The difference between turning 50 and turning 60

When I turned 50, I could think, “Maybe I still have another half a lifetime left.” After all, the number of centenarians in the United States has been growing. Willard Scott, with whom I share a birthday, BTW, still announces the birthdays of those over 100 on NBC-TV’s TODAY show, as far as I know.

Now that I am 60, though, I have to acknowledge that I’m not going to live another 60 years, even if I move to Azerbaijan and start eating yogurt soup. (And if I’m wrong, which one of you is going to write to correct me?)

I note this, not with melancholy or dismay, but with a certain resolve not to waste my time with X or Y. I’ve already done a fair job in that I’ve largely stopped caring about the negative things people who aren’t friends and family say. It’s not that I won’t complain about them, and in fact, I’m even more likely to do so, probably in this blog; it’s that the anger and frustration don’t consume me, as they once did.

Once upon a time, every March 8 (the day after my birthday), I would play a particular Paul Simon tune. The lyric started:
Yesterday it was my birthday
I hung one more year on the line
I should be depressed
My life’s a mess
But I’m having a good time

I played that song annually for 20 years or more. I should get back to doing that again.

Have a Good Time – Paul Simon

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10 thoughts on “The difference between turning 50 and turning 60

  1. Happy Birthday for yesterday Roger – Paul Simon eh? What a guy to associate with your birthday. Strangely enough you have made me realise how many moments in my life were associated with a Paul Simon track – either he as a single artist or with his sidekick Garfunkel. Yes timeless yet symbolic memories.

    • If I were to pick a Simon song for last night, it would have been Slip Slidin’ Away- treacherous out last night in Albany. Not that much snow, but very slick.

  2. “It’s not that I won’t complain about them, and in fact, I’m even more likely to do so, probably in this blog…”

    Well played! They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but maybe it’s a thing best served in a blog. Not that you do that, of course—well, not yet

    I fully expect you to outlive me, and I plan on staying around until well past 100. You have been warned.

  3. It’s funny. I FREAKED OUT at around 28 when I realized that I was almost 30 and the fairy tale I had written for myself back when I was 10 wasn’t going to happen.

    Now, at the ripe old age of 32, I have come to accept these things…

    Or does everyone have that realization around 30? And then have it again at about 40 and… ?

  4. Ten years is a long time! December this year I shall become 80 and that sounds a lot older than 70. The years left are getting less and less.. Every tenth year is a great step in a lifetime.

  5. Happy birthday, my friend. I’ve never bothered too much with age. It’s all relative – I didn’t get properly diagnosed with my manic depression until I was 50, and I’ve made the past six years count in so many ways. I’m one of the only women I know proudly letting the grey show. I sprouted a new dimple last year (I think that’s from hanging with Lex!).

    These days, my theme sound is Simon when he was still with Art Garfunkel: “Old Friends.” There’s something so sentimental about that, and I can picture myself with so many old friends, sitting quietly… Thanks, Roger. Amy

  6. People who are in their 50s act like they have everything figured out, and younger people respond to them like they do, at least on the surface. But I have observed that people in their 60s gradually let go of that attitude. As I am still in my 50s, that attitude of the sexagenarians is still a mystery to me. So let us know how that goes, okay?

    You’re a sexagenarian…

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