I awoke on Monday morning with the realisation that I could no longer be considered young or even middle-aged. As I gingerly stretched my body, I felt the odd protest from my lower back and a slight ache in my shoulders, but my mind still resolutely refused to acknowledge what the calendar insisted was true … it was my 60th birthday!
I’m not sure how this happened as I am still firmly convinced that I’m 35, despite the swift disavowal of this delusion as I inadvertently glanced into the bathroom mirror. Nonetheless, I realised that I am happier now than I have been at any point in my life thus far.
Do I have fame and fortune? Do I have the perfect life? Do I have a huge circle of adoring friends? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “No!”, but what I do have is an abiding contentment.
My husband has always quipped that life truly begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies (apologies to all animal lovers) but for me, it’s when you’re finally able to rid yourself of decades of self-doubt and existential angst and feel completely comfortable with who you are.
Despite the fact that I have the coordination of a drunken monkey and can’t even carry a tune in a bucket, that won’t stop me from riding (and falling off) a bicycle or singing loudly in the shower. Life is to be enjoyed and I intend to spend the rest of mine tackling new challenges and embracing life as I “would rather be happy than dignified” (Charlotte Bronte) as I travel through life “wear[ing] purple with a red hat that doesn’t go” (Jenny Joseph).
Who wants to join me?