Today I celebrate the 60th anniversary of my birth, sixty years completed on the planet.
In the past weeks, when I’ve told people that I’ll turn sixty, they’ve looked at me and said, “You don’t look that old.” I don’t think they said that to be kind (“Don’t tell the old guy he really looks 60”), or polite (“I was always told to lie in order not to break someone’s heart”) or to flatter me (“Maybe he’ll leave me something in his will if I’m gushy.).
I graciously accepted what they said without pooh-poohing the idea. It was a compliment. But, I wondered to myself, What do sixty year olds look like?
Should I have lots of forehead wrinkles, jostling jowls, a deeply rutted face? What is their stereotypical image of a 60-year-old man? Do they think all of us look the same at this age? Or, will my appearance deteriorate overnight after my birthday?
Which brings me to the point of this blog: communicate with people of all ages about growing older; provide information about the process of aging: factual, humorous and personal; put a positive face on growing older; and, empower older people to come out of the closet and take control of their world.
Unite sisters and brothers and assume your rightful place in the world. We’ve put up with all kinds of crap ever since we turned 55, and earlier for some of us. It’s time to rise up (as you can) and confront the bias against age and aging. Let’s reclaim our elder years as a reward for living so long.
Power to the Older People. Okay, so I lived through the anti-war protests of the 1960s. It’s time I applied some of that knowledge in my own life. Please join me for the ride.