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.

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{ 109 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,
Bonnie

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

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