Sixty….the number of seconds in a minute.
Sixty….the number of minutes in an hour.
Sixty….the number of years ago I was born.
Sixty is a monument birthday, one to either be celebrated or feared, or maybe both! I choose to celebrate these monument birthdays. Every year I live gives me experiences beyond my imagination. Some of them are simple and others are far more complex.
Turning 10 was kinda cool. A double-digit first. Life was far more simple and carefree. Turning 20 was fraught with some angst. Too young to legally drink, too old for the shenanigans of my teen years. Turning 30 defined for me the life path I would take. I had chosen a career of public service by the time I turned 30. The 30’s were the years I thought I’d meet the man of my dreams and get married, have a kid or two, have a nice home…all the things “normal” people do. I’m not normal. Turning 40 happened and the idea of the family life was slipping away. Some things are just not meant to be. And then came 50. That’s a big one! Half way to 100….if you really want to live that long. But 50 was more a time of reflection. Had I done okay with my life? Was I a productive member of society? Where did I go from here? But 50 was also a number that haunted me….
My father died when he was 50. I could not fathom my life being over at 50. I thought (and still do think) of ALL the things he missed by dying at 50. He missed his first grandchild….and the ones that came after. He missed the Red Sox actually winning the World Series. He missed the election of the first African-American President of the United States. He missed the birth of his first great-grandchild. Dying at 50 meant he missed so much. I did not want to die at 50.
So I went on and here I am at 60. Some days I feel every one of those 60 years. Other days I still feel the carefree spirit of the 10-year-old. I’ve seen the Red Sox win the World Series not just once but 4 times! And The Patriots….now 6 time Super Bowl Champions! I still have no kids but I have a niece that is like a daughter and her son, my great-nephew, is as close to a grandchild as I will ever have. I continue down the path of public service and still find thrills in the job even after all these years. I have found a profound love of nature and creatures. And the sea calls to me in ways I never thought possible. I find great pleasure in simple things, a good book, a beautiful spring day, watching my garden grow, and any time I can be in or on the water. I don’t know what this decade will bring for me, but I am happy to be here to find out.
Sixty. It’s just a number.