The Perfect Age

pambabySixty years can’t be a perfect age. Because after all, it’s … 6 0.

I never imagined that I could ever reach such an ancient bone-chilling spine-humping, arthritically-challenging age.

And why would I want to?

60 means death and neutrality. Yes, that’s the word. By the time a person reaches 60, she’s neutral.crazyatshore

Blank.

Close to negative.

pamdressedupUnimportant.

Uncool.

Un…I could add a hundred “un’s,” but suddenly what comes to mind is UNCOMPROMISING.

I’m realizing that at my un-imaginable age of 60, I don’t need to, and really shouldn’t, compromise.

At 60, I should damn well do what I want, to hell with convention.

Walk for an hour instead of doing laundry? YES!

Skip a day of work and instead sit in a sun-pooled armchair with a good book? WHY THE HECK NOT?crazykissing

Kiss my man in public at a restaurant after a tall glass of chardonnay? SURE! (Watch those 20-something waiters put on a yucky face and turn away as if from something obnoxious. I don’t care.)

aging, ageismI’m Unfazed.

Un-concerned.

Un-daunted, and

Un-afraid to do whatever I want to, because

I’m 60!

Yes, now I understand.

The perfect age is older than teens, when you can’t figure out who you are, much less what you are.

The perfect age is older than the 20s, when you’re finally educated but don’t know what kind of career, or spouse, is waiting for you at the end of the decade.

The perfect age is older than 30, when you groan out babies and jobs and bills and angst about the impossibility of “making it” in a highly competitive, cold, cruel world.pamsean25years

The perfect age is older than 40, when you’re in mid-stream of living, as you watch your children stride off on their own uncharted territory, not even looking behind them to see what you’re doing.

The perfect age is older than 50, when you realize that you’re, gasp, older than your parents were when you had discounted them and their accomplishments back when you were 30, and when you realize that you’re shrinking and your hair will never be lustrous nor its natural color again.

However, now at 60 you appreciate the fact that you can do ANYTHING YOU PLEASE.

Hmmm, this could be fun. It could be….smoking a stogie with a bit of attitude

THE PERFECT AGE.

 

 

 

WHAT’S YOURS?

97 thoughts on “The Perfect Age

  1. Happiest of un-birthdays to you Pam – wait if you have an un-birthday then you won’t be 60 and all will be wrong with the world. Love you! Sing a song, laugh with your grandchildren and play like there is no tomorrow!

  2. Brilliant Pam! Makes me think of that poem ‘Warning’ by Jenny Joseph. http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/warning/ I feel very lucky to have my mother as a role model where age is concerned, as she’s never worried about getting old and her 60th birthday was a HUGE celebration with the whole family – aunts, uncles, cousins etc – where we hired a dilapidated old french castle for three days, and cooked together and walked and made up silly sketches…it was fab. My perfect age? Right now actually, 37 feels pretty good. Mum’s 70 this year, and we’re having a huge ceilidh dancing party! Oh, and I ADORE the photo of the very young you:-) Blessings, Harula xxx

    • So good to see you here, Harula. Of course you’d know a perfect poem to parallel this post (being the wonderful poet that you are), and it is. Age is a attitude, and I love your mom’s attitude! Enjoy your (enviable) age of 37, and know you’ll enjoy being YOU even more at 67. xo

  3. Happy Birthday, Pam! I hear you loud and clear! Love to have met you in a dancing space where I feel ageless and everyone moving around us, ageless. Young and old at the same time. The body encasing out ageless spirits, the music touching our ageless souls!

    • EXACTLY. That’s why I’m so glad I met you and Nia. Dancing is for our souls even more than our bodies. Thanks for helping me be UNconcerned about aging, but instead dancing into and throughout our lives.

    • Yes, well, I think we have to fight our instincts to be ‘good’ and do ‘what we’re supposed to’ at a certain age. Here’s to breaking boundaries. And good luck with your book!

  4. You go, girl! I’m nearing the perfect age too…I have just a couple of years to go until I’m as perfect as you! 🙂 I love being this age, though wish my body was more agreeable. I love where, who, and what I am. I don’t worry any more about speaking out in public (or on social networking). And I would smoke a cigar as well. Happy 60 Pamela!

  5. This is the perfect time and place to share a good friend’s take on aging. He told me “there’s this old man who has moved in here, but I only see him in the morning when I brush his teeth and comb what’s left of his hair, then again at night when I brush his teeth and send him off to bed. The rest of the time I’m the same guy I’ve always been.” May we all be the people we really are, regardless of hair color (or lack thereof)!

    • Wise friend. Sometimes I just try to pass by the mirror with eyes closed, but if I did that all the time, I’d NEVER know who I was looking at when I opened them at some point. Ha. But it’s so true that we are our true selves inside, always, despite what that mirror says.

  6. Unquestionably a purely fabulous post! 🙂 For me, the perfect age is right now. Not thinking about what I didn’t do in the past, not thinking about what I am going to do or not going to do in the future. It’s doing exactly what my heart is telling me to do – right here, right now!

    I have uttered these same words before – hoping, almost wishing them to come true – instead of taking the metaphorical bull by the horns and bucking to and fro on its back. That’s changed, and it feels unbelievable and liberating.

    Here’s to everyone finding their perfect age – and having the courage to be undeniably themselves. Oh, and a very happy birthday to you Pamela 🙂

    • It took a lot of courage, I must admit, to write about my age. I know some people discount the work/writing/life of others when they get to be a ‘certain age.’ I want to fight ageism – and write at least 20 more books in my lifetime! Here’s to living and writing RIGHT NOW (p.s. enjoying your latest story behind the picket fence…).

  7. Thanks for your positive outlook on maturity. Although I have lived a few more years than you, I am having so much fun doing exactly what I like to do – I teach writing classes, hold events for writers, help others who were once where I was, connecting folks with good things I’ve learned in my life, and writing poetry and short stories as well. My greatest problem is over-scheduling and my calendar suddenly seems overwhelming, but then I call on someone and that is a good thing also. Staying involved with life, people of all ages, planning new things to do — these are my ways of enjoying life at any age. I enjoy reading your posts. I invite others to read my blog.

    • I reached maturity quite a while ago. Now I’m trying to play around with immaturity a bit, yes? 🙂 Here’s to teaching and sharing what we know, and to learning much more in the years ahead.

  8. Hey, my friend, I love how you’re embracing your perfect age! My perfect age is 57, just because I’m 57. When I’m 60, it will be the best EVER! Just that we’re alive, loving, bitching, accepting, fussing–that’s the miracle. Yep, that’s the ever-lasting miracle, my switcheroo.

  9. I got a huge kick out of your “un” poem. Very creative. And you are what is known as aging gracefully and no, you do not look your age. May this be ever so! Particularly like the photos of you kissing your husband and holding the cigar in mock celebration. Fantastic post, Happy 60th birthday. “Live, love and, be well.”

  10. Happy Birthday Pam! Loved this piece from the “Word Smith” of Tiburon!
    I had tried to post a reply from my Android, but alas I am technologically challenged. Wherever that reply went, I hope someone enjoys it.
    Musing what the perfect age might be reminded me of the bearded Easter Bunny along the bike path; the “Monster” chasing our children around our houses; running with naked people in the Bay to Breakers; watching fireworks along the shore of Raccoon Straits while eating an ice cream cone. That perfect age included meeting a friend for life and not knowing it at the time. For that I am truly grateful, thank you. I have accepted that the perfect age is just “today”. So, today, even as my body is slowly rejecting me, my brain is still “child-like”, mischievous, and prone to fits of laughing at myself. I have also found that acceptance is a quality that keeps me semi-sane as I notice that months are not what they used to be time-wise.

    • Acceptance is maybe the hardest thing for us to…accept. On the other hand, laughter keeps us so young, and I do laugh – hard – when I think of those Bay to Breaker runs as we tried not to stare at the ugly naked people. I think now we understand how much each time in our life is ‘perfect’ for what we learn and do, and who we meet. Now, go get another body part replacement tomorrow – who knows? Maybe you’ll be back running/walking at next year’s Bay to Breakers. (Clothed, please…) 🙂

  11. You don’t mind turning 60, because you look like your in your 40″ ! Plus your in better shape than most 40 year olds and have more energy than most 30 year olds!!! Happy Birthday dear Pam, I do know the best is ahead for you! Xo

    • To lots of poetry and rocknroll, baseball in the spring and football in the fall, Dead Heading and Paul McCartney-ing, and driving with the top down on the way to Mt. Tam and Napa, for many more years of our life.

  12. Whatever age you are is the perfect age. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt freer to live life on my terms, less encumbered by “shoulding” on myself or listening to others doing it to me. Yes, I have more “issues,” but everyone has stuff they have to deal with–if it’s not a health thing, it’s something else.

    Just celebrate being here for the ride! 🙂

  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Love this from Pamela Wight.. What is the perfect age.. I agree that being over 60 has its ups and downs.. the ups are more confidence, the freedom to be and do what you really want and are we bothered about others disapproval.. especially if your mother is no longer looking over your shoulder.. the downside is GRAVITY… but hey who’s looking.. this is why our eyesight fades a little as we age and the image in the mirror becomes a little fuzzy.. DO NOT PUT ON YOUR READING GLASSES TO DO YOUR MAKEUP….. great post do go over and let Pamela know your views..

    • So glad you reblogged. Even when I was 40, I shivered at the thought that I might ever reach the horrific old age of 6 0. But now that I’m here(fuzzy-eyed and all) I wonder what the worry was.

  14. I totally agree!! I’m not quite there yet–56 yesterday–but I have discovered that I no longer have to try to look like a supermodel (never was one), don’t really care about things that don’t really matter, and am trying things I never thought of trying before. Taking time to walk is definitely a priority. After seeing my parents in assisted living because they couldn’t get up & down the stairs at home anymore, I vow to never be there. I can do absolutely anything I want to do. Great post, Pamela, love it.

    • For most of my life I’ve not told the truth about my age, so ‘coming out’ here wasn’t easy! But ageism exists, and I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed. On the other hand, we need to speak up and show what 60 (and older) looks and sounds like! (But I agree with you – we have to MOVE to keep up and even surpass everyone else!) Thanks for visiting here – wonderful to meet you.

  15. I think that there are no “shoulds” in life…. No age that “should” be perfect, or even more perfect than another age. What is perfect is taking each age and making the most of it and its challenges. The problem comes when you expect any age to be better than the one before – because that’s also where disappointment comes in.

    Read, for example, my recent blog post on my site, Mom and Me and Elderly. http://mommeandelderly.blogspot.com/2015/03/doing-your-elderly-parents-taxes-today.html

    • Hi Jane ~ Thanks so much for stopping by here and commenting – much to think about. First, I just ordered your Joey book! 🙂 I’m a dog lover and am still mourning the loss of our golden, Henry (a year ago). And Joey left you a little over a year ago too. Will you get another puppy? I have a good friend with her second lab and have just ordered your book for her (I’ll have to peek and read first, though). As far as our age and some of the difficulties that come with it (ie, the sandwich generation), I couldn’t agree more. I enjoyed your post on your mom and you, and left a comment.

      • Thank you, Pam, for writing back and glad you enjoyed my mom and me blog and post. I wrote back to your comment. Sounds like you’ve suggested a topic for another blog post!

        I’m so happy you purchased Joey’s book; I think your friend will love it — and don’t rumple the pages too much when you peek through!!!!!

        We have no plans to get another dog, although life hopefully will bring us many more years, and healthy ones, and time to enjoy those days, at which time we can, G-d willing, always revisit that question.

        By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  16. Pamela, I’d like to add this to my comment above.. I’d like to in this comment focus on the positive. Yes, it’s so nice to see your excitement about being 60! Especially when we’re younger and see that age “to be” as so “old” and so nothing. It’s so much more than nothing! So than you for pointing that out in your blog.

    (And that’s where my above comment supplements. There is no perfect age. Hey, I’ll be happy for a perfect day, at any age!!!)

    Remember when we were all teens and would go blaaaahhhhh at the idea of kissing a boy or a girl? Who would want to do that? Well there’s plenty to like about being 60. But there is still no perfect age…. There are many challenges for us in our 60s (See my blog). It’s not necessarily all fun and freedom.

    • So, I love that this post kept you thinking, and you’re back for more commenting. As you say, there are challenges at every age. I’m a ‘Pollyanna’ personality, who always looks for the rainbow at the end of the dark tunnel. Watching our parents age is hard, one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with, for sure. Yet, I know it’s the cycle of life. I think our dogs teach us about aging better than anyone!

  17. yesss! 🙂 in French we use to say that life starts at 50… 🙂 btw:

    “No one is young after 50, but one can be irresistible at any age. If a woman is badly dressed, you’ll notice her dress, but if she is impeccably dressed, you’ll notice her. Luxury is not the opposite of poverty but of vulgarity.“(Coco Chanel)

    • Thanks for the Coco quote. I don’t dress luxuriously, but I make sure to not dress like an ‘old’ person. My guy says I’m still irresistible; therefore, I keep him around 🙂 . Thank you so much for stopping by here!

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