Sixty

It has been a long while since I celebrated birthdays – they are really just one more day to me. And believe it or not, when I say that, I mean it. If it weren’t for friends and relatives sending cards or telling me “Happy Birthday” I’d probably forget what day it was just like any other.

Sure, I appreciate the thoughtful good wishes, who wouldn’t? But when it comes right down to it, on my birthday, I just want to do what I want when I want. I want to have a “me” day. And for several years now, my daughters have finally understood this, that the best gift they can give me is to say, “Happy Birthday, Mom” and “Joyeux Anniversaire, Maman” and then let me go on with my day, no fuss no muss.

I wonder how many other people secretly wish the same? πŸ˜‰

In most ways, today is just another day.Β  Mentally, I’ve been thinking of myself as being 60 since the beginning of the year. I often lose track. In fact, there were some years when I had to stop and think about my age to be sure. For example, all through my 58th year I kept thinking I was 59.Β  And this year, knowing this was my 60th year, I’ve thought of myself as being 60 since the beginning of the year – so that’s another reason why I say birthdays really are just another day to me.

And yet… Sixty.

I’ve been thinnking about that this morning. How it’s supposed to be a milestone. I keep thinking that I’m supposed to shudder and gasp and say, “oh my I’m sixty!” and wail to the heavens about growing older.

But do you want to know what I really feel?

Gratitude.

For those of youΒ  who haven’t seen my Life Adapted blog, let me tell you something awesome and amazing. When I was 15, the year of my 16th birthday, 1968, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Cancer of the lymph glands. Back then it was still considered incurable, though they did give me about a 40% chance of surviving 5 years. I guess I fooled them, huh? I finished my radiation treatments at the end of March, just in time to celebrate my 16th birthday. That was 44 years ago.

After cancer, the milestones weren’t birthdays, they were cancer milestones. Six months cancer free, one year cancer free, two years, then five years, then ten. And finally I stopped thinking about milestones altogether and just lived my life as if it never happened. Well, not exactly, of course, because it did happen and I think that is as much of what shaped my life as anything else. It’s probably the reason I learned to live in the moment, appreciate each day as unique and wonderful and special.Β  A birthday is just another special unique day like all the others.

So, what else am I feeling on this everyday, special, unique day?

Awe. Awe that I have made it to this day. Wonder that I actually grew up, gave birth to two beautiful daughters who are now grown and making their way in the world. So many unexpected feelings are running through me this morning, joy, amazement, even a sense of pride that I made it this far along the road.

Above all, right now as I write this, I feel blessed. Blessed that, through all the ups and downs of my life, I have maintained focus on one thing: The fact that each and every day is a celebration of life.

Good, bad, happy, sad, such a wealth of emotions we go through and each one is unique to the moment, precious, to be lived and experienced and owned. I may occasionally need reminders of this, but I never completely lose sight of it, and if my awareness gets veiled by pain or complications, there are always friends and even strangers to pull the veil away and help me see clearly again.

So yes, I am sixty today, but more than that I am here, now, celebrating one more day of life.

And you know what?

So are you!

Have a wonderful day!
~Judee

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31 responses

  1. A very enlightened post and an important lesson for us all to take to heart.
    Wanna be my guru? lol

    1. Ha, I don’t need to be your guru, you have it in you to be your own. πŸ˜‰ Just listen to yourself and you will see. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hmmm, I don’t know how I missed this post, Judee when you first posted it, but belated ‘Happy Birthday’ wishes to you. And keep in mind with each passing year that … he who has the most birthdays, lives the longest. That though always helped me look at my more recent birthdays in a more positive light. πŸ™‚ Here’s hoping you much happiness for your next 60 birthdays! πŸ™‚

    1. Well, I know i’ve missed a lot of posts here and there, it’s hard to keep up with everything. Thank you so much for the sweet wishes, Marcy. I love the thought about more birthdays meaning living longer. It’s simple, but true, and makes the point. So nice of you to think of me. Hugs.

  3. Such a lovely perspective, as always, Judee πŸ™‚
    anne

    1. Thank you anne, lovely to see you.

  4. What a beautiful post. My mom celebrated her 68th birthday in December. She always would tell me growing up that you’re only as old as you feel. I admire her so much because she lives life without the thought or “limitations” of age (sometimes to her detriment like when she slid into home plate during a softball game with the grandkids, thus breaking her wrist, but nonetheless, she takes from life everything she can get). I read this post of yours and I heard your heart much like my mom’s. I want to be like this as I continue to get older. I believe I will be. LOL!! Thanks for posting this. And happy belated birthday. πŸ˜€

    1. What a great story – sliding into home plate, lol! Sorry to hear about the wrist, of course, but what wonderful energy she must have. I believe you will be like that, too, because you are aware even now, and so your life will simply be a continuation of now. Meaning, through all changes to come, both good and not-so, you will keep your inner spirit and stay young at heart. Bless you. πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you so much for saying that. Bless you as well. πŸ˜€

  5. Have a beautiful Me day – may it be all that you wish for. What a blessing it is to reach this age and know that you have been blessed in many ways.

    1. Thank you Colline, that’s sweet of you to say. πŸ™‚

  6. wow Judee … I hope it was one wonderful day. But then again who cares about one single day. This whole year you are sixty. yeah !!!!
    that sounds to me so far away. I need to live a another lifetime to reach sixty.
    I can only start to imagine how much life you must have seen. I always marvel at the stories that must be inside the people who have seen the world more than I have.
    It’s wonderful that you are keeping this blog. through it you share so much life lessons.

    I just celebrated being a mother for 15 years, yesterday. And it was a wonderful feeling. I can’t wait to experience 30 years of being a mother πŸ™‚

    I wish you all the best, may you have many more wonderful birthdays, without too much fuss and muss πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you amira, what a lovely comment. I can remember when 60 seemed far away, now it seems like it all went by in a flash. Of course, it didn’t seem like a flash while i was living it. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for dropping by, and the well wishes.

  7. Enjoy, chill, sing out and dance your heart to the music you love Judee!! It’s your day and wishing you all the best and more to come!! ~ Abundant birthday blessings:)

    1. Thank you so much. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  8. Well Judee dear, I think this is the BEST take on birthdays–ever! I hope you have had a wonderful day celebrating YOU just the way you wanted to. Happy “ME” Day! xoxox

    1. Thank you Jeannie. And yes, I did, I had a wonderful day and even went to MacDonalds drive through for a treat, lol! Thanks for the good wishes.

  9. Happy birthday!!! I don’t look at birthdays or any holiday as a special day. I do think it is just another day. Holidays are days for me to do what I want to do, go where I want to go, or just stay home and comfy. Hoping this next year is marvelous for you!

    1. Thank you Cee, and yes, I’m like that about other holidays, too – I can’t even remember the last xmas we had a tree – probably when the girls were both still at home in their teens. Hope you had a nice weekend, and thanks for dropping by.

  10. Happy birthday, Judee and here’s to many, many more. Hope you have a wonderful “ME” day.

    1. Thank you Tess – and yes, I did have a wonderful Me day. I even installed an old game (Morrowind) and played awhile. Now I just have to be careful not to get dragged into it for too many hours! πŸ˜‰

  11. I hope today will be the first of many more ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’s’ for you, Judee. Enjoy your day! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Marcy!

  12. 63 in June. The trade off is you get to be called “grampa”.

    1. Ha, old man! My girls are grown but they’ve thus far put off making me into grandma. I’m perfectly happy to wait, lol! Thanks for the visit.

  13. You are blessed indeed…Happy birthday Judee!

  14. You are such a beautiful soul dear Judee… How beautiful your expressions, especially these words ” each and every day is a celebration of life.” Happy Birthday dear Judee… Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

    1. Thank you nia, and have a wonderful dayof your own special celebrating.

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