My buddy Melissa, who is about five years younger than I am at 62, let her short hair go grey. Suddenly she was pure white, and completely and fully herself. I haven’t gotten there yet but am on my way. I write a lot about the aging process, and above all, Beth, the one single thing that NOBODY can take from us without our full permission and cooperation is our humor. And (for me, what little there is of it) my dignity.
I’ve got ten years on you, which in large part is meaningless, but for how I have filled them. The last decade between 56 and 66 were the single most amazing, productive, extraordinary years of my life. From writing two prize winning books to turning myself into an adventure athlete, it was a massive makeover. NO, I didn’t find love. But I sure as hell found love of myself, my idiosyncrasies, my idiot sense of humor and the absurd, my deep and abiding love of animals, and increasingly, permission to also come fully into my own.
Each of these extracted a cost, and sometimes a BIG one. I have scars and holes in my heart. I have scars all over my body and 21 concussions (not a typo). But DAMN have I got stories. And ultimately, that- not the loose skin on my throat- is far more valuable than any semblance of youth that I might wish for. Youth didn’t get me squat. Character, and the price I paid to carve a little character into my being- got me a much richer life.
I have increasingly peppered my life with incredible, live out loud, amazing women of a Certain Age. My god, what extraordinary people they are. They hold me accountable, make me laugh til I pee, and we all make fun of what falls off, rolls away, goes grey or migrates. I mean, an outdoor rug in your nose?
Who makes this stuff up? That’s. Just. FUNNY.
Life. That’s all. GOD I love being 67 (in nine days YAY). I leave for five weeks in Africa in February. Ride horses, scuba dive, visit rhinos….
I am NOT rich. I am NOT super skinny. I am NOT young. And I am NOT chased by a thousand men. My teeth come out at night and sometimes I wake up sore as shit.
Then I hit the floor and do 75 men’s pushups. That also isn’t a typo. Because I can. Like everybody else, I started with one, many years ago.
It’s what we do with the time given us, to quote Gandalf. Indeed. Thanks for your article.