I’ve been obsessing for a month about my birthday. Sunday is my birthday. I’m leaving my 60s next year, and although I know it’s still a year away I’m in preparation. I believe in planning ahead. I don’t want to be trumped up by an emotional release that may turn ugly.
The day I turned 64, I woke up with the most awful sinus condition coupled with a sinking feeling that my 60s were almost half over. I had to prepare for turning 65 the following year. Truth was that my the decade of the 60s was moving fast, too fast, and I couldn’t figure out what the 60s were all about. A single woman, a grandmother, looking for love in all the wrong places – having completed a stint at internet dating (3 sites and a lot of men), I felt my life had plateaued. What was it all about, Alfie? I mean there I was in the middle of a way too late mid-life crisis on my 64th birthday and feeling so sad that I decided to write a memoir and sort it all out.
So now the decade of my 60s is almost over and I don’t have another memoir in me. 60, Sex & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer was enough to write for a lifetime. I like fiction better, anyway. Frankly, I’m too busy beginning yet another career as a public speaker. I’m insane. And I’m also trying to think of ways to stall time, to make this year last as long as possible so I don’t have to face the inevitable. Can we put off time? There is no time in quantum physics and I like that idea a lot.
Look, I don’t want my 60s back even though those years turned out to be the best years of my life. Of course, I don’t remember much of the 50s, but I’m sure they were great, at least I think they were. I’m really happy about how my life is evolving. The journey I’m on is absolutely breath-taking. It’s just that the 70s feels…so 70s. I don’t want to contemplate it.
But could that decade actually be fantastic? I’m a little afraid to think about that possibility, but not so afraid that I don’t want to live my life in my 70s. I guess every year presents some trepidation.
What I’m sure of is that I’m still going to feel like I’m 19; I’m still going to dance tango like no one is watching; I’m still going to teach and practice yoga every day; I’m going to build my speaking business with energy and determination; I’m still going to love my grandchildren like a Jewish grandmother; I’m still going to love my sons and exasperate them at least 4 times a year; I’m still going to make love with abandon.
I guess I can carry all these wonderful gifts into my 70s. I guess I can still act like I’m 19 and do headstands and handstands and backbends. Maybe it won’t be so bad after all. I’m just taking precautions.