As I approached a milestone birthday, I turned to my Facebook pals for counsel and support. "I'm about to turn 60," I posted. "Do you have any advice for me?" Did they ever! Within 24 hours, I'd received 80 responses. Some were serious and thoughtful, full of wisdom and maturity. Others? Not so much.
Advice upon turning 60? Panic!
Pretend it isn't happening.
It's just a number! A real big number, but a number just the same.
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.
Think of it as 18, with 42 years of experience.
Just don't be one of those people who say "60 is the new 50." Please. Just don't.
I suppose they'll teach you the secret handshake now.
Celebrate! Turning 60 is a gift.
But how to celebrate? My friends had some ideas about that too:
Booze! Sex! Cake!
Realize a childhood dream.
Do something you've never done before. And have fun doing it.
Do something memorable. The day I turned 60, I swam with dolphins in New Zealand.
When I turned 60, I threw a party and invited 60 women important to me. No gifts. Instead, contributions to my favorite local charities. We raised $1,500!
I bought myself a convertible for my 60th birthday. My first! It still makes me smile every time I put the top down.
Do the things you love most with the people you love most.
Other friends suggested smaller celebrations:
Smile and be proud.
Take a ride in a hot air balloon.
Buy yourself a silk kimono.
Wink at a guy half your age.
I received lots of encouragement from friends who'd gotten there first:
Welcome to the clan! It's really OK to be 60.
I'm 70 and happy to say that it just keeps getting better. Despite the downward force of gravity.
At 62, I can tell you that your 60s will be your best decade yet. You get to stop caring about what others think and start doing only what makes you happy. I find this decade immensely liberating. Hope you do too.
It's a wonderful decade, if you don't mind certain things.
Just hit 60 a few days ago myself. I didn't disintegrate or anything. You'll be OK.
I also received words of dismay from the glass-half-empty crowd:
I turned 60 yesterday. Still reeling. No advice from me.
I'm 65. At 60, I thought it couldn't get much worse. But it did!
I just turned 55. How did this happen so fast?? No advice here.
Clearly, turning 60 means different things to different people:
Two words: Senior discount.
Two words: Boy toy.
I received some good advice about taking care of myself in my sixth decade:
Start doing yoga.
And good advice about aging with attitude:
Remember to strut your stuff, whatever your stuff might be. You'll never be this young again.
With getting older comes less angst about everything, including getting older. Other things that matter WAY more include … well, everything.
Be well. Do good. Have fun.
And since so many of my pals are smart-asses, there was plenty of joking around:
Remember: 60 is the new 59.
The good news? This will only happen once. The bad news? This will only happen once.
Once you hit 60, you're not getting older, you're getting … uh, I forget the rest.
Some final words of advice?
Don't waste time thinking about it. Just enjoy your life.
Remember, these are the good old days. And be glad you're not 23. Everyone is nuts at that age.
Enjoy every moment of it and then some. I turned 60 this year. I'm still celebrating.
So how will I celebrate? I'll enjoy the company of the people I love. Eat plenty of cake. And watch the birthday greetings and encouragement roll in on Facebook. (And, of course, I won't forget to floss.)
I head into my sixth decade feeling grateful, and looking forward to having lots of fun.
Wish me luck.