I remember the book I saw on my parent’s coffee table during a visit toward the end of my father’s life. The title read, “The Joys of Aging”. I opened it and saw that all the pages were blank. While I appreciated the humor, I felt a sinking feeling as though I suddenly realized how they really felt about getting old.
I remember happily turning fifty in the Museum of Modern Art. A woman in the museum told me she remembered fifty as a great age. I haven’t heard anyone say that about sixty. My cousin told me that she felt old when she turned sixty. A friend who recently turned eighty told me she felt old when she turned seventy. I wonder when I’ll feel old.
As I notice my hair greying, deepening lines on my face, forgetfulness of minor details like why I just walked into the kitchen, I am reminded that I am aging. A significant change for me as I enter into my sixties is that I notice that the present moment is becoming far more precious to me than the planning of my future.
As I enter into my second Saturn Return, behind me lies the grueling and painful process of having witnessed and supported my parents through their final illnesses and deaths. Their absence leaves a gaping emptiness which at times is very difficult but also highly transformative. My parents have moved on and I have made it through the most intense part of my grief. I am free to move into a new and deeper phase of my life, becoming 60.
Aging has its benefits. As I age, my mind as well as my creative interests have deepened. I am making more music, writing, teaching and counseling, engaging in business, cultivating new friendships and challenging more emotional edges.
Sometimes when I get nervous about aging, I keep in mind the “Over Eighty Hiking Club” that I witnessed as I struggled to climb up a mountain in Yosemite in my forties. I think of the eighty plus female gymnast who still flips in the air and the many artists, activists, musicians, writers, healers, teachers and wise elders that I so appreciate as role models.
At this moment, I am officially sixty. Thank you for reading my blog, please feel free to respond with comments or any thoughts and feelings about your own aging and/or other life transition processes.