I Can’t Believe I’m 60 Years Old

Can you believe it? We mean, how old you are?! Neither can BoomerCafé contributor Lorie Eber of Irvine, California.

I just had my 60th birthday and I’m incredulous that I’ve lived so many years. I wasn’t in the mood to mark the occasion at a party festooned with black balloons and “over the hill” jokes. I’d had that experience ten years earlier when my husband threw a surprise party for me against my wishes. I felt confident he wouldn’t be a repeat offender. He wasn’t.

Dr. Lorie Eber

Lorie Eber

While I still look fairly decent if you catch a quick glimpse from the back, a full frontal reveals the real story. I find it downright frightening to look at a selfie. In fact, I’m considering investing in a selfie stick to get a little distance from reality so I don’t scare young children. Since I refuse to enhance my looks in any way, I look like a television newsreader in HD who skipped hair and makeup.

The feel-good cliché that “50 is the new 30” never resonated with me, so I find myself even less convinced a decade down the road. I have no idea what a 60-year-old Lorie is supposed to feel like, nor do I have a vivid mental snapshot of my younger self. Still, I appreciate the sentiment and hope there’s at least a grain of truth in it.

I’m also a Gerontologist, so I’m quite cognizant of the fact that our bodies are made to procreate and then gradually start shutting down. Every system in our bodies slows to a crawl and formerly supple tissues get brittle and dry. At this advancing age I know better than to even attempt to work the twelve-hour days that used to be routine.

Then there are the weird things that come with the territory, like when a minor bump turns into an angry purple contusion, the unwelcome sight of bare scalp where thick hair used to reside, and coarse hairs sprouting in unwelcome places.

It also takes a psychic toll. Whenever a new ache or pain crops up, I panic and start worrying that I’ll have to live with it forever. Usually it dissipates, but not until I’ve worked myself into Ativan territory.

Certified Personal Trainer Lorie Eber.

Certified Personal Trainer Lorie Eber.

Nonetheless, the glass is always half-full in my world, so here are 10 upsides to being a little past my prime:

  1. I’m able to enjoy the small important moments
  2. I care less and less about what anyone thinks about me (husband excepted)
  3. I’m willing to admit my weaknesses and play to my strengths
  4. I don’t worry about a far-off Armageddon like climate change
  5. I’m quite comfortable in my skin
  6. I’ve learned to avoid negative people and surround myself with upbeat friends
  7. I no longer care to accumulate “stuff” (shoes excepted)
  8. I’ve finally learned to relax, at least a little
  9. I have a good fix on what makes me happy
  10. And of course … This beats the alternative!

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11 Comments

  1. Hi Lorie,
    Thanks for sharing this article – I fully understand where you are coming from as I am in my late 50s and am still wondering where life went so to speak. I am in a great place in my own life with a new partner and work on the basis of positivity and happiness – I see every day as a new positive experience looking at ways to help others, enjoying my own life and being happy!

  2. I love being 56 (will be 57 in early March) and my husband just turned 61. We can both work rings around 20 year olds but and at 60, you could be too. I am still on the pill (my mom was till her 80s) so have no menopausal drying out, hot flashes, weakening bones and sprouting hair. Yes, I lost my thick head of hair- until I discovered Bosley for Women. I just finished earning a Master’s degree and shortly start up a doctorate. I am developing a new career, making new friends of all ages, and doing a lot of volunteer work including animal rescue and with at risk kids, domestic violence victims, children and adults with Down syndrome, the homeless and visiting nursing homes with dogs. I am doing far more in my 50’s than I ever did before and feel like I am blossoming. I don’t worry about aches and pains- I have Chrohn’s and Diabetes- but just eat well, exercise, see my doc once a year and live with the aches and pains. I don’t look at myself as someone who has reproduced and is now shutting down. I might live another 50 years as members of my family did. My grandfather at 99 was taking classes and traveling the world. My husband’s dad in his late 80’s is a full time professional musician and has a new live in lady friend. There is a lot to do and look forward to if you are 60.

    1. Hi Terri,
      I love you get-up-and-go attitude. I have an 86 year old client who’s still a social butterfly. It’s up to us to keep young and involved.
      Lorie

  3. Hi Lorie
    Love your list, identify with most of them. Although until I decide to get rid of my snow skis, I won’t let the aches and pains slow me down. And I’ve always said waking up this morning beats the other option!

    1. Hi Denver,
      I had to get rid of my skis because living in SoCal has turned me into a weather wimp! I can’t stand the cold anymore.
      I agree. Above ground is something to be grateful for.
      Lorie

  4. Oh I can relate but at 68, I decided to embrace my life, my gray hair and the fact that my brain, if not my body, is in great shape, thanks to working my magic on website designs. 🙂

    1. Hi Lise,
      Love your attitude!
      As I like to say–Aging Beats the Alternative!” I call myself an old lady, and do not mean it in a derogatory sense, and even estimate up on my age. I was telling everyone I was 60 long before the magic date struck.
      Lorie

      1. When you get to 69 you will really feel the pain ….because we know what comes after 69 and that is positively positive old …IMO anyway.

  5. Hi David,
    I’m certain that time speeds up as we get older. The weeks, months and years are whizzing by for me now. Lesson: enjoy every moment!
    Lorie

  6. Nothing is more active than thought, for it travels over the universe, and nothing is stronger than necessity for all must submit to it.
    Thales

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