One year ago today the men in my life were not feeling well. They would have risen to the occasion but since I had not yet come to terms with the beginning of my sixth decade, I opted to let them rest and I ignored the day. How could “I” possibly be sixty-years-
- “You have to stay in shape. My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.” – Ellen DeGeneres
I Like Pepper
Having spent the Christmas holiday glitz of 2016 battling head colds, Abi and I are both once again well as is the other man in my life and so is his sweet wife. There are no excuses this year. As of today, I have firmly planted both feet into my 61st year. I can’t get out of it. I can’t ignore it. Well, I could but what purpose would that serve? My penpal friend, Anita, messaged me today that I arrived at 61 with enough pepper to keep life interesting. It made me laugh because she kinda hit the nail on the head. I like pepper. A lot.
- “Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Jack Benny
My Sixth Decade
As I sit here looking out the window at the gray, gloomy, rain and sleet kind of day that comes with having a birthday in the month of January, I am looking ahead. Have I accepted this whole concept of a sixth decade? Kinda. I mean, what choice do I have? I promote ourselves as travel bloggers with our fingers on the pulse of the baby boomer generation, so I guess I better start walking the walk! Lord knows I’ve got the gray hair to prove it.
I try to learn a few things with each passing year and what I learned in my 60th year is that it’s a really good place to be. Having positioned ourselves to retire somewhat early, we find ourselves exploring this new-found freedom that comes with retirement and I never for a moment take it for granted. If anything, I find myself working double time in my head. I (we) want to ensure we’re able to continue on this path as we work our way through the uncertainty of the incoming administration, and how it will impact not only us, but others who aim to redefine their path of retirement.
- “For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.” – John Glenn
It’s Deliciously Scary
What I’m also discovering in my sixth decade – as I’m sure so many others do as well – is that when you reach this chapter of life, you can find ways in which to cautiously break out of your comfort zone, push yourself just a little bit more than you’ve done before. It’s scary, but it’s deliciously scary. On January 21, I’ll be in Washington, DC participating in my first ever peaceful protest march. As my friend, Kim, said to me, “Stand on the right side of history.” But because I’m not at all comfortable in huge crowds, and because Abi has been encouraging me from day one to join the march, I’m taking Abi with me to hold my hand.
In the last 2 1/2 years as we’ve fumbled our way through this thing called retirement, I think the most important lesson I’ve learned – and that I can share – is that no matter what your age, pushing yourself just a little bit more than you usually do is in fact deliciously scary. Find a way to make it work for you, write your own story. Don’t let the path of others dictate your path. And, don’t wait until next month or next year. Make it happen.
- “If I had to live again I would do exactly the same thing. Of course I have regrets, but if you are 60 years old and you have no regrets then you haven’t lived.” – Irish singer Christy Moore