lack of support, etc, etc.) Sometimes our culture makes it worse. Whatever causes it, you’re right that it’s sad. You can add to your list of blessings that you are resilient enough to make it through hard times and continue to savor life.

122 Annemarie June 29, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Hi Denise,

I understand and feel for you. I actually signed up on this site just before my 60th birthday. In a couple of months I will now be turning 62. It gets more difficult each year to accept that the years are rolling by so fast. I always thank God each day for my health . So far I am still working and in reasonably good health. I don’t know what the future will bring but I try and not dwell too much on it.

Years ago when we could not afford any holidays at all, I used to think that when we grew older we would be able to do so much because we could afford a little more. Now that I am nearly 62 , the enthusiasm has gone and even when I do something I had longed to do previously, it is not so much fun anymore. The glamour has gone.

Unfortunately its only me and my husband now. My children do not even live in the same country as I do. I have 2 grandchildren who I have not seen for over 2 years. I know that the happy older people are the ones who are always surrounded by family that make them feel good about themselves. I always hoped that as I grew older my children and grandchildren would be around for us to spend time together , maybe even go on summer vacations together but I know that is not going to happen. I tell myself that we have to accept what we have and not dwell on “If only….) .

I hope for all who visit this that they will find peace in their heart to keep them going on .

123 Bonnie June 30, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Annemarie, thanks for sharing your experience and your good wishes here. I’m sorry that some things aren’t turning out the way you’d hoped they would and that you’re not able to see much of your family.

You’re right that family and grandchildren are an important part of this time of life for many people. You might be surprised, though, by how many others I hear from whose children and grandchildren have been the source of great pain. For many, it doesn’t work out as they hoped.

I didn’t have children myself and so I don’t have grandchildren. I love children, especially toddlers, so this causes me some pangs sometimes. And I’m living proof that it’s possible to have a wonderful, happy life without your own children and grandchildren.

May you find the peace in your heart that you wished for the rest of us as well as much, joy, love, and laughter.


124 becky July 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Today is my 60th birthday. I have been sad all day. I have never felt this way about birthdays, but sixty just sounds so old. I have so much to be grateful for….financial security, a loving family, a 33 year marriage to someone I love dearly, and who loves me, but I can’t help wondering…where have all the years gone?
Four years ago I suffered a cardiac arrest that I know has aged me considerably. Last year my husband had a stroke and we still struggle a bit with his recovery. I have never felt old until now and the calendar is living proof. Billy Graham is right…aging is not for sissies!

125 Bonnie July 15, 2015 at 10:52 am

Happy Birthday, Becky! I’m sorry you’re feeling sad today. And you’re not alone in struggling through the knothole of 60. It can seem like a marker of “old” and the years ahead can have their challenges. Still, most of us are able to find joy, fun, and fulfillment in these years. Some of us take longer to reach that point than others and most of us get there. Wishing you all the best! Warmly, Bonnie

126 Kathryn July 27, 2015 at 10:58 am

Thank you for this site. Being in the “60’s is definitely different, which I realize can be viewed as a positive or a negative. I am soon to be 64! A week before turning 60, exactly, my mom passed. I had been caring for her for the previous 6 years, something I was happy to do but also something that brought many changes to my life, some of which were quite challenging. Dedicating my life to care for Mom was a huge adjustment, but losing her was an even greater adjustment, so I didn’t think at all about turning 60. Finally, by age 62, I realized that life is moving very quickly, and I will never be younger than I am now. I then realized I have to make the most of as many moments as I can. I am single but am looking for a man with whom to share the rest of my life. I started a fitness program a year ago, and have stayed with it. As a result, I feel as energetic and healthy as ever, blessings I know! I appreciate friends and family and get with them as much as possible (no children, though; life didn’t take me in that direction!). I think it is crucial for us to make the most of what life has left for us!

127 Bonnie July 28, 2015 at 9:59 am

Hi, Kathryn! You are most welcome for this site. I’m glad you found your way here and are enjoying what you found.

Good for you for starting and sticking with a fitness program. That’s one of the best things we can do for ourselves at this stage of life. Feeling energetic and healthy are indeed great blessings. And you’ve taken the actions to create that for yourself.

Making the most of the time you have left . . . Combined with your fitness progress you seem to have a great prescription for living well at 60 and beyond. Hooray!

Thanks for sharing a bit of your story with us.

128 Karen Doane August 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Happy 60th everyone!
This birthday has been a strange one. I don’t feel sad, but I do feel confused and a bit lost. I actually have a beautiful life. I have a wonderful husband, a devoted son, daughter in law and new granddaughter, 5 siblings I adore and my 95 year old mom is still with us. I also have many, many cherished friends all over the country and abroad. I worked jobs I loved and have enjoyed excellent health. Even a recent bout with breast cancer hasn’t gotten me down. I have been given a clean bill of health and feel blessed and grateful. That’s why this confusing feeling about the future puzzles me. I wonder about what will become of me and feel like I have nothing left to do or accomplish. My rational mind doesn’t believe it but there is a little voice inside that says “you’re old now, nothing left to contribute” and I don’t want to become invisible the way seniors are often treated in our culture. It’s odd when you realize that you’ve accomplished all your goals and there’s nothing left to do. I’m sorry if I sound ungrateful for the amazing gifts I have, believe I know how lucky I am that’s why this empty feeling has me wondering if others feel like I do. Thanks for letting me vent. Love to all the ladies.

129 Bonnie August 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Happy 60th to you, Karen! It sounds like you’ve had a marvelous life so far and you know it. In the 5+ years I’ve been doing this site, I’ve heard from many women who have also felt confused, empty, unclear about their futures. The good news is you, like them, can have many more years filled with love, laughter, fun, fulfillment, and whatever else your heart desires. All the best to you in discovering and going for “What’s next?”

Warmly, Bonnie

130 Joan October 8, 2015 at 4:31 pm

I am going to be 60 on Oct 13. In the last few months 2 friends have die one 61 he was ill. My sister inlaw turn 61 in July 2 days after her birthday she die in her sleep. She wasn’t ill. Now many I know have Cancer only in 60. My sister just call yesterday. She said one of our friends had a heart attack only just turn 63. He just had open heart surgey. I am having such a hard time with the 60 age. The only thing Is when Oct 14 comes that’s when I will be jumping up and down and say its not that bad.

131 Bonnie October 8, 2015 at 5:52 pm

Oh dear, Joan. So much loss and trouble among your family and friends in such a short time. I’m sorry to hear this. I’m sure it’s difficult and it definitely offers a reminder that getting older is a privilege not everyone receives.

Happy almost Birthday to you! I hope you do something fun to celebrate.

Warmly, Bonnie

Previous post:

Next post: