a middleSage publication

On Turning 60 Without Fear!

Barbara Coleman

Barbara Coleman middleSage

You know that uncomfortable feeling of impending doom, right?  In 256 days I’ll be 60 years old, and the number 60 sounds like it could have all the earmarks of PBS (Pre Birthday Syndrome).  You know what I’m talking about.  Since I’ve never turned 60 before I don’t know what to expect, it just the ring of one of those landmark birthdays that could signal depression, a period of “what have I done with my life”, examine my own mortality, or in the words of Peggy Lee…Is that all there is?  Click the Sound Bar below if you’d like to have Peggy serenade you while you read the rest of Turning 60 Without Fear!

I’ve actually got 256 days to go, but I believe in being prepared…especially for this one.

Several years ago, I worked with a woman who, upon turning 60, went through a major depression. She saw Tina Turner on TV and realized she was also 60 and by comparison….well she had lost her urge to roll any where, let alone down the proverbial river.  Mortality sometimes sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

The only birthday I had like that was 24 and looking back I realized it wasn’t the birthday causing the depression, it was courtesy to my life being in the dumpster at the time.  Bad marriage, no career or real purpose at all, lots of personal issues…I had no idea where I was headed or what I wanted out of life.   That’s not what this is about though…35 years later I married a good man, figured a lot of those issues out and am happily retired from a pretty successful career. Whew, glad I turned that ship around.

It’s not 60 I’m preparing for, it’s the funk, the depressive state, the blues I fear may come with 60 I’m preparing to ward off. and to do that I need to be in top condition.  What I’ve learned throughout my journey is; to remain stagnate is dangerous….you must continue to learn and grow.  My life, my spirit, my body, my brain must be exactly where I need it to be when the magic date hits the fan, and it’s solely up to me to make that happen.  Here’s my list.

I will work with a trainer to make sure my body is in strong condition.  When I get to 60 I want our activities to be more about moving around and less about sitting around.  I want to feel good in my skin, feel good in my clothes and not dread passing a mirror, or running into someone from my past.1403100231r3xuq

I will visit my Chiropractor and Doctor(s) on a regular basis to prevent the aches/pains and maladies that come with Aging.  (Prevention isn’t indulgent, it’s smart, it’s taking care of yourself so you can take care of others!)

I will eat right so I feel good about my weight and it is exactly where I want it to be.  Healthy. (God, I wasted a lot of skinny years thinking I was fat!)

I will search out and find regular activities to stimulate my mind and soul.  (Trying to constantly reinvent myself will come to a stop.  It’s time to simply BE.  Find things to enjoy and THAT is who I am).

I will continue to  keep the word “hate” from my everyday vocabulary (It is amazing what eliminating this one word has done for my perspective on life…c’mon do you really feel that strongly about Brussel Sprouts or do you just prefer Beans?  Hate is powerful – keep it as far from you as possible)

I will focus on the joys of just being me and finding comfort in that being enough.  I AM GOOD ENOUGH just the way I am and should you disagree…  A favorite line from my husband addresses it quiet nice…”it is not necessary for you to agree with me, for me to be right”.

Finally, I will carefully plan the my birthday to be exactly as I want it to be and not wait for others to make it so.  WITHOUT GUILT.

Finally, you know why we use so many pictures of fall colored leaves here? I was told a long time ago by someone much smarter than myself that you could compare aging to the leaves on the trees.  We start out green, easily bendable in the wind, and it’s not until the aging process begins do our bright colors begin to show.  Yes, we are a bit more fragile, but we have a beauty that only comes with the endurance of cold dark nights.

images-12It’d be a shame to waste all of that wouldn’t it. Let me know how you’re handling the Big Birthdays!

Barb Signature


  1. Pam Houghton

    4 September

    Nice and sane perspective. I like the point about not constantly re-inventing yourself. I’m at a point where I’m ready to give that up, too. And just BE. 🙂

    • Barbara Coleman

      4 September

      Thanks for your comment Pam! It’s draining isn’t it! Why constantly feel the need to become something else? What’s the quote? “Good is the enemy of Great”

  2. Lee

    4 September

    It’s amazing how, at a point in our lives, we finally become comfortable in our own skin AND realize that taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually is a priority. Planning to age,with the emphasis on self care, is something we all need to do. Great piece!

    • Barbara Coleman

      4 September

      It’s WAY easier when you’re not doing it alone. We’re not invisible damn it, and we’re not done yet! Thanks Thelma…

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