This is what I know so far. Sixty is an extraordinarily tough year.
Amidst Type A flu, the stomach bug, leap year, and now the coronavirus, I turned 60 years old. A midlife crisis hit me so hard this past decade. But the weird thing is I never even noticed it because ironically, I was too busy surviving. I was smack in the middle of my kids, my elderly parent, and my grandchildren.
Needless to say, the birth of my grandsons was the highlight of my 50s, and the main reason I survived and am still surviving my life as a member of the “sandwich generation!” They bring such joy and renewal of all goodness. The low point of my 50s was losing my beloved dad. One precious life ends, and another two begin. Isn’t that the way it should be?
Throw in menopause, hot flashes, weight gain, sleepless nights, anxiety, and I’ve officially become a real “hot mess!” I’m sure that term was meant for females between the ages of 55-60!
I am not belittling the anxiety issues plaguing the teens of today or first-time moms, but a 60-year-old woman, in my opinion, gives anxiety a new deeper meaning! For starters, EVERYONE in your life needs a piece of you, and they usually get it, in some shape or form.
My typical day consists of getting my teenager off to school, babysitting my grandkids for a few hours, going to the grocery store to buy ingredients for one dinner to feed 7ish hungry family members by spending at least $150, and then rushing to cook since everyone is starving, picking up my daughter at dance, taking my 84-year-old mom to pick up meds at the pharmacy, helping with homework, FaceTiming my grandsons, paperwork for my hubby’s business, then falling asleep sitting up and snoring too (like my grandfather used to when I was a kid!).
That’s just it, the years fly by so fast, and one day you realize you’ve become your mom or grandmother. And yes, it’s inevitable, and enviable too, (taking into consideration the alternative), but somehow you have aged and become old.
It’s sad, but it’s satisfying and liberating all at the same time. I’ve realized recently that I can’t take a minute of my life for granted. I like myself at 60 years old. Of course, there’s room for self-improvement in many areas of my life, but right now, I’m content. And this I don’t take for granted either, it’s a beautiful thing.
I may be overweight, but still stay active physically, especially when keeping up with a 3-year-old and carting a baby around. I may still be phobic about driving on highways, but I still drive 45 minutes to see my grandchildren. I may be old-fashioned, and a bit conservative, and my kids don’t think we are on the same page, but they still seek and take my advice. I may not be a size 4, but I still look smashing as a mother of the bride or groom. I may not have a 30-year job career to add to my resume, but I was smart enough to have had one if I wasn’t busy raising four kids. I may not be up to date on all electronic device operations, but my sophomore can still come to me for help with writing an essay. I may still feel awkward when meeting new people, but I have total confidence in speaking my opinions or conversing with anyone of any age.
The point is I didn’t just arrive. My past decades, including my upbringing, a content marriage, raising my children, my insecurities, and my struggles, all have contributed to what I am and how I feel today.
The truth is my 50’s were not always fabulous, and neither were my 30’s or 40’s for that matter. But I still navigated my way to 60 pretty well, and in reality, I’m not a “new me” but just a combination of all my old me’s. This is undoubtedly empowerment for all women and moms of any age. That’s definitely the best reason to celebrate my new decade, and the “new” old me!