Sixty. I turned 60 this month! I’ve been practicing saying it for months. But now that it’s here, it seems surreal!
Sixty. Yikes! It sounds so old, and yet, I have to admit, I’m glad I’ve lived long enough to say those words and celebrate their meaning. I’m alive happy, healthy and surrounded by family and friends who care about me. Those are blessings…at any age.
Not only that, I’m in good company! Did you know Oprah just turned 60? She’s still going strong and feeling pretty positive about the milestone. In a recent magazine interview, the superstar shared a few thoughts…echoing my feelings about the benefits of aging up!
“I’m turning 60,” says Oprah, “and – please don’t take offense, but I no longer have to be concerned what anyone thinks of me! (You know, the old, am I doing it right? Am I saying it right? Am I being what or who I’m “supposed” to be?) I’m turning 60, and I’ve earned the right to be just as I am.”
You go, girl!
I may have lost my once firm behind, but, like Oprah and many of you 60-plus gals out there, I’m more secure in being myself than I’ve ever been. My skin may be saggy in spots, but at least I’m more comfortable in it!
I also happen to know some really “hot chicks” that recently turned 60. “Peeps,” the beloved marshmallow candy,” is celebrating six decades of success and longevity. More popular than ever, the iconic Easter candy is constantly reinventing itself…proving that 60 may just be the new 30!
So, I’m not going to let a couple of gray hairs get me down. I was 20 once. Now it’s someone else’s turn. It’s the cycle of life. And rather than waste time and energy whining about it, I’m going to give myself a birthday gift…a piece of age-old inspiration from one of my feminist heroes…award-winning newspaper columnist, Erma Bombeck.
Check out her hilarious “At Wit’s End” column from 1992 in which the gifted humorist took aim at the problem of aging.
“Aging Gracefully is Going out of Style”
by Erma Bombeck
One of the bonuses of growing old used to be that you could shrivel and no one cared. My grandmother shriveled. She also sagged, shifted, slouched and slumped. It was as if the floor was the center point of gravity, and with glacier-like movement all of my grandmother’s parts eventually came to rest there.
No one gave her permission for her body to go from a solid to a jelly state. It was her rite of passage.
Had she lived today, she might not have been so lucky. We live in times of the youthmeisters. There’s the grandmother from West Melbourne, Fla., who wrote that she slipped into a pair of jeans one afternoon and buttoned a plain white blouse over it. When she saw her 6-year-old granddaughter, Katie, taking it all in, she wiggled her hips and asked, “Does this blouse look OK with the jeans?”
Katie circled her critically and said, “Yes, Grandma, the blouse looks OK, but if you’re ever gonna be a stripper, you’re gonna have to lose those thighs.”
There’s nothing wrong with hanging onto youth, but we have gone to war with aging. Thirty year-olds are “doing their eyes” and having skin peels. Why? It’s like having a car serviced with only 200 miles on it.
My mother said to me last Sunday, “I’m going to lose this stomach if it’s the last thing I do.” She is in her 80’s.
Think about what you’re doing,” I said. “Think about all those women on the Titanic who looked at the dessert cart and said, “No thanks, my waistband is getting a little tight.”
You could lose a few pounds yourself,” she retorted. “I’ll bet you couldn’t even fit in your wedding dress anymore.”
“I get so few calls for it,” I said dryly.
But the pressure is there and will remain there for the rest of our lives. When I’m 90, I will sit in front of my TV set listening to, “Give us a week – we’ll take off the weight” and shouting at it, “I don’t HAVE a week!”
I looked through an old photo album and found a picture of my grandmother just before she died. She had great skin and the best pair of legs this side of the Ohio River. But she was shaped like an eggplant. It didn’t matter. She was beautiful, and she was supposed to look that way.”
Some things never change.