What has been learned during 60 years of life

Published 9:55 am Monday, June 7, 2010

The past week has represented a couple of new milestones in my life. My daughter graduated from seminary and soon will be ordained as a pastor in the Lutheran Church. My oldest son also turned 39 this week. How did he get to be 39 so fast? In my mind he was just born yesterday. The third milestone is the fact that I celebrated my 60th birthday.

I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel about turning into a 60-year-old. I have heard the tales and horrors of people wanting to avoid celebrating birthdays when they get to be a certain age. They want to avoid thinking about those birthdays because they fear getting older. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t just a little fearful of getting older because of the way older people are portrayed. I would be lying if I told you I don’t worry once in a while what getting older will mean for me. However we can’t avoid aging so I have decided to go with the flow and enjoy it. What else can we do? Aging is better than the alternative.

I have a great mentor in an older friend in her 70s. My 70-year-old friend is the youngest person I know. She has the attitude and I have the gratitude because she has taught me about aging, perhaps not gracefully but with fun, attitude and joyful silliness.

Email newsletter signup

I did take the time to think about what I have learned in my 60 years.

I have learned that my mind has not caught up with my body.

The best things in life are not always free. Family and friends are the best things in life and it takes a lot of work to keep those relationships healthy.

It doesn’t matter if your jeans sit at the waist or at the hips, the rolls are the same.

Tomorrow will be different. It might be better, it might be worse but it will not be the same.

It is easier to paint your toenails when you are 20 because you are still bendable.

There is beauty in the smallest blade of grass if we take the time to look at it.

Learn to laugh at yourself; you will always have a laugh at hand if you need one.

Other people can’t ruin your day; you are the one that gives them that power.

If you think you can’t, you won’t.

If you think you can, you will conquer.

You are never too old to learn something new.

You never quit missing those people you loved that are no longer here.

Be who you are, not who others think you should be.

Parents don’t always know what is best for their kids. Sometimes we are wrong and they are right.

Always look at the world through the eyes of a child; you will see what you are missing.

Dance to the music inside of you even if the beat is different from everyone else.

A wrinkle a day will keep the doctor away especially if the wrinkle is a crinkle from laughter.

Mistakes are learning experiences if you can pick yourself up off the floor after you beat yourself up for making them.

Maya Angelou is right; when people show you who they are the first time, believe them.

I will always look for the rainbow. It is God’s promise.

It was a journey learning those lessons of life.

These are some of the things I will like about being 60:

I love ordering off the Senior Citizens menu

I can go bed early and no one will think it’s strange since I am so old

I can sleep late since we older people need our rest

I can act peculiar and instead of being labeled blonde they will attribute it to old age

If I don’t want to do something I can just say I forgot and no one will get mad because it is expected that I will be forgetful

I can mix and match colors for my clothes and they will just say my eyesight is going

I can dance to the music and the young ones will just assume that’s the way people danced in my time

It’s been a great journey getting to be 60. It has been a journey filled with blessings, hardships, laughter and sadness. It has been a journey full of family and friendships new and old. You are never too old to make a new friend. It has been my journey, no one else’s.

Celebrate your birthdays no matter how young or old you are. That birthday is your journey. That birthday is your footprint to life. It is all your own. I wish you a meaningful journey.

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at thecolumn@bevcomm.net .Her blog is paringdown.wordpress.com. Listen to KBEW AM radio 1:30 p.m. Sundays for “Something About Nothing.”