The magical age of sixty is fast approaching. Too fast for my liking. I’ve heard the horn blasts as it speeds down the tracks towards me long before I even hit birthday #59. And since #59 has come and gone, it’s like I hear time ticking away every day. 364 more days. 363 more days. 362…well, I’m sure you understand.
You may possibly relate to these feelings. It may not be about that particular number. It may be the 3-0 birthday breathing down your neck. Or the 7-0 milestone. Or, as my mom – who hit 80 last year – says, “Just give it twenty years.”
Knowing that this birthday is going to be more difficult for me than some of the others (neither 40 nor 50 threw me into a tizzy like this one), I’ve been trying to remain positive and see how I can embrace the next birthday. I’ve been collecting examples of inspiring women well past that age that are running circles around me. I’m ‘making my list and checking it twice’, but this list is reasons to embrace the upcoming event.
I’ve been following a blog for the past month or two – Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond. Her Thursday Thoughts this week was a guest post by Wendy from The Art of ‘Why Not’? – ‘6 Practical Ways to Do More of What Makes You Happy.’ In it, Wendy writes, “When I turned 50 last year, I compiled a list of 50 experiences I wanted to complete in 12 months.”
What a marvelous idea! I can steal borrow her idea, tweak it for my 60th and have a whole list of 60 things I want to do, achieve, or experience once I turn that magical age. And the best part is – I saw this before my birthday and I have ten months to work on my list!
I want my list to be meaningful, but I also want it to be fun and full of things that will bring me joy and exuberance. I also want the activities to be something special. I can’t put that I’ll read 12 (or 50) books because I’d do that anyway, whether I was turning 60 or not. This will give me a reason to celebrate this upcoming birthday, and enjoy the celebration all year long!
I also agree with Wendy’s thoughts about what this list is not.
She writes in her post:
But first, let’s be clear on what this list is NOT:
- It’s NOT a Bucket List. That’s way too morbid; I don’t plan on kicking said bucket anytime soon. This is a “Let’s Have Some Fun!” list!
- It’s NOT I wanted a list of things I could actually accomplish during the next 12 months. As incredible as climbing Mount Everest would be, it’s just not going to happen before next September.
- It’s NOT a “To Do” list. Almost everything on here is experiential, relational, or involves learning something new. Everything has that “Why Not?” element! I do have the ongoing “To Do” list just like everyone else, this just isn’t it.
(Go read her whole post. I know you’ll enjoy it. Here’s a link again.)
This idea for my Embracing 60 Yearlong Birthday Celebration is still in its germination stage. I haven’t started creating the list yet. But you know, all of a sudden I feel the excitement building. Maybe this whole ‘Sixty’ thing isn’t going to be so bad after all!
To get my list started, here’s a few items that I’m thinking of including.
- Attend a pow-wow. (I love going to pow-wows, but haven’t been to one in about four years. Time to bring this back into my life.)
- Make another trip to Iowa to see my quilt square friends. (I haven’t been there since 2014 and want to make another trip.)
- Turn my office into the serene space I envision.
- Go through the recipes I’ve been collecting on Facebook and pick 52. Try one new recipe each week.
- Choose 12 local historical museums or historic homes that I haven’t been to and visit one a month.
- Choose 12 local historic cemeteries that I haven’t seen yet, and visit them.
- Make a once a month Barnes and Noble date with myself. Give myself the time and space to go browse, go buy a book (only one!) and sit in the coffee shop treating myself to a quiet afternoon.
- Visit the Dallas Arboretum. (Maybe during their butterfly event. Is that annually? I need to check.)
What would be on your list?
Just as I used Wendy’s list to fuel my muse to develop my own authentic desires, I hope you find some inspiration here to create your own list of fun and exciting ventures to look forward to. The best part is – you don’t have to turn 50 or 60 to do this. Write down some adventures and achievements that you’d like to see happen in your life. Even if it’s only ten or twenty things – go for the gusto and wring every bit of happiness out of life that you can.
Don’t sit back waiting for the perfect time, or the right amount of money, or the optimum space in your life. When we do that, the task of daily living soon takes over and consumes all available time. Soon the days from sunup to sundown are back to back tasks and chores. Even if they’re all necessary components of the life we want to live, if we don’t make time to create magical moments, they won’t happen.
Don’t let the thought of coming up with a certain number of ideas overwhelm you so that you never get started. You don’t have to come up with your list all in one sitting.
Quick – think of three things you’d like to do. Write them down. Tomorrow, add another three things. And the day after that. Add more ideas if they come to. I think you’ll find that once you start looking for desires to add to your list, you’ll be more open and you’ll discover far more than you knew you had.