It’s too late for you to die young. Hey, I’ve taken all the pressure off of you Grim Reaper-so now you may as well wait until I’m truly ancient. I’m in that dull middle-ground where my death is neither tragic nor expected. So let me live under the radar.
You no longer care how bad you look on the dance floor. There’s a race between your loss of inhibition and your knees, so I’m channeling Elaine Benes’ dance moves as long as I can. People say I have Jagger moves but since they snicker when they say it, I’m not sure it’s a compliment.
You’re finally the bigger person. Instead of having the snot drained out of you by that ‘friend’ who serves up compliments like, “I like the extra weight on you; it makes your wrinkles look less noticeable,” you smile, you wave and you move on. Which brings me to…
You know what a friend looks like. And how to be one. You are proud of your friends and are thrilled when they’re doing well, succeeding and flying high. And you’re there with a box of Kleenex and bottle of Chardonnay when they’re not.
Broke or not, you fully support the notion that a $200 pair of jeans is an ass-enhancing investment essential to your well-being. Ditto, a good hair colorist. At almost 60, there are no short cuts on this. Trust me.
You realize the words, “I’m sorry, I was wrong,” have magic healing powers that mend hearts and heal great divisions between people. You know any apology that begins with, “If you were offended, I’m sorry, but that’s not what I meant…” makes people want to throw things at you.
You show up. You’ve seen enough to know there aren’t always second chances to see the people you love. So instead of dipping on the party, you go, you laugh, and you’re grateful.
You know there’s no such thing as a “humble brag.” We’ve all done it. Some version of that photo on social media–your kid’s straight A report card with the caption, “I don’t know what I did as a mom to deserve such a smart son/daughter.” Of course you’re proud. But it’s not humble and it’s still bragging. You’re old enough to know the difference.
You can finally be trusted with a secret. You’ve learned the destructive power of words and the hurt that comes from betraying a trust.At almost 60, you’ve been the betrayer and the betrayed and you understand the cost and pain of being on either side.
You no longer apologize for having an unpopular opinion. If not now, when, at 80? You no longer begin sentences with the qualifier, “I’m not sure if you’re going to like what I’m about to say, but….” Just say it. If it’s your truth, own it.
You offer hugs instead of handshakes because you’re old enough that people don’t think you’re trying to hit on them. You can offer genuine affection and kindness because, really, what else really matters?
Yes, your neck really does look like that. But so what? 60 is the age where you need to get over yourself or wear a scarf. So stop deleting those photos where you think you look old. You are old. And it’s okay.You still look great.
When people crave attention–you have it to give. You no longer need the spotlight.And it’s liberating. The drumbeat of “look-at-me, notice me, look-at-me” is mercifully gone so you can extend grace others’ unrelenting drumbeats.
You aren’t afraid to tell stories where you look bad. Because people like you more when they recognize themselves in your shortcomings. Plus, the stories where you look like a cringe-worthy moron are always funnier.
You are proud to embrace your faith. As Jesus said, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.” Be your lovely self and embrace your God. Openly profess your faith because we’re blessed to live in a country where you can and you’ve lived long enough to experience God’s hand in your life.
You hope you’re seated at the “kids” table. Because the “kids” are now old enough to drink, the stories are colorful and no one talks about menopause.
You can say ‘bitchen’ and get away with it. Having written “Have a bitchen summer” in yearbooks throughout the early 70’s, the word deserves an authentic comeback by someone who’s lived it.
Your music is finally cool. Thanks to streaming radio, Zeppelin, Hendrix, Billy Joel, Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Allman Brothers are on college play lists. And your kids are impressed that you saw them in concert.
You express genuine gratitude. Because truly, everything good in your life is a gift. No one owes you anything. You friends, family and colleagues aren’t concierges, so when someone extends a kindness, or does a favor large or small, open your heart and say, “thank you.” Their thoughtfulness eased a burden or made something better for you. Acknowledge it.
You can say, “I love you” first. It’s no longer a game Tell the people you love that you love them. And do it often. Amen.