Facing my 59th birthday with considerable nausea, I turned to the internet seeking comfort. The most hopeful comment I could find was, “You have one year before you turn old – try and enjoy it.”
Hmm… Not quite the sage advice I was hoping for, the peaceful perspective, the 60-is-the-new-40 chutzpa I needed
So I pulled up my hose which has started to wrinkle around my ankles in true old lady fashion because my ass is no longer round enough to hold them up properly – didn’t know why that happens did you? – and acted like a big girl for the next couple of months trying not to let it drag me or my stockings down.
Then the other day I realized, as I met with a 30-something go-getter (with a penis, not to say that a penis defines a man because not all men have penises but… well, you get the picture) who is taking over my business. I don’t resent him. In the past I would have wished that he would fall out of tree while trimming it and break multiple bones in his body. Instead, I very sanely and peacefully let him negotiate with me over the purchase of my dream. I didn’t resent his success in doing what I had set out to do, even though I am convinced my failure was in my reproductive organs and not in my ability. Or maybe it was in my bleach blonde hair with pink highlights, or my pantyhose… It doesn’t really matter.
THE POINT IS: I did not resent him and his stylin’ ambitions; instead I felt the satisfied security of recognizing that I was the same only 10 years ago: my closet full of business suits, dresses and oh, the high heels, my head full of plans. I even had the equanimity to say to him that I had wished for his success but felt it was better to join it than fight it. I say this with no sarcasm or irony.
As part of my transition to an active retirement, I am upgrading my qualifications with a program put together by a younger businesswoman. In younger days I might not even have been able to look at the course, so envious would I have been of this person who is on the cutting edge of our changing industry. I would have wondered why I myself didn’t think of doing this which would have led me down a path of negative self-criticism – lazy, disorganized, not good with people. Now I only want to benefit from her efforts and make small changes in my own business life.
So there is good stuff after 58 and it does bring something new – not only acceptance but the ability to admire others for the things I could not do. There is a wonderful blamelessness to this new feeling. I don’t feel like a failure. I’m OK with the fact that others are in a better situation to accomplish things that should be done and glad that they are doing them. I’m kind of liking this new feeling. It’s a lot easier than before.